Two weeks in a row I am running for GU. I did the Boulder Half-Marathon last weekend. My top, socks, hat, cycling shorts, and can't forget the gels.
It took me a long time to pack all my stuff. It felt like I spent hours trying to get everything ready and just right. I had to grab extra socks, clothes, gloves, batteries, and other stuff. I had a duffel bag full of clothes. I thought it was such a waste to be packing 4-5 sets of clothes. It wasn't a waste, I used them all.
I went to bed too late!!! It was after midnight and I was still up. What was I doing?? I needed to get to bed because I had to be out the door by 6am and wouldn't get much sleep the next night.
I woke up with enough time to eat, pack up the rest of my stuff and leave. I was very thankful to have the race only a few miles from my house. Cherry Creek Reservoir is only 2 miles from my house. The start line was about 4-5 total miles. I wanted to ride my bike, but it was going to be impossible with a sleeping bag, cooler and tons of other stuff.
I met Team GU on race morning. What great teammates: Drew, Leslie, Shelby and myself. We setup up our tent, tables, chairs and the rest of camp. It was fun unpacking everything and getting everything set.
Race time was 9am. We had a pre-race meeting before the start. The start requires the participants to do one full triathlon before consecutive swims, bike or runs. Drew started off the swim with awesome timing. I followed with the bike. What an amazing ride. It was only 11.2 miles, but they were fast. It was a race at this point. Everyone pedaling with great spirits and energy. I almost felt like I was working too hard. I made the fastest split for the day with 30:09. When I finished I handed off our chip to Shelby in the transition area. Quick transition and off she went.
Swim (.24 miles per lap)
After we completed the first swim, bike and run we had a strategy to complete all the swims first. Drew was amazing. His split times were fast and he kept going. This event was my only triathlon of the season so I wanted to do everything. Between the swim and transition area we had to run about .25 miles. That's almost 5 miles of running.
Drew - 5 consecutive swims
Eric - 3 consecutive swims (9:48, 11:42, 11:51)
Drew - 5 consecutive swims
Eric - 2 consecutive swims (11:05, 11:35)
Drew - 5 consecutive swims
Distance: 1.2 miles
Avg Pace: 2:54/100m
I am not the strongest swimmer. I should have probably trained more, but I was somewhat satisfied with my performance. Why wasn't I swimming faster??
Bike (11.2 miles per lap)
We were finished swimming around 1:15pm. It was a pretty warm day and I was very thankful. I made sure I put on plenty of sunscreen. We figured we would take turns with the bike. The order was Shelby, Leslie, Eric and Drew. We kept this order for most of the day. We only switched it up once. I figured that we would had about 1:30 of rest before we were out again.
I was impressed with my bike splits! They kept pretty consistent and only slowed down a little during each ride. I slowed down a little more during the dark hours. My 4th ride was the last ride while the sun was still up. I was required to have lights on for safety reasons. I brought two lights just in case. One was a bike light and the other was my head lamp. I was very glad I brought extra batteries because my bike light was extremely dim. I couldn't see anything from my bike light, but the head lamp was going strong. I changed out the batteries during the next transition and I was back in business.
After I changed my batteries I also changed clothes. I changed into warmer clothes and switched out cycling shorts. My triathlon shorts were no longer needed and a thicker cycling shorts were necessary. I felt pretty confident riding at night and it seemed like a smoother ride. I didn't have to dodge any cyclists, motorists and pedestrians. I did see a few deer, but no close calls. We finished the bike portion around 12:25am.
Eric (9:07am) - 30:09 - 22.29mph
Eric (2:23pm) - 31:10 - 21.56mph
Eric (4:38pm) - 32:34 - 20.63mph
Eric (6:56pm) - 33:45 - 19.91mph
Eric (9:22pm) - 34:06 - 19.71mph
Eric (11:14pm) - 35:06 - 19.15mph
Distance: 67.20 miles
Average Pace: 20.48mph
Run (2.62 miles per lap)
The swim and bike portion were now done. We finished 21 laps of swimming and 20 laps of cycling. Now it was time to run all night long and complete more triathlons! I have been looking forward to the running section for quite some time. I ran a few times at night, but nothing like this. Shelby started the run and I went to bed...at least I tried. It seemed like it took 45-60 minutes before I finally fell asleep.
Guess what happened when I finally fell asleep? A lovely whisper in the tent came and said "Eric, it's time to get up, you're up next". Not quite sure what to think, I slowly got up. I felt like I was dreaming. I got my stuff together since I only had about 20-25 minutes to get ready. I was quite surprised, but I felt refreshed.
My talents were needed and I was running. I started running at 1:42am. I started off with a strong pace. Another runner was behind me by only 50-75 feet. I had to tie my shoe at the turn-around point and the runner passed me. Now I chasing, and it was my first run. I might have run too hard, but I felt great. I did catch that runner and found out later that I passed the team that beat us in the final standings.
Eric (lap1) - 18:46 - 7:09/mile
Eric (lap2) - 20:09 - 7:40/mile
Eric (lap3) - 21:03 - 8:02/mile
Eric (lap4) - 21:15 - 8:06/mile
Eric (lap5) - 22:22 - 8:32/mile
Eric (lap6) - 22:29 - 8:34/mile
Avg Pace: 8:01/mile
After lap 3 I switched out the batteries to my head lamp. What a difference that made. The first two laps I carried my bike lamp and head lamp. I was getting tired of having both lights, so after I changed out the head lamp batteries I only had one light. The longest transition our team had was during the battery switch. Leslie tried getting the batteries changed out while I was on the run, but the headlamp was tough to open.
Leslie did not run during the event, but made up for it in a huge way. She was the best support crew member by sticking around the transition area every time I passed by. EVERY TIME. I think I might have woke her once because she was shocked to see me back so soon. Leslie had a blanket and looked somewhat comfortable. It was amazing to have her there and made a big difference to ones spirit.
Shelby wasn't feeling well and couldn't run. I am not certain what happened, but she would wake up sweating and felling terrible. Amazing Drew to the rescue. Drew took over and ran 5 laps. Drew used all his energy and was spent. Leslie said his shoulder was bothering him and didn't want to aggravate it more. I was in the tent sleeping before Drew finished asking if I would go out again. I slept pretty hard for 1-2 hours. Enough to get good rest.
I quickly got ready and waited for Drew. This wait seemed like forever. I sat down because I wanted to reserve all my energies. Did I mention I had a blister?? I got a new pair of shoes a week before the race and formed a blister. It never went away before the race. It was getting a little worse, but I kept squeezing out the fluids. Yes, gross. But it felt better and I was able to run without limping. I think my run times might have been faster if it wasn't for the blister?
Drew came in and look exhausted. I took the chip and off I went. More running at night and the sun would be up soon. I started running again at 5:53am
Eric (lap7) - 23:07 - 8:49/mile
Eric (lap8) - 24:15 - 9:15/mile
Eric (lap9) - 22:43 - 8:40/mile
Distance: 7.86 miles
My miles were slower and I was wearing out. I was happy to notice that my split time sped up towards the end. I walked a little during lap 8 which is why my time was slower. The sun came up and it was light out. I thought this would speed me up, and worked a little. My feet felt raw and they hurt.
Shelby was feeling better in the morning and ran 2 laps. What a trooper! She was able to finish triathlons #19 and #20 for the team
We had 21 swims, 20 bikes, and 20 runs. We had a little over an hour to finish a bike and run. Maybe even another swim? Let's do this. Drew got on his bike and completed a lap. I had 30 minutes to complete 2.62 miles. This was no problem and maybe enough time for another swim lap??
I gave the last lap everything I had. I pushed it hard and felt strong. I can do it!! I ended up running so hard, I almost beat my first lap. I was only 38 seconds off. I came sprinting to the finish. I was a little surprised that no one was ready to swim. We had 12 minutes to spare and completed 21 triathlons. What an amazing finish!!!
Eric (lap10) - 19:19 - 7:22/mile
My Total Stats:
Swim: 1.2 miles - 56:01, 2:54/100m
Bike: 67.2 miles - 3:16:50, 20.48mph
Run: 26.2 miles - 3:35:28, 8:13/mile
94.6 miles - 7:48:19 (nearly 3/4 Ironman)
Swim: 5.04 miles, 3:14:42, 2:24/100m
Bike: 235.2 miles, 12:09:49, 19.34mph
Run: 55.02 miles, 8:02:01, 8:45/mile
Transition Time: 22:23, 23.38sec/transition