Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Race Report: Boulder Peak Triathlon by Jeremy Geer

blue triad ex for Boulder Peak Triathlon 20130714-1For those of you looking for the Cliff's Notes version: overall, I had a pretty good race!  I had a breakthrough in my swim, I crawled up Old Stage without much drama, and I shaved some time off my run split from last year.  Below, I break down my nutrition, each discipline's results, and give some recognition to many of those that helped me finish...

blue triad ex for Boulder Peak Triathlon 20130714-2

Pre-race, Dana and JD over at Foxtrot did more then the normal check-up on my bike for me.  First, we adjusted the grip tape so that I could have my BarFly TT where I could actually see it, while still having my aero water bottle on board (take a look at the picture for this crowded little setup).  Next, they changed out my cassette from an 11-23 to an 11-28 and put on a new chain.  Finally, they hooked me up with a Zipp 404 in the front and a Zipp 808 in the back.  If my bike leg stunk, I couldn't blame the bike!

blue triad ex for Boulder Peak Triathlon 20130714-3

Nutrition wise, I made out a formal plan thanks to a new feature called RaceX from my coaching group, tridot.com.  For 4 consecutive days prior to the race, I took Hammer Race Day Boost (sodium phosphate) - day one 2x1000mg; day two 3x1000mg; day three 3x1000mg; and day four 4 x 1000mg.  On a side note, there have been some team discussions lately about supplements, and I would suggest that anyone going into a competition that lasts 90 minutes or longer should consider trying Race Day Boost in the four days before the event, even if you use other products during the competition and training.  Even without a workout taper, it really seems to help give me an edge on race day for long events.

My nutrition plan also called for 2 packets of oatmeal first thing in the morning, about three hours before the race.  This helps me minimize hunger pains and also the fiber seems to guaranty I'll take care of other business before the race starts!  With the oatmeal, I take my daily regimen of multivitamin, omega-3, palmetto, garlic, Hammer AO Booster, and Hammer Super Antioxident.  An hour before the race, I took 2 x Hammer Anti-Fatigue caps, 2 x Hammer Mito Caps, and 2 x Endurolytes.  20 minutes before the race, I took a serving of Hammer Tropical gel, which has caffeine, and as I'm walking over to the swim start, I slammed a 5-Hour Energy.  I considered the Roctane gum that everyone has mentioned, but knew that I could not swim with that - if anyone has a suggestion for a caffeine source that's not high in sugar, I'm all ears!

If it sounds like I'm very meticulous in tracking my nutrition, it's because I want to have a proven plan in place by the time Ironman Arizona rolls around in November!  I had no idea where to start, so hopefully it will be useful to some of you that are doing your own endurance events and you all can share your nutrition successes and failures with me.

One other pre-race note: as I was heading to the beach, there was another competitor that was frantic and told one of the volunteers he had forgotten his goggles at home.  My co-worker's son, Curren Bates, works for Aqua Sphere, and he had sent me a few pair of goggles, so I had an extra pair in my bag.  I tossed them to the guy and said "complements of Aqua Sphere."  Starting the race with good karma = awesome!

I decided to start in a faster swim wave and to start at the front of the wave, pretty much the opposite of previous races.  I wanted a breakthrough in swimming, so it's time to start with faster swimmers.  I worked on my sighting in the pool as well, and I didn't put my goggles on until I was stepping into the water.  All this seemed to work, my goggles never fogged as I finished the swim in 30:35, a3:23 improvement over 2012!  Looking at my 100 yard splits, I was very consistent except for the "turn," so I'll have to concentrate on that section in my next race.

Transition 1 only revealed that I really need to work on getting out of my wetsuit.  I still stink at it and it's not something I've swallowed my pride on practicing in the front yard like the bike-to-run transition!

I hopped on the bike without drama (I remembered to leave my shoes open and did not nearly crash mounting up as I had last race).  Todd Farell, my coach, had outlined a bike plan for me based on power output, and I was supposed to be very conservative riding in Zone 3 for the first 30 minutes.  My data shows I was closer to Z4 for the first 15 minutes, then I hit the bottom of Old Stage!  At that point, I just tried to relax and keep enough momentum to stay on the bike.  I can't imagine having done this climb with the 11-23 cassette... I would have used an 11-35 if such a thing exists!  The descent was uneventful for me, but there were at least four others that I saw had crashed and were getting medical assistance.  Once I hit Hwy 36, I tried to hold my power in Zone 4, but I was having a hard time maintaining it.  Which might be why I seemed to yo-yo with about six other riders for the remainder of the ride.  We were definitely not drafting, but it seemed like there were some "turns" taken at the "front."  My bike speed was 19.1 MPH, but I can't really compare it to 2012 when I rode Kirk's Blue Norcross bike because this race was about 23 miles, cut short by about 3 miles due to construction at Jay and Hwy 119.

Nutrition-wise, during the ride, I was planning to take 3 scoops of Hammer Sustained Energy spread out over five mile increments.  Also, I was going to take a serving of Tropical Gel at 10 miles and 20 miles.  Plus, 30 minutes into the ride I was going to take 1 x Anti-Fatigue cap, 1 x Mito cap, and 2 x Endurolytes.  Finally, I measured out and carried 20 ounces of plain water in my aero bottle.  I stuck to the plan on Tropical Gel and capsules, but by the end of the ride, I had only finished 80% of my Sustained Energy.  I also finished off all my water somewhere along 63rd St., so somewhere in the 16-18 mile range.

Transition 2 was pretty quick, at 63 seconds.  My nutrition plan called for one more dose of capsules in transition so that I wouldn't have to carry them on the run: 1 x Anti-Fatigue, 1 x Mito, and 2 x Endurolytes.  I quickly stuck my head under a water jug at the exit of transition to help the pills go down and I was out on the run.

Coach Todd had set a pretty aggressive target for me on the run.  Miles 1 & 2 at 7:09 pace, miles 3 & 4 at 7:01 pace, and miles 5 & 6+ at 6:54 pace.  I have had issues with hopping off the bike and going out way too fast, so I dialed it back for the start.  I was cruising at about 7:18 pace as I got on the dirt path outside the rez, and felt like I'd just hold that until mile 1.  At mile 1, I was was at 7:17.  I picked up the pace and hit mile 2 in 7:07 and I took maybe half of serving of Tropical Gel.  Good!  Mile 3 had some rollers and a gradual uphill before the turnaround, and I had slowed to 7:28.  Time to go so I took another shot of Gel, hoping the caffeine and carbs would kick start me... mile 4 was 7:13, but I knew that was aided significantly by the gradual downhill slope.  Mile 5 proved what I knew: I was slowing down and I dropped to 7:33.  Mentally, I was pushing very hard and felt like I was going fast, but I was apparently just holding on!  I finished the run in 45:34, 1:44 behind my target, but still 1:54 faster then my 2012 split.

All-in-all I'm pleased with the result.  There's always room for improvement, but I feel like I'm dialing in my nutrition and I need to be more disciplined about following the race plan on the bike to set me up for my strongest suit of running.

One last thank you: to my wife who on race day was 36 weeks pregnant (just four weeks to go)!  Despite me insisting she didn't need to go, she still showed up, with our 3.5 year old son in tow, and cheered me on from the moment I jumped in the water through cleaning up my transition area!  The long training days in prep for Ironman are just around the corner, and I'm so lucky to have someone so supportive!

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