Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Boise 70.3 Race Report

Boise 70.3 turned into Boise 26.3.

Race day started cold. It was 40 degrees at 9 a.m. Breakfast then over to T2 in downtown Boise to drop off run bag. Then, up to T1 at Lucky Peak Reservoir – up in the hills. The swim starts there.

Kim and I were dropped off at the parking lot close to the reservoir. It was really cold and raining. As we walked up to T1 it got colder and rained harder. As we set up our transition and got our wetsuits on it rained more and the wind picked up. This is not good.
At 11:30 a.m. we headed over to the start and waited, and waited. The wetsuits kept us some-what warm however with nothing on my feet, I was shaking uncontrollably. Other women in our wave told us that athletes were taking their bikes and leaving, most from warmer climates who just couldn’t take the cold and wind.

We kept waiting and the start was delayed since the organizers announced the bike would be cut from 56 miles to 12 miles due to wind and rain, and the possibility of hypothermia.
About 12:15 we were able to get closer to the water and finally we were able to swim. The water wasn’t that bad since we were standing in 37 degree wind and rain. It was rough water but I just kept swimming. It seemed like forever before the turn at which I looked at my watch: 10 minutes in – not bad.
As I got closer to the exit I looked up to sight, there was an ambulance next to the finish. Not a good sight. I learned later that athletes were taken out of the water on stretchers.

I got out of the water and as I jogged up the hill (yes, a hill) to transition and couldn’t feel my legs or feet.

My saving grace was my Pearl Izumi soft shell biking jacket and beanie I wore under my helmet. I knew the first part of the bike was downhill – and cold. But I felt warm since I had the right clothes. Later, I learned the pros kept their wetsuit on during the bike.

Since the course was only 12 miles, I pounded out the miles, biking as hard and fast as I could, staying aero most of the ride. It was fun to know I could kill it on the bike since it was shortened. Into T2, I couldn’t find my bag, and thanks to a bystander, she pointed to it. Thank you. I panicked.
On to the run, just as the sun came out and the wind died down. The run was on the greenbelt next to the Boise River, and it was beautiful. Great spectators and volunteers at the aid stations cheered me on. I kept looking for Kim on the run but never saw her; looking for her helped me get my mind of the pain in my legs while running.
(downtown Boise, near the finish)

I tried to keep a 9-mile pace and felt fast. Two loops and then a finish in downtown Boise to the crowds. I always get a bit chocked up at the finish, with people lining both sides of the chute. After crossing the finish, I got a hat and finisher medal, and knew I earned them both after the crazy start and swim.

Many times standing near the water at Lucky Res I thought this is crazy, dangerous. But I knew I had to do it. Not finishing, not starting, wasn’t an option.

Thank you to my friend Rosie who drove with me to Boise and was at the finish. And, mainly, a big thanks to her for putting up with me for four days. Pre-race anxiety is not pretty. When you have a friend like that, consider yourself fortunate; I do.
(yes we stopped for the photo op as we arrived in the state)
Three days later, I’m recovered and getting ready for a big training week: 18 hours. 3 hours swimming, 9 hours biking, and 6 biking. I want to get as close to that this week, no excuses.

HITS Full Distance Triathlon in Fort Collins July 28 is my next race. I want to do well but know I have to get the hours in.

I’m ready for the training, for the discipline, for the chance to finish my third Full Distance Course. Gotta run.