Jocelyn’s Boulder Peak ’07

23 07 2007

Monday, July 23, 2007

Boulder Peak Race Report
Current mood: thankful
Category: Sports

Whenever someone starts a race report, they usually focus on the negative things that happened first then move onto the positive (if they find anything positive to say – we triathletes are very type a perfectionists, so we dwell on what went wrong instead of what went right). So, I will take the positive road and talk about what went wrong later.

First, I had this awesome race wheel given to me by a friend. I tested it out Friday and again Saturday, I was a bit nervous about it because he said it was ‘finicky’ but it worked perfectly and I felt speedy! The night before the race, I had the usual pre-race jitters, but that just means that the race was important to me and I wanted to do well, so I channeled that energy into positive pre-race ‘self-talk’. The night before, I attended a work party with everyone’s family and it was lots of fun and it was not so bad that I was unable to kick back a few – I just drank lots of H2O as my colleagues got stupid – jk.

Just before I put my bike into the car, I spun the new back wheel and the brake pad was rubbing the wheel. This non-mechanical girl (yes, I am an engineer, but not a gear head – yet) fiddled with the brake unit and could not get it to stop rubbing. I put a plan in place – leave the race wheel on, get to the race early, find the mechanic booth, get it fixed and if it cannot be fixed easily, change it out with my regular wheel. Jumping ahead, I ran into my head coach race morning and he was able to manipulate it and fix it for me. Problem solved. I did have lots of anxiety the night before about the wheel though – turns out it was right on, but not for the reasons I thought.

Very little sleep the night before the race, but that is normal and I had a restful week the previous week and pre-race rest is cummulative over a week, not just one night.

Woke up race morning at 4:30 AM, did my usual pre-race routing and got into the car at the planned time of 5:00 AM. Traffic was not too bad getting into the res and I arrived at my transition slot (a very good spot too – right on the end) around 5:30 – I had 1 hr 25 min to my race start of 6:55 am. Everything normal, did warm ups, got the wetsuit on, swam in the water for about 10 minutes before the gun went off. I went back to my usual race strategy – start at the mid-back of the pack and start easy, get comfortable in the water over the first 100 meters, then get to race pace. The sun was shining right at us, so the first buoy was not to be seen. I followed a pack of purple caps and once I got to the first buoy, I realized I was about 50 meters off course – it was WAY to my left. I was able to sight the next buoy and took a b-line for it. So this is where I lost some time on the swim – probably 2 or 3 minutes. My goal swim time was sub-29 and I ended up around 32 and change – oh well, make it up in transition and on the bike – right? (positive thoughts…)

As I got out the water, I heard my name called about 3 times – and saw some familiar faces. That is so encouraging and thanks to those who came out to cheer me on and the other F4 athletes.

Transition was smooth and I got with an extra 30 seconds – made up some of that swim time.

As I went out on the bike, I listened closely for any brake rubbing and all sounded good from the rear. phew. Then it happened (here is the bad part), as I was 2.15 miles into my race – I heard it. My back tire/tube pop and deflate. What a deflating feeling when that happens. So, I slow down, dismount and check the damage. It appears that I overinflated the tube – the tire had popped out and the air pressure was gone. My first thought was through some CO2 in there, ride back to the parking lot and change tires – is that even legal in a race? probably not. So, I then thought, change the tire, ride back and get the DNF. Then I remembered that saying ‘there is no DNF unless you are dead or unconscience’. Ok, I am not dead, I am not unconscience, change the damn tire and get back on. And that is what I did. I have not had a lot of practice changing tires, I have only done it twice. It took me roughly 12 minutes to change my tire, I was taking my time and trying not to panic. I decided to get it changed and when the results came in, always subtract the tire changing time and not even think about the official time. Lots of my team mates passed me and checked on me but I would not let anyone stop and help. It was their race too and again, not allowed. So after my 12 minutes of rest, I got back on the pink panther and continued up the climb to Old Stage. I passed people like no-ones business. I must have passed 50-60 people between Lee Hill Road and Old Stage – I have practiced this climb numerous times in the past few months and while still a hard climb, not so bad. As I approached the steepest part of the climb (I think a 10% grade), I see a group of my coaches dressed up like devils with red pitchforks cheering the cyclist up the mountain. My coach paced beside me and gave me lots of encouragement as I passed many men and women struggling just to keep upright! As I peeked the top and went into the speed zone (35 mph speed limit), I decided I was back in the race. I cruised the entire way down, holding that 35 mph (ok, I may have been at 35.2 once or twice). Had a blast down Left Hand Canyon road – past one of my favorite places – Heil Ranch. The ‘fly’ down Nelson was fun too. Lots of passing – man people can be whimps down these hills. Long story short, taking out the tire change, I met my goal bike time, and actually beat it by 2 minutes – I made up for the swim!

jocelyn-2007-boulder-peak-run-2.jpg

T2 – right on target – around 1:30 and off to the run. My thoughts for the run was to not go out too fast and to have a negative split for the 10K. I was successful at the negative split, but my times were a little slow. I took too much time at the water stations, walking while I drank full glasses of water. It was about 85 degrees when I started the run and the sun was blazing hot. In retrospect, I could have pushed the run a little harder overall, but was really focused on the negative split and the fact that this is not my A race – that is in 3 weeks. My pace was 9:19 and I had hoped for 8:59 – not too far off considering the heat. I saw lots of people really struggling and I managed to pass many people on the run including – Sister Madonna Buder – an amazing nun of 77 years of age who has completed 33 ironmen to date! What an inspiration. I got full body chills when I passed her. A true race highlight. She was smooth and steady and so gracious to all the athletes around her just offering words of encouragement. Onto the end – as I came to the 6 m marker, I kicked it in and finished in 2:57 – that is my unoffical time, less the flat changing, which to me, is my time. I PR’d over last years Boulder Peak by 21 minutes. Next year – know my correct tire pressure, swim on course, dig deeper in the run. Overall – very happy with my race and my commitment to NOT DNF for a silly flat tire.

Next up – 5430 Long Course (1/2 iron distance) August 12th. Goal – to finish!! No times for this one. I want to enjoy it and gain confidence that I can do a full ironman next year.

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