Thursday, June 26, 2014

June update (part 2 of 2) Boulder 70.3

Boulder 70.3

Boulder 70.3 had been on my mind pretty much all year.  The race usually gets the best of me but a couple days later I feel much stronger after completing my first half of the year.

Day before
The CSU Triathlon team volunteered the day before by helping out with "green team".  We basically manned the zero-waste stations set up around the expo.  I was a major slacker and tried to stay off my feet as much as possible but did get up every now and then to empty bags and get free samples.  I also chatted with the Roka representatives about my new wetsuit.  Long story short- everything you've heard about their wetsuits - they're awesome!  Great buoyancy in legs and super flexible in upper body, not to mention they look sharp.  After a little rain, I checked my bike in to transition and headed to a hotel  not too far from the race site.

Pre-race dinner of rice, chicken, salad veggies

Race morning
After setting up food/hydration on my bike I did a good warm-up As the sun came up, I met up with a few CSU team mates who were volunteering race-day as well.  After a quick strategy talk with Coach Mace, I headed down to the swim start.

Just before entering the water for the start, I found Yoni.  We chatted really quick then lined up at the front together.  I knew Yoni was a good swimmer and wanted stick with him as long as possible.  The start was clean and we were able to settle into a good rhythm quickly.  I picked out Yoni and paced off him with another guy for the entire swim.

 The Boulder course starts out with a slight hill then is rolling and fast.  I chose to ride with my cycling shoes (boa fasteners vs velcro strap) because they are more stiff and comfortable.

The weather was great and the ride was a lot of fun. Unlike at Collegiate Nationals, the course had lots of straightaways where I could put my head down and really focus on pedaling.

In the past, nutrition and water have really caught up to me so I tried to stay on top of them.  I went through just over 1 bottle of Skratch and some chews.  My stomach wasn't feeling all that but I figured it would sort itself out and there wasn't much I could do in the middle of a race.  On the one out and back section towards the end of the bike, I saw my relative position to people.

Coming back to transition I did the pre-run checklist by speeding up cadence and mentally preparing for the run.

My goal was to really build into the run effort. In training, I'd been doing log runs off rides and feeling good with that strategy.  The first few miles were rough, my legs felt the effort of the bike.  Around mile 3-4 I felt slightly better and was able to get moving and focus on form.  Towards the end of the first lap (of two) I ran up to the leading women pros.

 In the 2012 and 2013 half-distance races in Boulder, I've blown around miles 7 or 8.  This year I made it all the way to around mile 12 before it felt like I was crawling instead of running.  Some of the things that kept me going - team mates on the course, the CU tri team cheering at corners and cold aid-station water down my shorts (try it some time when it's hot out!).  

Thank goodness for a downhill finish.

Overall, I'm happy with my performance at Boulder. It was a tough day not being able to race or pace with another competitor starting part way through the bike all the way to the finish.  Falling apart on the run is never fun and I'm sure a lot of the people out there on race day felt exactly how I did.  Yet we pushed through and completed.

EMJ team mate Yoni
My goals for a race rarely have a time component - I would rather finish knowing that I raced smart and gave a good effort throughout while still enjoying the event.  There are several things I learned from this year's Boulder 70.3 experience and I hope to implement them moving forward.

Next up:  
I took a slot at the 70.3 World Championships by signing my life away to WTC (steep race entry) so I'll be joining an entourage of EMJ guys there this September.  My next couple races are going to be olympic distance races with a focus on Lifetime Minneapolis July 12th.   I'll be traveling to Florida for a Waste Management conference for a couple days next week but other than that I'll continue training around Fort Collins and working in the lab.

Thanks for reading and have great day!

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