My family and I drove from Portland to Boise Thursday afternoon to arrive later that night. We stayed at the Hampton Inn which was nice as it was right at the bike to run transition and the finish line. In fact you could see both from our room window. I got all checked in on Friday and slept 10.5 hours that night (which in hind sight saved me). Saturday I did my pre-race workouts, got my bike checked in and so forth. The only knock I have about this race is that it is really hard for spectators to participate at the swim, my wife could not go as it was just too complicated having a child to get up there.
Saturday night I went to bed at 7:00 to get 8 hours. I had to get up at 3:15am to catch my shuttle at 4:15. Too early? Yep. 8:00 came, no biggy, 9:00, 10:00 okay I can still get 5 hours… 11:00, argg, 12:00 getting really frustrated 1:00 “oh for the love of god!” Last check 1:14. So with 2 hours sleep I arose and took my pre-race shower, grabbed my coffee and bags and headed up the street to catch the shuttle. I drank my 625 calories of infinit on the bus ride up. It was really windy and cold up at the reservoir. I am glad that I had put on my compression tights and shirt under my sweats.
My wave went off at 7:30. I watched the pros go out, and just as my wave was approaching the water the pros were coming in. This is something of importance that I should have noticed then but it really did not dawn on me. The male pro’s started at 7:00; I started at 7:30. For the top male pro swimmers to be coming in pushing 30 minutes, this course is either long, or it’s a tough swim.
I lined up at the front of my group and it was cold! They say 59 degrees but I doubt it was that warm. The cannon went off and I took off hard as usual but let up a bit sooner because my HR was climbing sky high and I was forced to breathe every other stroke. I fell into a nice rhythm, but seriously I was hitting feet from previous waves within 200 meters. No drafting, but I was swimming well, and I felt good. I had no issues sighting, and I never really even broke stride throughout the swim. I had a smooth exit and found a wetsuit stripper and they jerked the suit right off. I was extremely disappointed when I looked at my watch and it read 32 minutes. It was a slap in the face! I really thought I had put in a 26-27 minute swim. I got to my bike and it did not look like any other bikes from my age group were gone so that made me feel a bit better. Turns out everyone thought the swim was about 4 minutes slow. Swim time: 31:58 slow but good for the course.
The pavement in T1 was brutal, it felt like I was running on broken glass, I could have sworn that the bottoms of my feet were a bloody mess when I mounted my bike. Other than T1 went ok. Time: 1:57 could have been better.
I fought my shoes a bit getting on the bike, partially because my feet were burning from the cold, then the shards of glass they thought they just ran through. But I got settled in nicely for a sudden long decent. Sat in the aero bars and coasted at brisk 42 MPH. This was nice to get the HR down. This bike course was not easy and fast like it was being dubbed. Although the climbs were not monsters, the flats were not flats either. Lots of false flats and headwinds.
Greg Mills (ironhead teammate) I owe you one! On the climb up to the birds of prey, I passed by Greg and he yelled to me that my nutrition bottle on my hydro tail was falling out the bottom. I looked back and it was literally an inch from falling out and hitting my rear tire. I unfortunately could not pull it back out while riding so when I reached the top I stopped for like 20 seconds to grab it and re position it.
Somewhere around mile 25-30 my left glute started cramping and getting sore. I hit a head wind on one of these “false flats” and started to get discouraged. I really had no idea what position I was in, I pretty much rode the course by my self with no one around me for the bulk of it. I started thinking about my swim time and the fact that my leg was really starting to hurt. For some reason negativity set in and I started doubting my performance thinking that “I just don’t have it today”. Luckily I switched gears real quick and told myself the swim was long, and I have not been passed by anyone and look at all the people I had passed. “For all you know, you are leading your age group right now” were the words that got me back into it mentally. I tried to finish the bike strong. I would have liked to have averaged about 20 more watts over the ride than I did, I average 230 and would like to be at 250. Maybe pushing those ups a bit more and attacking the downs harder would have gotten me at 250, but as it were my legs were about spent. Let me tell you, Boise knows how to support the athletes! Coming into T2 was awesome. The last ½ mile the streets were lined with people ringing cowbells! Inspiring to say the least. Total bike 2:26.42, I am happy with that effort.
T2 again the support is awesome! In an out with no issues. Time: 1:11.
The run, I felt great running out, and kept a great pace and rhythm till about mile five, I felt so comfortable in fact that for the first time I was able to relieve myself while running! It was really hard to judge pace, because the mile markers were all over the place, but I felt good keeping my hr at 170-172 high z3 for me. I began to feel some fatigue at mile 5, but at mile 6 I hit that AWESOME crowd support again at the turn and that got me through till mile 7, then another lull. My plan was to push the last 10k as hard as I could. I tried, and mile 11 and 12 were a bit faster, but I was really able to push the last 1.1. The finish line was incredible, the best finish line I have ever seen. The crowd was unbelievably loud, screaming and ringing there cowbells. I was giving high fives down the chute and everything! Great experience!!! Total Run time 1:31.53, not great, but I think the run was also a bit long. Looking at the times across the board, they are slow for such a flat run course.
Regardless, this was the best race performance that I have put together. I am really proud of my accomplishment and result in this race! I know I need to get my run time down, but I am still getting faster so that is encouraging.
Total time: 4:33.42
3rd Age Group
12th overall amateur
35th overall including pros