Thursday, August 23, 2012

Boulder 70.3

I meant to get a post up about Boulder 70.3 right after the race and never did.  Time passed and I decided it was too late but changed my mind again and decided to put something together anyways.

I had a couple of things going against me coming into the race and a couple for me.  On the negative's side I really hadn't been swimming much at all.  I was coming off a not so great swim at Boulder Sprint and an absolutely horrible swim at Boulder Peak and swimming motivation was at an all time low.  So I hadn't been doing it.  Secondly an ankle injury had kept me from running almost the entire month leading up to the race.  My ankle felt pretty solid the week leading up to the race after a session of graston and dry needling so I had managed to get in one 45 min run mid week and a couple 20 min runs.  One a positive note I had been riding a ton and spent a large percentage of that riding on the Boulder 70.3 course.  Knowing every aspect of a bike course is so nice going into race day.  Even being able to ride it once makes a huge difference. 

Given my complete lack of perceived swim fitness I decided that I was going to take the swim extremely easy.  Usually I start at the front and try to go out as hard as possible.  This time I started a few rows back and just eased my way into the swim.  Swam steady and felt good the entire time.  One benefit to the swim lazy strategy I noticed was that I felt way more fresh then normal coming out of the water.  The past two races I had done on much the same course with definite sub par swim results.  I had swam harder, had a terrible split and spent the first 4 or so miles on the bike feeling like complete shit.  This time around the bike felt great right off the start even with a 4+ mile gradual climb to start out.  Swim split ended up being 33:46.  Not great but I think it shows me that swimming smart within your abilities can lead to at least a decent time.  If I actually put some time in the pool in and get some swim fitness I believe that strategy can pay off with some solid swim splits. 

The bike was pretty much what I had expected.  Rode steady and made sure to not have any crazy wattage spikes. Based on training I felt I should be able to ride around a 2:12 and I got close with a 2:14:08.  I was about 10 watts below what I needed to be hitting the last 6-10 miles and that coupled with a bit of a headwind coming in cost me a some of time.  On the nutrition side of things I switched back to First Endurance Liquid Shot for this race.  800 calories worth of it mixed with water in a bottle on the downtube was plenty for the ride.  Didn't go through all of it but it was there if I felt like I ever needed it.  Also way easier to work with then gels taped to the top tube both in terms of staying down in aero and no mess.  Water between the bars in a Torhans 30 got me through 50+ miles before running out so didn't even need to hit an aid station which was nice since they were a complete cluster everytime I came through.

The run was going to be ugly I knew.  I debated not even having my watch running but decided to just so I could look back at splits.  Didn't look at the the whole time though.  I tried to concentrate on cadence and high turnover which served me well looking back at the splits.  Low to mid 7's through the first half was much better then I had expected.  It probably helped that I was shoveling caffeine in as fast as possible the entire time too.  I usually carry a Fuel Belt flask with 1 scoop of First Endurance Pre Race in it on the run for 180 mg of caffeine.  For this race I put 2 scoops plus a bit extra.  Probably the only thing that got me through the run.  I was out by miles 8 and and to switch to as much coke as I could grab at each aid station.  I think I was pretty much faking my body out at this point.  Each time I took some in I'd get a barely perceptable energy rush that would last for a few minutes before crashing again.  The last few miles there wasn't much turnover going on but I knew there was a Kompetitive Edge athlete in my AG coming hard behind me that I wanted to beat so that, along with not wanting to waste a solid bike split, kept me motivated.  In the end I got him by 10 sec so it was a very close thing.  Final run split ended up being 1:42:09.  A definite regression from some of my run splits earlier in the season but about what I expected.  My total time of 4:33:13 was a few seconds fast then my previous PR at Austin 70.3 so a result I'm pretty pleased with despite the issues.  Finally feel like altitude wasn't an issue at all and looking forward to what I can do at sea level.

Big thanks to Wattie for all his support, was great hanging out with him and Heather a bit pre race, and to Kompetitive Edge on the local front for letting me crash in their tent post race out of the sun.  Up next is Harvest Moon Half on Sept 9th and then the big one, Leadman 250, on Sept 22nd. 

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