Monday, August 9, 2010

Boulder 70.3 Race Report

I was under trained going into this race due to medical issues and I really wasn't sure how this day would play out. My goal was to finish before the cut off time without some type of heat illness. Heat related problems  have plagued me on the run.

I have a hard time sleeping on a non race day so I woke up at 3:50am which was before my alarm went off. I stayed in Boulder the night before the race and was at the reservior by 4:45. So were many other people. My early arrival paid off as I was able to secure an end spot on the racks in transition.


I met up with STMass, Zionvier and trimama530 from BT for a pre-race  group pic.

I met up with STMass, Zionvier and trimama530 from BT for a pre-race  group pic.

The Swim:
My stomach started to bother me before the swim start. Never has this happened before a race and I was thinking to myself..."not now, not today!" I stuck to the back of the wave as usual to avoid being clobbered by the others. I was able to draft a bit more in this race as it was pretty crowded for the first 1300 yards. The bouys were nicely lined up and my navigation was pretty good. It wasn't until the final stretch where two men from the waves behind me made contact as they plowed through the field. I think they need to work on their sighting as there was plenty of room and no need to get even close to others at that point of the swim.

T1 :
My transition area was the farthest away from the "swim in" area. For the the first time ever, I really struggled to get my wetsuit off. It got stuck on my wrist and then my foot. I tried sitting down to get it off and after making some headway stood up to finally yank it off. I wasn't trying to break any records but this was very slow for me.

I am happy with my bike time and my second lap was 2.25 minutes faster then my first. I was fortunate to have cloud cover for the first lap which really helped with the heat issues. I made sure to drink a lot and even was successful with the two water bottle hand offs that I attempted. That was the first time I tried that. The only problem I had on the bike was some cramping of my hamstring and numbness in my toes. I had to take my foot out of the cleat a few times and tried to make changes in my position to help.
I left the 12-27 on my bike as I figured the pay off for the easier gear was worth giving up a more powerful gear. I am not sure that that was the best choice. I kept spinning out so quickly that I know I lost some good time just waiting to be able to pedal. (this happened numerous times). I have to say that this was one of the least painful (muscle related) bike portion of any tri I have done. Should I have pushed harder? Should I have changed my cassette? Maybe, but I had decided it was better to be safe then sorry for this race.

I decided to use lace locks for my shoes even though I usually use Yanks as I was worried about the Yanks bothering me if my feet started swelling on the run. The lace locks were great!
I took a few seconds to put some sun screen on as well as make a stop at the port-a-potty.

For me the heat was definitely a factor on the run. Since I was so undertrained for this (especially the run) my goal was to just go out there, do the best I could do and hopefully finish without suffering some heat related illess that has been plaguing me on much shorter distances. My plan was to walk the hills, run as much as I could beyond that and do whatever I had to do to try and keep myself cool and hydrated (I have never drank so much Gatorade in my entire life as I did the days leading up to a race). I stopped at every aid station to pour water on me, fill my hat and shirt with ice and grab spunges. This worked for the most part on the first lap. When I was running, I was doing an ok pace for me.

          A short walk to talk to my friend Sarah who along with a few others came out to cheer me on

The second lap things got worse. As much as I tried to run, I just wasn't getting very far. I spent even more time at the aid stations trying to cool off and even tried a few pretzels and some coke a couple of times as the thought of eating another Gu or Gu Chomp was not at all appealing. There was no shade at all and from the few race reports and comments I have read, that was a factor for people. While I put some sun screen on before the run, I have a pretty good sunburn (certainly all the water I poured on myself washed away any sun blocking properties). I used Salt Stick capsules which I  think helped. I really wanted to run more the second lap and I really think that is was the conditions more then my fitness that was a limiter. My legs could do it but I just was to depleated. The medic at the finish line asked me if I was ok as I apparently had blue lips. I told him I thought I was and indeed felt better after awhile. My shoes were completly soaked and everytime I bent down to tighten them up, I would get really dizzy when I stood back up. That was a huge indicator for me that things were getting worse. With two miles of the run, I made it a goal to finish in under 7:00 hours.
  I never remember to smile and I always look like I am on my death bed.

The time shown is total time from the start of the first wave.

Race Stats:


lap 1=  1:27:31
lap 2= 1:25:01
Total bike= 2:54:37


Total run=3:10:38 ( who says the bike is the longest leg of triathlon? :) )

Total time : 6:53:08

I am glad I did this race and am equally as glad that it is over. I don't have any other WTC race to compare this to but the race Tee-shirts were really really small and the finishers medals while nice had the wrong printing on them The medal says 1.2 mile swim, 56 mile bike and 13.1 mile swim. Huh?
Shouldn't they have been able to get that right?

As a side note, 1700 people signed up for this race and there were a little over 1200 starters. That seems like an awful lot. There were quite a few pros that never even started.

 I want to take a moment to thank all of you who have provided me with tips, words of encouragement and understanding throughout my journey to get to this race. It has truly meant so much! Thank you!


  1. Amazing job - congratulations!!!! You smoked that swim and bike, I am very jealous! The run hits a lot of people hard, but you kept it up and finished strong - way to go!

  2. WooHoo!!! I'm so excited for you! The heat was a killer! I felt a little bit like a stalker once I realized I could check on how you were doing, but I was so excited when you finished! Congrats on great race.

    Funny I had the same top on on Saturday. :)

  3. You did it! Yay! You rocked the swim and bike. And that run was so tough and I think the heat did a lot of people in! Way to stick with it and finish!
    On another note, I was def. in the port-a-potty line when you guys met for the picture. I was so bummed that I missed it, but couldn't afford to step out of the line if you know what I mean!

  4. Great job! I had another friend who did this race and she complained about getting run over in the swim as well. She said the other waves caught up and were just rude. It was like they did not even try to sight!

    The heat on the run is one of the reasons why I have not put this race on my calendar. I am afraid it would not work for me.

    Anyway, you conquered it and I am really excited for you! Congrats!

  5. I think you are awesome. I know you had doubts about being able to finish and you did it, impressively I might add. You can do anything you set your mind too, fully healthy or a little under the weather. I hope I am as big a rockstar as you some day
    Marci Catallo-Madruga, PT, DPT

  6. Congrats, your such a rockstar. 500 people is alot for a DNS, and you did it. Nice job, I am impressed.

  7. Congrats on your race. And yeah, that's a huge % for DNS. Wonder what kept so many people away. I'd like to do that race sometime, but I'm pretty sure the altitude would kill me.

  8. Awesomeness! You totally rocked this duathlon. I would show everyone that race medal and tell them that the 13.1 mile swim was really difficult, but you completed it in just under 3 hours.

    Your race day shwag is pretty awesome as well!

    Congrats on a great race!