This event and I have never been on friendly terms. I raced it the rainiest year (when the river flooded it's banks), the coldest year (Matt Reed wore his wet suit on the bike and won that year), the hottest year, and the windiest year.
This year I was ready. What more could Ironman Boise 70.3 bring that I hadn't already experienced? So, they changed the start time, changed the bike course, added more hills and some extra U-turns, and changed the run course. Thanks Boise!
As you might have read, I've been riding my mountain bike more than my tri bike. I've been running 6 mile trail runs and nothing further. However, the swim was the same. I swim a lot, so it should be okay, right? After check-in and my pre-swim/bike/run the day before the race, I took an actual assessment of where I stood and I wasn't really sure.
Hmmmmm. How was this going to turn out?
We lined up on the water's edge. With no pros in the field, my wave was the first to go. The Iolite wasn't turning on, so I pulled it off my goggles and handed it to my husband. I swam what I thought was a pretty good swim, but nope. 2 minutes slower for some reason. I focused on getting out of my wet suit quickly so it wasn't a complete disappointment!
I rode my bike "carefully". Anxious not to get caught up in keeping up, I focused on my pace. I focused on nutrition. Even with the added hills and U-turns, my bike was a couple of minutes faster than it has been in recent years. So far, so good.
The run. I've done a lot of bricks in training over the last few years. Bricks are when you begin a run right after a bike ride to get your mind and body used to that change. Lately, my bricks have been somewhat shorter than in the past. So, when I came off the bike, I felt pretty good. The first mile was definitely a positive re-enforcement. I began to really enjoy the course change. The cooler weather (mid-80's compared to 90's in St. George and in previous years) made this run actually pleasant.
Around mile 8, I began to struggle and slow down. By mile 10 something new happened. I began getting cramps in my feet and calves. This has NEVER happened to me before on a run. A few times I began to slow or even tried to stop, thinking that would help and I'd get back to running. However, slowing or stopping made my legs seize up, so I just began to hobble. It was slow, but I could move!
In the last mile, one lady in my Age Group came blasting past me. She obviously was a strong runner and I couldn't stay with her. Then two more in my AG came by. Two that I had passed in the earlier miles. Each time I tried to stay with them. One even encouraged me and tried to talk me into running with her, but after 1/2 a mile, I had to let her go.
It was a great race. I wish I could say I PR'd it since it was the last time I'll be able to race Boise 70.3. I will have to spend more time on my tri bike and running longer distances. But for now, I'll go find a trail...