Okay, I’m so far behind that I know this might not be what you were expecting next. I have several more current things written, but I just can bring myself to post them out of chronological order. Just bear with me…
When is a race not a race? When its three weeks before your most important race of the season. A week or two before Boulder 70.3 my coach asked me what my expectations were for the race. My mind immediately translated that to ‘Why are we racing this, again?’ Fair question either way.
Honestly, I felt kinda bad about not doing a single race in Colorado in 2012. It wasn’t for lack of opportunity and certainly not competition. It was primarily because there were several very appealing Rev3 races, family vacations, etc that took precedence. I could use this as a tune up race anyway right?
Well, I’ve slowly changed my tune towards tune-up races over the years, especially this year I guess. The sprint/Olympic tune-up still makes sense to me. Olympic/Half tune-ups, yeah I suppose so. Half/full tune-up, not so much. Tapering and recovering from a true race effort just punches too big of a hole in your training (IMO). And paying for a half just for a training day seems like less and less of a good idea each year. Its fair to say this notion has cemented itself in my brain in just the last year. If I do this again it will be because some other ‘good’ reason trumped good logic.
So my priorities for this 70.3 dress rehearsal were:
- Practice my nutrition plan for IM Canada
- Confirm goal watts for IM Canada
- Confirm goal run pace for IM Canada
Please don’t look at these results and ask me to simply double my time. This was not a 70.3 at 140.6 effort. But it wasn’t real racing either. I’ll spare you the details, but I’m very pleased with how things went. I feel confident about my race plan and am really looking forward to tackling 140.6 again.
Well, that took longer than I thought, so lets get to the race report.
Racing close to home is great. But when you’re getting up at 3:30am all those good things seem kind of questionable. Familiar faces are great. Familiar traffic is not. I had great warmup with Sonja, I kinda lost track of time and had to rush a bit to get to the swim start. My new BlueSeventy Helix wetsuit went on without a hitch even though it was only the second time.
The swim was my first rolling start and I loved it. Maybe if I had really been racing, it would have bothered me, but I don’t think so. Tip of the cap to all of my fellow competitors who apparently did a very good job seeding themselves. Sonja and I lined up in the first 1/3rd of the 30-32 minute group. I felt like there was very little traffic and I had a pretty easy time navigating, swimming straight while passing a few people. For the first time I was able to confidently swim the buoy line, even pass people on the inside. It was easy to stay relaxed and probably one of the main reasons I swam 30:37 (1:35/1oom), one of my best in a few years. I’d be in favor of doing this again!
The bike was mostly a exercise in patience; stuffing my face, staring at my power meter, and avoiding drafting. I liked the new single loop course. The second loop used to just get too crowded. There was still a bit of traffic for the first 20 miles, but I rode an honest race and tried to keep the power as even as possible. Other than that it was pretty uneventful, just the way I like it. 2:24.32, 23.25mph.
Starting the run was one of the hardest parts. My goal was to settle in and get to 6:50 pace right away. It didn’t take much, the hard part was watching everyone run away at 6:15-30 pace. Quite a few people came back to me on the second lap, but others were never seen again. I have to take a moment to apologize to Bryan Rhodes. During his second lap (my first lap), we ended up in the same place at the same time. I didn’t really recognize him at first, but after I did, I felt really awkward. He wasn’t having the race he wanted and I was trying to stick to my pace. I hope he understands that I wasn’t trying to mess with his race. I finished right on plan at 1:28:57, 6:47/mi.
Generally speaking I was pretty happy with the results (4:27:28 total, 9th M35-39, 49th OA). Very happy with the swim, okay with the bike, happy with the run pace. No nutrition or hydration issues. It was even considerably cooler than normal, easier to recover, all in all a pretty small interruption to the training plan. I could get used to this.
Thanks to BlueSeventy for making the best wetsuit around a little more affordable! I’m really looking forward to swimming in my Helix a few more times this year. Powerbar for helping me fine tune a nutrition plan that I’m really confident in. Biotta Juices for a great little pre-race beet juice performance protocol, it felt great! And certainly to Pearl Izumi, its great to feel like you’re wearing the home uniform even if its someone else’s course. This course has presented some difficult shoe choices in the past, but the Tri N2 were just right. No sore feet, no extra weight.