On Sunday, July 26th I participated in the Olympic Distance Tri Boulder race at the Boulder Reservoir. It was slated as my year's biggest race, and I was feeling super prepared, despite a weak month of training leading up to the race. Work had started to get crazy, and I was honestly burning out from months of training. On the bright side, I had been spending a lot of time at Union Reservoir, practicing my open water swimming. More than anything, all that practice gave me a bit of confidence that I'd never had before... So heading into the water wasn't the scariest thing imaginable!
My best practice swim time had been 39 minutes for 1500 meters. My best practice bike time had been 1 hour and 40 minutes for 26.5 miles. And I thought I could probably finish the 10k run in 1 hour 10 minutes after all that.
In the end, I shaved 3 minutes off my swim and 9 minutes off my bike. However, I know I should have tried to stick to my goal times, because I clearly went too hard at the beginning of my race. I ended up walking a good portion of the run, and it took me 1 hour and 15 minutes to finish that last portion. Overall, with some improvement on my transition times, I finished 3:31:07. Beat my over-all goal time by 9 minutes!!
The biggest lesson of the day was by far the difficulty of eating and drinking properly during this length of a race. I'd actually over-loaded myself on carbs and calories the days before the race, and ended up feeling too full. I also need to figure out a better race eating schedule, so that I don't have so much sloshing around in my stomach when I start the run. That was a big issue that I had, and one of the reasons I had a pretty poor run leg.
I'm still putting eyes on a Half Ironman in the next year. I have a lot to learn, so I'll probably need to make sure I do a few practice races before I get there, and figure out the nutrition piece. I also need to get back into a better training schedule, and get back to a morning work-out routine. With work always being so busy, a lunch work-out isn't always guaranteed anymore. So I guess I have to join the ranks of hundreds of other triathletes who fit in their training in the dark hours of the day...