Saturday, June 17, 2017

Ironman Boulder

Ironman #13 ! Go
having my sis and nieces and JD along the course was
fantastic


The Why... early race, June 11, my sister and family live here- great accommodations, my Coach lives her and I've never done it.  

The Why (not)  Its at 5430 elevation!  Nuff said
my happy place

But I committed and signed up...training went very well, finally hitting some solid run paces, had 2 good 70.3's and was feeling really optimistic going into the race.  That is until the taper started...yes we all feel crappy tapering but I think this was the crappiest ever.  I kept waiting for my legs to come around, for my swim to pop and I was coming up empty handed on most workouts and finally quit using a watch.  I was still holding out for the race day adrenaline.

Arrival here was a shock!  Encinitas has been 64 and cloudy for 3 weeks, which I personally love btw, but not ideal training for heat. My 5 days of sauna training was not seeming to be enough!  But who was heat training, it snowed in Boulder 2 weeks ago. We landed Friday and it was 93!  Yowza...I arrived as late as possible to try and "beat" (LOL) the altitude.  Ideally I would have come Saturday but that is not an option for Ironman so we came Friday with the goal of racing before my body figured out it was at 5430 feet.  I could not afford a month to acclimate so went with the 48 hours.  
why I love triathlon- amy, fellow HPB
fast camp camper

Not a lot of time to stress.... build bike, test ride, D3 party, sleep, pre- race running around, eat,  try and sleep 3:15 alarm - Race Day! 

Swim:  Boulder Res.  Wetsuit legal, although Friday night it was rumored non wetsuit and I left my skin suit at home total rookie move, so I panicked called Les at 4:30, she flew in her car, booked to my house, got the suit to fedex at 4:59 and I had it Saturday by 1pm. Meanwhile seems they opened up a damn or valve and let some icy water in and it was back to 69.  Reminder, come prepared for anything.
Another fast camp camper

1 loop swim- YES- love this as there is no lapping anyone on the 2nd loop.  It makes for a LONG swim but clean and nice.  I could feel the altitude immediately and backed off the effort, I let my O2 intake dictate the swim effort. Focused on long and strong and swam with loose group of 5 swimmers. Swimming in fresh water is preferable to me any day. Again I cannot say enough about my HUUB Axean Wetsuit- most comfortable wetsuit I have ever worn, with generous flexibility in the shoulders I hardly feel it. At 69 degrees i was warm but I will always go for a full wetsuit (vs sleeveless)up to 73 degrees. More buoyancy = faster swim, plain and simple.   Swim time 57:55, with my swim fitness I was hoping for a 55-56 but the altitude dictated my efforts, and overall, am happy with the swim.

Long transition but mostly on grass and with the wetsuit strippers it is fairly painless. Raced in my D3 Betty Designs kit with the Castelli Aero top (wore this under the wetsuit) Definitely NOT a fashion statement but I believe it's worth it-  reduced  drag on the bike and nice coverage from the sun.  There is some pretty solid data that really it gives you free speed.  
my sis! post race


Bike - 3 loops which was not bad and a solid course.  Not easy by any means AND 2 miles long- yes 114 miles.  4367 ft of elevation.   We adjusted my power targets for elevation and lowered my FTP by 7%  and I held to that, riding the course at 71%  (or 68% of my sea level FTP)  I am not going to lie, the bike was not all the comfortable after the first loop. My power dropped a few watts each lap and I was in more pain then should be that early in the race. And despite the flat aero rides i did in training my neck, shoulders and triceps were screaming in pain.  I am thinking it is the hard swim effort prior to the bike that is the added pain. So will talk to Mike about a few long swims pre long bike. 

Boulder has some beautiful riding and this course does no capture much of it- with 2 sections on the 36 highway you don't see a lot of stunning scenery.  The 3rd loop was definitely congested and if this race had 3000 ppl it would be a mess.   Roads are not closed so there are cars to contend with and had one near miss with a guy who passed and then pulled in front and stopped to turn right.  You need to be vigilant out there.  

Stuck to my nutrition plan
of course a selfie with Jay
10 x 24 oz bottles consumed- in 5:42- peed 5 times so stayed hydrated
2x bottles of Osmos  @105 calories each
3x bottles of Glukos @ 230 calories
2x Glukos bars (which the quit making so had to stock up off of Amazon) @230 each 
1 x bottle  Gatorade endurance  off the course @  180
1x cliff gel @ 100 calorie
1405 calories = 250/hour 

I was hoping for sub 5:30 bike but riding for time in an Ironman never makes sense... 1- course was long 2 - if its windy you lose time and are chasing speed over power and that will hurt the run and 3- ride with what you have

T2- even longer and painful on concrete, across a wooden bride and then 200 meters on the track, up the stairs and to the tent. Barefoot running aggravates my left metatarsal that did heal correctly and add a marathon on concrete and my foot is still angry today.

Run- I cannot remember the the IM I started running feeling great and this was no different.  I never asses how the run with go until mile 3, as sometimes it takes that long to settle in.  Let's just say by mile 3,  I knew it was going to be a slow really difficult run.  Add some serious GI distress and it was going to be tough. The support was  amazing and really what got me to my 2nd place finish and KQ.  #1 fan my devoted husband was all over the run course, I saw him at least 10 times and each time he was motivating and know what to say, just keep moving, run aid station to aid station.  #2 my family- sister, bro in law,
This is a MUST have- sold only in europe but
I can tell you it worked instantly.  3 porta potie
trips and got this and "it" stopped
nieces and my son- again popping up in random spots with signs and shirts. 


They all saw that deep in the hurt locker side of me, no expression and sheer pain look.  # D3 teammate and local support- being a home town company everyone knows D3 and much support and #4 my coach Mike-  having coach on the race course is such a bonus and he is tough, encouraging helpful.  I cannot explain how deep I dug and how much this race hurt. I new 1st place was a long shot as she is a 15x KQ with multiple podium finishes and local here in Ft Collins so it was about holding 2nd place. 

 It is so easy to justify walking to ease pain and let go of the dream- I walked the aid stations only and broke it up to 10 minute sections and took the course 1 mile at a time.  I quit the sport 10x , took up knitting and Kobucha brewing, visualized giving away all my running shoes and then I would visualize Alii Drive a just keep moving.  I reflected on " How Bad do you Want it"  " The Brave Athlete: Calm the F*ck Down and Rise to the Occassion"   Both are great mental toughness books.
Honored to be heading back to the Big
Island for #6 

Run was a 4:20 with a goal of 4 hours...but considering the altitude and how I felt I will gractiously accept this run - AND be happy.  Tough course...not sure when I dug this deep and suffered for so long. With only 5 amateur women going under 4 hours it was definitely a tough run course. 

All worth it.... punched my Kona ticket.  So onward to Kona for # 6 on that crazy island.