Move’n on UP!

I’d begun to contemplate moving up to a full, meaning a FULL Ironman since late 2012…by the way, just saying the word makes me just a little bit queasy.

Since early this year there were rumors swirling around about Boulder being the future venue for a 140.6 race.

Boulder Res Flatirons

ironman boulder

Those rumors were then validated and before I knew it I was receiving a special “VIP” opportunity to register for the inaugural race of Ironman Boulder.  Was this because I was really a V.I.P?!  Ha, ha don’t I wish!  The answer is that all athletes that were competing in the entire Boulder Tri Series (Boulder Sprint, Boulder Peak and Boulder 70.3) were offered an early registration opportunity for IM Boulder.  I had toyed with registering for Tahoe for 2014 but then felt that I was being given “an offer I couldn’t refuse” with Boulder.  Plus, logistically and financially competing in what would be my 1st and likely ONLY Ironman in Boulder just made much better sense:

  • I could ride and run the course as part of my training
  • My extended family could attend the race
  • I wouldn’t need to travel to the race venue which would save a ton of money
  • Good friends could be there along the route cheering me on

So, I kinda felt that I HAD to register for Boulder.  Plus, I just knew I’d be MAD at myself either way.  MAD if I didn’t register and try to become an Ironman and MAD at what I would put myself through from a training perspective.  For those of you that haven’t seen this video, I believe this will pretty much sum up what my life will be like during the peak portion of my training:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B03dFMG8nR4

So…on registration morning July 14, 2013 I did “IT“, I logged on to Active.com, I hit enter and then when I received the confirmation email…REAL panic set it!

I was heading to Ironman Boulder which was planned for August 3rd 2014!  WOW!

I just keep telling myself, relax, breathe, …  keep calm

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The Legend of The Peak

Boulder Peak triathlon, it’s almost legendary NO actually it IS legendary.  The perils of the grade on Olde Stage Road plus being a Hy-vee 5150 US Champion qualifying race, make for one really AWESOME event!

Oh!  the stories I’ve heard:

  • Olde Stage max grade of over 20%
  • Athletes walking up that portion of the bike course http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=btLTxM0CZoc
  • Athletes toppling over on Olde Stage because of an inability to downshift
  • How granny gear on Olde Stage just wasn’t low enough
  • Speed limits set on the downhill due to the technical nature of the ride
  • It’s the hardest triathlon I’ve ever done, I heard from a badass athlete friend

olde-stage-profile

EEEeekk!  Seriously, enough to put the fear of God into me!  Frankly, I’d be really pretty pissed off at myself if I had to walk it and even more so if I toppled over going 0.5 miles per hour!  There was NO WAY I was going to ride Olde Stage for the very first time on race day.  One of the many benefits of living in the Denver metro area was the proximity to the Mecca of triathlon…BOULDER.

Being a qualifier race for Hy-vee 5150 US Championship, which  has the largest prize purse of any triathlon, even more than Kona, which is odd IMHO, gave the race even more cache.

Triathlon Payout

To test my mettle on Olde Stage my coach and I rode the bike course of The Peak directly after finishing Boulder Sprint.  Figuring, if I could do a decent job of riding The Peak on tired legs, I should be in pretty good shape to have a good ride fresh from the swim on race day.  Was it tough?  OH Yes!  Was my HR maxed at the top of Olde Stage?  You betcha!  Was the ride doable?  Absolutely!  Riding the course a couple of additional times before race day also helped.

The Peak draws a blend of age groupers and top-tier pros such as TO (Tim O’Donnell), who by the way is even hotter in real life, all competing in this pretty awesome Olympic distance triathlon right here in Boulder, Colorado!  As an added bonus to racing at The Peak, I got the opportunity to watch some talented pros AND secure a photo opp with Ironman world champ (and TO’s finance) Mirinda “Rinny” Carfrae.

Mirinda Carfrae

Pre-race bike warm-up at The Peak

Pre-race bike warm-up at The Peak

The Peak was an awesome race, although I didn’t have a stellar swim or run…my bike was pretty strong.  Finishing 9th overall in age group, which was good enough for me to receive a nice little email congratulating me on my performance at The Peak and inviting me to register for the 5150 US Championship, which was on September 1st!   How cool!  I thought about registering but I held off.

Peak9

My focus now was on to the Boulder 70.3 which was my “A” race of the season.  I was driven to redeem myself after my less than fabulous race at Harvest Moon long-course (i.e., half Ironman distance) in 2012.  I’d wait and see how the Boulder half went and then maybe register for Hy-vee.

Boulder Sprint – 1st TRI of the Season

Boulder Sprint

1st TRI of the 2013 season (Father’s Day) June 16th  @ Boulder Sprint. Finished 6th in age group but coulda or shoulda been 3rd or 4th

IF:
* I didn’t swim into slow poke swimmers who self seeded too fast
* I didn’t swim off course and add another 100+ meters
* I didn’t rack my bike in the wrong spot and lose it in transition which added at least a couple of minutes
* I didn’t walk thru the aid stations and run like a penguin

Lots to learn from this race!  Onward! …next up is Boulder Peak Olympic distance on July 14th