Sunday, June 14, 2015

Boise 70.3

Wow - what a gorgeous race course! Boise did not disappoint. I traveled with Laurel to this race - we haven't raced together before and thought it would be a fun girls' weekend. And, so many other friends would be racing that it was set up to be a fun trip. 

Bike check in 

The prerace setup was a bit complicated - T1, T2 and registration/the finish were all in different locations, and we had to drive our bikes and run bags all over the place. You definitely need a full day to get set up for Boise.  

Race morning - shuttle to start
Race morning is different since the race doesn't start until 10am. What to eat in the morning? How do I stop myself from freaking out when the alarm doesn't go off at 5am?! Ha! 

Pre-race with ONE Elite teammate Maureen
Race time!

This race was gorgeous. I heard this was a fast course, but that wasn't true for me. And, it seems that the times were slower than the past few years. I'm not sure if it's because of the super crazy wind out there, or the change in the course, but times were a bit off. 

Just before I got into the water, my Garmin froze. I was able to reset it, but wasn't sure what the problem was or if it would happen again. A little prerace stress, but all ended up well. Whew - problem aborted! 

Swim - 46:03
Many said the swim was long, and my garmin reads 2397 yards (half ironman is 2112 yards), but I didn't change my watch to transition until I ran up the hill, so maybe take off 50 yards or so. I was hoping for 40-42, so this was slow for me. Based on my Garmin file, I clearly didn't swim straight :)

Bike 2:59:28
One word: WINDY. 

Overall, I felt pretty good out there on the bike. The hills kept coming, and the wind was gnarly. And it was super fun! I love my bike!!! There were a couple of times where I had to come half out of aero to make sure I didn't fly over the guard rail. Wow. This was Kona wind. I was feeling pretty bad for the people who chose to race with a disk, or even in 808s.  I continue to race in my standby Rolf wheels with no dish, but fewer spokes. 

There is a significant descent just out of the water, but wind was blowing into our faces, so there wasn't much speed to be had. And, we rode in the left lane, with cars driving pretty close to you if you're riding far right like you should be. It was a bit treacherous. 

There are a couple of out and backs, and the three aid stations are places well. Finally, on a stretch about 15 miles from the finish, wind was finally to my back and I could get some speed. I was hoping to get back up over 19 mph, but it wasn't going to happen. 

This is a great course - i believe this is the kind of course I could ride really well with good training. I'd like to do this one again later. 

My nutrition was interesting thus far into the race - I had half a bagel with egg at 7:30am, with the intention of eating the rest before start, but I didn't get hungry, interestingly. Then I took in a gel 45 minutes and again 15 minutes before my swim start.  Then, only one honey stinger waffle and a half pack of chews during the bike. Along with one nuun tab in my water. That's it. I carried more, but I didn't need it. Hmmmm. 

My goal was 2:45, and I was lucky to sneak in just under 3 hours. My HR average was 157, 7 beats higher than Deuces. And, my deuces bike was faster. Interesting. Not sure if I am still recovering from Deuces (likely) or if the course was just plain tougher. I was worried about how the run was going to go, after my quads were heavy with soreness during the last 20 miles or so on the bike. But, have to admit, I was ready to get off the bike this time. 

Run 2:07:55
Okay, I have been back running (if you call it that) for about 8 weeks. I ran two 2-3 mile recovery runs since Deuces. Let's face it, this was going to hurt. I knew it going in. But, I honestly thought I could run 9:09s to break under two hours. The course is flat and pretty shady. My legs were in enough oxygen deprivation coming off the bike that I knew right away, this was going to be a tough one. I held under pace for about six miles, before I started to slip. I needed salt and more nutrition, but the aid stations weren't cutting it. I went in and out of feeling good and really crappy, but I kept my mind positive, and pushed through. 

I started going in and out of dizzy with about 4 miles left, which was too far to push hard through it. I walked a few steps of my first aid station around mile 8, to get in a good chug of watered down Gatorade. Just after this, I started running with a guy named Ken from Minneapolis. It was good to have some company. With about 3 miles left, the race almost got the best of me. I told Ken that my goal was not to walk and that I'd been successful so far. He told me that he would keep me honest, and he pushed my when I wanted to walk. I was in tough shape the last 3 miles. 

Worst I've ever felt, while pushing through, in the run leg of a triathlon. I managed to run (slog is more appropriate) the entire race and get through it at a 9:45 average. I was off, but I truly gave it everything out there this weekend - I can say that for sure. 

Finish: 5:57:54
14th in AG 40-44
When your time goals drop along the way, you have to adjust your thinking so you don't give up. My last adjusted goal was to get done under 6 hours, which I did, just barely. 

This photo describes it all. When I have given everything, my legs collapse and I have to get them in the air to get the blood OUT. I was done. For about an hour, I was a train wreck. I scarfed down a piece of pizza so fast that I don't know where it went. 

My teammate Maureen was 4th in her age group and proudly took a slot to 70.3 Worlds in Austria for the end of August. She's awesome! 

Okay, so I technically got a Worlds roll down slot, but I gave it up - the trip this year doesn't make sense to make. Maybe Australia 2016 😎😎

Now what?
I'm not signed up for anything else this year. Since I seem to be running injury free, it's time for me to put some effort back into building my run back. So, I will be searching for some run races to sign up for. Maybe a couple of 10ks or maybe a half marathon. I'll be looking at calendars in the next few weeks to scope it out. 

Thanks again to my awesome team ONE Multisport and our generous sponsors Destination Kona, Right Auto, Cyclologic, Endurance Rehab, Lush Burger, OHSO, Four Peaks, ONE Realty Group, Penguin Air, etc etc. 

Monday, June 1, 2015

Deuceman 2015 Race Recap

Half ironman #1 down.  And it was a good one for me!  Perfect weather, great fans, wonderful course.  It wasn't my best time, but I stuck it out on minimal training.  This was a great training day for Boise 70.3 in two weeks.  

First, HUGE shout-outs to my awesome team ONE Multisport.  We have such a fun group of people who make racing so very enjoyable.  And, to our sponsors Destination Kona, Pei Wei, M Drive,, Realty ONE Group, Lifetime Fitness, Biotech Wellness, Ohso... THANK YOU SO MUCH for making this sport so amazing.

Okay, here it goes.... I ended up 5th place OA, and first in my new age group (40-44, although I am still 39 for 5 more months, hello!).  Putting that "40" on my leg wasn't exactly exciting.  

This race has gotten significantly less competitive in the last several years.  I'm not sure why, but the most competitive gals in AZ aren't showing up to do this race anymore.  I have raced Deuceman three times in the past, as my first half iron distance race in 2010, again in 2011, and in 2014. In 2010, I was the 20th female finisher with a time of 6:04:13.  In 2011, my 5:31:33 time got me 6th OA.  And here in 2015, 6:01:29 got me 5th OA, 6:10:58 (with Oly swim due to lake issues, so really more like 6:20 to make it comparable) got me 10th OA.  Interesting.  I'll take it. 

44:25 swim
Swim times seemed to be slow.  Granted, I haven't reincorporated swimming into my life (yet), so this swim time is quite unrehearsed.  My watch said 2166 meters (230 meters longer than 1.2 miles!).  I'm sure some of it is from my weaving, but I'm confident some of it is from a long course.  This was the longest half ironman swim I can remember.  The first 300 meters or so were awful... I couldn't get my breath - I was breathing every stroke, feeling dizzy, and ended up breast stroking a bit and lying on my back.  I have to admit that I was a bit worried.  Then, I seemed to get it all together, and I went on breathing every 3 strokes and getting pretty comfortable.  I could hear Frank Sole in the back of my head the entire time: "twist, push through, keep your head down."  But, still the back stretch seemed to go on FOREVER.  I have never been so glad to get out of the water.  

I have to pause here and give some love to my new Garmin.  I bought the Fenix 3 from Destination Kona in the Spring, and I LOVE IT.  It's cool enough to be a "regular" watch, but has all the functionality of the newest Garmin.  The $499 price tag seemed a bit steep, but I am LOVING this thing.  

2:58:14 bike
This is my slowest bike split ever on this course.  I rode 2:42 in 2010, 2:49 in 2014, and 2:51 in 2011. This year, I was holding back to make sure I didn't trash my legs for the run.  I did some long riding, but not enough - maybe three 50-60 milers and one 70 miler last weekend.  I knew I could break under 3 hours, but I didn't want to push it too much, as I haven't been running much long distances either.  Every time I hit a hill, I had to remind myself to slow it down - you still have a half marathon (gulp!!) to run! I had SO MUCH FUN out there on the bike. 

I had a couple of scary encounters on the bike.  One was on the last stretch around mile 45... a large flatbed semi buzzed me, and the wind force pulled me closer into the truck, ahead of his rear wheels.  I managed to pull myself out of the line of wind before the rear wheels went about 3 inches from my bars.  WOAH.  Then, on the 60 prior to turning onto Old Linden, a truck pulled out in front of my while I was flying downhill.  I had to slam on my brakes in front of him.  THEN, I had to stop at a red light on 60! Quite an adventure on the bike.  But, boy oh boy was it fun.  

Nutrition on the bike was a little light for me this weekend, I think because the weather was so mild.  I had one Nuun tab in my Speedfill (I usually go through 2), one Honey Stinger waffle and one pack of Honey Stinger chews.  I had a couple additional bars, but ended up not needing them.  That was interesting as well. 

2:14:11 run 
This was going to be my greatest challenge.  Due to a pelvic injury post-baby, I was not able to run more than 3-4 miles until mid-April.  So, basically, I haven't really been able to run since June 2013.  To gear up for this race (and Boise), I put together a few long runs in the last month - one 8 miler and two 10 milers, all pushing Siris.  Needless to say, they weren't very fast :). 

I was quite nervous to get out there on the run.  I hadn't done any transition running or bricks, and boy my legs were shot when I got off the bike.  I decided I was not going to look at my watch - pace wasn't important.  This would be a run based on feel.  I needed to FEEL my way through a half marathon.  My run history for this race isn't very good.  This is a difficult, half trail, hilly course.  In 2014, I walked most of the run due to my pelvic injury and ran a 2:42.  In 2010, my quads broke down and I walk/jogged myself to a 2:39.  My best full course run was 1:57 in 2011, but I did the half marathon in a relay in 2013 and pulled out a 1:47.  All this coming from someone who in my best days runs my straight half marathon under 1:30. Tough course.  

So, I get out there and the first mile felt like it took 20 minutes.  When I saw the first mile marker, I was SHOCKED that it had only been one mile.  Oh no.  This is going to be torture.  I managed to keep to my goal of not looking at my watch because I didn't want to know how bad it was.  I pushed through lap one of the course and managed to run do NO WALKING until around lap 6.  I broke down and walked part of the way up the big hill towards the finish area.  I was proud of myself, honestly, but I knew this was going to be a LONG day on foot. Would I be able to keep this shuffling up, or would my quads break down after the bike and run?  

I stayed mentally strong.  I walked small uphill portions.  A couple of times, I walked flat sections, only to realize that the quad burn was the same rather I was walking or running.  What good does walking do?  I didn't break... that is the biggest positive of the day.  Yes, it wasn't a great run, but it also wasn't a BAD run, considering the course.  I took in water and small amounts of Gatorade.  Nutrition was spot on. Seeing Tyson and Siris at the finish line was amazing.  I sat in a chair at the finish for a good 15 minutes, and my quads burned for several hours.  

Next up.... Boise 70.3 in 12 days! 
This weekend was a great experience for me. I'll be doing a little bit of training over the next 12 days, but not much.  Boise is at 2700 ft elevation (compared to 6500 in Show Low), and the bike course has 1868 in total gain, compared to 2400 in Deuceman. The run in Boise is 168 ft elevation gain, compared to Deuces at 330. 

So, here is my Boise goal - I'm putting it out there: 40 minute swim, 2:45 bike, 2:00 run, with 5 minutes for transition.  This puts me at 5:30.  This is a stretch goal.  I think I can do this in 5:45, but somewhere between 5:30-5:45 would be awesome.  

YIKES.  The week of Boise, Tyson is out of town and Ethan and Jade are both out of town at summer camps.  It will be just me and Siris.  I am going to use this time to sleep a lot, eat right, no alcohol (!), and get ready for Boise. 

I'm excited!