Yup, there it is in all of its glory! My little M-Dot trophy! :)
Now before anyone gets too excited, there is a LOT of back story to this event, and although I am super stoked to be adding this podium finish to my resume (and please don’t get me wrong during this post, I am SUPER stoked about the AG finish), June 11th- Boise 70.3, was certainly not my dream race.
So to get things started, we left Dulles International around 4pm on Thursday afternoon expecting to arrive in Boise via Denver around 7pm mountain time. In theory this was perfect, we would arrive, eat, rebuild bikes, and sleep! Friday we would take the bikes for a quick cruise around to make sure all is good after travels, and then basically eat and rest the entire day! So like I said “in theory”. Upon arrival into Denver we were notified that our connection to Boise was delayed, then delayed again, then the flight was just outright cancelled. I’m going to keep this part of the journey pretty short, but basically I was sitting alone in the airport until after midnight (the Boss had access to a priority lounge where he went to use the executive customer service agent to fix our flights) not really sure if we would make it to Boise at all the following day, that alone make it to Boise in time to check in our bikes for Saturday’s race. Also at this time we were unsure of where the rest of our luggage was since somehow our bikes made it on board the plane in DC, but our suitcases did not? After several hours of working some magic at the customer service counter, the Boss finally snagged the last two seats into Boise for the following day, everything else on every other airline and via many other airport connections was sold out. Anyways, now that the time is well past midnight (2am eastern time) we found ourselves in a cab enroute to the airport hotel. The following morning our flight, none to my surprise, was also delayed, and delayed, and delayed again. By the time we landed in Boise (5pm) we had 1 hour to get to packet pick-up, and then out to the “Lucky Peak” reservoir to re-build our bikes, ride the bike for 10 minutes, and then check the bikes into transition for the night. Shhhheeeeesh. Not the “relaxing day” I was hoping for.
I would like to take a second and showcase this picture for all of you sitting there saying “how bad can sitting at the airport be?”, I get it that some of you “fully grown” peeps don’t mind hanging out in the airport, you know, listening to music, watchin’ a DVD on your computer, reading a book, etc. etc., but for people of my “stature” sitting in the airport terminal chairs STINKS!… since my feet don’t actually reach the ground, after 2 hours of just letting your feet “hang” it seriously stresses out your knees and pulls on your back. After about 30 minutes of me squirming, whining, and tapping the Boss on the shoulder he eventually caved in and helped me pull in the entire row of double chairs (that were too heavy to inconspicuously drag on my own) that was across from us!
:) I win!
Anyways, I survived, and by the time we got to the reservoir we even took the time to take a few candid shots at the bike check in at “Lucky Peak”.
Finally the bike is dealt with, now go check in to the Hotel and relax!
The next morning came faster than I ever imagined. Before I knew it I was checking my run bag, and lining up for the shuttle bus to the start of the bike! (The course was a point to point, so there were two different transition areas and all transitions were “clean”)…
So after our $16 shuttle down (or I should say “Up”) the road we departed the bus and headed to the transition area to prepare for the “clean T1”.
Pink is ready to Rumble!!
So I’ll get straight to why I said Boise 70.3 was certainly no “dream race”. The picture above looks like a “normal” swim start. Except “Lucky Creek Reservoir” should simply be named “Frigid Creek”, period. I SERIOUSLY underestimated what 52 degree water would feel like. Basically when I hopped into the water off of the dock my whole day changed. I have to say I like swimming, I may not be the fasted swimmer in the pack, but generally I am a good swimmer… not today. Immediately hyperventilation kicked in, my entire chest tightened up like boa constrictor had gotten hold of me, and this is all before the horn went off. Once we actually started swimming it was pure carnage in the water. People couldn’t get their faces in the water and I was no exception. Every time I put my face in the water and took a few strokes I would have to sit up and gasp for air; this has never happened to me before, and I was really struggling to breathe. I thought that that was the end for my day and I started to make my way over to the Kayak to get pulled out of the water; half way I stopped myself and told myself to pull it together. By now the entire pack had left me, and I started side stroking. Eventually I mixed the side stoke with a few free style strokes, and soon enough I was in full swim form. The only problem was at this point (other than I am at least 4 minutes behind where I should be) is that I still couldn’t get my chest to relax and take full breaths. This paired with being so tense from the water temperature I could feel a serious stitch building in my abdomen, which eventually lead to a pulled muscle in my ab. Honestly… I would rather break my knee cap again over pulling an abdomen. You can’t do ANYTHING with a core muscle in sheer pain. 37 minutes later I had amazingly caught up with and passed most of my wave and headed to the swim ramp; here I found my cold, cramped body being pulled out of the water by the volunteers. It took a few moments for my legs to cooperate with the upright position and I don’t think my abs ever did! (10th AG out of the water)
BIKE: The bike, oddly enough, ended up being my favorite part of the day! Not only was areo-position the most comfortable position for my poor ab muscle, but I actually felt GREAT on the bike! I was able to hold 170+ watts for over 2 hours, and averaged close to 20mph for the 56 miles! Seriously I couldn't have asked for any more from my little chops! At mile 45 I started doing the mental math and with the swim as poor as it was, and the climbs of Boise, Idaho slowing my “goal” bike time, I knew that a sub 5 hour race was now out of reach. Still staying positive and knowing I was having a great bike, I pushed on!
Hmmmm, the love/ hate relationship. Kind of an unfair relationship actually, because I LOVE to run, I would run 3 hours a day if my body (and Coach) would let me! And I LOVE to run fast!!! However, I feel as though my body and running do not love me so much? The run for me I would like to categorize as a “BONK”, although my Coach would disagree as I nailed my nutrition; in hindsight the run was greatly effected by the physiological stress of the ab muscle and the rest of my chest tension not allowing me to take full breaths. The goal for the run was to stay sub 7:30. Which I did for the first 3 miles :) Then things started to fall apart a little. The goal slipped back to sub 8. Then around mile 8-9 the “sub-8” was out of reach and the new goal was to simply keep running!! NO STOPPING, NO WALKING. Then comes mile 11… ahhhh me and mile 11. Here I would like to describe my little ol’ legs as pudding! At mile 11 I found a good looking park bench and used it to just hold myself upright for a while (because at this point, my abdomen was so painful that it certainly wasn’t doing the job). At this juncture, my “NEW” goal was “no crying” hahahahahaha seriously, is this too dramatic? This is actually how it all went down. From here, something clicked in my head that said “get off of your sad pony and get running” (in reality I cannot tell you what I said in my head because I try to keep my cursing to minimum on this blog, and the things I said in my head were not very nice). So I did. I started running again, and actually pulled out some 8:10ish paces for the last 2 miles… all the way into the volunteers arms at the finish line. Once my eyes saw the carpet that lined the finish line, that was quitting time for my legs. Final run time… a whopping 1:48… 8:21 minute mile. Not my best show.
I did not by any sense of the matter accomplish my “set goals” for this race. A 5:24:04 was a far cry from and about 30 minutes longer than what I had hoped. However, to sit back and put it all in perspective, you can’t set the same “block time” for every 70.3 race. Every venue is going to have its different challenges, and it’s really how you deal with those challenges that you should judge your day by. Sub 5 hours was simply not in the cards for me this race. In fact, I question if finishing the race was really in the cards. Looking back on it all now, I sure am glad that I did not make it all of the way to that kayaker; my day would have been over before it ever started. So for that I AM REALLY PROUD of my day! As for picking up that slot to the world championships in Las Vegas… my age group only allowed for the top 2 competitors to pick up the entry slots, so 3rd place just wouldn’t do. It’s okay, the two girls who placed 1 & 2 had exceptional races and my hat goes off to them both!
THE PHOTO SHOOT:
If you were wondering why we all look like turtles with no necks, it is because by the time awards happened the winds had picked up and the temps dropped dramatically! Sun and wind burnt, we were all freezing!!!
And for one of the most rewarding parts of my day…
Well folks, thanks so much for reading, I hope you enjoyed my story of the battle field. I really appreciated all of the comments and e-mails of encouragement!!
Check back soon for what’s up next this week:
Training Wise: Monday we turn around and head BACK to West for a couple hour group ride in the mountains of Golden, Colorado!
At the bakery: It involves 4 tiers with black and purple Zebra stripes!
By for now…