5430 Long Course Triathlon - TriathlonLong Course

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Boulder, Colorado
United States
5430 Sports Corp.
100F / 38C
Total Time = 6h 42m
Overall Rank = 730/884
Age Group = 40-45 toughies
Age Group Rank = 87/97
Pre-race routine:

This was a really tough morning to deal with. I made the absolutely idiotic mistake of desperately seeking out a massage on Saturday afternoon to loosen up my neck and stop the spasms I felt in my calves earlier in the morning. I'm guessing that my nerves were acting up in anticipation of the race. I felt totally at peace about the challenge in front of me, but I had physical issues to deal with. The masseuse I used was the only one I could find available on short notice. The pro I usually used was home sick with food poisoning. This should have given me pause, but in my stupid haze I proceeded to let the Chinese man who spoke no English beat me up quite harshly with a style of massage I wasn't used to, elbows on the spine stands out in my memory. The only saving grace was that I cut him of at 30 minutes and didn't go to 60 minutes as I originally planned. The use of his elbows on my back inflamed my lower spine. An hour after I got home in the afternoon, I realized I could not bend comfortably, and started ice and tylenol to alleviate the pain. I was having flashbacks to a month or so earlier when I tweaked my back badly on a very hard seven mile mountain run near Red Rocks. That injury sidelined me for over a week right in one of our hard training weeks. I had disastrous thoughts of bailing on the race eight hours before transition was due to open.I was also dealing with the underlying stress of my left ankle problems that started appearing two weeks before the race. I only ran 50-60 minutes on the two training runs I had,in the ten or twelve days preceding the race. I was also stressed that I never did the ultimate 2-2/12 hour long run at the end of July. I did two hours plus on an elliptical, but knew I hadn't run more than 10.5 miles and had planned to validate my training with the two hour + run. As per my coaches and doctor's advice (and an x-ray that showed no broken bones)I planned ahead of time to go to the medical tent at T2 and get a professional wrap done on my ankle. I knew it would kill my transition time, but my whole run was in jeopardy without some extra support on my ankle.

I knew I would have had my first ever breakdown if I did not go to the race. I resigned myself to taking as much 8 hour tylenol as I could, and threw in a bunch of Advil too, knowing that ibuprofen is not a very safe drug for this kind of day. My dad helped me pack my car with everything except the bike which I did not want to leave on the roof of the car overnight.

I slept fairly badly, although my back was not killing me in bed, so I had a faint optimism that I would be miraculously healed with 5.5 hours of sleep. I woke at 4:04 (violently early by my standards) and rolled into the jon to get dressed in my TNT gear I had waited months to race in. I went down to the kitchen and drank a bottle of Ensure, had a bowl of oatmeal, and a toasted bagel with butter. I took a Propel and another bottle of Ensure with me to drink at setup.

I got in the car with excitement and a bit of trepidation regarding my body. I drove the hour to Boulder, marveling at the other folks on the road at 4:30 am on a Sunday!

I pulled into the Boulder Rez in total darkness, and realized I had not worn anything over my tri outfit like most everyone else in the cool morning. I also marveled at the guy parked in front of me who brought a headlamp so he could see what he was doing with his bike. I swapped my 404 off the back and put the disc on in it's place. I lined the wheels up with the brakes as best as I was able in the dark. I then tried to blow up the tires to 120psi or so, not being able to see the pump gauge on the ground!

I grabbed my HEAVY transition pack, and carried the bike on my shoulder and walked over to transition. On the way i got into a line to get body marked. I had a friendly woman writing on me, and I asked her politely to write HTFU on my right forearm, where I could see it. She agreed with a laugh. I wanted to wear my BT tattoos too, but in the scheme of things I couldn't handle even one more thing.

I got into transition, and realized that I was really in kind of a funk. I was excited to try out my bike that I spent months building in a big race. I was also stoked about the new Giro Advantage aero helmet I stumbled on the day before the race. The store that helped me immensely with setup and every little thing I needed had only one of these helmets on hand and it was my size :) Well, back to set up. I was kind of in a haze but realized I had strayed from my usual setup by freezing my Gatorade and water bottles overnight...needless to say, they did not thaw. At least I remembered to bring a big thermos of water to fill my Aerodrink. The Aerodrink started dripping all over my towel and shoes, and in the dim morning light it appeared that the bottle had a hole in a corner of it near the top. I just shrugged and said it really couldn't stop me now. I was so slow getting setup i finally left about 6:18, or two minutes before the organizers started to kick everyone out of Transition. At the last second I decided I needed to hit the port a potty and found a line two deep. As if I really needed any more challenges, I found that I wasn't quite able to remove solid waste from my body in solid form. I did a quick prayer to my rear end to leave me alone during the race. I finally left Transition and went to scout out the swim course which I hadn't mapped out. I found Kevin and Brad from parker Tri Club and we all wished each other well.
Event warmup:

The thought of jogging a little, and even a pre-race bike loop like I did at Pe;ican Fest did not even enter my mind. I was in a zone somewhere else.

I was excited to get in the water because Brett(coach) and I thought my back would loosen up in the swim. I went out in the swim area and swam around for about five minutes very smoothly, practicing my breathing cycle. I still felt the lack of intensity I have had in my previous races, but it also brought a total calm as i watched the two waves go off before mine. I was in the seventh wave going off, and I was therefore not too concerned with the prospect of getting run over by faster swimmers.
  • 44m 43s
  • 2112 yards
  • 02m 07s / 100 yards

This was my longest OWS to date, as I practiced 1800M over and over again in the Gravel Pond, but did not ever do more than 2000. I started three quarters of the way back and to the right side, in our small wave. I was pleased that I was able to maintain my pace with very little interference for the full distance. I was bumped a couple times, and did get a glancing kick off my chin which did not hurt. I tried to draft, but got dropped by faster swimmers very quickly. I had a rookie moment when I realized that the bubbles in my face were not from a draft, but from my own hands! I was thankful that I had gone out and bought tinted goggles, as we were going straight into the sun on the first leg which was quite long. I sighted off swimmers on my right, and squinted ahead infrequently because of the glare.
My sighting was dead on which made me very happy. It was fantastic seeing Coaches Brett and Charley waiting fro me and the TNT team on the beach exit.
What would you do differently?:

I need to focus on swimming as it is the worst of the three sports for me. I am sure I can pick up speed here with increased practice and volume. Overall I am pleased as I wasn't even comfortable doing 800m straight when I started my training in the winter.
Transition 1
  • 03m 58s

Once again, I was in a zone, not really looking at the clock. I prided myself on really fast transitions in my Sprint races, but here I was in no rush. I think I realized that I was in "survival" mode for the race, and I was also a little tired from the swim.
What would you do differently?:

Run through transition in my head in advance like I have done every other time. I thought about it in my head on the swim, as a distraction, but had not studied the layout and my particular plans as usual. I have been analytical about planning and visualizing my T1, but this time I was not in "the game".
  • 3h 06m 26s
  • 56 miles
  • 18.02 mile/hr

The bike was my biggest challenge today which is very ironic as the bike is my only "natural" sport of the SBR combo. Pre-race I had already decided that on the advice of other experienced racers I would restrain myself on this segment and save gas for the run. In our several practice loops I had ridden the course at 20-21 mph, feeling strong the whole time, knowing I could go faster. For the race I had decided to ride at 17-18 mph.

As the bike started,immediately I realized that something was amiss. I felt lethargic as soon as I started pedaling out of the Reservoir. I was struggling to keep a 14-15 mph pace in the first few miles. I started to feel slightly stronger as I got out onto 36 and spun at about 16 mph for awhile, except on the hills where I rode the granny gears at 10 mph or more. I was distressed, as I had ridden these hills without a hiccup two weeks prior at 20 mph or more. I had powered over all these rollers before and I was being passed by lots of slow bikers! In the first few miles, I also realized that my back was going to be a limiting factor on this day. I was immediately disturbed to find out that I could not ride in the aerobars comfortably! I proceeded to ride the most inefficient way possible, shifting in and out of the bars onto the bullhorns. When my back was paining me most, I rode holding the aerobar pads. I made myself stay in the bars going down all the hills as I knew I would raise my average mph by holding my aero position. I was mildly upset the whole ride, but realized that my injury was holding me back to the pace I needed! Irony indeed.

Forgot to add that it was cool seeing David Thompson,the eventual winner and several other pros rocket by me on 36, far left of the shoulder at at least 27 or 30 mph
What would you do differently?:

First, I need to figure out why I faded as soon as I came out of T1. Second, never go to a non-English speaking masseuse the day before my big race. I also need to figure out how much faster I can go over 56 miles and still be able to run well.
Transition 2
  • 15m 29s

World Record longest T2 !!

This transition was very important, and I took my time to get all my nutrition, gels,salt tabs, Tylenol,water,etc. I spent about four minutes taking inventory and changing my gear. When I headed out of T2 I headed to a pre-arranged appointment with the chief sports medic in the medical tent. I had informed the medic that I would be in the tent between 11 and 11:15 which I did do. I went in and I was told to sit down and take some water while they got me set up. The medic did a professional job wrapping my ankle and I talked to my coach about nutrition while I was being wrapped.
What would you do differently?:

Is this a trick question?
  • 2h 43m 16s
  • 13.1 miles
  • 12m 28s  min/mile

I started very slowly, as I was bogged down with the unfamiliar feel of the tape, and I was carrying so much nutrition I had stuff in both hands, my jersey pocket, and on my thighs, under my shorts.The first several miles of the run are on a barren dirt road and there are a couple hills to climb which makes this the hardest part of the race. The second half of the loop was delightful to me,as we ran through a green area, along a stream and then around the edge of the reservoir itself. I walked all the aid stations, and made up for not drinking Gatorade on the bike by drinking water and Gatorade at almost every single stop. I carried a water bottle from the Med tent until mile 12 and kept refilling it at each station. I had people spray me with water, dump water on me, hand off four cups at once...I went crazy, and thanked all the volunteers every time I saw them. I got sponges at one station, and put one permanently into my race hat. I also kept one on my chest under my tri top and kept wetting both of them. I was also taking salt tablets all day, one before the swim, three or four on the bike, and four on the run.

Everything was fairly uneventful until mile six when my left foot started feeling like it was burning. Minutes after this started, I ran into my Dad who was waiting near the finish area (which I had to pass to do loop 2). I got to high five him, pose for a pic while running slowly, and high five my twin girls on the side of the road near Transition. I moved along steadily at about a ten minute pace until mile nine when I caught up to a TNT teammate in trouble. I decided to try to push her to the finish and be a good teammate. She was bloated, but I made her promise to run nine minutes with me and then walk one, and repeat until the end. We did this routine, stopped at aid stations, and even stopped at the porta potty at mile ten or so. I felt I was successful getting my teammate moving again and when I hit the home straight into the park, and then the finish which was about 1.5 miles away, I decided to run hard. I felt good, and think my pace was about 7:45 for the last bit. My confidence was raised as I finished strong on a hard day.
What would you do differently?:

Do even more bricks, running off the bike, and increase my mileage after my ankle problem is cured.
Post race
Warm down:

I sat in a chair and drank like I had not drunk all afternoon. I had a banana and a sugar cookie and that made me feel a litle more energetic.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

My ankle and my back.

Event comments:

I have a new satisfaction that feels unfamiliar after finishing this race. I had a very detailed plan of action provided by my great coaches,and the plan was executed with a measure of success. Initially I was overwhelmed with the idea of just finishing this race; as it got closer, I decided to try and come up with a finishing time goal. When I woke up race day, I had a reality check, and decided I would just finish as strong as possible. I am proud that I kept going on the bike while in pain, and getting out on the run and enjoying nearly 100% of it. The "no-drama" swim was also excellent. I am very happy, albeit a bit sore, and I am definitely going to revisit this distance again and see what I can do.

Profile Album

Last updated: 2007-02-11 12:00 AM
00:44:43 | 2112 yards | 02m 07s / 100yards
Age Group: 0/97
Overall: 705/884
Performance: Good
Course: Somewhat of a triangular course that was swum counterclockwise
Start type: Wade Plus: Shot
Water temp: 75F / 24C Current: Low
200M Perf. Good Remainder: Good
Breathing: Good Drafting: Below average
Waves: Navigation: Good
Rounding: Good
Time: 03:58
Performance: Below average
Cap removal: Average Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Yes Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: Yes
Getting up to speed:
03:06:26 | 56 miles | 18.02 mile/hr
Age Group: 0/97
Overall: 720/884
Performance: Average
Wind: None
Course: This is a very fun course that loops around the Boulder reservoir two times. There are rolling hills from mile 4 through fifteen, climaxing with a thrilling ride down St.Vrains Street. Most of the rest of the course is nearly dead flat. The ride is scenic and very fun.
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence: 90
Turns: Good Cornering: Good
Gear changes: Average Hills: Below average
Race pace: Hard Drinks: Just right
Time: 15:29
Overall: Bad
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike Good
Running with bike Good
Racking bike Average
Shoe and helmet removal Average
02:43:16 | 13.1 miles | 12m 28s  min/mile
Age Group: 0/97
Overall: 719/884
Performance: Good
Course: Two loop run around the Boulder Reservoir. Hard course with no shade and two hills in the first couple miles. The first part of the loop is through a bone dry prairie and over the dusty hills. The second part is prettier, as the area suddenly became green. The third part we ran around the perimeter of the reservoir on a gravel road above the water.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 4
Physical exertion [1-5] 4
Good race? Yes
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? No
Post race activities: Good
Race evaluation [1-5] 4