Boise 70.3 = My 10th Half Ironman
My dad had flown into San Diego on Wednesday, and we road tripped to Boise. We got in on Thursday at about 4pm (mountain time). We had fun telling stories, and laughing, and of course jamming out to some good ol’ country music.
We drove until we couldn’t drive any longer, stopped off in the middle of nowhere to catch some zzzzz’s…and then woke up Thursday morning and hit the road again.
When we got to Boise, we immediately started exploring. We went to Lucky Peak Reservoir to check out where the race start was going to be.
Not a bad place to race
The water was soooo clear too!
The water was a bit chilly, but because it was 95+ degrees, I was actually excited that the water was so cold. It was refreshing. After checking out the swim start, we went downtown to grab dinner. We found 10 Barrel Brewing, which is a company out of Bend, Oregon, and just so happens to be Heather Jackson’s brother’s brewery. Pretty cool.
Drinking some beers after a looong two days in the car.
We got back to the hotel and hit the hay. Friday morning…went to packet pick-up, and then headed back to the reservoir for a pre-race shake out swim, bike, run. It was hotter than hell! The water was about 58 degrees. To me – PERFECT. The water felt great, but on the bike and the run even on my shake out workouts, I could feel the sun zapping my energy. So, after the shake out workouts, I got out of the sun, and back in the air conditioning to conserve energy.
Friday’s Swim, Bike, Run, shake out session. Yes, I biked in my swimsuit, it was that hot, and well might as well work on getting rid of some of those tan lines
Later Friday night, my sister met up with us. She had driven up from Fort Collins, Colorado. I was stoked to see her. I’m not gonna lie, I was impressed with the food in Boise. We ate at a delicious italian restaurant right downtown again. Perfect pre-race meal.
- Boise 70.3 starts at noon
- My wave went off at 12:39pm
- Transition closes at 11:45am
My mom and my sister!
Swim // 1.2 miles // 38:15 // 1:49 per 100yd // 11th AG // 52nd Overall Female
After sitting out in the heat for at least 90min, it was time for my wave to hit the water. I was soooo excited to get in the cold water I cannot even tell you. I knew it was going to feel so good, and it did. It was 58 degrees. For me, it was PERFECT. My wave included the 18-24 age group, and the 30-34 age group. So, there were about 125-150 of us in our wave. The good news is my family counted white caps, and said I was 21st out of the water. I may have had a slow time, but I was pretty stoked about that. I’m used to being almost last out of the water.
Highlights of the swim:
- It was COLD! I’ll say it again…I LOVED it!
- It was choppy. With the 20mph winds, it made for a VERY choppy and slow day out there.
- The swim was about 250yds long, which is why the times were all a little slow.
- The course is a clockwise triangle.
My thoughts during the swim:
Within 100yds I had my own space. I loved it. And the water was sooo clear. I just kept thinking the whole time how much I was loving it, even though it was choppy, and I had a few large gulps of the water. It was one of my favorite swims ever. I just kept thinking, I’m experienced, just keep pulling hard, and you will have a good swim compared to the rest of the field. Which, honestly, to come out of the water 11th in my AG…that is REALLY good for me. As I rounded the last turn buoy, there was a girl drafting off my feet. I didn’t mind at all, except that for the last 500yds, she was hitting my feet. She just kept hitting them. I kept thinking, you can draft, but you don’t have to be that close. Another highlight of this swim, is this is the first swim in a long time that I didn’t do breaststroke ONCE. Often, I get frustrated with the chaos at the beginning and I swim breaststroke to calm myself down. I decided it wasn’t worth it to slow down. And I need to work on pushing it on the swim. Even though my swim time doesn’t quite reflect it due to the choppiness and the longness of the course, I really tried to gun it on the swim. I almost wanted to stay in because I knew wind and heat awaited me. Seriously, I would have been happy to go around that triangle again.
T1 // 2:30 – nothing special here…got to my bike…threw my sunglasses and helmet on, and took off. This is a perfect course to leave your shoes on your bike, and put your feet in as you are riding. It’s flat, and then a slight down hill for the first 2 miles.
Bike // 56 miles // 3:02:47 // 18.38mph // 7th AG // 48th Overall Female
Within minutes, I could feel the heat. My coach, Beth, had sent me instructions before the race to push it on the swim and the bike. I tend to be conservative on both, and we wanted to see what I could do on the swim and bike, by really challenging myself and getting outside my comfort zone. So, I did. I didn’t look at my watch once, and just told myself, if your legs aren’t burning, and I mean BURNING, then you aren’t working hard enough.
- 20mph winds
- Having a headwind all but about 6 miles of the course
- Only managing to take in two bottles of First Endurance EFS drink. (I always put two scoops in each bottle, which is about 180 calories per bottle)
- IT WAS HOT!!!
- Average HR – 90% of my max
My thoughts during the bike:
“Keep pushing”. “Everyone has to deal with this wind”. “Like mom said, the wind is your friend, not your foe today because of the heat”. About halfway into the bike, I tried taking my bonk breaker like I always do, and I threw it up. Oh no…this is NOT good. I couldn’t take in any solid calories. And I only had those two bottles of EFS. I managed to get both down, but that’s only 360 calories. And it’s HOT. I took water at every aid station, but there were only 3. So, to get my mind off the disaster that probably lay ahead on the run, I focused on passing as many people as I could. There is a point where you can see every single person ahead of you, after they hit the turn around, I started counting every female in front of me. There were 94, that I had counted by the time I hit the turn around. After the turn around, I started chasing them down. I ended up passing 28 women on the bike after the turn around. NOT BAD. It helped me keep my mind off the wind, and the fact that I felt nauseous.
T2 // 1:18 // Nothing special here. Racked my bike, threw on my sneakers, my soas trucker hat (which I never wear a hat anymore, but I needed to keep that sun off of me as much as I could), my race belt, and grabbed my EFS liquid shot, and I was off.
Run // 13.1 miles // 1:59:18 // 9:06 min/mile // 7th AG // 47th Overall Female
I headed out on the run, and within 1/2 mile I was feeling BAD. REAL BAD. I tried to take in a squirt of EFS liquid shot, but I just threw it up. After I threw up. I told myself I could walk for 10 steps, and then you have to suck it up and get moving. And so I did. The run was PAINFUL. I was in the serious hurt locker. I hadn’t felt this bad, since my Boston Marathon experience. I mean I just felt awful. The only thing I could keep down was water. I was grabbing ice and stuffing it down my sports bra at every aid station. Every time I would try to move faster, I would just throw up. It was NO BUENO. So, I settled and just told myself, do not let one girl pass you. This sucks, but you can do this.
- IT WAS HOT!
- I threw up
- For the first time ever I didn’t smile once, or speak a single word. I could barely look at my family. It just seemed like it was going to take too much energy. I needed every ounce of energy I had to get through this run.
- Average HR – 90% of max
- The run course is beautiful, along a river, and is flat, and has some great shady parts.
In the HURT LOCKER
I told myself after mile 7, I could start drinking coke. I took coke at every aid station. It helped, but not enough. I think I was already just too deep in a mess, that coke was not going to fix my problem. But, I’m pretty sure it’s why I was able to keep running and not walk. I didn’t walk once after those 10 steps, and I’m pretty proud of that. And I didn’t let one girl pass me. Again, proud of that. It was a TOUGH day.
It was a TOUGH day. This picture shows exactly how I was feeling.
Overall // 70.3 miles // 5:44:08 // 7th AG // 47th Overall Female
- To place 7th on one of my worst race days ever, I’m pretty happy with that. 7th is the highest I’ve placed at a half ironman. The last time I placed 7th was at Vineman in 2011 with a 5:08.
- I was pretty bummed that I had the run I did, and that I couldn’t keep anything down, because my motivation was high, and I knew I could have had a faster day. It just sucks when you feel so helpless.
- I think starting late in the day, set me up to get heat exhaustion. I’m highly susceptible to it, and have had it multiple times, and sitting out there in the heat waiting for my wave to go off, was no bueno.
Thank you sooo much for everyone’s encouraging words! You guys are amazing. I thank my mom, dad, and sister soooo much for being there. They are the BEST sherpas. They found me at least 6 times on the bike course, and I saw them at least 4 times on the run course. It was always a boost of energy when I saw them.
Beer cures everything! Let me tell you this…I felt A LOT better after trying all these beers
We went back to 10 Barrel Brewing, and I wanted to get a taster. I was SUPER happy after this.
Post-race drinking fest photoshoot
Sunday, it was time for a big brunch and mimosas!
Best Mango Mimosa I’ve ever had!
Then, we rented bikes and went for a family recovery spin…
One more night out on the town in Boise…
My sister and I outside Bittercreek Ale House (where I tasted more beers
Thank you to Oakley Women and the Oakley Women family for all their support! And thank you to Soas Racing and Rehab United!
It was an amazing weekend with my family, and I can’t believe I have completed my 10th half ironman.
Up next: San Diego International Triathlon on June 30th.