Ironman Boulder - Triathlon

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Boulder, Colorado
United States
World Triathlon Corporation
89F / 32C
Total Time = 15h 01m 29s
Overall Rank = 1556/2450
Age Group = M40-44
Age Group Rank = 238/403
Pre-race routine:

Up at 4 am and ate two Bonk Bars and a banana and sipped on Perform. Left the hotel around 5 am and parked near the finish line. Dropped off our SN bags and then headed to the shuttles. Didn't arrive at the race until 6 am and was a bit rushed to get everything done before the swim start.
  • 1h 25m 55s
  • 4224 yards
  • 02m 02s / 100 yards

Seeded myself in the 1:15-1:30 group. Great start style and it was easy to find open water. Swam quite awhile freestyle before working in breast stroke here and there to relieve my shoulders. My plan was to stay to the outside right to avoid any traffic and it worked pretty well but I did continue to drift left and find myself in the heavier swim lane. When I stayed right it was great. Last leg in was tougher as there was some unexpected boat wake and a lot of seaweed that grabbed at your arms and legs. Sighting was easy throughout. Sleeveless worked great and I never really got chilly.
What would you do differently?:

Keep working on shoulder flexibility and strengthening. Swim was about the same as Arizona 2012 but I felt the course was a little long in Boulder.
Transition 1
  • 11m 17s

Tried to move more quickly through this. Got my shoes on but realized I hadn't put my knee sleeves on. Tried to do a few things while walking to the bike to save time. Got some sunscreen, hit the bathrooms, and headed to my bike. Long walk/run with the bike to the bike mount.
What would you do differently?:

Allow enough time to get everything set on the bike pre-race.
  • 6h 23m 59s
  • 112 miles
  • 17.50 mile/hr

My plan was to use the Rez Road and Jay Road to settle down and ride easy, which I did but my HR was a little higher than I wanted. Once I hit the Foothills Hwy I increased my speed and settled into high Z1/low Z2 for the duration of the ride. Started drinking right away and my first Bonk Bar portion was at :45 minutes. Plan was for 1/4 BB every 30 minutes with Endurolytes at the top of each hour plus at least one bottle of Perform per hour. Caught up to Erica around mile 20 and we chatted for a bit. Felt very good initially but at around 40-50 miles I found my stomach becoming unsettled. At this point I had eaten one Bonk Bar and drank at least two 24 oz bottles of Perform but I knew the bars weren't going to work. I decided to switch to gels and loaded up on them at an aid station. So the last three hours were gels every 30 minutes and there was only one flavor: Strawberry Banana. The lemon-lime Perform was getting hard to drink and tasted nothing like my lemon-lime powdered Perform I trained with. Continued to wet my sleeve coolers and never really felt fried out there but it was quite hot and exposed.
By mile 90 I was getting nauseated and by mile 100 I was retching a bit. I could tell my stomach was shutting down and riding aero was making the nausea worse. My hope was that once I was upright on the run my stomach would settle. My speed continued to drop and I was happy to get off the bike.

Peed twice at aid stations.
What would you do differently?:

I'm not quite sure what went wrong here. I may have eaten too much before the race or not allowed enough time for it to digest. The Perform on course was disgusting and maybe I should have stuck with my powdered stuff throughout. But the whole point of training with Perform was to be able to live off the course on race day. I wore an aero helmet and that may not have allowed enough ventilation but I can't really say I was super hot during the ride. Two weeks prior I rode 100 miles and ran 6 miles on the course in 97 degree heat and didn't have these issues. I was fairly happy with my bike split, even with the tail off.
Transition 2
  • 16m 3s

Grabbed my SN bag of the blistering hot track and headed to a steamy changing tent. Changed into tri shorts and compression socks, collected myself and headed out. Peed once more here and got some more sunscreen.
What would you do differently?:

I think try the whole race in a good pair of tri shorts to save time at each transition. Also, have a definite plan of what I'm going to do and wear.
  • 6h 44m 15s
  • 26.2 miles
  • 15m 26s  min/mile

Here's where the wheels officially came off. Took a few steps running and felt something large in my sock. Ended up having to take off my compression sock to find a chunk of black track rubber in it. Started off again and immediately noticed sloshing in my stomach, which I know from experience is bad news. Took more salt pills to help move things through. Filled my bottle at the first aid station to find the dreaded mango Perform from IMAZ. This stuff tastes horrible and I had to dilute it 50/50 to stomach it. I walked and ran the first nine miles or so before the nausea really started to increase. Retched a bit here and then puked in earnest at Mile 10. At this point, I thought I was done and felt terrible, especially being 16 miles from the finish. I sat down for about 10-15 minutes and fortunately had a buddy there get me going again. I started to feel a bit better and when I reached the east end of the course I decided to run again as the return trip was all downhill. I ran the next 4 miles feeling decent before I was puking again at mile 15. I sat down again and was able to get going about ten minutes later with the knowledge that I might feel better again a la the first episode. I ran into Rich at this point and he was suffering as well.
At the next aid station I knew I had to figure something out so I grabbed a cup of chicken broth and Coke. Sipped a bit of the broth and then switched to Coke for the rest of the race. I started with very small sips and the nausea abated some. I could now at least walk without throwing up but I couldn't run. Coke saved the day I think. The last 11 miles were all walking with my cup of Coke. I would run into Erica on the out and backs and we would encourage each other to get through the race. She was suffering with her own demons. My left Achilles and right posterior knee were getting sore and I had a pretty good blister going on my left pinky toe but the nausea was manageable. The good thing about having a bad run was that I could take time to stop each loop and chat with my family and hug my kids, who were pretty worried about Mom and Dad.
I finally reached the last short out and back and resolved to start running again at some point. I ran into Erica one last time coming back in and I could tell she was hurting. We hugged and I told her how close she was and that she had plenty of time to finish, just keep going!
At the final aid station I tossed the Coke and started running. My legs felt fine of course and the stomach was ok. I made the final turn off the course and started heading for the finish after a long long day. The run down 13th Street was amazing and spectators were loud and supporting. My pace quickened under the cheers and before I knew it I was under the lights and heading down the chute by myself. Had a great time swerving like an airplane down the chute collecting high fives and crossing the line to Mike's announcement of me being an Ironman.
What would you do differently?:

Something clearly didn't work today and this made the race so bittersweet. I am happy to be a 2x Ironman and celebrate the finish but I wasn't looking to be "just" a finisher. I had a time goal of 12 hours and was on pace until the run. I clearly was dehydrated on the run as I didn't pee once in nearly seven hours. My energy levels were ok but again I mostly walked.
After a day or two of reflection, I do feel fortunate to have finished. I started seeing riders down on the bike course and the run course was littered with bodies. The sound of ambulance sirens was common. It was in a word: scary. But I still managed to finish and I did have a smile on my face reading the signs.
The problem is I can't put Ironman to bed until I have the race result I know I'm capable of: 1:20 swim, 6:10 bike, 4:00 run. Nutrition counseling for IM #3 is probably advisable.
Post race
Warm down:

Waited for Erica to come in but somehow missed her. She finished 30 minutes later with a smile on her face. We hung around for a little bit and then hit the road for home.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

My training for this race was so much better than IMAZ 2012, even with some setbacks towards the end. Some left quad tendonitis slowed me down for a few weeks but more significantly I had a serious fall three weeks out while hopping a fence and ended up messing up the inside of my right knee (bone bruise, sprained MCL, strained gracillis/groin). I was lucky to make it to the starting line. The combination of this limited my training some but I still felt very ready for this race. In the end, it was the combination of heat and poor nutrition/hydration (and maybe some E.Coli laden reservoir water) that ruined my day.

Event comments:

This was a great race with super volunteers and an energetic crowd of spectators. The bike course was challenging but not terrible and the run course was amazing. For a first year Ironman, things went very very well.

Last updated: 2013-07-17 12:00 AM
01:25:55 | 4224 yards | 02m 02s / 100yards
Age Group: 206/403
Overall: 1326/2450
Performance: Good
Suit: Tyr Sleeveless
Course: Rectangle
Start type: Wade Plus: Time Trial
Water temp: 72F / 22C Current: Low
200M Perf. Good Remainder: Good
Breathing: Good Drafting:
Waves: Navigation: Average
Rounding: Average
Time: 11:17
Performance: Average
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? No Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed:
06:23:59 | 112 miles | 17.50 mile/hr
Age Group: 197/403
Overall: 1182/2450
Performance: Average
Wind: Little
Course: Big loop
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence:
Turns: Good Cornering:
Gear changes: Good Hills: Good
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Not enough
Time: 16:03
Overall: Average
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal
06:44:15 | 26.2 miles | 15m 26s  min/mile
Age Group: 238/403
Overall: 1556/2450
Performance: Bad
Course: Two loops along the Boulder Creek Trail with three out and backs on each loop. The majority of it was well shaded.
Keeping cool Average Drinking Not enough
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Average
Mental exertion [1-5] 5
Physical exertion [1-5] 3
Good race? No
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Good
Race evaluation [1-5] 5