August 9, 2010

Feelin' HOT, HOT, HOT - Boulder 70.3 Race Report

Boulder 70.3 Race Report:
Thank you all for your emails and good luck wishes!  I thought about them all during my race! :)
Now let me warn you, this may be a little long!
Pre-race:
My family and I drove up to Boulder Saturday mid-morning to do the whole packet pick-up and expo thing.  I was actually looking forward to the expo because I thought an Ironman branded 70.3 would have some good vendors.  We got to the expo, I got my packet, and started walking through the vendors.  What a disappointment!  I walked away from the expo with nothing but my race packet. :(  Not that I "needed" anything, but it's always fun to find something you can't live without.


The race swag:  A very cool wicking shirt, an awesome blue/black bag, water bottle, wheaties, eye drops, a not-so-cool poster, and a book full of awesome coupons!







Anyways, we decided to just stay the night in Boulder so we didn't have to make multiple trips to/from Denver.  We went to dinner at Pasta Jay's (yum!), then headed back to our hotel.  Because our hotel was pretty close to the race site, I just decided to ride my bike to the race in the morning.  That way my husband and boys didn't have to wake up super early to drive me there.
I got up at 4:30, ate my bagel with PB and honey, loaded up all of my stuff, and headed to the race.  It actually worked out great!  It only took me about 25 minutes to get to the race and I passed tons and tons of cars that were waiting to get in and park!  Woohoo!
I got to transition, racked my bike according to bib number, and set up all of my stuff.  Then, I proceeded to wait for 15 minutes to use the port-a-potty!  Are you kidding me?  It was so ridiculous!  I finally made it to the front, did my thing, and literally had to run back to my transition spot to get my swim stuff because I only had 5 minutes until transition closed! The sucky thing was that transition closed at 6:20, but my swim wave didn't start until 7:10.  I put my wetsuit on, grabbed a gu and my swim stuff, and headed out to the water.

I felt really good as I was waiting for my wave to start.  I wasn't too nervous, and was just ready to do it!  As you know, I was worried about the heat, but I had come to terms with the fact that it was going to be hot and I was just going to have to do the best I could.  As I was waiting I got to see Andy Potts complete his 1.2M swim in 23 minutes!  He came up the swim shoot and everyone just broke out in cheers and applause.  It was just awesome!  He ended up winning and finished in 3:46:50!  That is just amazing!

Swim:
Those who have been following me for awhile know that my swim is my weakest discipline.  You also know that I tend to get really panicky and freak out in the water.  They called our wave into the water and a sense of calmness came over me.  The water temp. was perfect, the atmosphere was so exciting, and I was just ready to go!  It was a weird sensation because usually I'm a nervous wreck before the swim start!   I really think the Aquaman races helped prepare me for this.  The horn sounded and we were off!  I have to say that this was the best race swim that I have ever done!  I didn't panic once and I never reverted to the breast stroke except to go around the turn buoys.  I felt awesome and smooth in the water and it was such a great feeling!  I had no idea how fast I was going, but I was just happy to be having a panic free swim.  I saw the finish arch and swam as hard as I could.  I got out, ran up the long sandy hill, and headed into transition.


Swim Stats:  1.2M   Time: 42:20 (including running from water to transition)
*  I know that isn't a fast time, but honestly, I am happy with how I did.  Yes, I would have liked to have swam faster, but the fact that I was comfortable in the water and didn't panic is good enough for me!  Now that I feel I have the "panic" issue in control, my next goal will be to work on gaining speed!

T1: 
This was pretty uneventful.  I had a little bit of trouble getting my wetsuit off my right foot so that wasted some time.  Also, my rack was towards the far corner of transition, so I had a ways to run.
Time: 2:48   (I didn't feel this slow, but it is what it is!)

Bike:
I hopped on my bike and headed out.  There were a lot of riders leaving transition at the same time and it was pretty crowded.  The bike consisted of two loops and I had ridden the course last month so I knew what to expect.  I felt great on the bike and got into a nice rhythm pretty quickly.  I got passed by a lot of lean looking guys with aero helmets, tri bikes, and carbon wheels.  The majority of the men started behind me in the swim, so I was expecting that to happen.  But, I'm happy to say that I only got passed by maybe a handful of women!  Woohoo!  The first lap went great.  I felt fast and smooth and passed a lot of people.  At the start of the 2nd loop I was excited because I knew I was half way done.  I started to get a little tense in my neck and shoulders which kind of sucked, but I think it was because I was grabbing my aero bars so tight. I need to learn to have a more relaxed grip when I race.  I switched up my position from time to time to give my neck a break and it seemed to help a little.  Finally, I was ready to head back towards transition. I saw my husband and boys on the sidelines ringing their cowbells and cheering me on!  It was great to see them and was just what I needed!  :)

My husband took this picture while I passed by and headed into transition.  It's a little blurry, but I thought I'd post it anyways!  I was so ready to be done with the bike at this point.







Bike Stats:  56M
Time: 2:42:38    Avg. Pace: 20.66mph 
Woohoo!  I was so happy with this time and pace! :)

T2:
I took a little bit of time in T2 to put on more sunblock (this ended up being futile in the end) and use the bathroom, but it was needed!
Time: 3:12  (Horrible time, but whatever!)

Run:
Oh my god!  Did you notice the title of my post:  "Feelin' hot, hot, hot?"  Well, let's just say that the sun was merciless on that run course.  I headed out of transition and my legs felt like lead.  My hamstrings were so tight and I was a little worried.  But, I know that it usually takes me a mile or so to get my "running legs" so I wasn't panicked.  However, the lovely race people decided to put 3 big hills within the first 3 miles of the run. The first hill was painful, but I ran up it fine.  The second hill was tough and I thought about walking, but didn't.  The third hill just sucked all of the energy out of me.  There was an aid station on that hill, so I decided to walk and get a wet sponge to pour all over me.  It was heaven!  I started up again and my legs still felt really tired and heavy.  I kept looking at my Garmin and I was keeping a good pace, but I just felt off.  It was so hot and I could feel the sun burning my skin.  I decided that I was going to grab a sponge and cup of water to pour on me at every aid station and that is exactly what I did.  I had my Nathan handheld bottle with me full of Nuun, but it only lasted 5 miles before it was completely out.  From then on, I stopped at every aid station for either Gatorade or water.  Normally, I don't have to drink something every mile, but I honestly felt like I needed to during that run.  Oh, and the wet sponge were life savers.  They were awesome!

The run consisted of two loops, so around mile 6.5 we had to run right next to the finish shoot to start our 2nd loop.  This really sucked!  I was running with some racers and while some of them headed to the finish, I knew I still had 6.5 miles to go.  It was really hard mentally to keep going.  My hamstrings were still so tight and my left knee started hurting a little bit and I was really bummed because I knew I wasn't going to have a "great" run.  I did the whole negative self talk thing and had a little pity party for about a mile and then decided to change my mindset.  I decided to forget about my goal, stop looking at my Garmin, and just do my best to make it to the finish.  When I came upon the hills, I walked up them as fast as I could and I didn't even think twice about it.  I hardly ever walk in races, but I knew it was the best thing for me to do and I was o-kay with it.  It actually ended up being a pretty good strategy though because while I got passed by some people running up the hill, I would always pass them back once the course was flat again.  I do have to say though that I have never been in a race where so many people were walking during the run.  It was crazy!  I honestly do not think that anyone was immune to that heat.  It just really sucks the energy out of you.

At mile 8 I decided to try a cup of Coke.  I don't know why I decided to do this, because I do not drink Coke or any soda for that matter.  But, something about it just sounded so good.  I grabbed a cup, drank it down, and it tasted so good!  And, the best part about it was that I think I had the best mile after drinking that.  I got an almost instant energy boost and was able to start picking up the pace a little.  My clif shot bloks were a gooey, melted mess, so I started to grab bananas at the aid stations to eat.  They were awesome and so much better than gu or shot bloks.

Finally, I had 2 miles to go.  I was so happy!  I could see the tents by the finish line in the distance and they looked so far away.  I told myself to just keep running for a little while longer and then I would be done.  I picked up the pace as much as I could.  The last .1 mile was awesome because it was lined with spectators.  It gave me another energy boost to hear everyone cheering, ringing cowbells, and saying my name (our names were on our bib), that I picked it up again, even though it hurt, and sprinted into the finish shoot!  I crossed the finish line, heard my name being announced, said a loud, "Woohoo!" and almost fell over.  The timing chip people steadied me while they took off my chip, handed me a water and medal, and led me to a grassy patch to sit down in.  I was so happy to be done!

Check out the salt stains on my hat.  Umm..yeah, I was sweating like a pig!  When I finished, I felt my face.  You know what it's like when you stick your hands in a bag of potato chips and they come out all salty?  That is exactly how my face felt.  I had salt all over, it was just crazy!




Run Stats:  13.1M     Time:  2:05:15 (avg. pace: 9:33/M) 
 *  I knew my run time was not going to be great, but considering how I was feeling, I was o-kay with it.  This was actually the slowest I have ever run a half marathon, but it was also the first time running 13.1 miles in hell.  O-kay, so I know I wasn't in hell, but it sure felt like it! :)

Overall Thoughts:
I love the finisher medal with the mountains in the background!  We also got a hat, which I think is cool, but because I have a peanut head, I won't be able to wear it.  It looks like my husband is getting a new hat!


Overall Time:  5:36:13

Although the HIM I did last year was a completely different course, and the weather was in the 50s the entire time, my goal for this race was to beat my first HIM time, which was 5:42.  I honestly did not think I was going to beat that time and had pretty much given up on that goal during the 2nd loop of the run.  But, when I got home and realized I got a PR I was completely surprised!  
I am happy with my time, but I feel like I can't even really call it a PR because it WAS so different from my first half ironman.  Ya know?  


So, what I really took away from this race is not a PR, but:
* A new confidence in the swim.  You can not imagine (or maybe you can) how great it felt not to panic and just be able to swim smoothly in the water.  That is a feeling I will take with me to every race that I do from now on.
*  Knowing what it's like to go fast on the bike.  I was so happy with my bike time and average pace!  
*  Knowing that it's o-kay to walk when I need to in a race and not feel bad about it or think that it makes me less of a runner.  
*  Knowing that I could not have done any of it without the support of my husband.  He is amazing and I am so lucky to have him in my life.  Did I mention that when I finally met up with my husband after I finished he handed me an icy cold bottle of chocolate milk and a bag of ice to put over my shoulders.  It was just what I needed!
*  And, the last thing I will take away from this race is the importance of using sunscreen.  Although I applied and did my best to reapply, the sun won this fight:




I loved my Zoot tri top, but the mesh panel on the back led to some crazy burned spots.






Ouch!








Thank you again for all of your well wishes!  I hope you all had a good weekend!  I'm a little behind on reading your blogs but I'll get to them soon! :)

67 comments:

Alison and Karen said...

Nice job! Holy cow your bike time is phenomenal! It took me 4 hours to complete mine! I guess I have a lot of work to do!

Alisa said...

Wow, talk about HOT! You did fantastic!!!!!!!!!!!!! Way to smash your old PR.

Swimming without panicking is huge.

Your bike and run times were amazing!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Runners Fuel said...

Good job!!

Java Joggers said...

I enjoyed your race report... awesome race.

trifitmom said...

awesome job and loved the post. i am so so so beyond impressed. the bike is super fast !!! and your run is faster than my half that i did WITHOUT doing anything else !!!!

rockstar

SSB said...

Woohoo! Congrats on a great race. Sounds like you executed it perfectly. Awesome bike split too.

Kathleen said...

Great job Aimee!
I am so glad you had a great swim. That is huge!
I have some great sunburn areas also. My left ear is fried as well as numerous other areas.
Those hills were something huh? Sometimes walking is the way to go.
We missed you at the BT pic but it sounds like you were in the port-a-potty line at the time.

Diana Tries-A-Tri! said...

Amazing job! That's so incredible, you should be so proud of yourself! The swim (in my opinion) is the scariest part by far, and getting into a great pace and just doing what you know how to do feels awesome. Way to go!

ONEHOURIRONMAN said...

Great times on the bike and run (and swim was solid mid packer)... and nice sunburn. Glad it turned out so well. Your pics are a great reminder to me to not forget the sunscreen in 3 weeks. thanks.

J. L. said...

YEAH! I've been trying to find the courage to sign up for Boise 70.3 and your blog got me even more excited about it.

P said...

Aimee, I'm SOOOOOOO happy for you!! What a wonderful race - you are such a rock star! Congrats on not panicking in the water, rocking an incredible bike time and staying tough in a super hot run! Wear that medal with pride!!

almostveganblog.com said...

You are such a rockstar! A 2:05 half marathon after all that swimming and biking is nothing to sniff at - I can't run a half marathon that fast on its own! CONGRATS!!

Amber Shea @Almost Vegan

Kelly said...

Nice job! THat is a smokin' fast bike time!! Congrats!

Suzy said...

Wow, you did amazing! Congrats on the 70.3!

track coach and adorable wife said...

You are a beast! Nice job. I am so glad the swim worked out so well for you. I think that is the part I most scared of too! But even if I freak out and have to doggy paddle I WANT to DO this!

Seriously, you are just too awesome!

AM-GoalsfortheWeek said...

OMG! I was SO thinking of you this weekend.

You SMOKED the bike! that's awesome! I only got to scan your report, as I'm about to go out to dinner, but will check back to read it word for word;-)

woo-hoo! nice!!

WannabeRunner said...

Amazing amazing job! Reading this is such an inspiration! Congrats :)

Kirk (GottaTri) said...

Thanks for the detailed race report. I feel like I was there. I haven't been to Boulder in 12 years. Pasta Jays was awesome. Spent some time at the Boulder Salad Company too, but not sure its still there. Good job on race!

Kelley said...

Wow, what a great report - I felt like I was there. Way to go!!

DRog said...

You did GREAT! you kicked butt in the S/B & R! especially in that heat !!! Congratulations that's awesome...

-Derek

Jeff - DangleTheCarrot said...

Great job Aimee and thanks for sharing with a nice race report!

Wish it were Sunday... said...

What a warrior? My sister kicks ASS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! WOO HOO Pumpa!!! Hey I may be chubby and lazy and super slow come october, but I will have the heat advantage! Ha ha j/k.... go soak and relax. So proud of you! :):):)

Jon said...

Awesome awesome AWESOME job Aimee!!! You did so phenomenal, and nice bike btw! Its the Blue P2 that really makes us go faster, right ;)

You aren't kidding about the heat! You now have "wings" with the burns on your back. Its SO hard to get sunscreen there.

Rest up! You deserve it!

ShutUpandRun said...

We drove by all of the bikers on the diagonal yesterday a.m. and I was SO thinking of you. You did SO well. Congrats. I wanna do it next year too. You in?? I think running a half at a 9:33 pace in the heat after everything else is amazing!

Barb said...

I was thinking about you on Sunday and hoping you were having a great race....WOW, amazing job.
Glad your swim was a breakthrough
SUPER FAST on your bike, that is an AWESOME split....
and 2:05 seems a great job in the heat on your run!

Take some rest, and make sure you give yourself a few pats on the back!!

Lindsey said...

Holy cow. You're AWESOME!!

Julie said...

Girl you are fast! What a race you had! Congrats on a fantastic race!

I've experienced the same thing with the swim this year, it really is a great feeling to actually enjoy the swim!

I sure hope that you, Kathleen and I can get the chance to meet up at the Iron Girl tri later this month. Maybe if I touch you I can get faster, you think? :)

Velma said...

AWESOME! AWESOME!!! Nice work. What a great, fast race.

Barbie said...

An absolutely big CONGRATULATIONS is headed your way from Aus. Well done.You are totally inspirational.

Julie said...

Hi Aimee,
Oh my God, you did so good! I think that you kicked ass:) You are so freaking fast on your bike...I don't know how you do it! I am also impressed with your half marathon time! Remember, I am still attempting to get 1:50 to 1:45 for mine:) I love the picture that your hubby took of you biking! You look great Aimee! Congrats on a wonderful finish...you have every reason to be proud!

Melissa said...

Congrats on a great finish and a PR! That is amazing! You did great!

Jon Gilchrist said...

you friggin rock!!!

Colleen said...

Amazing! :) You kicked major butt girl! You should be so proud of yourself (I'm in awe of your bike split!)

Cynthia O'H said...

Amazing job. Your picture doesn't look blurry at all; you look fast!

And, congrats on the PR - especially with tough conditions.

Jill said...

Awesome job, way to crank out that run in that heat! I just can't imagine - I'd so be whining! That's so great you PR'd on a much harder, and hotter, course - woohoooo!!! Congratulations to you!!

45before35 said...

Amazing, Amazing...you should be proud of each leg. I seriously can't imagine. You have to be a hero to your kids.

TRI-james said...

Super fast. Congrats!

Christi said...

Congratulations on a great race in hot conditions! I am so happy that you found your swim confidence! I can't wait to get there. Plus, you kicked it on the bike. Your average speed rocked! Girl, you are an inspiration!

Keep up the good work!

liz said...

Congrats ! Great race !

I dream of the day when I can swim 1.2 miles in 42 minutes !! I'm so slow ! I've been feeling much more calm in the water though so I definitely know what a big accomplishment that is. Well done !

catchgretch said...

Awesome race! I would kill for a bike split that FAST! Way to go!! And there's no shame in walking the hills—hello, still a fast 1/2 mary! You rock!

Ryan said...

Good work! I'm hoping to get signed up for Boulder 70.3 next year.

Regina said...

Wow, wow, wow! Aimee, great race and a great time! Your bike split is fantastic and your run time is super, despite walking. I'd take it!

I also was disappointed at the lack of vendors at an Ironman branded event, boo! AT least you got a nice water bottle in your bag, not I!!

I hear you about the Coke thing. I also do not drink soda, but for some reason I crave it when my energy stores are low.

Great job!!

funderson said...

geez..OUCH! Well done, Aimee. It sounds like you made it work..hot or no and you looked great doing it.
I've had the same experience with the Coke..it is really good sometimes!

Paula (Adventure Junkie Mom) said...

What a GREAT job!!! Congrats to you! Funny thing...your HIM and my Ironman sound the same. Me? Freak out in the H2O usually, and on race day I went in an swam totally calm. And the hot run. Yep same here. And I also tried Coke for the first time, and it gave me a great kick. Our CdA course runs you 2 loops and right by the finish, and this was the point for me also, that was the toughest. And that is where I told my hubby "I was done"....and I still had 13 miles to go. =@
Way to hang in there, tough it out, and in the end you did FANTASTIC!! OUCHIE on the sunburn.

Amanda - RunToTheFinish said...

wow that is crazy exciting and terrifing for me to read all at the same time!! I have a friend that really wants me to do one, but I'm not sure I'm as tough as you.

also check out this giveaway for a triathlon pendant!

http://runtothefinishgiveaways.blogspot.com/2010/08/triclique-pendant-giveaway.html

Teresa said...

Congratulations! We had very similar experiences with our 70.3's and it was fun to read your report! I had an (unusually) relaxed swim which meant more to me than a blazing time so I could totally relate. I also had a miserable run. The Florida 70.3 may not have hills but the heat was dangerous. Just like you said, there were more people walking than running. Congrats again on a fantastic race! Now sit back, relax and bask in the glory of your successes!

mostlyfitmom said...

Thanks for sharing your story! Sounds like you ended up having a great race, despite the heat :)

Alex said...

Amazing bike time! Way to go!

Kelly said...

Great job on the HIM. I loved reading your report on it. I have been doing the dunk 'n dashes in hopes to help my swim anxiety, but last night's was my worst to date. Not quite sure what's going on, so I hope I can gain the confidence you have gotten this summer! And AWESOME bike time! Amazing job, all around! I did the Boulder Olympic and would love to do a HIM, but with the young kiddos, not quite sure it's in the cards for me any time soon. :) Luckily I love the Olympic distance!
Great job!

Big Daddy Diesel said...

You are such a ROCKSTAR!!! Congrats!!! And a PR on top of it in a race where 500 people didnt even bother to start because of the heat.

I heard that either the finishers medal or hat is wrong, someone said it reads 1.2 swim 56 bike 13.1 SWIM!! does yours say that?

Kathy said...

I wasn't going to post because you have so many already, but what the heck. Sounds like a great job!

Amanda said...

Amazing race Aimee! Congratulations! Especially on conquering your swimming anxiety! I am new to the sport, but can relate to the panic during the ows. It's comforting to know that even the seasoned athletes like you have experienced it and that it does get better with time. Great race and thanks for sharing it!
Amanda

Kristin (Triathlon Dreams) said...

Nice job!!! Awesome bike!! Great job on calming your anxiety during a swim. Its all about keeping relaxed and you pulled it off!! Congrats!!

onelittletrigirl said...

I think you should be very proud of yourself- especially for finding a calm in the water and for your awesome bike time! Don't negate how amazing you did by saying "it wasn't fast" and stuff- you did YOUR RACE and you did awesome!!!

Congrats!

Angela and David said...

Congrats! Way to PR on a hot day. And an amazing bike. If you figure out a way to beat the sun while racing, let me know!

Heidi Austin said...

wow sooo rockstar! awesome time and super solid splits across the board. sooo freakin excited and proud of you! yay for the PR :) so much to be happy about~

Running and living said...

Awesome race! Love the report. You are a speed demon on the bike! Wow! I'll think about you during my first HIM in 3 weeks!

Ironman By Thirty said...

Awesome race! I agree with all of your bullet points of things you learned during this race - especially the sunscreen one :)

Caratunk Girl said...

Awesome RR! Sorry I am so late in responding, I am very behind in my bloggy reading! I loved how you wrote what you took away from the race (Which, by the way was a blazing time, PR or not!) I had fun stalking you! :) OH And that is awesome about the swim confidence!

Victory is Finishing said...

Awesome race...wow you rocked it for sure!
Found your site thru onelittletrigirl Jillian.
Great Race report.
Brian
P.S.Ouch on that sunburn....but I guess a badge of honor, TRI on!

Jill Costantino said...

Fantastic job - WOOHOO! Can you hear me...WOOHOO! Way to go out there!
P.S. Getting back from vacay and slowly getting caught up on reading blogs those cookies look delicious!

Alinda said...

Great job on your race!!! It is completely inspiring!

Shannon said...

congrats!! such an inspiration :)

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

Sorry I'm late to the party but was thinking about you and wouldn't miss reading this race report for anything. You did AWESOME chic! We are a very close match on all 3 disciplines. I have a feeling that you just wrote my 1/2 iron race report for me...although mine isn't until Sept 12, it's gonna be a scorcher for sure. Congrats! I really love the bike picture too.

Charisa said...

Congrats congrats on Boulder - so awesome, you rocked it!

lindsaybrust said...

Congrats on your HIM in Boulder last year, and thank you for posting about your experience!

I've run a few marathons and I've done a century bike ride and I just signed up for my first 70.3 - the Boulder Half Ironman this August of 2011. I'm excited and nervous. Do you have any tips for a first timer?

Dawn said...

I've been trying to find posts on 70.3's and yours went great!!! I have my Olympic Distance coming up...then 2 weeks later is a 70.3
Think I would be nuts to try it? I have done every single distance of a HIM...I just have never put them all together...
Thoughts? I'm looking for sane advice...as I feel a tad insane trying to figure out if I should do this or not. My heart says DO IT....my mind says "crazy"....