This was my 3rd time racing Boulder 70.3 and I think probably my last for awhile. The Boulder reservoir is just exhausting!
The was the first year of the new rolling swim start. You lined up based on your projected final swim time. I lined up in the 30-32 min group. Lots of friends in the group and I really wanted to swim with Anthony. It made for a very easy gentle start of the race, people were chill. But I also found it lacked that adrenaline rush that I love about racing as well. It just took the edge off everything.
I felt like I was swimming great the first 2/3 of the race, but the last straightaway was quite bad. I got nailed twice in the throat and I took in a ton of water and then gagged and threw up. Not once but twice. I don’t think I lost any time due to it, it just was uncomfortable. Also got my goggles whapped so hard that they sucked into my eyeball. Had to stop and get that sorted out.
Out of the water I was really laboring. I didn’t know at the time I swam 32:42. Pretty bad swim for me, doesn’t really show the 20,000 yards of swimming a week I’ve been putting down in the last month, but that’s how I swam and it was the best I had on the day.
I got really lost in transition. Really not like me, my head was just in a big fog. I couldn’t find my rack, went down two different racks searching for my bike, didn’t recognize my stuff when I got to it, and had to stop and look at my race bracelet to remind myself of my number. Was a bit flummoxed mounting my bike as well.
Onto the bike my heart rate was high and my legs were screaming at me. But sometimes you just gotta tell them to shut up, ignore the HR, put your head down and ride. That’s what I did. I just rode. My head was spacey and I couldn’t make sense of the numbers like I usually do, so I just kept it raw and hard. It was painful. I was more in control than years past, but my legs never eased up, they were angry and I didn’t care. Nutrition went down great, except my Osmo tasted like soap. It was so strange.
I had this odd thing happen when we were going through an aid station and there was a sign that directed bikes one way and cars another. I couldn’t for the life of me figure out which way to go. I kept looking at the sign and just couldn’t figure it out. It was odd, but apparently my brain did not show up to race. It was obvious, but I couldn’t figure it out.
Because of the rolling start you have no idea where you are in your age group or who you are racing. I’ll be honest. I absolutely hated it. When I sign up for a race I want to RACE, like with others in my age group. This was just some pseudo in-between bull shit and I will steer clear from races with this start format from here on out. Ironman has lost my business on that point. Thanks Ironman, for taking the race out of the race.
Off the bike, got lost in transition (translation) a second time. Foggy brain was still in command. Luckily I did not put on someone else’s shoes this year. Oh lordy. I got out running and shoved my Garmin in my bra. About a month ago I lost the wrist strap for my Garmin. It’s one of those that can go between the bike and the run and has a separate wrist strap for the run. Well I lost it so I have to stick the thing in my bra. Not ideal.
So I got off running and thought to myself: just run mile 1 on perceived exertion, go at what feels like 70.3 pace. When my Garmin buzzed at the one mile I fished it out of my bra to look at the split – 7:45. Ek gawd Sonja, you’ve got to speed up. And that’s about how the run went. Me telling myself to run faster, and trying to do so only to see split after split of lackluster times (for me). I tried to pick it up harder on the second loop, didn’t really happen. I wasn’t in an extreme amount of pain, more just felt like I was in a giant bubble, inside a slow motion movie, and I was trying to dig deep but couldn’t figure out how to do so.
The finish line was great, it always is. It also means you can sit down. I came in at 4:38:11, a whole 8 seconds faster than last year, 2 min slower swim, 2 min faster run. But whereas I was 2nd amateur and 2nd AG last year, this year I was 7th amateur and 4th age group. Congratulations to those I shared the podium with, some terrific races were had out there. Looks like everyone is in a good place going into Vegas World Champs in a mere 5 weeks.
Thank you to those who support me through the ups and down, KE, QR, PxRx, Amrita. This wasn’t quite an up, but it wasn’t a down either. I gave all I had and I’m proud of that. Onwards!