Ironman Boulder - Triathlon

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Boulder, Colorado
United States
World Triathlon Corporation
Total Time = 13h 17m 49s
Overall Rank = 856/2343
Age Group = 45-49
Age Group Rank = 25/118
Pre-race routine:

Coffee, some kind of electrolyte drink (skratch?), wheat toast w/ almond butter & honey
Event warmup:

None, enough walking around to Boulder HS to catch shuttles, in transition getting bike ready, dropping nutrition in T1 bag, bathroom lines, etc.
  • 1h 20m 26s
  • 4224 yards
  • 01m 54s / 100 yards

I was very nervous before the start. Steph, Becky & I started at the front of the 1:15-1:30 wave. With my shoulder I thought I would finish closer to 1:30 but Steph insisted I start with them at the front. Worked out ok as I finished well ahead of a 1:30. The initial straight out was not good for me, too many people bumping into me despite swimming way out to the right in an attempt to avoid people. I was in panic survival mode that entire stretch, swimming more like a dog paddle/tarzan and lifting head up in front to breath. But after the first turn it thinned out (or I moved further out maybe) and I finally got into a smooth pattern. I spotted a girl that looked like Becky but it was hard to tell because my goggles had leaked and I couldn't see very well out of either eye. I stayed with the girl pretty much the rest of the swim, we were the exact same pace. The 2nd stretch went on forever. The yellow buoys changed to orange and I thought for sure it was time to turn - nope, we kept going and going... finally the turn appeared and it was the last stretch in to the finish. I was feeling good, no cramps to speak of which is a miracle for me as I always get calf or feet/toe cramps. There seemed to be a current on the last stretch, I swam and swam but wasn't getting anywhere. Very odd, but finally I reached the finish. When I stood up I had a moment of dizziness but it quickly went away and I was off to the changing tent.
What would you do differently?:

Test goggles before and have ones that do not leak! I made the decision to go without wetsuit because during 1 practice swim with it I felt constricted and was only a couple of seconds faster/100. The water was warm enough that it was not needed and I am glad I decided to not wear it. (Steph & I were in the definite minority without a wetsuit on, pretty much everyone wore one.)
Transition 1
  • 07m 10s

Uneventful, I took my time. The volunteer I had was very timid so I pretty much did everything. She did spray me with sunscreen, but missed a few places. =(
What would you do differently?:

Speed it up as I should have been faster here since I was already wearing my tri kit and only had to put on socks, bike shoes, arm coolers, helmet, sunglasses & sunscreen.
  • 5h 56m 26s
  • 112 miles
  • 18.85 mile/hr

Fast bike course! I thought the course had to be fast based on the 103 mile ride Becky & I did earlier in the year - we averaged mid 17's for an easy paced ride. I decided in the last 2 weeks to rent race wheels (Zipp 404s) and give up my powertap. I rarely look at my power #;s while riding anyway and felt race wheels would be a wise decision. I rode based on RPE & HR. I felt really good on the bike, kept it moderate effort for most of the ride. All the hills I used the easiest gear even though none of them warranted it. My HR was low, legs felt strong (other than my right hip was bothering me being in aero so much) and I was enjoying the ride. Until CR19 which went on FOREVER! And the CR right after that as well. I liked the 1 loop course, but the long stretches were mentally draining. I welcomed the 3 B's because I really needed something to change things up. The people cheering on the first of the 3 (and the only 1 of the 3 worth mentioning really) were awesome. A guy said to me "what is that, a goat"? Yes..."a goat with a beer - WE LOVE YOU"! Yep, a goat with a beer. Gotta love the Full Goat kits. The last 12 miles I picked up the pace because I was ready to be off the bike. Overall I felt good, no saddle discomfort, but I was done with the bike. (Nutrition wise I stuck with Skratch & Water, then alternating a Gu or bar of some kind every 45 minutes. That worked great until I had to start with the Ironman Perform which upset my stomach. It's too strong and I can't handle it. Tried watering it down but that didn't work. I think I stopped eating & drinking the last 90 minutes or so, which I think was the start of my problems. I don't think I was sweating anymore, but it was hard to tell because I kept pouring water on my arm coolers, chest & back, and top of head.)
Stopped @ 45 mile rest stop to pee, stopped one more time when my extra tube came unraveled from bottle cage.
This bike course is FAST! I only pushed the last 12 miles or so, the rest was IM effort pace. There are lots of false flats, but you can tell when you are on them so it's easy to adjust effort accordingly. Very few hills and they are over quickly. The only real negative I have about the bike course is that mentally it's draining. The long stretches are so boring, and there is no shade at all.
What would you do differently?:

Nutrition - use the Skratch packets I had with me instead of drinking the Ironman Perform. It seemed like too much trouble but may have saved me from the start of my upset stomach.
Transition 2
  • 08m 16s

Walked the entire stretch to the bike catchers (where I saw Bart!) and also to the changing tent. I was having trouble breathing when I stopped.
Volunteer was awesome. Only changed socks and shoes, grabbed nutrition, handheld water bottle & visor and headed out.
What would you do differently?:

  • 5h 45m 31s
  • 26.2 miles
  • 13m 11s  min/mile

Complete death march. I knew I needed to go slow the first 6 miles/hour (EN) so I ran/walked and kept a close eye on my HR. It was too high so I mostly walked. My legs felt ok for the most part, but my stomach was iffy and I was hot! My stomach was sloshy and I couldn't really eat or drink anything. I tried PepidAC & Tums, but they only helped for a short while. I again started feeling dizzy (started seeing stars literally) so I slowed my pace even more. I really don't remember a whole lot about the run except that I was in survival mode trying not to hurl or pass out. In hindsight I should have brought salt tabs with me, I think they would have helped my stomach start working again. There was a salt station (not IM related, just a company out there offering salt) but I was afraid to stop and try something new. It certainly couldn't have made anything worse, I'm kicking myself now for not stopping.
I didn't like the 3 out & backs (never have liked out and backs, or runs on a greenway/path), I never knew where I was at any point in time. The wide open overpass that we had to go up and over and back again was just cruel.
I remember walking through 1 aid station and a volunteer asking me if I was ok. I answered no but kept walking. I was so out of it and just wanted the misery to end.
Somewhere towards the end I decided to look at my watch and realized that I was close to a PR (huh, how could that be possible, I had walked almost the entire run course) so I sucked it up the last 3/4 mile and shuffled it in. Ended up missing a PR by about a minute & 30 seconds. Had I looked at my total time earlier I could have made that up I'm sure but I didn't. Oh well, not that big of a deal. I'm more upset that I walked so much.
As I exited the past and headed towards the finish I asked a volunteer how much further (because I was running despite feeling like crap) and he said only about 200 yards so I picked it up. He was wrong...I finally saw what I thought was the finish but was really only the start of the chute. I wanted to walk so bad, my HR was sky high and I didn't think I could keep going. But how could I walk with all the people cheering and yelling my name??? So I kept going and when I saw the real finish I started to finally started to smile. Thankful the race was over!
What would you do differently?:

Figure out my sloshy stomach (happens too often, there has got to be a solution). I'm not sure what the dizziness was about (altitude?), but my stomach really put a damper on things. I hate that I walked almost the whole thing since I had done several long runs during training. But it is what it is, I finished which was questionable several times, so I just need to figure it out for next time.
Post race
Warm down:

Hung with a volunteer until my HR settled and I was able to get to Tom.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Stomach, altitude
But I will preface this with -
7 months ago I broke my shoulder trail running. (Actually broke it in two places but didn't find out about the second break until 6 weeks later.) This race was questionable from that point on. Both the orthopaedic & physical therapist said I would probably not be able to do this race as the shoulder break I had was a "big injury". Saying something like that to me is just a huge motivator, I was not going to let them tell me I couldn't do something. I was going to prove them wrong. So obviously the swim was the most questionable, and the bike & run - although I knew I could "finish" them, I had so much downtime I was way behind on my training plan. So to cross the finish line with a decent swim and good bike meant a lot to me. I had proved them wrong, I finished!!!

Event comments:

Overall this race was great! For a first year the RD did a great job. The morning shuttles were efficient, everything started on time, the only negative I will say is the bike & run are boring! I know both courses had to be adjusted due to the flooding so maybe the original courses were not so bad. Other than that it was awesome.

Last updated: 2013-08-19 12:00 AM
01:20:26 | 4224 yards | 01m 54s / 100yards
Age Group: 31/118
Overall: 1053/2343
Performance: Good
Course: 1 loop, counter-clockwise
Start type: Wade Plus: Waves
Water temp: 74F / 24C Current:
200M Perf. Below average Remainder: Average
Breathing: Below average Drafting:
Waves: Navigation: Average
Rounding: Average
Time: 07:10
Performance: Below average
Cap removal: Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Run with bike:
Jump on bike:
Getting up to speed:
05:56:26 | 112 miles | 18.85 mile/hr
Age Group: 16/118
Overall: 713/2343
Performance: Good
Avg HR 130
Course: 1 loop
Road:   Cadence:
Turns: Cornering:
Gear changes: Hills:
Race pace: Drinks:
Time: 08:16
Overall: Average
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal
05:45:31 | 26.2 miles | 13m 11s  min/mile
Age Group: 25/118
Overall: 860/2343
Performance: Bad
Avg HR 128
Course: On path, 3 out & backs, some shade but a lot of full on sun!
Keeping cool Bad Drinking Not enough
Post race
Weight change: %
Mental exertion [1-5]
Physical exertion [1-5]
Good race?
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Average
Race evaluation [1-5] 4