Leading up to Boulder Peak, I waffled back and forth over whether or not I would race. My legs have been taking a beating in the last few weeks leading up to Ironman Canada. However, I really needed a break from all of the training. My body was starting to break down and I knew that it would be nice to have a few days of rest before racing. So, aws it got closer, I became more determined to do it. After all, it is really hard to not race in my own backyard and to not return to defend last years victory. I knew that this year would be a much harder. ITU stars like Leanda Cave (2002 world champion)and Laura Bennett and a few up and comers would be there.
I had an amazing sleep Saturday night. In fact, I could barely get up. (I decided to not have any caffeine for 3 days before the race. (I will NEVER do this again.) It has been clinicly proven that after 3 days, caffeine is completely out of your system. I do not reccommend this if you are a addict like myself. The caffeine withdraw headaches were unbelievable the first day)….Back to my story: Michael and I got to the race venue about 90 minutes before the start. This is a world record for us as we are never ever early! I was so excited to actually be there early until I noticed that every other woman except for Alison Hayden and a few other slackers:) had been there for at least 15 minutes to make sure that they had the perfect spot. BUMMER!!! In any case, I got a spot on the trasition rack and started getting my gear ready when a official came over to inspect my helmut. Apparently my helmet didn’t have a certification sticker in it, therreby making it illegal. That really sucked as every other pro in the fireld ahd the exact same helmet as me. The Rudy Project Aero Helmet. You would think that these guys would use some sort of discression and realize that maybe my sticker fell out! I was fortunate enough that Barry Siff saw what was happening. Even though he was unable to talk common sense ino this stickler, he was able to get me a kids sized helmet for my mini head with the proper sticker.
After the fiasco, I gathered my swim stuff and headed out to the swim start to check out the course. I felt good as I had my fist latte in 3 days that morning…YUM….latte:)…The swim started off just fine. I was tired still from my big week of training. I could tell, because I couldn’t push myself. Swimming is the hardest thing for me to do well when I am tired. I never felt like I was pushing the limit, however, as I got squeezed out of my spot, I faltered into thinking that I would swim my own line and not get onto feet. That was my first mistake. I saw my feet slip away. Just as though feet slipped away, I saw Sunny and Lee Ann (my normal swim group)swimming way to the right. I didn’t want to do that either….another mistake. Always remember…swim on feet at all times! Even though my stroke felt really good, I sadly got out of the water in last place. Oh well!
I started the bike with a new found agression with my kids helmet. I was trying to red-line the entire ride up and over Old Stage. I succeeded. I felt like my heart was about to pop out of my chest as I climbed and battled my gears to push up the hill. I passed several women and managed to pull myself from 19th place to 4th place. I couldn’t wait to get off of the bike. Although my legs were strong and I was able to really push, my head was about to pop off as my helmet was squeezing it tightly. (In my aero helmet I have to wear a braid or a bun in order to keep it on. I forgot to take the braid out before the race so that the kid-helmet would fit me correctly). Back to my story….As I started the run, I really felt phenomenal. I decided that I would try to red-line the run for as long as I could. I didn’t have much speed in my legs, but I knew that I was strong. I really wanted to test myself. My red-line lasted 2 miles and then I blew sky high. It took another 2 miles for me to recover and then I felt fast again the final 2 miles. I rallied for 4th place at the end of the day behind some really fast short course girls who mainly beat me on the swim.
Some of the things that I learned:
1. Never ever give up caffeine!
2. Never decide to swim my own line ever again.
3. Always make sure that there is a helmet certification sticker in my helmet.
4. Motor Tabs are the perfect hydrating system for me in hot weather.
Whew! Boulder Peak never disappoints me. It is the hardest Olympic Distance race out there. It’s hot and dry and the terrain is tough! I love it because it is the one short course race where the swim matters minimally and I can actually compete against true short course girls. Plus, it’s really great seeing all of my friends and having them cheer and be there for me!
A big thank you to all of my buddies!!!