Thursday, June 26, 2014

Race Report: Ironman 70.3 Boulder by Jeremy Geer

Wait, it's June and I've already completed a half-Ironman race? It seems way too early in the season to be doing something his long!

I was the very last wave to start, and for some reason, the organizers for the race this year decided to separate the waves by a full five minutes. Net-net, while the race started at 7AM, I didn't take my first strokes until 8:30AM. I was bummed because it wasn't until I was done or near-done that I started to see any of the friends that I talk training with, a few of whom I never saw at all.

My swim was just OK. As normal, my strategy is to work hard on the swim, but not really push myself. Unfortunately, I was not focused appropriately and did not swim a very good line on the back stretch and the return stretch. My training buddy, Todd, said he had the same exact problem. I swam an extra 100+ yards as a result, and finished the swim in 39:29.

In prepping my bike for the race, Kirk loaned me his race wheels (thanks!), I had removed my normal water bottle cages, and I was going to exclusively use my aero bottle. I would refill it on the go at the bike aid stations with plane water - a strategy I used successfully in 2013. We had to check our bikes in the day before the race, and my plan was to put my bottle on race morning. The key here is not forgetting the aero bottle in my car! Luckily, I had so much time between race start and my wave start that I went back to the truck, took a 20 minute cat nap, and grabbed my bottle. Unfortunately, they would not let me in transition to put the bottle on the bike, so I had to set it just inside the barrier at the entrance to transition.

As a result, I grabbed the bottle on my way into transition, but I had a hard time getting the bottle mounted. I also seemed to really struggle to get my socks and arm warmers on this year. Something I've done very easily in the past. My other folly was getting my aero helmet on... for some reason I couldn't get the straps past my ears this time. The two items that did go well: I had my nutrition staged and stuffed it into my pockets, and a pretty smooth "flying mount" onto the bike out of transition.

My power target for the first 15 minutes on the bike was just 165w. I stuck to this pretty well which got me to the light at Broadway and 28th St, heading toward Lyons. My target power for the rest of the bike was 175w, with the green light to jump to 190w-200w on climbs. I actually felt like I was holding back to stay around 175w for 90% of the race, and I just kept telling myself that I still had a half-marathon to complete after the bike. Seeing my family with about six miles remaining gave me some extra energy to finish the bike! My weighted average power for the 56 miles was 186w, and was very consistent over the entire 56 miles (no drop at the end). I came into transition assuming I had ridden a PR on the course. I was wrong.

In 2013, I rode a weighted average power of 147w in 2:45:54, and I was fading at the end. Same bike, same body weight, same course in 2014, I was at 186w, but it took 22 seconds longer at 2:46:16?! I don't recall any wind, but others said there was a head wind on the second half of the ride, so Kirk's "there is no wind" must really be rubbing off on me!

T2 was also slow, but this wasn't me being clumsy, it was a trip to the port-o-potty (apparently I had hydrated VERY well!) and a reapplication of sunscreen.

The first 3 miles on the run I was holding back big time, again, telling myself that I still had a long way to go. About mile 4, I saw my family and slowed up to give my son a high five, and a mile later I saw another friendly face, my friend Jacquie. She was on her second lap, so I ran with her until about mile 6, which really energized me. Trying to hold a fast pace on the uphill section of the second lap was tough, and took a lot out of me. I saw my buddy John on the second lap as well and he was looking very strong, although you could tell the rising temperature was getting to those of us still on the course. The real struggle came around mile 11 as I headed south into some incredible wind. There were waves in the reservoir and I had to take off my visor to keep it from blowing away! I went from a 7:54/mile pace to 8:45/mile pace, yet my HR shot up by 10 BPM. I managed to finish the run in 1:48:58, which was spot on with my target of 1:49:00. A success in some respects, but disappointing because I know I burned a lot of fuel fighting the wind at the end.

In all, I had a successful race. I hit my targets on all three legs, even though I'm still perplexed how I rode slower at higher power compared to last year. Adam accurately pointed out that I gave up a lot of time and position with my transitions, something I'll remedy for future races. Also, I screwed up my nutrition in that I dropped one "dose" on the ground just an hour into the bike. Plus, I screwed up and only made enough for a four hour race, and shorted myself one more dose on the run, which I felt in my legs, but I don't think affected my time.

No comments:

Post a Comment