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Ironman 70.3 Boise - Triathlon

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Boise, Idaho
United States
World Triathlon Corporation
15C / 59F
Total Time = 6h 25m 45s
Overall Rank = 748/1296
Age Group = 40-44
Age Group Rank = 25/64
Pre-race routine:

Up at 7:15, had breakfast, and headed for T2 by 8:15. We wanted to be there early to get parking as there was a kids run in the park, so it was going to be busy. We dropped off run stuff, then headed for shuttles. We were headed for the reservoir by 9:15 which was kind of early, but there was no point in hanging around at the park.
Event warmup:

We arrived at the swim start at 9:45 and T1 didn't open til 10, so we found some shade to wait. We had dropped off our bikes the day before, so just had to pump up tires and drop off bike bag.

As we were sitting, I was thinking through setting up transition...and realized that I had put my water bottles in the fridge the night before and forgot to get them out this morning! Arrrrggghhh! I had one that I had brought to drink from during the long wait. Thank goodness Vivian, support team extraordinaire, had one in her backpack. That left her without one for the day, but she managed to beg one from the volunteers to tide her over until she got back to the truck. Phew!

Once transition opened, we still had a couple hours to kill...It was one of those situations where you are either super early, or you (or at least I) would have felt stressed and rushed getting one of the later shuttles. We pretty much just found some shade (which was at a premium) and hung out. S now decides that I was going to go sub 6. The night before, we had both decided that we just wanted to finish. I didn't think I could go sub 6, but especially not in the wind and heat that was forecast. It would mean a 3 hour bike and I didn't think I have that. Sean seemed to think so, and he has been right with other things, so I figured I would give it a go.

Started to get my wetsuit on about 40 minutes prior to my wave start. We were only going to get 4 minutes in the water prior to our start, so I wanted to make sure I had time to get my wetsuit yanked up high enough prior to getting in. Watched the pros go off, then there were 2 waves in front of me. I spent some time trying to warm up my shoulder and get loose.
  • 43m 12s
  • 2112 yards
  • 02m 03s / 100 yards

So, no warm up means first 400-700m are going to be bad for me. I just need that warm up. I got in as soon as we were able and did a couple sprints back and forth, but it isn't enough. I just accepted that from the get go.

Gun goes off and so do we. I did a lot of breast stroking up to the third or fourth buoy. I figured I was at the back of my wave, but whatever, I just kept telling myself to do what I had to do to get comfortable. I have some panicky thoughts at the start quite often too "I won't make it; what if there is a creature; what am I thinking". I just have to keep silencing the negative voices with positive ones and I get through.

Once I was able to freestyle, I was only able to breathe every 2 strokes. This is not uncommon either, it takes a bit to be able to bilateral breathe. Not usually an issue, but I was worried that my right shoulder was going to get sore. So I tried to breathe every two on the right for awhile, then switch to every two on the left. Well, that backfired--the wind was such that the chop was coming at me from the left. Alrighty then, breathe to the right it is! I was doing fine on sighting, the red turn buoy was easily visible.

Made the first turn and started to try and focus on body rotation, as that suffers when I don't bilateral breathe. After a bit, I was able to bilateral breathe somewhat, but still the chop was interfering. Sighting on the back stretch was a bit more difficult. I think because at this point I had caught up to a couple waves in front of me--those with red and orange caps. Hmmmmm, the leg buoys are orange, and the turn buoy was red. Ok, that is not helpful. So I realized that a tower of some type is on the mountain top, and it was just off to the right of the turn buoy, so that works. At some point on this leg, I took in a breath of water and had to stop and splutter for a minute. I had to adjust my breathing again--ended up sort of breathing behind myself instead of to the side. Made it to the turn and started on the final leg.

I was continuing to try to think about my stroke and body rotation here. Sighting wasn't a worry as the swim out was where the start was pretty much so lots to focus on. I got kicked in the head by a guy--no harm done except that it knocked my goggles off, so I had to stop to adjust. All I really remember otherwise is "just keep swimming, just keep swimming"

I had been trying to kick the whole time, but I really struggle with kick timing when I don't bilateral breathe--timing is all off, and just can't do it. But I force myself for the last few hundred meters, otherwise, I am way dizzy when I stand up.

Get in to the finish, get out and I hear my name--V is there taking photos. She was so great the entire time--S started 30+ min after me, so she was able to see me off on a leg and still get back to see him in.
What would you do differently?:

Warm up! I really think that races should allow a warm up somehow. I don't think it's safe; I heard quite a few people say that they cramped up due to being in the sun for a couple hours then had to get into 60F water...
Transition 1
  • 06m 19s

T1 was a run up a hill--I knew I had to walk it or my heart rate skyrockets and the bike leg does not start well. Got my wetsuit down to my waist and let the strippers do the rest. Man, they are good! It may be the most fun part of triathlon :P

Ran/walked to my bike--my rack was right in line with a parking lot curb so easily found. Got my glasses, helmet and shoes on, stuffed nutrition in my pocket, sunscreened again (third time today), stuffed wetsuit etc in bag and headed out. There was V at bike out taking pictures again :)
What would you do differently?:

Not much.
  • 3h 17m 3s
  • 56 miles
  • 17.05 mile/hr

Where to start! Well, I guess at the beginning. That initial hill I mentioned in the course description? I was going down at a pretty good clip, quite enjoying myself. When all of a sudden, a wind gust almost blew me into the traffic lane...yeeps! Slowed it down a bit from there to the bottom...

So the aforementioned S and his feeling that I can make a 3 hour bike. Alright, I will give it a go. Well, to be honest, I wasn't paying that close attention to time, but I figured I would ride hard but not crazy. We have trained hard on hills, so I knew I had more than I have had before.

First uphill I was just comfortable. The course was described as challenging and hilly, but the hills were not a struggle at all--it was the wind. It seemed to be a cross wind a lot of the time. I am not a great judge of which direction is coming from, I often only know it is a head or tail wind by looking at my speed, but when I feel myself getting blown across the road, I am pretty sure it is a cross wind...

I was keeping an eye on my heart rate to know how hard I was going, and it was always about right where I wanted it.

I had to stop at the first aid station to use the portapotty. Unfortunately someone beat me to it, but I had to refill a water bottle, so that gave me some time. Back on the bike and off we go. Here there was a tailwind to the base of the biggest hill. (I only know this because I was so slow on the return leg here--a head wind).

Started up the hill, passed quite a few people. Kept a comfortable spin and got to the top with little trouble. 18 km on an out and back of relatively flat. Some wind but not too bad; interesting because when we drove the course the night before this is where the wind would be most difficult.

At about mile 28 I saw S on the out leg. I didn't recognize him until he was past me, so couldn't shout out, but was glad to see him out there. He had a bad year of races last year, and just needed to get through this one.

So, top of the big hill, looking forward to the speed down. Aaaaaaaaaaaand crosswind gust almost blows me off my bike again. And I am not a lightweight. Nor is my tractor. Slowed down a little to stay safe, but tried to enjoy the descent!

Bottom of the hill was the headwind. I just kept working. I had looked at my speed a couple times and was pleasantly surprised seeing mid to high 20's km/hr much of the time. Made the turn just before mile 35. Gradual uphill for 5 miles, then some up and down. Mile 42 ish was a bit of a downhill but...wait for it....wind! Slow-you-down-in-your-face wind. I couldn't help myself: I shouted a good ol' fashioned "Yeeeeeeeehaw!". Poor guy in front of me musta thought I was hurt :)

A few miles later, a crow was on the road snacking on a snake. The guy in front of me startled the crow and it jumped up to fly away. As he jumped up, he got blown sideways and landed feet sideways on the fencepost. He made it look graceful, but it was kinda like when Calvin tripped, did a few somersaults, and then bounced up and shouted "Tadah".

The rest of the way was relatively uneventful. Not too hilly, still windy. I feel as though I did quite well with my nutrition and drinking. I usually take in about 500ml/hr, but it was so hot, I upped that a little. My nutrition was pretty spot on.

What would you do differently?:

Not too much. I was quite happy with my time given the wind. I think I did a good job with my effort level, hard but not crazy. And I was just 2:33 slower than S! They have nicknamed me Ox (as in strong as a) and I think I lived up to it on this race :)
Transition 2
  • 02m 26s

Not much to say. Ran in, racked bike, bike shoes off, helmet off, hat on, running shoes on, sunscreen on, go.
What would you do differently?:

  • 2h 16m 45s
  • 13.1 miles
  • 10m 26s  min/mile

Started off feeling pretty good. Of course I went out a little fast, but not too bad. Over the bridge right out of T2, then turn past the finish line, and there is V at the corner, taking photos again :). I flashed her a double peace sign.

My plan was to walk the aid stations. Got to the first one, grabbed some water and off. My mouth felt so dry! I am used to a rain forest, not the desert...

Took my first gel at 7km, which was my plan. My half distance race last year, I didn't take it early enough. Shortly thereafter, at the aid station between miles 4 and 5, I got some water at the first table. I got to the third or fourth table and there was a young woman shouting "water, ice". She had the most beautiful smile [SO will not be reading this ;)]. I told her I needed nothing from her but her smile, and I kept on my way.

For some reason, on the bike I can deal with miles, but I need km on the run. Or maybe it is just by the time I hit the run, my brain isn't working so well... I was having a hard time figuring out where I was based on the mile signs...Anyway, got through the first lap in about 66min, which I was ok with. Saw V at the start of the second lap, still feeling good.

Second lap was tougher. I was still walking the aid stations, but ended up doing some walking between as well starting at about 8.5? 9.5? miles. Somewhere around there. LIke I said, I get confuzzled. I tried to keep my pace high even when walking. I had planned on taking my second gel at 14km, but I took it around 12 instead. I just wanted to get it in without waiting too long and get low blood sugar.

By this point I wasn't able to take in any more fluids. It felt like it was all just sitting in my stomach. I was still feeling so dry mouth-y though, so I tried to trick myself. I was taking both Powerade and water and swishing them in my mouth and spitting out. I ready a study that it works. It seemed to, cause I survived :)

Passed the aid station close to mile 11 where beautiful smile was. I asked if I could please see it again. She posed and flashed her pearly whites :) I can't say enough about all the volunteers. They were dressed in orange, my favorite, and they cheered, poured, handed. I always feel for them as they are out there in the sun all day too. I thank as many of them as I can.

The last bit of the loop was an out and back with an aid station at the start. I think I walked from the aid station to the turn around and back to the aid station. Then I ran the last mile in, trying to pick it up.

I passed V the last time at the turn to go over the bridge that led to the bridge that led to the finish. I was not feeling good or flashing peace signs :). Well, I guess I wasn't feeling not good, but just needed it to be over. One of the volunteers said 3/10 of a mile to go. WTF does that mean!!! Meters, I need meters! I mentally calculated that to be 500m. She lied. Or at least it felt like she did. Finally, finally, I made the final turn that actually led to the finish line. Up the chute and across!

Second half in just over 70 min, so not much slower than the first. It felt like it was quite a bit slower, so I was happy with that. Also, the fact that I did as well at the bike as I did (~30 min faster than my other two HIM/half distance races) and still managed a 2:16 run. That was my open HM PR last year at this time.
What would you do differently?:

Find the mental strength to not walk except the aid stations.

Make sure I get sunscreen slightly under my shirt at my shoulder blades so that when I get into aero and the shirt moves, I am still covered...Two crescent moon sunburns.
Post race
Warm down:

Got across the line, got a blankie and wandered blankly. What am I supposed to do now? Dopey... Heard S's name called, so turned to find him and give a high five. V was there then, taking photos and had hers taken with us. Grabbed some food, but as per usual couldn't eat much. It always makes me so sad.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Mostly wind. Chop on the swim, caused by wind.

Profile Album

Last updated: 2014-03-30 12:00 AM
00:43:12 | 2112 yards | 02m 03s / 100yards
Age Group: 0/64
Overall: 0/1296
Performance: Average
Course: One loop triangle.
Start type: Deep Water Plus: Waves
Water temp: 15C / 59F Current: Medium
200M Perf. Average Remainder: Average
Breathing: Below average Drafting: Below average
Waves: Navigation: Good
Rounding: Good
Time: 06:19
Performance: Average
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Run with bike:
Jump on bike:
Getting up to speed:
03:17:03 | 56 miles | 17.05 mile/hr
Age Group: 0/64
Overall: 0/1296
Performance: Good
Wind: Strong with gusts
Course: The reservoir is on top of a hill. The initial 3.5 km had 75m (225 feet) of drop, then a climb back up to same elevation over about 5km, then flattened out for a bit. Then a loss of 75m to the first aid station at 15 miles. Then some false flats and minor elevation change for 3 miles, then the steepest climb (75m over 1.7km). Net downhill from mile 20 to mile 25. Hit the turnaround and same course back except instead of going back up to the reservoir, a turnoff at mile 48. Minor elevation changes the rest of the way.
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence: 83
Turns: Good Cornering: Good
Gear changes: Good Hills: Good
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Just right
Time: 02:26
Overall: Good
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike Good
Racking bike Good
Shoe and helmet removal Good
02:16:45 | 13.1 miles | 10m 26s  min/mile
Age Group: 0/64
Overall: 0/1296
Performance: Good
Course: Two laps, on a green way along the river. Cloud cover came in just in time, helping to cool it off a bit.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Too much
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? Yes
Post race activities: Good
Race evaluation [1-5] 4

2014-06-10 12:26 AM

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Subject: Ironman 70.3 Boise

2014-06-10 2:42 AM
in reply to: 0

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Bellingham, WA
Subject: RE: Ironman 70.3 Boise

I can't tell you how happy I am for you Kirsten.  Congrats on a solid effort on all three legs.  What a great race.

You've accomplished an incredible amount over the last year.  Way to go!!! 

Edited by popsracer 2014-06-10 2:43 AM
2014-06-10 6:26 AM
in reply to: #5009865

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Englewood, Florida
Subject: RE: Ironman 70.3 Boise

AWESOME!!!! I am so happy for you. Your run was last years standalone PR! That is so cool. You are an absolute inspiration. Congratulations on a race well done.

2014-06-10 7:26 AM
in reply to: cdban66

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Subject: RE: Ironman 70.3 Boise
Great report. I have the same sunburn patterns myself
2014-06-10 10:05 AM
in reply to: Mtnwesttri

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Raleigh, NC area
Subject: RE: Ironman 70.3 Boise

Congratulations!  You knocked it out of the park!

2014-06-10 10:09 AM
in reply to: #5009865

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Subject: RE: Ironman 70.3 Boise

Strong race, Ox, I mean, Kirsten! Loved the story about the crow - a little comedy mid-race always lightens things up. And as for the volunteer with the great smile, ditto!  It's amazing, sometimes, how such a simple but beautiful thing can lift us up and keep us moving forward with a smile and renewed vigor.  Congrats again, you rock!

2014-06-10 11:58 AM
in reply to: #5009865

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Rio Rancho, NM
Subject: RE: Ironman 70.3 Boise

Congrats on a great race! It's a long day and you kept it together to do what needed to be done.


2014-06-10 12:31 PM
in reply to: #5009865

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Austin, Texas
Subject: RE: Ironman 70.3 Boise

Way to go Ox!!   What a fabulous race... you managed well with the chop in the water, KILLED it on the bike and had the same time on the run as last year's PR!  

And... any race report with a Calvin & Hobbs reference is fan-freakin'-tastic!  


2014-06-10 6:53 PM
in reply to: blueyedbikergirl

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Subject: RE: Ironman 70.3 Boise
What a great race! Those were some really tough conditions and you killed it! And in the midst of all of it you still had the presence of mind to do some flirting
2014-06-10 9:51 PM
in reply to: amd723

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Subject: RE: Ironman 70.3 Boise

Ah, thanks everyone!  It definitely feels good

2014-06-11 10:30 AM
in reply to: 0

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Simsbury, Connecticut
Subject: RE: Ironman 70.3 Boise
Originally posted by bcraht

Ah, thanks everyone!  It definitely feels good

Congrats! So psyched for you

I think wind is way worse than hills but you handled both like a pro!

Edited by mtnbikerchk 2014-06-11 10:31 AM

2014-06-11 1:00 PM
in reply to: mtnbikerchk

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Denver, CO
Subject: RE: Ironman 70.3 Boise

Such a great race and loved the report!  The way you noticed (and remembered) the little things like the crow and the beautiful smile through such a powerful effort shows your true strength.  Way to go!

2014-06-14 2:53 PM
in reply to: laffinrock

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Caerphilly, Wales, uk.
Subject: RE: Ironman 70.3 Boise
Awesome pics and great RR. Well done Kirsten.
2014-06-16 8:12 AM
in reply to: Richardsdrr

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Austin, Texas
Subject: RE: Ironman 70.3 Boise

Great race!

I'd say that you DID find strength on that run - you beat your open PR!  How cool is that?!?



2014-06-16 8:30 AM
in reply to: mcmanusclan5

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West Chester, Ohio
Subject: RE: Ironman 70.3 Boise

Super race on all the legs!

Never heard of that swish thing for the gatorade and water when the stomach is off--makes sense!  Yeah, the last few hundred yards (Yep I can't do km stuff) are BRUTAL.  I swear they moved the finish line farther away for me too!!  Great work just getting through!

2014-06-16 11:48 AM
in reply to: QueenZipp

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Subject: RE: Ironman 70.3 Boise

Gotta be proud of this one! Way to stay positive and motivated, Ox.

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