Monday, June 15, 2009
Boise 70.3 Recap
The Short Version: - Boise is a pretty cool town - Wind and rain made for a long day - Two flats and only one spare tube made for an even longer day - I finished and enjoyed it, for the most part We spent Thursday night in Burley and headed out Friday morning for Boise. I'd allowed twice as much time as things could possible take to keep things relaxed and calm. It worked for the most part. Friday afternoon we spent leisurely getting ready - signing in, dropping off the bike, doing a practice swim in cold, open water, and driving the bike course. There was even time for a short swim in the hotel pool, which was too cold to spend too much time in. I'm used to waking up on race day and putting my game face on as soon as possible since most races start at 7 a.m. or earlier. The 2 p.m. start threw me off. Even after sleeping in and eating a full breakfast, I still had hours before I needed to board the bus to take me to the swim. It wasn't until we arrived at the swim venue that I started getting excited to race. The swim was a disaster. The wind kicked up enough to cause waves big enough to completely envelope people. It made it tough to find a decent rhythm. It also blew the buoys all over the place. The last turn buoy was blown nearly completely to shore. Of course, I followed it all the way there before making the turn. I was confused at the line the other swimmers were taking as I headed for the finished. I later learned that the buoy was several hundred meters off course and that some of the kayakers had directed the majority of the swimmers back to the swim finish at the right spot. I wasn't one of them. I completed the first half of the course in 21 minutes and felt stronger and faster on the second half of the swim. Based on this, I'm estimating the detour added between 400-500m extra (300 out, plus the difference between the hypotenuse and the opposite leg on the way back in). I also had the added benefit of calf cramps about 200m in, which was a nice bonus. I came out of the water in 50:20, but wasn't too disappointed as many of the bikes from my wave were still in the racks. It turns out the swim was slower for every body as I finished near the middle of the pack. The bike had promise. Shifting winds and rain were the order of the day on the bike. I do well in that kind of weather and was feeling particularly strong. I kept my eyes on my computer and tried to stay steady with a cadence over 85 rpm, HR below 160 bpm, and power over 200W and below 300. Everything was going according to plan until I flatted at mile 30. No big deal, I had an extra tube. Just over six minutes later and I was back on course, enjoy the only steady tail wind of the day. And then I flatted again. This time, I didn't have an extra tube so I walked the 500-600 yds to the corner that was manned by some police. 25 minutes later the volunteers showed up - apparently they had went to the wrong place and didn't realize it for several minutes. The time off had let my legs get cold and it took several minutes for them to come back. Once they did, I caught up with Devin, who had apparently passed me while I was changing my second tire. Though I have no proof, I suspect from that point forward I acted as a rabbit for Devin to chase as he picked up his pace and we traded places for the rest of the bike. I came in at 3:29:48, which was about the same time I did in California without the flats. Despite soaking wet feet that had started to numb my toes, I had a decently quick transition and felt very strong coming out of transition. Remembering the California run, I focused on rehydrating and saving something for the second half of the run. Despite what I thought was a decent pace, I'd only managed to put a few seconds on Devin and didn't see Dave until near the end of the first lap. I assume that he'd put on a burner and was finishing his second lap - which would have put his total time around 5:20. If he had been on his second lap. But to my shock,the wasn't and was in fact just over a mile behind me as I started my second lap. I was nearly a mile ahead of him and had thoughts of being able to push to the finish to pull out a very improbable win in the grudge match despite the flats. I continued to push on the flats, but despite the increase in effort (and an ever bigger increase in pain), I was only maintaining the same pace I had on the first lap. Then, completely unexpectedly, Dave caught me between miles nine and ten. And the wheels came off, motivationally speaking . We slowed and waited for Devin. Devin refused to walk and Dave and Devin traded sharp jabs while discussing running slowly vs. walking. And then we were done. All things considered, I had a good day. I enjoyed most of the swim, most of the bike, and most of the run. The venue was good and the Boise down town finish was awesome. This is a course that I'll be doing again in the future and I actually can't wait until next time. Next up is the Utah Half, where I'm hoping to avoid the mechanical demons and finish well regardless of the conditions.