Seven of our RTTC athletes toed the sandy line June 11 to compete in a hot, hot HOT Boulder Ironman 70.3. Temperatures soared up to near 100 degrees but it felt much hotter out on the shadeless reservoir where most of the race took place. Proper hydration and a positive mentality was key for our athletes and I am SO proud of the amazing performances by all. These ladies know how to tough it out like champs during a challenging race, so make sure to check out some of their perspectives about how the race went below!
Adriana Giorgetti: Perspective
Swim: It was a PR for me and I felt pretty good. I didn't struggle at all, it felt really natural and I still had some swimming in my tank at T1. In hindsight, I should have brought food to the beach before the start - a banana would have worked pretty well. And coffee. Maybe a pizza :)
Bike: I stopped to help a bike wreck on Diagonal. The girl was unresponsive and I was stopping cars to call 911. Horrible. Getting back to my race mojo was not easy, but on the upside my average pace was still higher than in any training day. Combination of CarbPro and baby food worked pretty well. **Does a happy dance**
The Downside: my neck was and is a mess. I took 4 Advils and nothing seemed to soothe with the pain. I stopped to stretch and for the first time it didn't help. Plus, I have a saddle sore the size of Japan now. And I lost my Torpedo bottle, dang it!
Run: Hell, that first loop was HARD. Second loop started slow but after a while I was in the "finish as fast as I can so I can get out of the sun" mode. Nutrition was good too from oranges to sucking ice cubes and everything in between on the second loop; lost my Salomon flask along the way so I was down one shot of carbpro.
Lori Colleran: Perspective
My husband, Tim, and I arrived bright and early race morning. I was seeded in wave 19 of 19, but per Coach Sonja's guidance I wasn't too worried about it. It was going to be hot for everyone and don't stress over things you can't control.
Swim: I'm a slow swimmer so I positioned myself toward the left and back of the pack with about 20% of the field behind me. I thought I was in a good place, but sure enough I was soon stuck between breast strokers and a back stroker who was surprisingly speedy. I spent the first third of the course navigating around these folks and zig-zagged quite a bit, but I finished feeling happy with the consistency and steadiness of my effort.
Bike: I had a pretty serious bike accident about two years ago and I am still dealing with the fix-up process, so to say I am now cautious on the bike would be an understatement. I am so grateful to be back out there though and I would rather feel comfortable and safe and not worry about the time I give up. I saw a woman down about mile 8 and the first responders were already on the scene. My heart fell for her.
I chugged along on the course. I was passed by some on the downhills and passed a few on the uphills/flats. I didn't feel overly hot, which was great.
Run: I heeded Sonja's advice and put ice in a plastic zip-lock bag in my tri top - BEST IDEA EVER! It really did make me feel cooler. I slogged around the first loop running some but walking up the hills and more of the course. Although I thought my nutrition/hydration was on point, I started to feel nauseous, gassy and a little bitter. I saw Sonja and Mikki several times and it was fantastic to hear their words of encouragement. I made my way to the start of the second loop and it wasn't as awful as I thought it would be to pass the finish line.
I felt like this race was just a finish, yet I was still genuinely surprised at how slow I was. Although I was disappointed at first, I've had time to process the race and I can look at it from a different perspective. I know each of us struggles at times and what should drive us is doing the best we can on any given day based on the conditions.
Julia Sanderson: Perspective
I admit I was nervous race morning, but not nearly as much as I thought I would be. I think I just knew Sonja, Mikki, and Audra gave me the training and tools to do it, so my mind was settled.
Swim: It went well for me—I actually passed people (yay me!). Looking back, I know I could have (and should have) pushed harder than I did, but first 70.3, so lesson learned. Sometime after I made the last buoy turn for shore, one of my goggles started filling up. I kept trying to empty it and reseal it but it just wouldn’t cooperate, so I kept my left eye closed for what seemed like an eternity until I got to T1. I swam like a pirate—ARGH!! I REALLY had to pee, and I tried before exiting the water, but couldn’t.
Bike: The bike was mostly what I expected, though I’m not good or confident about making tight turns. There was a bad bike pileup along the highway ahead of me—I saw paramedics going there before I reached it. I made myself not look and not stop, mainly because I was worried it might affect me and because I didn’t want to make things worse. I just grinded on until the first aid station, where I FINALLY got to pee! (It’s the little things…).
I know I hydrated well, but I don’t think I ate quite enough. Near Lyons, my computer popped off, so I had no idea of my speed. So, I kept it moving. After turning off near the purple café, I saw race people ahead shouting something (warning about railroad crossing), so I downshifted without thinking and cross-chained and my chain came off. I got off to put it back on and a race guy came over to check on me and then took my bike, started spinning the wheel and shifting it and mansplaining to me about cross-chaining and about how I needed to stay consistent and hydrate because course cut-off time was coming up (I didn’t think I was that close to the time). He annoyed me, but I didn’t have time or patience to explain to him I wasn’t an idiot. I pushed on to T2—that last bit was slow-going, but I expected it.
Run: I followed my instructions—power walking the hills, keeping an eye on HR, drinking, popping glucose tablets, etc. It was much hotter than I expected, so I ditched any expectations of timing on the run portion. I backed off a little on effort to save it for the 2nd loop. I felt a little weird on the first loop, which I’m pretty sure now is due to the fact that I didn’t eat enough on the bike (maybe a little was the heat). When I came across an aid station with orange slices, they looked good, so I had some, and then I started feeling better.
It was REALLY encouraging and helpful to see and talk to Sonja and Mikki on course—it was above and beyond, truly. Also, seeing my other teammates out there and getting encouragement from them was GREAT. Yes, I had to walk more than I would have liked, but I managed to dig down and run more toward the end. Overall, I learned SO MUCH, and this race was a lot of fun, not to mention the stunning views. Yes, I would do it again (and probably will).
Melanie Schiff: Perspective
This was my fourth time racing Boulder 70.3, but my first triathlon in almost two years! I wasn't quite sure what to expect, especially after the temperatures were forecasted. Although I was very stressed (as usual) I was fine once the race started :). I focused on maintainable efforts and heart rates without getting myself into trouble as I previously have done with hot races.
Looking back, I accomplished exactly what I need to so I could move forward with my racing season: get through the race without any major issues and get motivated for a hot summer of training. I was happy to see so many familiar faces throughout the race, especially MIkki and Sonja (they were all over the race)! I was also pumped to be able to race with my sister.
Morgan Zornes: Perspective
I went into Boulder 70.3 with a lot of uncertainties. I was attempting something which was a first for me - the Boulder 70.3 and then the following weekend running Grandma's Marathon. I typically have a lot of time in between races of this length, but both of these races were really just about building fitness for my "A" race of the year (Ironman Boulder in August). I honestly had a hard time wrapping my head around racing a 70.3 and then recovering in time to race a marathon one week later so I think I somewhat subconsciously self sabotaged a bit for race #1 (live and learn!).
Swim: It was fine. It was slower than I think I should have swam, but I also was not terribly surprised with my time either because I have been a bit of a slacker in the pool lately. When I exited the swim I had to focus on getting calories in as soon as I got onto the bike because I had not eaten my usual breakfast (due to a super nervous stomach) and I knew that I needed calories ASAP.
Bike: I had a really hard time getting my usual bike nutrition down as the salty balls tasted like sawdust in my mouth on race day. I switched to on course nutrition, but I was never really able to truly get ahead of it which is never a good thing when heading on to the run. I had a good bike (a PR for me).
Run: I started the run with the intent to try and keep getting calories down in the hopes I could pop out of my nutrition hole. Sonja had given me really specific run goals for this run, but I never even came close to those paces! My heart rate was sky high and I just felt awful in the crazy heat/no shade combo that is running at the Boulder Rez.
So after one loop of trouble shooting and trying to pull it together unsuccessfully, it became apparent I needed to just take it easy to the finish. It was a brutally hot day out there for everyone, but I think this is going to be a common theme for racing in the summer of 2016.
While it was not the day I hoped for, I was happy to finish. It was a big day of fitness banked and also getting back into the triathlon groove after some time off over the winter/spring.
Morgan went on to PR at Grandma's Marathon with a time of 3:52:15.
So there you have it! Congratulations to our amazing Boulder 70.3 athletes! It certainly was a day for the books and I can't wait to see how the rest of your racing season goes :).
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