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Ironman 70.3 Boulder - Triathlon

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Boulder, Colorado
United States
World Triathlon Corporation
Total Time = 5h 13m
Overall Rank = 265/2552
Age Group = W30-34
Age Group Rank = 6/120
Pre-race routine:

Arrived in Denver late Thursday night...or shall I say Friday morning. Flight was delayed 3 hours (thunderstorms in CO), rental car was cancelled, multiple shuttle trips between the airport and rental car offices...all this while lugging around our cumbersome bike bags! This trip was not starting off well! We got into Boulder at 2:30am and didn't get to bed until 3. So much for getting lots of sleep before the race.

Friday morning we headed to the reservoir. Checked in and checked out the area. Then started building our bikes in the muddy parking lot. It was hot...and we could both feel the intensity of the sun at the high altitude. Thankfully the bike builds went smoothly. Then it was a 30 min ride on the course, drop off the bikes and then a 20 min run around the reservoir. All went well and legs were feeling good.

Slept pretty well the night before the race. Chris said he barely got any sleep. We woke up at 4:15 and were out the door by 4:50. Had a peanut butter bagel and coffee at around 5am.

By the time we were driving into the reservoir, there was already a back up of cars. Sun was coming up and the weather was looking to be good. A week ago, rain was in the forecast so I was glad that wasn't the case!

Set up my transition and had a banana at about 6:30am. Had a few sips of Chris's gatorade too.
Event warmup:

Since transition technically closed at 6:30 and my wave didn't go off until 8am, I decided against a run warm up. Turns out, though, transition was pretty much open the whole time. In fact, people will still arriving at 6:30.

Water was probably the warmest I've swam in for a HIM. And just two days before, there was discussion about a cancelled swim due to high bacteria levels. Good or bad, the levels were low enough to swim in. My fingers were crossed that I wouldn't get sick! Plan was to avoid "drinking" as much of the water as possible.

Chris's wave was going off at 7:30am. I helped him zip up and waited around. It was starting to get warm...especially while I waited in my wetsuit. Once he was off, I went into the water for a quick warmup. Ended up doing something like 400yds. Used this warmup to clear my foggy goggles and get settled in. Was feeling anxious and eager. You would think that after doing this a handful of times, you start getting used to it...but the butterflies, anxiety and excitement never seem to go away!

Lined up with my wave...placed myself at about the second row of swimmers. A few girls had an aggressive look to them...and a few others were wearing AWA caps, so I thought they must know what they're doing. I don't particularly like wearing the AWA cap (feels a bit obnoxious) and stuck with the colored cap for my wave.
  • 33m 17s
  • 2112 yards
  • 01m 35s / 100 yards

First hundred yards, I tried going out strong to catch some feet. The girls were aggressive and kicking hard to make their way to the front. Unfortunately I wasn't able to catch any feet, so I ended up swimming on my own. It seemed like there were quite a few women who went out ahead of me, but I must've caught them because I ended up fifth in the group.

Tried to keep a strong, even effort throughout the swim. I made sure to keep the breathing even and controlled since we were at altitude. It felt like the swim lasted a long time, so I was happy to come out of the water under 34:00.
What would you do differently?:

Actually catch some feet at the start of the swim! Happy with my swim time, though. About the same as what I did at Oceanside, but that was salt water and this is fresh.
Transition 1
  • 03m 6s

Felt like this was a bad transition. Getting on the T1 Stealth top was slow...I fumbled around a little. Probably could've been a bit smoother overall.
What would you do differently?:

Get the top on the first time!
  • 2h 38m 16s
  • 56 miles
  • 21.23 mile/hr

Happy with my bike. Though, it all started out poorly. First 10 miles were miserable. Chris had warned me that the first miles were a false flat and that they'd be a grind, but I guess I wasn't listening! I could not understand why my HR was high, my speed was so low and my legs felt so heavy. I was passing quite a few people (I was in one of the later waves (after all the men), so I was passing a lot of the slower athletes). The first 10 miles were also really congested and on heavily trafficked roads. If the rest of the ride was going to be like this, it was going to be a long day!

Thankfully at about mile 13, things picked up. A downhill led to some flats and then the fun began. Most of the bike course is through the gorgeous green pastures of Boulder with all sorts of farms and ranches surrounding the roads. The roads were also not heavily trafficked, so it made passing people easier.

The first hour clicked in at about mile 22...and I was elated. Hoping I could just keep up this good, steady effort. Made sure to drink and stay on top of nutrition because it was sunny and starting to get warm.

Highlight of the entire race was cycling parallel to the mountains and looking to my left to see the snowcapped Colorado was nice to be out for a ride!

Also saw a turtle trying to cross the road...a big one! Hope it made it across the road and didn't get run over by other cyclists. Other animals on the route....horses, alpacas...

By mile 35, I was starting to have that "I've been out for awhile and I'm ready to be done" feeling. All I could hope was that the last 21 miles would fly by as quickly as the first. Thankfully it did.

It was a great feeling to be coming into transition in under 2:40. Though, I am realistic with myself in understanding that this was an easy bike course. Not much climbing (1,900 feet?). Not a ton of wind.

Took 2 honey stingers (at 1:00 and 2:00); Perpetuem every 20 minutes; 2 salt tabs (1:30 and 2:30).
What would you do differently?:

Could try riding harder? Average HR was 149. Ben had recommended holding between 150 and 155.
Transition 2
  • 02m 14s

Yet another fall in another race. Lame. Came into transition. Got off the bike...started running in my cycling shoes and then decided I needed to hit the transition button on my 920. Just as I did, I leaned, lost my footing and went down. Not hard, but still went down. Lame. Picked myself up and moved on with life.
What would you do differently?:

Not fall.
  • 1h 56m 7s
  • 13.1 miles
  • 08m 52s  min/mile

Oh the pain! Where to begin...I think my poor run was caused by a couple of factors...

1) Trail Run – It's harder for me to open up my stride and get some spring in my step when I'm running on a trail. On top of that, this was a soft trail. With all the rain, it felt like the trail was just absorbing all of my impact instead of launching me up into my next step.

2) Heat – I'm not conditioned to run in the heat! Grabbed ice at every station and put a couple of cubes in each hand, put one in my mouth and sometimes a few down my tri top.

3) Humidity – Coming from the desert that is LA, I'm used something more like zero (okay, maybe 5) percent humidity. Not sure exactly what the humidity at Boulder was, but it was definitely higher!

4) Altitude – Not sure exactly if this played a role, but I'm going to say it did. :)

I walked A LOT in this race. It was worse than Oceanside. The run was relatively flat with a few small, punchy climbs. It was congested course. Not only was it an out-and-back, two-loop course, but it was all on a narrow trail. Lots of walkers (at times I was one of them!) meant lots of weaving.

The first 2 miles started off great. 8:00/mile just as planned. For the third mile, I found it difficult to hold pace, but I just kept shuffling. By mile 3, I was done. I couldn't hold pace. From that point out my run plan was out the window and it was all just a matter of trying to get to the finish line.

Even in the last mile, I had to walk...that's a bad sign. It was a slight downhill coming into the picked up my pace. By the time I turned the corner into the finish chute, I was hyperventilating. I have no idea if it was just my body giving into all the work or if it was my body reacting to the altitude or the heat. When I crossed the finish line, I hunched over while volunteers gave me water and a cool towel over my back. I was hyperventilating like I never have before.

Overall, I'm not thrilled about my run. I was a good minute per mile slower than I wanted to be. That said, Chris said he struggled on the run too and was about a minute per mile slower as well. Makes me think that maybe conditions for us on the run were just tough? Everyone suffered?

I took my 3 GUs as planned (miles 3, 7 and 10). Ice every aid station and gatorade at about every other aid station.
What would you do differently?:

Train/run in heat? I don't think I was dehydrated...but not sure what was causing my poor performance and hyperventilation.

Also felt like I could've done a little more run volume in training? Maybe?
Post race
Warm down:

Found some shade, sat down and then stretched. Got some food even though I didn't feel like eating anything. Then came the not-so-fun task of taking our bikes apart. We had decided to do it at the parking lot to get it over with. We were sweating like crazy...I almost thought taking the bikes apart in the heat was worse than doing the race!

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Heat...humidity...not enough running?

Overall, though, I'm really happy with the race. Another 6th place finish...and almost a 10 minute PR. Swim and bike went very well. Yes, the bike was on an easier course, but I'm not going to complain. Run has been my nemesis. I never feel like I'm running at my potential. I guess the good news is that I have room for improvement!

Event comments:

Great race. Might be my favorite HIM course. Loved Boulder!

Last updated: 2015-06-14 12:00 AM
00:33:17 | 2112 yards | 01m 35s / 100yards
Age Group: 5/120
Overall: 244/2552
Performance: Good
Suit: Orca Alpha + Vanquisher Tinted Goggles
Course: Three legs of a rectangle...clockwise swim with buoys on the right.
Start type: Deep Water Plus:
Water temp: 0F / 0C Current: Low
200M Perf. Average Remainder: Good
Breathing: Good Drafting: Below average
Waves: Navigation: Good
Rounding: Good
Time: 03:06
Performance: Good
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Run with bike:
Jump on bike:
Getting up to speed:
02:38:16 | 56 miles | 21.23 mile/hr
Age Group: 5/120
Overall: 301/2552
Performance: Good
Wind: Little
Course: One big loop...
Road:   Cadence:
Turns: Cornering:
Gear changes: Hills:
Race pace: Drinks:
Time: 02:14
Overall: Below average
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal
01:56:07 | 13.1 miles | 08m 52s  min/mile
Age Group: 6/120
Overall: 265/2552
Performance: Below average
Course: Two out and back runs on a trail.
Keeping cool Below average Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Mental exertion [1-5]
Physical exertion [1-5]
Good race? Yes
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] 5

2015-06-16 11:52 PM


Subject: Ironman 70.3 Boulder

2015-06-17 4:48 PM
in reply to: #5123059

User image

Extreme Veteran
Highlands Ranch, Colorado
Subject: RE: Ironman 70.3 Boulder

Great time and race despite the heat.  I think we all were hurt by the heat on that run.  It was supposed to be 78 degrees and it ended up being 88 degrees with humidity (we never have humidity here).  It was the hottest day of the year by far and on one was ready for it; even the pros were suffering on the run.  Hope you come back and have a more normal weather day:  80 degrees, light winds, no humidity!  Congratulations!

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