July 19, 2010

Boulder 70.3 bike ride

I started freaking out a little bit last week about how I only had 3 weekends left before my HIM, so my husband suggested that we drive up to Boulder Saturday afternoon so I could ride my HIM course.  I was more than thrilled!  So, Saturday after my husband got back from his long bike ride, we loaded up the boys and all our stuff and headed to Boulder.  We got to the reservoir, where the course starts, and my husband got my bike ready while I went to change.  The first thing I noticed when I got out of the car was how HOT it was!  It was about 99 degrees and I instantly started sweating.  I had to change in one of the port-a-potties and it literally felt like a sauna in there!  Ugh!  
Pretty soon I was ready to go.  I gave my boys and husband kisses and hugs and took off.  My husband wanted to take our boys to play in the reservoir, but he didn't want to be there for 3 hours, so they took off to run some errands and we agreed to meet back up at the swim beach when I was done.

Here is the profile of the course:
 It is a two loop course, so I was anxious and excited to see what it would be like.  The first part of the course, after you leave the reservoir, is actually on Highway 36.  It is a very busy highway, but it has a pretty decent shoulder to ride on.  Even with the shoulder, there were some cars that got a little too close to me and I got really freaked out.  The highway is where you climb, and you just keep going up and up with some small downhill portions mixed in to keep it interesting.  I knew the name of the road I had to turn on and I kept passing road after road, and just kept saying, "Come on St. Vrain road."  Finally, I saw the sign for it and I was so happy.  I turned Rt. and it is a great downhill road that keeps going and going.  There are some gradual inclines, but for the most part it's flat and fast.  I loved it!

St. Vrain Road is actually a beautiful road.  I passed by mostly farms and lots of horses that were some of the most beautiful horses that I have ever seen.  But, it was HOT and I really didn't feel like eating anything.  There is not a lot of shade on the bike course, which I didn't expect there to be, and I was going through my bottles very quickly.  I had my aero bottle filled with water, a bottle filled with a 1:3 Gatorade/water mix, and a bottle of water with Nuun in it.  I thought that would be enough, but after drinking 1 1/2 bottles before I even made it to the second loop, I knew I was in trouble.

I felt great on the first loop and was ready to do it again.  This time around, I knew what to expect, so mentally it was a lot easier.  But, when I turned back onto HW 36 and started climbing again, my legs felt so tired.  I knew I needed to start taking in more nutrition or else I would be toast!  I started climbing and got passed by some guy that literally looked like he could be in the Tour de France.  He just flew by me!  But, I kept him in my sights and that really helped me pick up my pace, dig deep, and make it to the turn off.  I got to the downhill and just flew!  My max speed at one point was 36.4 MPH!

With about 30 minutes to go I ran out of water.  I didn't really know what to do because I was in the middle of nowhere surrounded by farms.  I seriously thought about stopping at a house and asking for some water, but decided against it.  I just kept going and knew that I would be finished soon.  My speed slowed down a little at this point because I was so thirsty, but I still felt pretty good heading into the home stretch.
I was so happy to make it back to the reservoir and my husband and boys were waiting for me at the swim beach with icy cold beverages! Ahhhh :)

There was an out and back section of the course that I didn't do, so I ended up riding a little under 54 miles in 2:44.  I was thrilled to see that my average speed, with a couple of stops, was 19.6MPH!  I can only hope that that number will go up when I'm actually racing!  Although, who knows what I'll feel like coming off a 1.2M swim.

Overall, I felt great and it gave me a nice confidence boost for my race.  I am so glad that I was able to ride the course beforehand, so mentally I know I will be prepared for it come race day.  One thing I know for sure is that I will definitely be taking advantage of the aid stations on the bike course this time around.  For my first HIM, it was 50 degrees out and I didn't even need 3 water bottles.  But, I know it's probably going to be super hot on race day and I need to stay well hydrated if I don't want to collapse on the shadeless run!  Plus, hot bottles of Gatorade and Nuun are just not that appetizing!  :)


Oh..I almost forgot!  To celebrate having over 100 followers (woohoo!) I am doing a fun giveaway sometime this week!  Yay!  So, look for it in the days to come! :)  

28 comments:

AM-GoalsfortheWeek! said...

Yeah!! You will SO do a a great bike mph! You got it girl!

and funny for me with Vineman, it actually ended up NOT being hot (a rarity) so I was almost too hydrated thru the race.

Kelly said...

19.6!!! That is awesome on such a hilly course! Nice job!

almostveganblog.com said...

Yay, congrats on the great ride!
I've got a giveaway going this week too :]

Amber

Jeff - DangleTheCarrot said...

Great ride, sounds like you killed it out there!

ShutUpandRun said...

I know that course well. I run on St. Vrain Rd. all the time. You are def in the middle of nowhere!! Nice job doing that ride on such a hot day. and 19.6!!!!

Regina said...

That is great! I know how doing the course can really soothe your fears, I did the same and wouldn't feel calm until I got that pre-race ride in.

Your hubby wins big points for 1) suggesting you do this to make you feel better 2) for having icy cold beverages waiting for you when you finished.

I assume too that there will be a bottle exchange in your race? so you wont have to worry about running out of fluids.

Christi said...

Great job on the ride! I did Boulder last year as a relay and it will be hot. Definitely make sure you take advantage of all the aid stations!

Congrats on 100 followers!

Emz said...

Amazing job. IN the HEAT too?! You are awesome.

teacherwoman said...

Great job on the ride! That's awesome that you had the chance to get out and ride the course before the big day!

Caratunk Girl said...

That is so cool you did your HIM ride this weekend too! :) Great job, amazing pace! That is awesome! I need to dial in that nutrition and fluids too! That tour guy probably doesn't swim 1.2 for a warm-up nor run 13.1 for a cool down so THHHHHHH. Looking forward to your giveaway!

trifitmom said...

awesome job, i think i alway underestimate what an advantage it is to know the course.

joyRuN said...

Port-a-pot sauna - YUCK.

Nicely done! 19.6mph for 54mi is waaaay impressive.

Barb said...

19.6 is so impressive for such a hilly course. You will be so glad you had this experience come race day.
Almost time for taper!!

I did Timberman last year and rode about 2/3 of the course before race day.
This year I am doing Steelhead and will (at best) get to drive a portion of it because we are not driving up to Michigan until the day before the race.

Good Luck!!

Alisa said...

wow that's an awesome avg no way am I going to be anywhere near that fast!

Way to get in a great, fast, confidence building training ride.

Jon said...

Holy downhill! Awesome speed average! You are gonna rock that course in three weeks!

Trish said...

Super job! You should be very proud of yourself! That's a heck of a speedy ride :)

Julie said...

Wow great job girl!!!!! Rode that course Sunday morning, but not with those speeds! 19.6 Wow! That first 6ish miles are crazy aren't they? While your not really going that uphill it is certainly a little tougher then you might think....LOVE St. Vrain! It is so pretty and peaceful! You are gonna rock that race!

Kristin (Triathlon Dreams) said...

Great job!!! Good luck at your Race!!!

P said...

That course elevation looks pretty tough - excellent job!! You are definitely race ready!

Kathleen said...

Glad you had the chance to ride the course. Good job out there! I was out there a few weeks ago to ride the Peak course and then we road the HIM course once so I could get a taste of it. (we stopped at the Holiday Inn twice though to use the bathroom and refill our bottles.. so we cheated a bit).
St Vrain is fun. 36 is a bit hairy with all the traffic. Diagonal Parkway was the same way. There was lots of traffic during the Peak Race. don't these Boulder people sleep on Sundays? :)
I think I will go back up there this weekend and ride th full course and at least drive part of the run course. I have experienced the second half of the run but haven't seen the first half and that is apparently where the hills are (UGH!)

You mentioned that you had three water bottles with you. Do you have places for two bottles on your bike for bottle holders? I only have one. I to am going to have to use the aid stations on the bike. An aero bottle and one other bottle will never cut it. Hoping for a coudy day :)

DRog said...

GREAT RIDE!!! I know the area Hwy36 and StVrain....you did great
-D

onelittletrigirl said...

I bet that training ride makes a world of difference when it comes to race day! Way to rock it even when the cars got to close ( I would freak out too!!)

Colleen said...

Awesome job on the ride! You are going to do amazing in the race! I always think you race faster than you train, even with the swim before! :)

Julie said...

Hi Aimee,
Awesome job on your challenging bike ride! You are doing so great with all of your training!

Congrats on your 100 followers!

KC (my 140 point 6 mile journey) said...

I'm glad to read that you were able to get out on the course and do a test ride. Helps settle the mind down a bit and build up your confidence. I can't believe how much more I find myself needing to drink as the temps have really heated up. And even then, I feel like it's never enough. Thank goodness for all the aid stations in a race.

Paula (Adventure Junkie Mom) said...

Happy you got to ride the course. I think that makes a huge difference. Your speed is rockin'! Great job, especially on all of those hills. You are going to do so great!

Big Daddy Diesel said...

Lol port a pot suana, gross

Great ride, you rocked it

kyle said...

I'm impressed with your 19.6 but mostly I'm in awe over your husband. Mine, while supportive and not giving too many complaints over my training hours, would never offer to take the family while I did a 3 hr ride to prep for a race. Nice!