This race has been my primary focus for the majority of this year. But,before I get into the actual race I have to say having never been to the city of Boise I really was impressed! We stayed at the Grove downtown which offered plenty of opportunities for Morgan and Amelia to explore (and shop). The city was clean and the people were very friendly.
I got checked in on Thursday and made it through the whole process in about 10 minutes. This left me some time to walk around the expo which was essentially empty. There was a tent from Spidertech there with an LMT applying the tape. I had some IT problems after Onionman flare up on a 4 mile run in which I ended up walking the final 2 miles home. That was about 6 days out from race day so I decided to just rest up and hope it would be better by the weekend. To be honest it was feeling pretty terrible on Thursday and I was contemplating not racing. So I thought "I might as well give this stuff a try." I told the guy taping what my problem was and he was nice enough to go through a full evaluation. He felt my calf and the outer part of quad and I believe his exact words were "Holy sh!t these spots seriously pissed off!".
Great! I was more discouraged than ever. Then just like that things started looking up. He was nice enough to do some A.R.T. on my leg and then apply the tape over the friction point on my IT band. I don't know if it was the tape or the A.R.T. but I felt better right away. He had me come back the next day so he could tape all the way up to my hip.
I returned the next day and finished the taping. It was great, and I was ready to rock. As a side note it's a good thing I registered the day before because everybody else registered right after the 11:00 am pre-race meeting. My friend Jon Moen stood in line for 1:45 to get registered. We were planning on swimming, dropping off our bikes in T1 then driving the course. We got a later start than planned then headed off to Lucky Peak which is a few miles out of town.
Now, we had heard how cold the water was going to be but you don't have any idea until you swim in it. It was.... refreshing. Who am I kidding it was freezing! We weren't able to swim in the resovior so we swam in the river where they pump the water from the bottom of the reservoir. On the plus side it had a fountain shooting water in the middle so, that was fun to play in.
Race day- This is an interesting race with the 12:00 pm start time. I woke up and got all my stuff together then proceeded to wait and wait and wait. Eventually I caught the shuttle down to the reservoir and got my bike all dialed in. Then I waited some more.
This was a wave start and my wave was the last to go. This meant that I had to stand around on the boat launch watching wave after wave go for 45 minutes. The pros were long gone by the time we got into the water.
Finally it was our turn. As I hopped in I realized that it didn't feel near as bad as the day before. Racing makes cold water easier to tolerate (as does insulating your wetsuit with "warm water"). :)
The horn sounded and we were off. Of course the front pack was immediately gone. I settled into a nice pace and before I knew it I was swimming into people from the previous waves. This wasn't as bad as I thought and it was actually probably the smallest amount of contact I've ever had during a swim. All in all it was pretty uneventful and I don't think I pushed at all. I wanted to come out in 32 minutes but I ended up coming out in 34. However, during the race I had no idea what my swim time was. The race clock showed the first wave time and I wasn't wearing a watch. So, anyway I came out of water and had my typical poor transition and I was ready to bike.
Bike- The bike starts downhill and then really goes downhill. You end up going 45 mph down the hill screaming "on your left" as you pass the 50 year old women weaving down the hill at 18 mph. This would be a theme for the rest of the race. I settled into a nice pace from there and really started passing people. My goal time was 2:30 and all the passing I was doing was a little disconcerting. I kept thinking that I must be riding way to hard because I was way ahead of schedule. By the time I hit the halfway point I was on pace for a 2:25 and all the climbing is in the first half of the race. I just kept riding, but I was holding back a little. This is were a power meter would have come in handy. Someday I'll buy one. The rest of the ride went great and I cruised into T2 with a 2:21. I'm very happy with my bike time and my new bike. This was the fastest speed I've ever averaged for a race of any distance. My planet X exocet with the 82/101 wheels felt fast the entire way and I got quite a few compliments on it.
So it would appear that I made some time up and I was actually feeling pretty good. Again I had a horrible transition where I ran passed my rack and had to go back to find my spot. I then put my shoes on and realized that I had forgotten to change my socks. I took my shoes off and changed the socks to a dry pair and I was off. There went all that time I made up on the bike.
Run- I was feeling pretty good minus some bloating. I took off out of transition and again started passing people like crazy. This wave start thing was very strange to me. I had no idea where I was in the race. I couldn't tell who was in my AG who was on there 1st or second loop and there were people everywhere. I actually never saw anyone in my AG the entire run. It kind of through me off. I tried to push, but my legs would only go at 6:45 pace. No matter what I did I was right around 6:35-6:50 the entire 13.1 miles. I would have been happy with a 1:30 but secretely wanted to break 1:25. But with my lack of run fitness I ended up going 1:27. The good news is my leg held up the entire way. I passed a lot of people but never passed anyone in my AG and had no idea where I was.
My goal was qualify for the 70.3 World Championships in Vegas and I was pretty frustrated to not be able to tell what was going in the race. It ends up feeling like a time trial on your own for the whole race. In the end I was not passed at all on the bike or run by anyone, but I had dug myself a pretty big hole on the swim and I was never able to crawl out of it. I was pretty much in no mans land about 4 minutes back on the person in front of me and 10 minutes ahead of the one behind me.
At the end of the day 6th place in my AG ended up being good enough to get my Vegas slot and I'll be training for that through the summer. Hopefully I can get some quality consistent running in and be ready to kick some butt in Vegas.
47th overall and 6th in m25-29 age group.
My two favorite cheerleaders.