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Harvest Moon Long Course Aquabike - Aquabike


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Aurora, Colorado
United States
Without Limits Productions
88F / 31C
Sunny
Total Time = 4h 53m 54s
Overall Rank = 71/93
Age Group = 40-44
Age Group Rank = 5/6
Pre-race routine:

To start, I will post a quote from the RD's post-race email:

"We'd also like to extend another huge congratulations to all the athletes for braving the most extreme race conditions I've seen in 9 years of event production and 20 years in this sport as an athlete. The hurricane winds and high heat certainly made for a tough race out there, but you all kept driving on and are champions just for toeing that start line!"

Yeah...prior to traveling to CO, the race day forecast looked perfect: light winds and highs in the mid-seventies. Til race day arrived, it became a high of 88 and VERY windy with gusts over 35 mph. There was a wind burst of over 45 mph which caused bikes, racks and fences to blow down in transition, it looked like a disaster zone. Helmets and bottles blew like tumbleweeds. The inflatable slip n slide at the finish took flight and crumbled, thankfully no one was in it. Also thankfully I was already finished and standing watching for a friend to come through on the run when the wind burst hit. I heard a few tales of people being blown off the road while riding. My rental bike only suffered ripped bar tape and a few minor scuffs. But I digress, and I jumped ahead of the tale. Let's begin, shall we?



Swim
  • 50m 50s
  • 2112 yards
  • 02m 25s / 100 yards
Comments:

The swim in Boulder Reservoir and was very choppy and rough at 66 degrees. There were white caps on the lake! My new Roka LS wetsuit was going to get quite the indoctrination! I was in the 7th wave and as I waited, I watched the water crew bringing in person after person, not too reassuring.

When I finally got in the water I was met with the challenge of sighting and breathing in the swells. Sighting was very difficult as it seemed the buoys were too far apart, then mix in the waves and it was really tricky to see where to go. Keeping good form was kind of thrown out the window. I found myself doing this lurching/lifting motion to breathe and sight to avoid the waves. Despite this, I got water up my nose more times than I can count and swallowed some, too, when waves would hit. At one point I thought, "I can't die on the swim, my sister (who was along and spectating) would kill me!" LOL

After the last turn buoy, it was still very tough to see the buoys, so I was trying to sight off the big, red arch at the swim exit. I thought I was doing OK until I saw a kayaker easing toward me like a Border Collie herding a sheep. Oops, guess I was headed a bit left! I’m pretty sure I swam a bit extra on the way back in from the last turn.

Although I am a confident swimmer, I was so very glad for that to end! I got a lovely wetsuit hickey, though. Ouch! I guess I need to Glide up better next time.
What would you do differently?:

Not swim off course, but it may not have been entirely my fault - the wind likely played a part. Needed to be more generous with the Body Glide (although I thought I had done a good job).
Transition 1
  • 03m 57s
Comments:

Ran past the cheering Michelle and TJ, told them something about how ridiculous that swim was. Had a little trouble getting out of my wetsuit, I think mainly because I was trying to be careful/semi-gentle with it. It is new and was more than I'd ever spent on a wetsuit so I didn't want to rip it on its first adventure!

Eventually got out of the thing, chatting a bit with the fellow I was racked with. Got my helmet, shoes and sunglasses on as well as my race number and was out of there before him.
What would you do differently?:

Nothing, I guess. I didn't want to wreck my new wetsuit.
Bike
  • 3h 57m 53s
  • 56 miles
  • 14.12 mile/hr
Comments:

The bike was 2 loops and the majority of it was head/crosswinds. St. Vrain road was heaven with a tailwind! I think I got up to almost 46 mph. Otherwise it was mostly battling the wind, trying to stay on the road and at a decent pace.

Just a few miles into the bike I took a drink of water, went to replace the bottle using muscle memory from my bike (this was a rental bike) and sure enough, dropped a bottle. This early into the game there was no way I was letting it lay there. I stopped, leaned the bike on a metal thing sticking out of the ground and clomped back to get the bottle, chuckling a bit because it was kind of near an abandoned prairie dog hole. Thankfully no one was home!

Passing the ghost bike where the lady was killed during IM Boulder was very sobering and sad.

It was so interesting riding in a completely new place in completely new conditions. I loved the scenery and found myself looking at the mountains very frequently and taking in the gorgeous blue sky. The conditions and my performance in them was a huge unknown to me that I didn't want to learn the limits of the hard way.

The altitude and/or wind kept my HR up a bit higher than it should've been, it was tough to keep it in the prescribed [by my coach] range. I felt like I wasn’t working nearly hard enough, just cruising casually along, yet I was hesitant to push more because I wanted to stay in the range and also not have some sort of altitude or hydration related problem because of pushing too hard.

I drank frequently, fearing dehydration in the dry air and because I sweat a lot and got a water at the aid station that is approximately half way through the loop. I stopped to fill my bottle instead of just taking theirs.

I finally finished lap 1, made the turnaround, and received more cheers and support from my sister and TJ, thanks guys! So nice to have a few familiar faces! I went just the slightest bit harder on the second lap but felt just a bit nauseous for a short spell and was also fighting some hip pain on and off. I actually stopped a few times to try to stretch out my hip.

At the same aid station as before, I took a water and a Gatorade. Wow, did that Gatorade taste strong! I ended up not drinking as much of that because it was so overpowering and stuck with the water mainly. Once I got past that aid station I felt confident that I could up my game a little and I actually caught and passed just a few people in the waning 10 miles or so.

Overall I was pretty disappointed in my ride time, although I did just nose in under my very general time goal of 4 hours. Had it been at an altitude more like home, I’m sure I would’ve had a much faster time. Not dropping my water bottle and needing to stop to retrieve it would’ve made for a faster time, too, as well as my mini stretch breaks. Probably an extra 10 minutes of messing around, not moving.

Nutrition went OK. I mainly ate gels, approx. every 40 minutes. I drank frequently, but not necessarily a lot each time. I started with one bottle of water and one bottle of Infinit Go Far and took what I mentioned previously.

It was great getting off the bike and knowing I only had to run 50 feet! I crossed the line and enjoyed the slip n slide (it hadn't blown over yet) and was so glad to be done!


What would you do differently?:

Again, I probably could've gone faster on the bike but with never having raced in dry, dry air at altitude, I was a bit afraid to push too much and not be able to finish.

Not drop my bottle like a dork.

Preferably race on my own bike instead of a rental, but even though I was on an unfamiliar bike, it went OK, really.
Post race
Warm down:

Slip n slide! Water! Hung out with Michelle and TJ as we watched for Mary to come through on lap 1 of her run. Just before we saw her is when the crazy wind burst blew through, it's truly amazing no one got hurt by crashing bikes/racks or the airborne Slip n Slide. We cheered her through, then I got changed and got some fish tacos, beans and rice. Yum!!

We chilled until she finished her race which was such a wonderful, wonderful experience, seeing her finish such a feat! Our faithful Sherpas (and us!) definitely deserved the pizza and beer we had at Kokopelli's afterward! Big, big thanks to TJ and Michelle for all their support throughout the day, and patience, too! It was so fun getting to spend time with TJ and Mary who I met through the manatee group. And really, it's Mary's 'fault' I even did the race and went to CO!



I also got very sunburned despite putting 50 SPF sunblock on before I put my wetsuit on. I think maybe the wetsuit rubbed it off, especially on my shoulders. I burn easily anyway. In hindsight, maybe slapping more sunblock on in T1 would've been worth it!

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Being unsure of how the climate would affect me and also not being acclimated to the altitude. Plus the usual, carrying around some extra weight. One of these days that won't be listed as a reason!

Event comments:

Nice race, nice swag, nice course. The weather can't be helped. I'd definitely do this race again!


Profile Album


Last updated: 2016-02-29 12:00 AM
Swimming
00:50:50 | 2112 yards | 02m 25s / 100yards
Age Group: 4/6
Overall: 63/93
Performance: Below average
Suit:
Course: The 1.2 mile swim at Boulder Reservoir will feature a clock-wise directional swim around a rectangle shaped course. Orange buoys will mark the straight line, with lime green buoys marking the corner turns at the far end of the reservoir.
Start type: Plus:
Water temp: 0F / 0C Current:
200M Perf. Remainder:
Breathing: Drafting:
Waves: Navigation:
Rounding:
T1
Time: 03:57
Performance: Below average
Cap removal: Average Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Yes Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike:
Getting up to speed: Average
Biking
03:57:53 | 56 miles | 14.12 mile/hr
Age Group: 5/6
Overall: 74/93
Performance: Below average
Wind: Strong with gusts
Course: Riders will complete a 2-lap course on the roads of Boulder County around Boulder Reservoir. Overall this scenic rural course features rolling terrain with some flat sections to cruise along in your aerobars. Nice wide shoulders and limited car traffic make for ample passing opportunities, making this a great long course for the 1st time triathlete!
Road:   Cadence:
Turns: Cornering:
Gear changes: Hills:
Race pace: Drinks:
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall:
Mental exertion [1-5]
Physical exertion [1-5]
Good race? Ok
Evaluation
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

{postbutton}
2016-10-12 5:04 PM

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Pennsylvania
Subject: Harvest Moon Long Course Aquabike


2016-10-12 5:59 PM
in reply to: #5201696

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Seattle
Subject: RE: Harvest Moon Long Course Aquabike

Awesome!!!! That is so awesome your sis and TJ were out there cheering.

"found myself looking at the mountains very frequently and taking in the gorgeous blue sky" That is exactly why I have a love/hate relationship with traveling for races. I'd almost rather run-venture than compete

Give yourself a lot of credit for the wind and altitude as they relate to your bike time. Those are both forces to be reckoned with.

 

2016-10-12 8:17 PM
in reply to: Asalzwed

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Royal(PITA)
14262
50005000200020001001002525
West Chester, Ohio
Subject: RE: Harvest Moon Long Course Aquabike

For having to travel to altitude, renting a bike then fighting some insane winds this was awesome!

Enjoying the scenery--whether a gorgeous blue sky with the mountains or beachfront properties,....the perks of being able to do what we do and enjoy it.

So very cool that you got to go out to race with Mary and had fun with your sister & TJ at the same time!

No official Manatee meet up pose???

2016-10-13 7:22 AM
in reply to: QueenZipp

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Expert
3234
2000100010010025
Middle River, Maryland
Bronze member
Subject: RE: Harvest Moon Long Course Aquabike

Nice job braving the elements and it sounds like you had a great time during the race.  Well done!

2016-10-13 9:19 AM
in reply to: #5201696

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Master
2406
2000100100100100
Falls Church, Virginia
Subject: RE: Harvest Moon Long Course Aquabike
Rockstar!! Altitude and high winds are no match for your spirit. Besides the wetsuit hickey, how did you like the Roka? Was it the magical shoulder flexibility that they claim to be?
2016-10-13 9:32 AM
in reply to: QueenZipp

User image

Pennsylvania
Subject: RE: Harvest Moon Long Course Aquabike

Originally posted by QueenZipp

For having to travel to altitude, renting a bike then fighting some insane winds this was awesome!

Enjoying the scenery--whether a gorgeous blue sky with the mountains or beachfront properties,....the perks of being able to do what we do and enjoy it.

So very cool that you got to go out to race with Mary and had fun with your sister & TJ at the same time!

No official Manatee meet up pose???

Ah, I forgot!



2016-10-13 9:36 AM
in reply to: Atlantia

User image

Pennsylvania
Subject: RE: Harvest Moon Long Course Aquabike

Originally posted by Atlantia Rockstar!! Altitude and high winds are no match for your spirit. Besides the wetsuit hickey, how did you like the Roka? Was it the magical shoulder flexibility that they claim to be?

After not being 100% happy with the shoulder movement in my brief pool test, my friend LT suggested making sure there is an extra inch of pulled up, bunched up material from the arms at the shoulder.  I was sure to do this on race day and I didn't experience the same fatigue as I did in the pool, in fact I was quite comfortable and happy in it, it was very good. My main wetsuit experience has been with my sleeveless Xterra, so the Roka is a whole 'nother level of suit in more ways than one!  The material is much more supple and forgiving, which is what made me afraid of 'hurting' it.  It's probably much tougher than I realize.

2016-10-13 9:58 AM
in reply to: Asalzwed

User image

Pennsylvania
Subject: RE: Harvest Moon Long Course Aquabike

Originally posted by Asalzwed

Awesome!!!! That is so awesome your sis and TJ were out there cheering.

"found myself looking at the mountains very frequently and taking in the gorgeous blue sky" That is exactly why I have a love/hate relationship with traveling for races. I'd almost rather run-venture than compete

Give yourself a lot of credit for the wind and altitude as they relate to your bike time. Those are both forces to be reckoned with.

 

Yeah, as much as I would've loved to been more competitive in this race, it really was more about racing with friends, racing in a 'new' state, and just enjoying the experience, the scenery and the day.  Mission accomplished!

2016-10-13 1:05 PM
in reply to: melbo55

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Master
6587
50001000500252525
Rio Rancho, NM
Subject: RE: Harvest Moon Long Course Aquabike

Originally posted by melbo55

Originally posted by QueenZipp

For having to travel to altitude, renting a bike then fighting some insane winds this was awesome!

Enjoying the scenery--whether a gorgeous blue sky with the mountains or beachfront properties,....the perks of being able to do what we do and enjoy it.

So very cool that you got to go out to race with Mary and had fun with your sister & TJ at the same time!

No official Manatee meet up pose???

Ah, I forgot!

Who has the pic we took on Saturday?

Great job! You looked so strong out there, in spite of the wind and heat.

2016-10-14 10:10 AM
in reply to: rrrunner

User image

Pennsylvania
Subject: RE: Harvest Moon Long Course Aquabike

Originally posted by rrrunner

Originally posted by melbo55

Originally posted by QueenZipp

For having to travel to altitude, renting a bike then fighting some insane winds this was awesome!

Enjoying the scenery--whether a gorgeous blue sky with the mountains or beachfront properties,....the perks of being able to do what we do and enjoy it.

So very cool that you got to go out to race with Mary and had fun with your sister & TJ at the same time!

No official Manatee meet up pose???

Ah, I forgot!

Who has the pic we took on Saturday?

Great job! You looked so strong out there, in spite of the wind and heat.

I have them, do you want me to send them to you?  I thought you had them.

2016-10-14 12:12 PM
in reply to: melbo55

User image

Royal(PITA)
14262
50005000200020001001002525
West Chester, Ohio
Subject: RE: Harvest Moon Long Course Aquabike

Originally posted by melbo55

Originally posted by rrrunner

Originally posted by melbo55

Originally posted by QueenZipp

For having to travel to altitude, renting a bike then fighting some insane winds this was awesome!

Enjoying the scenery--whether a gorgeous blue sky with the mountains or beachfront properties,....the perks of being able to do what we do and enjoy it.

So very cool that you got to go out to race with Mary and had fun with your sister & TJ at the same time!

No official Manatee meet up pose???

Ah, I forgot!

Who has the pic we took on Saturday?

Great job! You looked so strong out there, in spite of the wind and heat.

I have them, do you want me to send them to you?  I thought you had them.

This brought a much needed smile to my day.  So glad you all have the Manatee meet up pic....Now POST IT!!!



2016-10-14 12:44 PM
in reply to: 0

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Master
3871
200010005001001001002525
Toronto
Subject: RE: Harvest Moon Long Course Aquabike

Sorry wrong post area

 

 

 



Edited by juniperjen 2016-10-14 12:50 PM
2016-10-14 2:37 PM
in reply to: juniperjen

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Member
1864
10005001001001002525
Simsbury, Connecticut
Subject: RE: Harvest Moon Long Course Aquabike
I'm so glad you remembered to post about the TACOS!!!

Great job ladies!
2016-10-16 8:02 PM
in reply to: mtnbikerchk

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Master
3870
200010005001001001002525
Overland Park, KS
Subject: RE: Harvest Moon Long Course Aquabike
Wow Melanie sounds like a race of Epic proportion. Nice work staying tough! I know what you mean about the Roka, I'm extra careful with mine too! $$$
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