Monday, August 8, 2011

Ironman Boulder 70.3 race report

Wow what an experience! First off let me just say thanks for all the congrats and good wishes you guys sent my way. It's amazing how much of a difference it makes when you are out on that course and think about all the people who are cheering you on in some way. Now be prepared as usual my race report is as long as the race.

So I guess let's start at the beginning...the night before. I had a meeting of the Skirt Sports Kick Start Program (more to come about that later) it went from 4-6:30. It was in an area that I'm not all that familiar with...Cherry know where this is going right? I had a hard time finding the place so of course I was running late. When I finally found a parking place on some side street I hurried to find the store which I had not actually found yet just the general area. Finally I arrived 10 minutes late. The meeting was fantastic including a short run/walk. Very inspiring. So the meeting is over and I'm really not sure where I parked...great just what I want to do is walk around looking for my car...yep about 20 minutes. Finally found it and headed home so I could get some dinner make last minute preps and get in bed! I slept FANTASTIC! I woke on my own at about 4 and laid there for about 15 minutes thinking about what was to come and getting nervous. I got up and had my pre race breakfast of a bagel thin, peanut butter and banana. Packed up the car and headed out just before 5. The drive was quick and I arrived at the rez in no time. Put a little air in the tires and headed to transition made one of the best decisions of they day when I stopped at a port-a-potty on the way THERE WAS NO ONE THERE!!! Set up, chatted with Kathleen who was again racked right by me. By now I've calmed down and am just ready to get started.
Transition area

Me and Kathleen

Borrowed :) this photo from the Boulder Tri series Facebook page.

Swim wave 4 at 6:45.
How nice that was! No waiting around, lets just get to it! Kathleen and I kept to the back and who should be right beside me beside Beth! Yea! I finally got to say hi! We had a little time to chat as they gave the wave before us a little more time. And we're off! A lot of contact at the start but nothing major, just a lot of touching, nothing painful. I just kept a steady pace and kept going. My sighting on the way out was not so good. I was off in the distance a bit...on the other hand I'm actually ok with that as when the young studs from the next wave came through I was well out of their way. :) I had joked with Kathleen and Beth that the reason I never had a problem with contact was because I was usually so far of base that any good swimmer would never come near me. I got a little better after the first turn. The course was kind of a triangle that they had designed to keep us from having to swim straight into the sun which was great! I felt pretty good through almost all of the swim. No leaky goggles, just keep swimming. After the last turn it seemed to take forever to get in. It never looked like the beach was getting closer at one point I did look up though and have my face right in some guys armpit... eventually I finished and was thrilled to get out of the water and see 45 minutes on the watch! That is exactly what I planned for!
Swim 45:52

T1 4:37. Nothing to much happened here. I haven't gotten any faster. :) Everything went fine, I was close to the bike out and bike in so that was pretty nice.

The first part of the bike is so hard for me. Trying to get warmed up and there is this hill right at the fact the first 6 miles are a gradual uphill but after the first couple I was feeling pretty good, although I have to say that it did seem like it was taking forever. Lot's of passing...people passing me that is. :) I passed some too but since all of the younguns were after us on the swim they all pass me on the bike. I passed a girl crying on the side of the road early on. I asked if she was ok, she said "no" I said can I help and she said "no". It was so sad to see her there so early on in the race. I then passed a sign that said "Don't burn up your legs save some for the fun I laughed and then realized that it really did say run. I believe it was around mile 15 when the pro's flew by are they fast! Even though it seemed like this first lap was taking along time it was going well. I was doing well on my nutrition and getting my water in. My shoulders seemed to be really stiff, I think I must have been pretty tense but other then that I felt pretty good entering the 2nd lap and I was averaging just over 17 mph and was right on target. The initial climb went much easier this time around and before I knew it I was heading downhill YEA!! I passed aid station around 43 miles and took a water, debated about stopping at the bathroom and decided I didn't really need to. It wasn't long after that, like a mile that I realized I was having to work really hard and I was still on a bit of downhill. I stopped and sure enough..flat rear tire...oh great. So I proceed to start on changing it. I had the new tube in and was working on getting the tire back on when one of the motorcycle angles stopped. He asked if I wanted help and I said sure, as I had both a pump and the CO2 cartridges but had never used them (the CO2). He pumped them and when he finished I remember that I had not checked for what gave me the flat. So nice man that he was he let the air out and looked for problem...sure enough he dug some rather large pieces of glass out of my tire that I'm sure had come from an earlier training ride. He pumped it back up and he took a look at the front. All seemed well so off I went although it seemed longer this little adventure took about 15 minutes. I kept a positive attitude but knew that my chances of making it around 7 hours was gone. Shortly after that I saw up ahead an ambulance and as I passed I saw a rider standing there but still on this bike. By the time I realized it was Duane I was pretty far passed. I knew that he must be ok since he was standing there and the paramedics were not even near him at the time. I've not yet met Duane but I've followed his blog and he has an incredible story. The fact that he got out and started this race speaks volumes about his determination. Not to long after that Paul a friend that has done the whole Boulder series also and is obviously much faster than I passed me, it was nice to hear someone shout out your name. I finished the ride feeling good with my bike computer showing an average of 17. Of course it stops when I do so that didn't include the stop but I still felt good knowing that I had managed to do what I set out to do and keep a 17 mph average.
Bike 3:34:20 15:68 mph

T2 4:22 I finally hit up the port-a-potty before I left transitions, but again, nothing very exciting happened. This time I was able to find my area, right next to the fence very easily. The only problem was that our bike racks were on one end and then back to the other end for the potty and then back to the other side for the there was a bit of wasted time there.

Run (I use the term very loosely)

I started out with a little bit of running a little bit of walking the first couple miles were not to bad even though there was a pretty good uphill or two...But it wasn't long before there was way more walking then running. And thoughts of how I would possibly be able to do one more loop. I was convinced at this point that I would never make it. But how did one go about quitting? How did one tell everyone that you quit? At each aid station I would take a water, fill my bottle with ice and or water, drink a Gatorade put some ice down my shirt and grabbed a sponge or two to keep cool. My feet were killing me. The Mortons Neroma was sending some shooting pains through my foot on a regular basis. Thus making walking all the time easier as the impact on it wasn't near as bad. The volunteers on the course were fantastic. Willing to do whatever you asked of them. Even sharing their own sunscreen. At one part of the course here there is a little out and back section and I saw Beth on the other side. I knew she would soon be passing me so I cheered her on as she sped by. The wind really kicked up during the first loop especially when we got onto the dam on the other side of the lake. I had to take my hat off as it kept wanting to blow off. The dirt was blowing everywhere! Between the dirt, the sweat and the water I was beginning to feel pretty nasty. By the time I reached the start of the second know the one where you go right by the finish line? I was feeling better about things. I was still walking but the pain in neroma was not flairing up and although my feet hurt I didn't feel that bad overall. Funny the 2nd lap seemed to go faster. I just kept moving forward and chatting a little with some folks all though most were not in the talking I'm a chatter.. Stuck to the same routine through in some pretzels about mile 8 they were pretty good and think they helped a bunch more then the coke I drank at mile 10. About that time I came upon a guy who was walking and started chatting with him. He had just done the Denver Tri so we talked about that and his family and the Chicago tri (he had recently moved from there) and the last 3 miles just flew by! I was so thankful to have him help me get to the finish...this was also his first 70.3 so when I will you do it again?...he looked at me and we both just kind of chuckled...yea now is not such a good time to ask. At about this time I passed Kathleen and Steve (from BT) on the sidelines and they cheered as we passed and told us to run it in...I said I'm waiting till I get we got to the finishers shoot we started running and I think I finished with a smile on my face. I saw my Mom and smiled got my chip removed and had the finishers photos taken. And then I got choked up. The tears welled up in my eyes and I hugged my mom and tried to get a grip on myself. I felt very emotional at that point that I had actually managed to finish up what I had started. And while I didn't finish in the time I hoped or as strong as I hoped I did finish.
Run 3:15:25 14:55 pace
TOTAL TIME 7:44:36

I chatted with my mom and she soon left. I went to find Kathleen and Paul and wait for Sarah to finish up. I went for food but there was nothing but really hard bagels and orange slices. They said more pizza was on the way. It wasn't long before Sarah came in. We all sat around chatted for quite some time before we decided it was time to head out. I so appreciated doing this whole tri series with these guys this year. It was so nice to know that someone you knew was out on the course with you and that they would be there at the finish line when you got there.
Me, Paul, Sarah, Kathleen

Things I learned...
1. Must learn how to sight better
2. Must learn more about bike maintiance. Check those tires better!!!
3. Volunteers are the best. I will be picking at least one to volunteer at before the year is over! If you have never done it...Do it NOW!
4. I need new shoes.
and many more things but this is just off the top of my head.

So once again I want to give a shout out to all that raced this weekend. I think I got to see many of you but not all. I'm loving getting to know so many in this community of triathletes and I really appreciate that those that are lighting fast are so happy for and encouraging to those of us that are not quite so fast. So Congrats on a great day to Beth, Bill, Duane, Kathleen, Nora, Sarah, Steve and Paul.

And to answer the question above....chances are good I'm going to have to see if I can do a better job next year. :)


Jill said...

Look at you, half Ironman girl, making plans for next year already! That's a good sign, Chica :). My advice though is to perhaps pick a race that ISN'T in the August heat?!?!? Just may make the experience a tad more enjoyable!!

Anyway, I am very, very proud of you and couldn't be more happy of all that you have achieved this year! Un-freaking-believable! Next up: A marathon!?!?! ;)

Now let's go and celebrate on Wednesday of your fantastic VICTORY!!! Yeehaw!!

ShutUpandRun said...

Nice job out there and BUMMER about the flat tire. Ugh. Really great to meet you and you settled my nerves a bit at the start, so thanks for that. Congrats on a race well done and maybe see you next year???

Matthew Smith said...

Congrats! You did great! I'm a huge fan of the run/walk, and I plan on doing that a lot this weekend on my first 70.3. Way to get through a good race.

Diana said...

Big Congrats to you Julie! Your report brought a tear to my eye! How exciting for you to accomplish this. I'd give just about anything to have my Mom at the finish line to get a hug from-that's the part of your report I cried at!
You look awesome, so proud and a tad jealous all together!
Enjoy your achievement!
Pain is temporary-Pride is permanent!

She said I need a goal said...

I love it! Way to suck it up and finish.. I'm so excited for you!

Christi said...

Congratulations on your race Julie! I am so glad to hear that you had a great time and are ready to conquer it again!

Karen said...

Nice job, Julie! One of my biggest fears is some kind of mechanical issue on the bike. Congratulations on getting it done - you are awesome :)

Julie said...

WOW!! What a similar race we had, Julie! Maybe I can make a trip to Boulder next year...

LOVE your medal! I need to enter and "Ironman" 70.3 so I can get one of those lovelies.

YOU ROCK!!! Isn't it funny how emotional we can get at the end? I was A WRECK! Bawling all over people and such :D

Big Daddy Diesel said...

I am so happy for you!! Congrats!!

William Plock said...

Nice!! The cool thing about these races is that they mean so much to each of us in different ways. Isn't it awesome that we can all race the same race yet achieve our own goals, meet cool people and relish in each others victory's? So sorry to have missed you finishing and cheering you on and so cool your mom got to see it!

FranP said...

From one half iron chick to another.... Nicely done! You did amazing! I get a little emotional as well but only before I get to the finish line. After that, I just want to get it over with. lol ;)

Aimee said...

Woohoo!!! Congrats!! YOU DID IT!!! I am sooo proud of you!!
What a bummer about the flat tire, but that's awesome that the bike maintenance crew were there to help you.
Those hills at the beginning of the run are the worst!! Way to power through your foot pain and finish with a smile on your face!!!
Yay, yay, yay! :)

Terzah said...

You are awesome! What a ride, and you know I know how HOT it was out there. You are so right about volunteers. My family will be doing an aid station at the Boulder Marathon on Labor Day--it will be my first time volunteering on the race course and I'm really looking forward to supporting the runners.

Anyway, congrats again! Maybe next year I can come cheer for you for real.

Becka said...

Congratulations! The conditions out there were RIDICULOUS this year. SO HOT!! I enjoyed volunteering for the race and it was amazing to see so many athletes out there in the heat giving the 70.3 everything they had. NICE JOB!!!

Junk Food Runner said...

Congratulations on your 70.3! I am so impressed (and only slightly jealous :).

Have you picked out your next one yet? ;)

Kathleen said...

See, I told you you could do it!!
:) I am very proud of you.

Anonymous said...

Congrats to you! If I looked back where I was in the swim I would have seen you if you were near beth. I'm sorry we missed each other too. Gotta love those Bike Angels!!!!!!!

JohnP said...


This sounds like an awesome experience - you will totally do it again next year! You've got the bug! haha!

Be proud of yourself. You've accomplished an amazing thing here - You've earned it!

Finishing is winning!

Anonymous said...

Sorry I am a bit late to the party! I thought I had commented a few days ago but it didn't save I guess.

Anyway...congratulations for such a great race!

And I know what you are going through with PRD... Hang in there! I am totally the same way after my 69.1 (swim was canceled) last weekend :(