Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Boulder Peak Triathlon Race Report

By Jeremy Geer
Wow, I forgot how fun these shorter triathlons can be!  After all the long Ironman workouts and the 70.3 race this season, the Olympic distance felt short and fast!  I'm pretty certain my incredible wife, Mandy - who comes out for every one of these events - thought it was nice and short as well because she didn't have screaming crabby kids for hours on end.
I tried to get to bed early the night before so that I could get up early and not rush through transition.  Neither happened.  However, I did get set up without forgetting water bottles or nutrition or other follies that have hurt me in the past.  I also followed the lead of my Foxtrot teammate, Adam Gordon, and got in a swim warm up before the race.  It was just two laps in the swim area of the rez, so probably no more then 200 yards.
Adam and I were in the third wave, a great relief compared to being in the last wave which seems to be where I'm placed in many races.  Adam is a great swimmer, so my thought was to go out with him and "find feet," as he says.  Apparently, others know Adam's reputation as a fast swimmer and about nine other guys lined up behind his "feet."  I found myself in the middle of the washing machine, finding feet, thighs, arms, and I swear a fist or two.  Things settled down after a few hundred yards and I knew I was pushing my pace, but it felt good.  I managed to keep a pretty good line and get out of the water in 29:32, an improvement of about a minute from my 2013 effort.
T1 went smoothly.  Yes, you heard right, I didn't botch my transition!  My coach, Nick Waninger, gave me a number of tips, but his biggest thing was to concentrate on "wet suit off, helmet on."  I had my nutrition staged on the bike, attached my 310XT, and slipped my socks on without incident.  Nick also showed me how to use rubber bands to hold my shoes right-side-up in the pedals, which worked out great.  I did my best impression of Kirk and leaped onto the bike and was gone.
It wasn't until I hit the exit at the reservoir that I noticed I wasn't getting any power data.  The 310XT was on and running, I could see time and HR, but no power.  Turns out I had a dead battery in my power meter.  Based on a functional threshold test TT earlier in the week, Nick had prescribed for me to ride for 15 minutes at 200w, then the remainder at 220w, which is very high power compared to anything I've done in the past.  I was bummed I couldn't test the new power targets, but decided to use RPE and HR to measure my effort.  I saw my friend, Heather Dean, just past Hwy-36 and Broadway as I shifted into the higher intensity effort.  I think I could have pushed just a little harder, and I ended up missing my bike split target by 5:30.  However, I was feeling on top of the world when I zoomed past my wife and sons at Tom Watson Park/Cooter Lake, with my 4.5 year-old going ballistic with his cowbell.  It was one of my fastest bike splits ever and I was pretty happy with it at 1:11:35 (21.8 MPH).
I did manage to botch T2 slightly.  I was looking for Adam's orange bike on the end of the rack, and somehow ran right past it.  I had to circle back, and got out of T2 without any other mishaps.
And the run, oh, did I feel at home on a 10K run!  My targets were 7:17 for 2 miles, 7:09 for two miles, and 7:02for the last 2.2 miles.  I really held back to stay at exactly 7:17 for the first mile.  Mile two I was fast at 7:07.  Mandy and the boys were out cheering for us again a few hundred yards later and I slowed up to give Quinn a high-five.  Adam and I went by each other at about my mile 2.5, and he was already on his way back in and he was looking strong.  I estimated he was a mile ahead of me and figured I had little chance of catching him.  This must have gotten to me mentally a little as my third mile was 7:11.  I'm not sure what bit me in mile 4, but I got strong and ran 6:56 and saw my family one more time for another cow bell crazed high-five.  I also saw Heather again on her way out, and she was looking fast, with a really high cadence.  I passed by another friend, Jacquie, along the damn as she was picking off a number of slower runners.  I hit my target pace of 7:02 on mile 5, then I consciously decided to push hard and not bother looking at my watch.  Mile 6 was 6:52, which was my fastest mile of the day!  I think it was just after I made that decision that I caught up with Adam.  I did my best to encourage him to finish with me, but he was running on E, so I soldiered on to a 43:58 run split.
Grand total, I managed to race a 2:29:39 and finish 28th in the age group (them suckers is fast).  I had a blast being able to see so many friends this race!  As always, most of the credit for my successful race goes to Mandy; not only does she bring the kids out for every race, but she takes them on while I'm out on my ridiculously long and frequent training workouts.  And she's even finding time to train for her first triathlon on August 10th!  Just three more weeks until Ironman Boulder, after which I'm sure she's going to hand me the kids and disappear for an entire weekend...

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