Ironman Boulder Race Report: I did it again!

Sunday was an epic day!! I absolutely LOVE race day!! It doesn’t matter if I’m racing or spectating…the energy in the air is AMAZING and unlike anything you’ll experience anywhere else!!

I’ll try to keep this post relatively short, although it is a race report ๐Ÿ˜‰ I had great hopes of breaking 14 hours for my overall finish time, but knew that my ultimate goals were to smile, have fun, embrace the entire day and push my limits for this race on this day. Here is how the day went down:

Pre-Race:

Sunday morning the alarm clock went off at 2:30 am for the start of a long and glorious day!! I quickly jumped in the shower (yes, I know I was going to race and get all stinky, but a shower wakes me up and helps get me ready for racing), ate my cream of rice cereal (with fresh blueberries and Pure Clean Beet Powder),ย drank my Karma Kombuchaย and read my pre-race visualization/mantras/quotesย before heading out the door to the Boulder High School where I would drop my special needs bags and board a bus to the Boulder Rez with all other athletes and spectators.

IMG_3610
“Be calm; focus on what you are going to do. Don’t get distracted, don’t get overwhelmed, take it all as it comes. You are ready for this; you’ve prepared for years. This is it, your time to shine. Go forth with all your powers. Go forth with everything in you. Make it work.” ~Lynne Cox

We were on the first bus to the Boulder Rez, which gave us plenty of time for body marking, filling water bottles on the bike, adding to my T1 bag and hitting the loo before getting ready for the swim. We did find out that the water temperature was 78.1F, so it was not a wetsuit legal swim, but it was wetsuit optional. This meant it was time to make decisions…Should I wear my wetsuit knowing the water temp was a bit warm for it, that I would have to start at the back of the pack and that I wouldn’t be eligible for Age Group Awards or Kona Qualification? Should I go without the wetsuit knowing that there would be a lot of people wearing wetsuits that would probably catch and pass me on the swim and I would probably be more comfortable temperature wise? Hmmm…No wetsuit it is!

Body marking complete...time to race!!
Body marking complete…time to race!!
We are ready to swim...not a wetsuit legal swim.
We are ready to swim…not a wetsuit legal swim.

Eventually Dad, my aunt Linda, my cousin Neal and his wife Kathy and Lora, Sam and Sara (Allen’s wife and 2 daughters) showed up at the Boulder Rez. This was a good distraction from what was to come…

My aunt, cousins and Dad came out to the Rez for the swim
My aunt Linda, cousin Neal and his wife Kathy and Dad came out to the Rez for the swim
Dad and I race morning.
Dad and I race morning.

Eventually,ย I lined up in the middle of the people hoping to swim between 1:16:00 and 1:30:00. I knew that if I were wearing my wetsuit I could easily swim 1:20:00 (which was my swim goal), but wasn’t sure how not wearing my wetsuit would impact my swim.

After the Star Spangled Banner was played, the cannon went off and we all rolled into the water and the swim began.

Swim:

HOLY PHYSICAL CONTACT!!!! This swim had the most physical contact I’ve ever had in a swim before. It resembled a washing machine full of clothes, where the people were the clothes. I was hoping that after the first turn buoy the physical contact would dissipate, but unfortunately that didn’t happen. I just kept reminding myself to “just keep swimming” and to stay “straight, fluid and relax” throughout the swim. This worked in my favor…I never had a moment of panic during the swim and when someone would grab my leg, I would just kick really hard and get away from them and then find my groove again. Eventually I was on my return to dry land and it was a very welcome sight ๐Ÿ™‚

Swim exit...I am the one in the red swimsuit.
Swim exit…I am the one in the red swimsuit under the arch.

Swim Time: 1:32:21 (2:23/100 m)…This 12 minutes slower than my goal swim time and was my slowest Ironman swim. I am certain my swim time would have been faster with a wetsuit

Division Rank: 83/142

Gender Rank: 361/558 (women finishers)

Overall Rank: 1479/2010 (total finishers)

Gear: TYR swimsuit, Roka X1 Goggles (Dark Amber/Gold Mirror)

Nutrition: Goldfish crackers, Osmo Nutrition Preload and 6 Chocolate covered Barnanasย before the swim

T1:ย 

I was able to run past the wetsuit strippers, grab my gear bag and run into the women’s change tent, where Melissa (who also happened to have the Coeur Sports Courage design tri kit) helped me change and get on my way. It was quite a long run from the women’s change tent to our bikes and then to the mount line.

Time to go ride my bicycle!
Time to go ride my bicycle!

T1 Time: 9:02…this was almost 6 minutes faster than my goal T1 time

Bike:

I decided to start my ride nice and easy since the first 7 miles are a gradual uphill climb. Lots of people passed me in this section, but I just let them go. I knew that if they went out too hard, I would catch them. This bike course is two loops with the first loop being done twice before going onto the second loop. I found my groove and just rode my heart out, but kept my watts in check so that I would have energy left for the next 2 loops. I backed off the power just a bit on Nelson Road, since it is a gradual climb. Anytime we went west (toward the mountains), we were climbing…even when it didn’t look like it. As I entered Hygiene, I didn’t expect to see anyone I knew because my Dad, aunt Linda, cousin Neal and his wife Kathy as well as Lora, Sam and Sara had waited until we exited the water out at the Boulder Rez before boarding a bus and heading back to town. I was pleasantly surprised to see my cousin Justin, his wife Jennifer, their son Jacob and Neal and Kathy’s daughter Elizabeth in Hygiene waiting for us. I zipped right past them because I wasn’t expecting to see anyone I knew on this loop. I continued on and saw Mike and Stacey, friends of ours, on Nelson Road before eventually starting the second loop.

Whizzing through Hygiene on the first loop...Serious #bikelove on this course!!
Whizzing through Hygiene on the first loop…Serious #bikelove on this course!!

 

I took it nice and easy the first few miles of the second loop…again that gradual climb. I also took it easy on Nelson Road and stopped at the bike special needs station on Nelson to restock my stores before moving my way into Hygiene. This time I knew I was going to stop and chat with my family, since they should all be there. And they were!!

IMG_4629
“Hey” How’s your day?!?!?!?!
Stopping to say "Hi" in Hygiened :)
Stopping to say “Hi” in Hygiened ๐Ÿ™‚
Chatting it up with the family in Hygiene
Chatting it up with the family in Hygiene
Wetting down my arm coolers while I update the fam on my day.
Wetting down my arm coolers while I update the fam on my day.
Smiles for all...even at mile 70 on the bike.
Smiles for all…even at mile 70 on the bike.
Hello Justin! Thanks for taking pictures :)
Hello Justin! Thanks for taking pictures ๐Ÿ™‚
I'm still leading the boys and I have to keep my lead, so I'm off!!
I’m still leading the boys and I have to keep my lead, so I’m off!!
Getting some speed and power as I roll out of Hygiene!!
Getting some speed and power as I roll out of Hygiene!!
Getting back into the groove after my stop in Hygiene.
Getting back into the groove after my stop in Hygiene.
Mom and Dad on the bike course in Hygiene
Mom and Dad on the bike course in Hygiene

I continued on my way, saw Mike and Stacey on Nelson Road again and then made my way to the third and final loop on the bike course. I knew there were a few longer and steeper climbs on this loop, which I took nice and easy before making my way back into Boulder. I knew my family would be on the side of the road at about mile 110, so I decided to stop again. They informed me that I was leading the boys and that I should “Go, Go, Go!” They told me to beat them and sent me on my way. It was all downhill into T2!

Riding away from the family at mile 110...time to get on to the run!
Riding away from the family at mile 110…time to get on to the run!
Mom and the twins are cheering me on to the run!
Mom and the twins are cheering me on to the run!
Riding away from the family at mile 110
Riding away from the family at mile 110
Riding away from the family at mile 110
Riding away from the family at mile 110

Bike Time: 6:46:12 (16.54 mph)…I was almost 15 minutes faster than my goal pace.

Division Rank: 77/142

Gender Rank: 326/558 (women finishers)

Overall Rank: 1514/2010 (total finishers)

Stops on the bike: I stopped twice on the bike to chat with my family, I stopped at every aid station to refill my bike bottles and spray down my arm coolers and I stopped once to pee at mile 100.

Gear: Coeur Sports Ambassador tri kit, Coeur Sports SuperNova Cycling Jersey, Coeur Sports Arm Coolers, Specialized bike shoes, Specialized Transition Bike, Bell Helmet, Tifosi Sunglasses, Garmin 910XT

Nutrition: 3.5 bottles of Osmo Active Hydration, lots of goldfish crackers, 1 package of Honey Stinger Chews

T2:

It was a really long run from bike dismount until when the volunteers took my bike and I got my bag to change. As soon as I entered the change tent, Erin, my Coeur Sports teammate, grabbed me and helped me change. It was so amazing to get to meet her in person!! She is an amazing woman and I truly wish we lived closer…I know we would become such great friends!! She filled my water bottle with water and ice (which was the best. thing. ever.) and sent me out on the run.

T2 Time: 8:57

Run:

The run starts with a gradual descent, which made it easy to start out a little faster, but what goes down, must go up. Just like the bike course, anytime we were running west (toward the mountains), we had a gradual uphill climb and anytime we were going east we had a gradual descent. When you look at my run splits, you can see where these transitions occur. I had a run goal in mind, but decided to throw it out the window and just have fun, but push myself a little bit so that it wasn’t a walk. I decided I’d only walk the aid stations and the uphills (not the false flats, but the short, steeper climbs that were a part of the course). I took in nutrition at every aid station…sometimes it was grapes, sometimes oranges…sometimes coke, sometimes no coke, but ALWAYS water. I was so lucky to have family and many friends out there to check in with. Every time I stopped near my family, they would tell me I was still in front of the boys and that I should “Go, Go, Go!!”

Erin...one of my Coeur Sports teammates and my angel on race day!!
Erin…one of my Coeur Sports teammates and my angel on race day!!
You want me to pose with my peeps :)
You want me to pose with my peeps ๐Ÿ™‚
This smile sums up my race day experience!!
This smile sums up my race day experience!!
My cheer squad...Love them all!!
My cheer squad…Love them all!!
Pulling a Michael Jordan while I run :)
Pulling a Michael Jordan while I run ๐Ÿ™‚
Run focus!!
Run focus!!
Having fun on the run!!
Having fun on the run!!

I stopped at the run special needs at the half way point so I could change my socks and shoes to keep my feet happy. I knew I could make a daylight finish if I just kept moving forward…it would be close, but I could do it!

Run Time: 5:28:05 (12:31/mi average pace)…I missed my goal by an hour, but had fun along the way

Division Rank: 67/142

Gender Rank: 272/558 (women finishers)

Overall Rank: 1234/2010 (total finishers)

Gear: Coeur Sports Ambassador tri kit, Coeur Sports Visor, Road Runner Socks, Newton Kismets, Asics Gel-Nimbus 16s, Tifosi Sunglasses, Garmin 910XT

Nutrition: grapes, oranges, coke, water

Finish Line:

I did make a daylight finish, although the finish photos don’t really show that. I was so ecstatic…I was done.

Dad and Sam cheering me on down the finish shoot...yes, that blur is me :)
Dad and Sam cheering me on down the finish shoot…yes, that blur is me ๐Ÿ™‚
Coming into the finish shoot all smiles...it was a daylight finish, but these photos don't represent that.
Coming into the finish shoot all smiles…it was a daylight finish, but these photos don’t represent that.
A strong finish down the finish shoot.
A strong finish down the finish shoot.
Finished...official time was 14:04:37
Finished…official time was 14:04:37
I finished my day with #heartandcourage
I finished my day with #heartandcourage

Finish Time: 14:04:37…I missed my goal by 4:38, but I had fun and set a new PR by 1:11:19

Post Race:

I was so blessed to have Erin catch me at the finish line and escort me through everything…finisher medal, finisher hat and cap collection, timing chip removed, finisher photo, food and then to my family. She was my angel for sure!!

I didn't eat any of the food in my hands.
I didn’t eat any of the food in my hands.
I'm so thankful to have such an amazing support system!!
I’m so thankful to have such an amazing support system!!

About 20 minutes after finishing, I became really light headed and dizzy. My mother told me to go to the medical tent, so I listened to her. They took my vitals and made me drink a NASTY salty liquid and a bottle of water. Shortly after that, my muscles started contracting like I had Parkinson’s Disease. They moved me to a room with beds and wrapped me in a mylar blanket. This is when my angel showed up…ERIN ๐Ÿ™‚ My nurse showed back up and told me to eat 2 small packages of gummy bears…my taste buds DID NOT want them!! Erin told me to swallow them like pills, so I did. Eventually my muscles stopped contracting and a doctor showed up to check on me. He told me I was hyponatremic and asked if I had experience with this…HERE WE GO AGAIN!! I was hyponatremic after my Ironman Wisconsin 2011 race…I DIDย IT AGAIN!! He eventually released me and I laid in the grass for quite a while before Lora walked me to the car.

This is post medical tent...I didn't feel so good.
This is post medical tent…I didn’t feel so good.

Photo Credit: Cousin Neal and his wife Kathy, Cousin Justin, Lora, Finisher Pix

At this point, I REALLY had to pee, but decided I could make it back to our home stay. Thankfully the Iron Hippie was in a good state and could drive us back to our home stay.My stomach had shutdown and did not absorb any of the liquid the medical tent told me to drink, so when I got out of the car, EVERY liquid I had in my body left…I projectile vomited ALL. THE. LIQUID. Did you know that when your muscles contract to vomit they also contract and cause you to pee yourself?!?!?! Yes, you read that correctly, as I projectile vomited I also peed myself. Thankfully I was in the driveway and NOT indoors. When I was done, the Iron Hippie said, “That. Was. Awesome.” Despite the post race medical issues, this was one of the best days of my life!! I met most of my goals:

  1. Have fun! I definitely had a LOT of fun!!
  2. Smile…I think the photos do a great job of showing the continuous smile on my face ๐Ÿ™‚
  3. Embrace the entire day…I did a great job of this! Even when things got dark (which surprisingly didn’t happen too often) I embraced it and continued to move forward.
  4. Go sub 14 hours on the day…I missed this goal by 4:38. If I wouldn’t have stopped to chat with family and friends, go to the restroom and change my socks/shoes at run special needs, I probably would have met this goal. This small time difference wasn’t worth not having fun, so I would say it was a successful day.

Overall Thoughts on the Day:

This was a PR by 1:11:19 and I had a BLAST!! I’m already thinking about the next one, but I promised the Iron Hippie that I wouldn’t do an Ironman in 2016 ๐Ÿ˜‰

Oh…the Iron Hippie cut his hair…You won’t even recognize him. I may have to come up with a new name for him…

So much for keeping this race report short…

IMG_4666

I have many thank yous, which will be in theย next blog post ๐Ÿ™‚

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50 thoughts on “Ironman Boulder Race Report: I did it again!

  1. Congratulations on a great race!! I love your choice to focus on the amazing support of your family/friends, and that you PR’d by over an HOUR-that’s a huge accomplishment.

    It’s too bad you go sick again after the race, but at least you’re ok. The throwing up/peeing thing is similar to an experience I had in childbirth, so I can understand that sensation-cool stuff, hey??

    I loved reading this after following along with your training cycle-you are an inspiration ๐Ÿ˜€

    1. I’ve heard from many women who have given birth that they’ve had a similar experience releasing liquid ๐Ÿ˜‰ it was a great day and it makes me look forward to the next one. Thanks for your support throughout this journey!!

  2. Great race report and I am so happy that you had such a special day! I enjoyed tracking you throughout race day, so it was nice to read the commentary to go along with it! I had some issues after my IM…not to the extent of yours, but when I think back on the race, I seldom even think of that part. I hate you had to hit the med tent and then deal with the aftermath, but it certainly does not tarnish your wonderful day. Congrats on the PR! You worked extremely hard for your day and deserve to be riding high on this one for a while!

  3. Congrats on your race!! A few questions as I’m prepping for IMWI next month:
    1-Did you wear your tri top & jersey over it, or just the jersey on the bike?
    2-Did you plan on switching shoes half way on the run, or was that a game day decision?

    So excited to see one of my Coeur teammates achieve her goals on a crazy hot day!

    1. Thanks Lauren! We will be in Madison cheering and volunteering, so hopefully I’ll see you there.
      1. I did wear my tri top under my jersey. I was planning to wear my tri kit on the swim under my wetsuit, but it wasn’t wetsuit legal.
      2. I did plan to change my shoes. I’ve done it both ways and my feet are happiest in new shoes and socks.
      Enjoy the rest of your training and I’ll hopefully see you in Madison!

    1. The heat was pretty much non existent, which was awesome! The clouds rolled in at about 2 pm and stayed the rest of the day. It even sprinkled a little on us during the run. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  4. So, which IM is next? Boulder, Madison, or something new? I would recomend the new full in Muskoka. I did the 70.3 there and it was awesome! However, the bike is arguably tougher then Wisconsin. Canada or Coeur D’Alene would be amazing too. I know you are already debating which one to “not” do in 2016… ๐Ÿ˜‰

      1. CDA!! I loved that race way more than Boulder. But that could be because I had the sucky 2014 bike course and zero cloud cover….

  5. Loved your race report! I cried at the end, so thank you very much. I’m so happy for you, was tracking you and a bunch of my Without Limits people, and was so happy each time there was an update. You have an amazing attitude and work ethic and am so happy that I finally got to meet you! Such an inspiration to those of us who have not become Ironmen/Ironman/Ironwomen yet! Now go have some more fun with the rest of your vacation!!!!! Congrats, you deserve it so much!

  6. Congratulations on a great day out there – nice PR! Love that you had such a positive attitude throughout the day. Hope that you’ve been enjoying your recovery as you plot your next move!

  7. Who is this Erin person and how do I get hooked up with her? She sounds awesome ๐Ÿ˜‰

    I’m just so happy I had good timing and got to meet and help YOU (and Tim). The other stuff is just how I roll. Glad you had the day you were hoping for!

    1. She is better than Awesome…she is super fantabulous!! I’m so glad I got to meet you and spend time with you…even if it while I was in the med tent ๐Ÿ˜‰

      1. Also love seeing on instagram how happy your pups were to see you! Long time to be away they must be so glad to have you home!

  8. YAY!!! Congrats on your amazing PR and an overall fantastic race! You did so awesome! Sorry about your post race medical issues. Hope you’re feeling better now. Thank you also, for being so incredibly inspiring =)

  9. Well… at least you didn’t lose control of your bodily functions until after you finished! Congrats again on a great race! I’m glad everything worked out for y’all.

  10. This report made me tear up- congratulations on an amazing race and such a HUGE PR!!! I had a feeling it would be your day having ‘watched’ your training!
    I love how happy you look in all your photos, too! And so awesome you had so many fans there to cheer for you. It really does help!
    Yikes- scary what happened when you got to your home stay. Hope recovery has been going swimmingly!
    Congratulations again. You did incredible!

    1. Thank you Abby!! It was an amazing day and I’m so happy and lucky!! Recovery has been great…I haven’t exercised much, but have spent time with my sister and her family in California. I head home tomorrow and try to re establish what “normal” is before school starts next week.

  11. I’m so late reading this, but congrats again!!! That is a huge PR and you rocked the bike! Sounds like a good day until after you finished! ๐Ÿ˜‰ But I’m glad you are okay.

    How is your recovery now?

  12. Such an amazing experience! You are a rockstar…so happy for you ๐Ÿ™‚ I would have liked to have seen that vomit/pee combo too ๐Ÿ˜‰ I’m sure you did the Hippie proud!

  13. Um, Iโ€™m not sure how I possibly missed your Ironman race report! Hello, where has my pregnant brain been (I was wondering what was taking you so long to write it). Haha! I was tracking you all day and so proud/excited/thrilled to see you cross the finish line smiling and with such a HUGE PR!!! So I have to ask, what went better about this race compared to your last two? How did you like the Boulder course? Was it easier or more difficult than your previous races? Was the course hilly? I have always considered the IM Boulder race, so I would love to hear all about the course itself! โ˜บ

    1. The Boulder bike course is WAY easier than Wisconsin. There are a few hills to climb, but not nearly as difficult (only about 4700 feet of climbing). I have gotten stronger on the bike (that is where my improved time came from). Now it is time to focus on getting stronger on the run as well. We are planning to do IM Boulder again in 2017. I LOVE that course!!

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