This was my first “A” race of the year and I was excited to test my fitness. I had only raced one 70.3 before and that was last years Vineman. I had a calf strain last year, so I had to take it easy on the run. I crushed the swim and bike starting my run at 3:31 and just survived the run to finish in 6:01. Going into Boise, I felt confident that I could crush that time from last year. I have been training heavily under Coach Jeff and came into Saturday healthy and confident!
This race had a 2pm start time, so it gave you lots of time to rest up and fuel. I flew in on Friday morning and was excited to check in and rest. Once checked in, I was able to relax and get settled in there in Boise. I was even able to sleep a full 10hrs! It’s amazing how easy it is to sleep soundly without a 6, 3 and 14mo old waking up at all hours!
Race morning I was able to get a solid breakfast and watch some World Cup before catching the bus to the reservoir. I took the early bus and got there a few hours before the race. I was able to chat with quite a few other racers and was excited to get started. For the last hour before the waves kicked off, I was camped out under a IM truck near the swim start. I was warm out and there was no shade up by the reservoir.
Most people were talking about how fast the course was, as the bike only has rolling hills and the run was a flat two loops. Given this, I was looking for a 5:15-5:30 finish. The wind had seemingly not arrived up at the reservoir prior and during the swim, as the water was calm…
The water was very cold and they announced it was 59/60′. I wear a farmer john wetsuit, as I tend to generate lots of heat during the swim. I used to use the long suits and I was just too hot even during my Alcatraz swims. The one strange thing about the swim was the wave starts. It was a wading start, but they wouldn’t let us warm up past the buoys just in front of us. That made for a cold 2min wait while treading water!
I was trailing my waves lead group of 5-6 for about a third of the way and then trailed off. At the seemingly half way point, I looked down and was at 16min, tracking for around 32-33min for the swim. I was excited by that split, and kept focusing on breathing and pushing. I pushed hard the last 500yds and passed a lot of swimmers. My swim time was just ok at 36:47. 71st in my div and 394 overall. I need to go out harder and maintain consistent pace in the future…
T1 was interesting, as they have strippers (wetsuit that is) and suncreen girls. This was a nice treat after the swim. I didn’t feel that tired and was excited for the bike. My overall T1 time was just ok at 3:50, but there was a good run up to the racks.
The bike was hard and changed my outlook for the day. The headwinds were very stong with 20-30mph gusts. This was very unexpected for me, due to the calm water during the swim. I just kept my head down and pushed. I have been training very hard for the bike and felt the strongest I have ever felt going into the race. Everyone around me had an aero helmet, so I felt unprepared… I pushed hard to get to the turnaround averaging 17.2mph. The course had hills, but mainly rolling and they weren’t that difficult to climb. The cross and headwinds were very hard. I had pushed a little too much on the way out banking on a tailwind on the way back…oops!
Overall the consensus afterward was headwinds 60% of the time, crosswinds 20% and a small 20% tailwind. the last 10m on the bike was very painful as it was all headwind downhill into city center. I really enjoy riding my bike, but I was miserable those last 10m. There was just no more power. It would have loved to see my power output for the bike, as I worked harder than ever, just to finish with a 17.5mph avg… I couldn’t believe that I went from a 2:50 bike split at Vineman last year to a 3:11 today!!!! And I’m in much better shape and healthier!!! 115 bike split in div and 557 overall.
Ironman also decided to turn the bike into an obstacle course! A good portion of the race had us riding in a narrow corridor of cones. The difficult part was the gale force cross winds made it very difficult to navigate the narrow path. It was kind of scary because to your left you had the ditch, and to the right you had cars whizzing past!
T2 was quick for me at 1:52 and would have been quicker if I didn’t throw my bike at the racks! I started the run at 3:54 and was determined to still get a PR at the 70.3 distance. Even though I pushed too hard on the bike, I was confident that I could “easily” run under 2hrs(9:09 pace) on the run…
The run was two laps through downtown and along the river and was pancake flat. The original plan was to run 8:30’s the first lap and then sub 8 the second for a reverse split. That was throw out the window when I blew myself up pushing too hard on the bike. My first lap was 1:03(9:37 pace) and saw my overall time at 4:57. That fired me up, as I needed break 6hrs and thought that was doable with a reverse split on my second lap. I tried pushing to no avail and couldn’t get below 9:30. My energy levels were fine and I wasn’t dehydrated at all, I just didn’t have power/speed. I even caught myself with a 10:10 mile in there on the last lap and was pissed. I really pushed the last two miles and passed a ton of people. I sprinted to the line at 5:59:32!!! I did have a reverse split of 1:02(9:29 pace), but It was too close for my comfort.
Overall, I am very pleased to have set a new 70.3 distance PR in very challenging conditions! On the flight back home, two different people talked about how they raced under 5:30 in Texas and over 6hrs here. That makes me feel confident in Vineman 70.3 in a month. I need to recover and get back to training asap! I need to fine tune my consistent swim pace, brick running and continue to lean out.