Race Report – Boulder 70.3

One of my two alarms (can’t take chances) went off at 3:40am. My game plan was quick…about 15 min of stuff to do before leaving the house; putting on my tri kit, drinking my Mt Dew (I don’t do coffee), filling my EFS bottles, and poking the contacts into my eyes. I don’t usually wear contacts but had planned to do it for this race so that I could see on the swim. I got on the road and it was pitch black out. I ate my Justin’s Nut butter on my plain bagel while I drove the hour to get to the Boulder Reservoir.

I set up my transition as usual and felt pretty calm. In the days leading up to the race I had ran through almost everything in my mind. I had created a good race plan, nutrition plan, and figured out my goal times. Now, I just needed to wait a bit so that I could put it all in to motion.

I decided not to do a swim warm up since my whole race was going to be one gigantic warm up. The gun went off at 7:20am and off we went. I had positioned myself on the outside and to the rear of the wave. This was a first but really no one swam over me and I had very few encounters with other swimmers. It was a delightful swim. I found my rhythm and concentrated on my breathing. I kept thinking that the big orange buoy that I should turn at was coming up. I continued looking for it but I was not seeing it. During sighting one time I caught a glimpse of it. It was still way off in the distance. This was a long swim! At one point, about halfway through the swim, I decided to do a little breaststroke just so I could look around and take it all in. I wanted to feel the unique feeling of being way out in the middle of a reservoir knowing that there’s no boat to take you back. That you got there on your own and you must get back on your own. It was beautiful! On the swim back to the shore I could feel the guys in the wave behind passing me but thankful I was not run over. I swam all the way in, until I could feel my hand hit the sand below me. I ran out of the water and into transition without feeling lightheaded and dizzy like I normally do. I think I had paced myself really well, was properly hydrated, and I was feeling good.

Swim time: 51:28

I took my time in T1 making sure I had everything that I would need for my long bike ride. I dried off my legs and feet pretty well so that my socks weren’t soaked and I took a few sips off my extra water bottle filled with EFS (this one was a throw down bottle to take for the first few minutes of the run and also to sip on before the swim).

T1 time: 5:00

Started off on the bike and heard someone from Colorado Multisport yell my name. I gotta admit that makes me go faster and feel like someone is cheering specifically for me. I hit the first hill coming out of the reservoir and knew to slow it down. This is a long ride I told myself and I need to set a good pace from the beginning. I settled in to “my” pace and didn’t worry about all the guys passing me. This was my race and I couldn’t blow it just because my ego wanted to keep up with some of the younger, stronger, faster males. The bike course is 2 laps with the beginning being a gradual uphill and then once you hit St. Vrain Road it’s an awesome downhill! Not too steep but you can really get flying. At one point I looked down and saw a new speed PR for me…35.5 mph. Not as fast as the aforementioned dudes but fast for me. I was really enjoying this race. I remembered that one of my friends from high school emailed me (thanks Kristi) said to take it all in because it will be over so quickly. So I did just that. I made sure to look around at the scenery and enjoy the thrill of competition. I wasn’t going to win so there was no need to push myself too hard.

After finishing the first lap, I thought it was funny to be heading back out for a second loop. I did this quite often in training trying to get the time in on the saddle but it just seemed weird in a race. So back out there I was doing the same loop, thinking the same stuff. I grabbed a water bottle at every aid station (6 total) and didn’t drop a single one (taking a bottle of water from someone standing still is a hard thing to master). I drank some of it and poured some of it on my head. I felt great the entire ride but around mile 49 I did start to feel a little tired. Nothing I couldn’t push through though.

Here was my bike nutrition plan:

15 min in on the bike = GU (peanut butter flavor)

1:00 in on the bike = GU (peanut butter flavor)

1:45 in on the bike = Honey Stinger Waffle

2:30 in on the bike = GU (peanut butter flavor)

3:15 in on the bike = GU (vanilla flavor)

–Drink full bottle of water and full bottle of EFS (2 scoops in a 20 ounce bottle)

I took in all of my nutrition just as planned except for the last GU. Around mile 50 I started realizing that I was running ahead (29 min) of my goal time and that I should hold off on the last GU until the run so that my stomach could settle a little before T2. Came into the reservoir feeling good and strong!

Bike time: 3:20:37

I took my time in this transition too. It was more important to make sure I grabbed everything I needed than to save 45 seconds. I had already decided to pee at the porta potty in transition so that it wouldn’t be added to my bike or run time but only to my T2 time which I didn’t care as much about. As I was leaving T2, I got a kick out of knowing that I was just getting ready to run a half marathon after doing all that I had already done for the day. I think I was getting a little slap happy!

T2 time: 5:12

I had injured my IT band in the last race 3 weeks before so I hadn’t been running. I had adopted a new plan made popular by Jeff Galloway. I would run/walk a 4:1 ratio. I began running and at 4 minutes in I walked for 1 minute. This helps to lower your heart rate and reduce fatigue. I usually don’t grab anything at aid stations. I’m a planner by nature and usually have everything I need with me. But for this race, I had decided to use the aid stations and enjoy them. I took water at every stop and either drank it or dumped it over my head (highly recommended on hot days). The temps were in the 90’s and there was no relief with clouds or shade. I also sipped Perform at every aid station since I was only carrying water in my Nathan hand-held bottle. At most of the aid stations I took part in the ice and/or cold sponge ritual and placed them in my jog bra. My nutrition plan went like this:

15 min in on the run = GU (vanilla flavor)

1:15 in on the run = GU (peanut butter flavor)

2:30 in on the run = GU (peanut butter flavor)

I drank my entire water bottle and then some. I drank Perform throughout and at one aid station I even partook in some Coke and 4 pretzels. Somewhere around 1:45 minutes in I was feeling like I needed a little extra so I grabbed a GU that they were handing out…Roctane…blech. That is why it’s best to bring your own.

As I was running into the finish area I wanted to pick it up a bit but just did not have it in me. I was finishing and not feeling bad which was my goal but to realize that you just don’t have much more is a strange feeling. I continued to run towards the finish line wondering if the famous Ironman announcer, Mike Reilly, was really announcing this event. I was waiting for that moment when you hear him or someone like him say your name. Sadly, it never happened. I don’t know what was going on but I didn’t hear my name until I was grabbing my water and they were removing my timing chip. I crossed the line happy that I finished but confused about why I didn’t hear my name called. Guess I’ll have to do another one since I missed that experience 😉

Run time: 2:50:02

The race overall was great! I wouldn’t have changed anything about the swim or the bike. I think my nutrition plan was good overall and that’s a hard one to get down. As far as the run, need to do more running in general, need to manage my IT band better, and just know that the run is the hardest part of an endurance event especially since it is the last discipline.

I grabbed a slice of pizza immediately after finishing, took a couple of bites and realized that I just wanted to go home. I didn’t change out of my wet clothes, I didn’t pack stuff up neatly, and I didn’t take my contacts out, I just jumped in the truck and hauled ass home. Once home my priorities were:

  • Change into comfy clothes
  • Get contacts out of my sticky eyes
  • Ice bath!!
  • Warm back up
  • Regular bath where I could scrub off the marker, sweat, sunscreen, stink, GU, snot, pee and whatever else had gathered on me
  • Beer

By this time hubby had arrived at home and agreed to split a special beer with me. It was a special release from Great Divide Brewing called Barrel Aged Old Ruffian. It’s basically their Old Ruffian barley-wine ale that has been aged in Stranahan Whiskey barrels for 9 months. It was an amazing beer to cap off an amazing day. I sat on the patio with hubby, the puppy, this wonderful beer and reflected on the day’s events. Was it the hardest race I’ve ever done…yes! Will I do one again…probably!

Total time: 7:12:19


~ by willtriforbeer on August 10, 2012.

3 Responses to “Race Report – Boulder 70.3”

  1. Wow, Jen! That looks awesome! I can’t say that I will ever do this….. after 3 kids the hips just don’t work the same for running…. I will stick to my Dailey Method…. which by the way is great for those pesky IT bands! 🙂 I am in awe of what you did and hope it goes well or even better for you next time! Great Job!

  2. Great report, and congrats on your finish! I love reading your race reports, gives me things to think about for my races. 🙂

  3. Jen! Congrats! What a great day. I can’t wait until next summer – we WILL do a race together! Hope you’re having a great vacation!

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