Yesterday was the Boulder Sunset triathlon up at the Boulder reservoir. This was my first crack at an olympic distance and I really wasn’t sure what I was getting into. I self-classify as an endurance athlete, but coach told me to plan on spending a few hours in the hurt locker up and beyond my normal Zone 2 efforts. Yikes.
The course is 1500 meter swim in the lake, then a 26.4 mile bike ride on the highways around the reservoir, and then returning for a 10K run out and back around the lake. All based out of the park at the reservoir.
My A Goal was to finish around 3 hours 15 minutes or 3:30. I finished with a 2:53 (!) which equated to 8th overall in my age group. As usual, pretty solidly mid-pack for my AG.
The swim was tough! It was straight out into the rising sun. I don’t know if anyone could actually see our turn buoy from the start line — even with my tinted goggles on I know I couldn’t. So, most of my “sighting” going out was ensuring I was still going straight into the sun and I wasn’t too far to one side or the other compared to the other swimmers.
Once we turned around that first buoy it sure got a lot easier.
My starting wave was for Men 40 and older. We started just a couple minutes behind the Men 40 and younger. That was a lot of guys out there and swimming involved getting through a lot of traffic and then we had the fast ladies carving through us by halfway as well. Got lots of bumps and shoves but I’m happy to say I didn’t get punched and no battle wounds of consequence.
I finished the swim (and run up the beach to transition) in 32 minutes which looks to be 10th in my AG. I think I could have been a little faster in the water but overall I’m happy.
First transition was 3:18. Probably a record for me for a T1 🙂
The bike segment was great. I sort of lost my ever-loving mind and just went out and hammered for almost the entire distance. That QR race bike is fast! I think I ran most of it around 80 – 90% of FTP for power and finished at 1:11 which put me in 5th for my age group (I did not beat any of the guys who finished first through fourth, however. Those cats were FAST).
My T2 was 3:03. Not bad but does need to get faster. In my defense, I was well hydrated coming off the bike and had to “relieve” some pressure.
And then we get to the run… I started out way too hot. Like, in the 6’s (minutes/mile) which for me is just insane. Managed to dial that back before I blew up and got settled in for my long trot. Pretty uneventful until around mile 4 and then it started to become a challenge. I was OK with keeping heart rate up in zone 3 and even pushing into zone 4. But as time went on, the rate wanted to increase and that just makes me uncomfortable due to my “heart history” so I had to start taking very short walks to get that rate back down.
Still managed to finish with my fastest 1k/5k/10k times ever so I’ll take it. However, compared to the rest of the guys in my age group, it wasn’t so great and I was 11th in the group. 1:02:59. I think my overall pace was about 9:13 which really is considered fast for me. I’m happy.
Man, it felt so good at the end 🙂
If I wanted to stand on the podium I would have had to find another 30 minutes somewhere to get 3rd. Ouch.
If I had raced aquabike (swim & bike), I would have placed second in my AG. Hmm…
And if I would have done sprint distance with my same efforts, I still would have finished 8th in my age group.