Every year I hope for great results in training and racing. I put my hear and soul into triathlon and it’s disappointing we I don’t perform as well as I expect to. Last year I raced well and had some great results, but I also had much adversity. My first DNF and then a string on mediocre races leaving me questioning my training. IRONMAN 70.3 Oceanside was my last half race and also the first race of the year. It was also the slowest half I have ever raced. The cold temperatures and lower back pain on the bike contributed to that result, but I was ready to move past that and give Boulder a go.
Leading up to BoulderI raced the Colfax Marathon and the BOLDERBoulder. Colfax didn’t go as planned and I lost about 30 minutes to what I thought I was capable of. The BOLDERBoulder went okay, while not my best time, I raced what I was capable of on the day and was happy with the result.
The lead up to IRONMAN 70.3 Boulder was not ideal. While training was going well, I had some interruptions to my schedule leading up to the race. I had a training camp with Team Zoot, two weeks before and I had to travel to Charlotte, North Carolina for work a few days before the race. I wasn’t able to get any training in while in Charlotte other than a 20 minute run. While I should have been in full taper mode then anyway I felt like a little extra training time would have kept me fresh.
I was able to take the day off before the race to get ready and check in. I did some last minute training and watched my bike. I felt something in my sinuses, like and impending cold, but thought maybe it was dehydration to to the travel the day before. I drove up to Boulder and probably had the fastest IRONMAN Village experience ever. It was starting to rain so I just got checked in, dropped my bike and moved on. Normally I buy something, but given I’ve done this race so many times I just didn’t seem necessary.
Race morning was awesome. In past years parking had been such and issue at the Boulder Reservoir, but they changed it and had shuttled people in. There was no traffic getting to the lots and there was even bathrooms setup to use before getting on the Shuttle bus. Given the lines in transition are always crazy I took advantage of this. I got on the bus and got to transition.
I feel like an old pro and getting ready these days. I’m able to get everything done quickly. Chatted with a couple people next to me then got my wetsuit on and headed to the swim start. I picked my time and a teammate was holding the wave sign. We chatted a bit which really squashed any pre race nerves. In my head I told myself I was going to push the swim and have a great result.
We’ve been having a ton of rain and the water temperature wasn’t super high, but it was also not freezing. With the sun out I felt it was just about perfect. As I started the swim I was feeling good. There was lots of space I could easily see the buoys and I felt like I was moving. From time to time I felt a bit crowded, but really had clean water most of the swim. I felt good.
Unfortunately, when I got out of the water I realized that my time was around 40 minutes which is not at all what I was hoping for. I’ve done this swim in 36 and really thought I could even better that. I’m not really sure what is going on with my swim, but I was happy that I felt good.
I was able to move through transition quickly and get out on the bike. This is a bike course I knew well and love how fast it is. Within minutes I was feel great and started pushing it on the bike. The last couple races I’ve had a ton of people pass me on the bike, but this race I was the one doing the passing. I think only a few people ever passed me.
The course is two loops and after the first loop I was feeling good and happy with my time. I knew what I was able to do and I knew that I was in good shape. On the second loop my back pain started kicking in again, but it never got bad. Considering I spent the majority of this course in aero, I think it might be getting better, or the faster course just doesn’t aggravate it as much. Regardless I was happy it wasn’t and issue on the bike.
Towards the end of my first loop on the bike, Sam Long, who was leading the race , came flying by. He was moving and I tried to hand with him for a bit just to see what it was like. Completely unbelievable how fast they are. I was featured in the IRONMAN broadcast for a few second at that point too.
As I finished the bike leg and came back into the reservoir I was excited to start the run. The run course was new and I thought it was going to be an easier one. I was wrong.
I got through transition and did stop to pee. The few seconds lost is well worth it in my opinion as I’m more comfortable running feeling relieved. I felt really good on the run corse at first. My first mile split came in at 7:36 which was just about where I wanted to be. I had several female pros pass early on the run which made me feel good about my position in the race.
However, the second half of the race corse what hard. Some rolling hill and the dirt road were not a speedy combination for me. I started slowing and wasn’t able to pick up speed again. I hung in for the last loop of the run, but didn’t have anymore to give.
I finished the race in 5:05, which wasn’t quite what I was hoping for. I have gone under five hours three times at this race and wanted to continue that trend. But I did redeem myself and felt like I finally put together a good race. There is a lot of work to do on my swim, but I was happy with the bike and while it wasn’t my fastest run, I at least held on.
I’m excited to start IRONMAN training next. I don’t race until September so I’m looking forward to having a focused training block. I might throw in a Olympic distance for fun, but having time to prepare excites me and I feel that I might be able to put together a really good race in Chattanooga!