Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Race #6 of the Season - Boulder Peak Triathlon

... also known as my 100th start line ...

... and one of my most terrible races ever, time-wise.

Oh, Boulder Peak, how I dislike you, with your hill of death (Olde Stage), and your crappy Olympic distance which I just don't like, and your dusty run course with no shade. I never want to do you again.

I really didn't want to do this stupid race this year, but my entry got deferred from last year.

(If you remember, we wanted to do a race pre-IM Boulder. IM Boulder 70.3 sold out, so we signed up for Peak. Then Peak got cancelled due to fire, so registration got moved to this year.)

I'm kind of but really not trained for the distance - particularly on the bike. Oh and the run. And I took like two weeks off of swimming which means I wasn't in swim shape either. Brandon, (un)fortunately, couldn't race, as the timing of Peak means get that off or get my birthday off, and we all know which one I'd rather have him around for (birfday, obvs, especially because we went and saw Shinedown this year!).

So, I was on my own for this race for the first time in quite a while. I was able to wake up (tricky these days) and get to the Res with plenty of time for a good spot and to chat with people I knew ... namely George and Szabo.

Transition photo. Look, I still remember how to do this!


It was eventually time to get ready to swim, so I squashed myself into my old, dying wetsuit and went for a quick warm up. I was wearing my brand new Team SFQ aero top - which meant sleeves! And not needing to sunscreen my back! - that I'd never tested out before. Nothing new on race day? Pfffft ... In any case, I had tons of shoulder mobility, so life was good.

I found my Skirt friend Emily post-practice swim and hung out with her until it was time for our wave to go off.

The Swim:

Wait, do I remember how to do this open water swim thing? Fo' realz?

Yes. Yes I do.

I mean, sighting was utter shit for the first half because, duh, right into the sun. I also didn't really feel like I got into a rhythm until late in the back half of the swim ... probably because these days it takes me that long to get warmed up ... but all in all, I feel like I've had worse triathlon swims. Not much worse given my time, but y'know.

Got out, saw 45ish, thought "ah crap that sucked," and headed into transition.

Time: 46:16 (26th division, 229th gender, 593rd overall)


I love T1. So easy. Get out of the wetsuit while putting on my helmet, put my bike shoes on without sitting down ... it's amazing. 

Time: 1:40 (4th, 41st, 127th)

The Bike:

Aaaaand then I get on the bike and start pedaling and hooooo boy, my lack of training/intensity kicks in. Nothing I can do except pedal, grin, and bear it.

I should mention that I recently got new gearing on my bike. A slightly more compact crank (50 as opposed to a 52) and an 11/28 in the back as opposed to the 12/25 I had that came stock. In theory, easier climbing gears.

Yeah, well, I still needed more than one good practice climb pre-race. Ha. Oops.

I had to pause a couple times on Stage to catch my breath and yes, I did walk once (dangit), but for the most part, I was able to manage up the hill. I completely spaced on all the wonderful climbing technique Katie taught me a few weeks ago, though. Oops.

Then the downhill ... I probably went slower than I could have during the speed zone on the back side of Stage because it's pretty dangerous to take your hands off your unstable tri bike going 20+ mph down a hill, kids, but as soon as I made the turn onto Lefthand? In the paraphrased words of Buddy the Elf, downhills are my favorite.

I bombed the Lefthand descent as well as the Nelson stretch, averaging over 27 and 26 mph, respectively, on those sections. Then came the 63rd rollers ... and I remember how much I hate the stretch between Nelson and Niwot. Susan passed me at some point on 63rd, too, and I just couldn't catch her.

On the nutrition side, I did manage to eat a few bites of my Bobo's bar (whaaa? Me fuel during an Oly?) as well as destroy my bottle of Skratch right about the time I hit 51st again. Probably should have had more Skratch on me in hindsight ...

Time: 1:48:28 (21st, 204th, 580th)


I struggled a bit in transition, dealing with my basically dead tube of Body Glide for my feet and trying to squash the rest of my Bobo's bar into my back.

Time: 2:25 (12th, 136th, 409th)

The Run:

I could tell the run was going to be a struggle and a half as soon as I hit the run course. I was hoping there'd be aid right out of transition like there sometimes is - nope. Sometime late in the first mile, I saw Skirt's Nicole DeBoom flying the other way and high-fived her. 

The wonderful people from IPA Endurance at the second water station had ice (SWEET BEAUTIFUL ICE) that I took and put down my shorts, down my shirt, in my hat, and in my water, so I could have wonderful cold ice water to drink and to suck on the ice cubes. I think the heat was getting to me as I felt a bit nauseous at times. I tried to take down some of the bar - not sure it helped.

Honestly, I think that my body wasn't used to training in the heat with that much sugar/electrolyte - usually, I do more than one longish ride pre-race with said things - and it wanted to revolt on me.

Soon after mile two, I caught up to Susan and decided to just hang with her. Yeah, she was going slower than what my pace was attempting to be, but a race buddy sounded nice. So, I hung with her for pretty much the rest of the run. I saw Emily going the other way just before the turnaround - she was probably less than a half mile ahead? - and I almost thought of leaving Susan to catch up to her, but quickly decided against that.

The heat was BRUTAL. I am not used to racing in that crap.

We ran into one of Susan's friends with about a mile to go and said friend hung out with us for a little bit. I ended up letting gravity take me down the final hill and I ran the entire final stretch to the finish. Skirt sister Becky was out cheering and snapped this awesome picture, where I don't look as dead as I clearly felt:

Plus: the debut of my gorgeous Team SFQ kit!

I was sorta hoping to hit the slip 'n' slide at the finish, but I did not have the energy.

Time: 1:28:10 (26th, 221st, 580th)

Overall Stats:
Time: 4:06:58
25/26 division (F30-34)
224/245 gender
608/639 overall

Slowest at this distance BY FAR. I figure if I had managed to keep my running pace pre-Susan, I would have at least squeaked in under 4 hours (which, not gonna lie, would have been nice), but with how nauseous I was starting to feel? I might have also crashed and burned, too. Who knows.

I did meet up with Emily and Nicole post-race for some photos, though.



Now, time to focus on training for camp and for Pikes Peak ...

Friday, July 7, 2017

June Round-Up

In terms of numbers, June was definitely a better month.

Swimming: 10900m (6.77 mi)
Cycling: 155.8 mi
Running: 25.22 mi
Lifting: 17 sessions (4:00)
Other: two hikes (1:45), three walks (6:20), two yoga sessions (:39)

Numbers were up across the board in terms of the three main triathlon disciplines, but I know I skipped too many workouts. Which sucks.

I'm swimming longer, which is nice, but not nearly as often as I've planned. This is mostly due to our usual pool being under construction (a good thing! it's so gross!) ... which means we have to drive at least 25 minutes (with traffic, sometimes more) to our old pool. Which is obnoxious. And I don't know the good times to swim anymore. Boo. I've used this as an excuse more often than I should have.

I annoyed Katie until she agreed to drag me up a hill on my bike - which she did! - which meant that I did more climbing than I have at one time in about three years and was my longest ride by, oh, 20 miles or so, since Chattanooga. That climb, by the way, was made marginally less shitty thanks to borrowing one of her spare rear wheels with an 11/28 configuration. LIFE CHANGER. I've been riding a 12/25 since buying the bike. As a result, we just dropped some coin to get some better climbing gears.

I'm fighting the run. I know I am. It's a mental thing - I am so convinced it's a mental thing - but that block is the hardest to get rid of.

Hiking has not been as plentiful as it needs to be. We had a long one planned for the end of June ... but it being balls hot and waking up three times in the middle of the night? One of those times for an hour? Does not leave you well rested enough to drive an hour to go hike three. Then drive back the hour.

I've still been sticking fairly regularly to the TIU daily workouts, and I do think they're helping. Consistent strength work - even if it's way lighter weight than I'm used to - is better than sporadic or no strength work.

July is scheduled to kick my ass (so I can kick camp's ass in August), so wish me luck!