Friday, June 27, 2014

IRONMAN Boise 70.3 - Race Recap 2 of 2

2 of 2........


The bike - whew, glad to have made it off that 56 mile course unscathed. Since the reservoir is set up in the hills, the first few miles of the bike is entirely downhill, giving you a chance to catch your breath, get your heart rate down and completely freak out while applying your breaks the whole time. No.really. That's what I did. (wah waaah). I think it may have been a result from my bike crash earlier in the year but I had a very hard time trusting in my abilities during the downhill sections of this course and probably suffered time wise because of it. The thought of losing control kept running through my mind, so anything past 30mph and I was braking. Ugh - lame. **TIP -Trust in your machine and your own abilities. Practice both up and downhills. Get comfortable to a point where you can continue to peddle through even the fastest of downhills.**

My lack in downhill confidence wasn't the only issue - Boise can get WINDY! One of the locals had mentioned that this is why they have such a late start time. Apparently the wind is worse in the early morning hours but tends to die down later on. Um, no. At one point, about 20 miles in, the cross wind was so bad that it nearly blew the guy in front of me clean off his bike! Thankfully I was paying attention and braced for my turn. Crap.....the idea of dealing with 36 more miles of this nonsense was a frustrator. Thankfully it let up a little bit for the remainder of the course and we only had minor head winds to deal with.

At about the halfway turn around point I saw my brother and we both let out a quick shout of support. So nice knowing that he was out of the water and on his bike safely - I hated being out there without knowing how he did. I even saw a fellow Swim Bike Mom army member and wished her well as I passed  by. Other than the confidence/wind issue I really felt great on the bike! My nutrition was working flawlessly, I felt really strong the whole time and Ben performed like a champ. I wasn't passed by too many and the ones who did fly by looked pretty serious.

A little hilly but the out and back course made it easy to stay focused on what was next.

The last 10 miles of the course brought us out of the lonely hills and back into town and through some residential neighborhoods. So many folks camped out on their front lawns cheering us on - I swear there is not one unhappy person in all of Boise! A few more corners to turn and I had made it! 56 miles, safe and still full of energy. With P and the gang there to great me and the calf feeling a-okay, I was pumped to get out of that saddle. And given the annoying winds we had to deal with, felt great about my overall time. Oh, and did I mention the signs yet? Our group had spent the previous day making some of the best race support signs - some were silly and some just plain motivational. Regardless of what they said, it was the feeling of having your family there to support you that goes unmatched.

Total Bike Time - 03:17:16
Age Group - 30
Gender - 160
Overall - 700

Fuel: 3 bottles (water + 2 Nuun + 2 scoops CarboPro)

**The bike felt great - the wind. Now that I have some 70.3 experience under my belt I know that I can push myself a bit harder next time**


Bike racked, shoes, race belt and visor on, I am happy to report that T2 was completely uneventful. And no, no potty mishaps this time around. Still decided to take my time though and focus on making sure that I had everything needed for the last 13.1 miles of my journey. A few extra minutes at the end wasn't going to matter.

T2 time - 00:04:19

**Obviously this could have been at least 2 minutes faster, but...**


Ok, let's start with the calf. I knew the run portion of this race was going to be the most difficult. Not only due to my injury but the simple fact that running a half marathon in itself is hard enough, let alone completing one after already racing for 4 hours. I had planned on doing a 3:1 run/walk scenario that my PT had signed off on and would see where that would take me. After about a mile the calf pain was definitely there and I was worried about doing anything that would aggravate it further. Heck, I still had a whole season and 3 more tris to get through! So easy does it.

The Boise 70.3 run is beautiful. It's a two loop, almost entirely flat course that follows directly along the river front - about 90% shaded it was a much appreciated break from the sun and wind. With an aid station at every mile it does a great job of keeping you motivated too. Water, Gatorade, GU, pretzels, chips, soda - you name it, they had it. My favorite? ICE CHIPS!! I swear those things kept me sane. I grabbed some every chance I could get. Down the front of my sports bra, down my back, rubbed all over my arms and face, it.was.heaven. The course also allows for spectators to see their racers at least three times - at miles 5, 11 and then of course at the finish. Getting to run by a crowd of supporters cheering you on so many times is a prefect way to re-fill those energy cells.

Here are some of the signs that our group made - aren't they awesome?!!!!

Loved the 'Go Random Stranger' - hope it helped to motivate someone else out there on the course!

Oh beer, how I've missed you as well!

By mile 6 the calf really started to flare up so I spent much of the last hour and a half doing more walking than running. This actually gave me a great opportunity to met all sorts of  motivating people doing just the same. Lots of Oregonians out on the course sporting their club gear too - made it very easy for me to yell out some words of encouragement. I never ending up seeing my bro on the run but I did see Kristen of Glitter and Dust fly by..holy cow, was she was in the zone! :) Would I have loved to have ran the whole thing? Of course! But to think that only a week prior I thought all my hopes of even finishing were tossed out the window. With that in mind I am thrilled with my overall performance at that point.

2 miles left and I was a ball of emotion. Every time I thought of P or The Kid I started to cry! It couldn't be helped. They have been so great in supporting me through all of my training, races, injuries and meltdowns - I just felt so blessed to have them in my life. With only a half mile to go I could hear the announcer's voice and knew the finish line was close. "Ok, Rebecca", I thought, "No more don't want people to think that you're in pain do you? Let's giddy up and sprint to the finish!".

Done. I was done!!! 6 hours and 45 minutes of non stop racing - I had conquered my first half Ironman! 70.3 miles of greatness complete. Now give me my freaking medal! :)

I swear I could not stop smiling. As I hugged everyone, chugged down ludicrous amounts of water and waited for my brother to finish, the joy of what I had just accomplished completely took over. The months of long hours and strenuous training had paid off. It was going to be awhile before I came down from my Ironman high.

Total Run Time - 02:39:40

Total Overall Race Time - 06:45:18
Age Group - 40
Gender - 239
Overall - 882

Fuel: Alternated water and electrolyte drink every mile. GU gel every 3 miles

**Not much could be helped with my run time. The energy was a bit more sluggish than I would have preferred but had zero stomach or cramping issues so my fueling must have been spot on. Excited to see how much better I can perform going into the run healthy next time**

A little over an hour later my brother had made it to the finish line too! So proud of him!! I kept thinking how much fun it must have been for my mom to see both her kids finish this race. Thankfully my pops tuned into the Ironman website and was also able to watch us both cross the finish line via their live feed. A huge THANK YOU to Ironman for allowing this to happen.

Half Ironman Boise finishers - BOOYAH!!
After our amazing finishes, my brother and I wandered over to food tent to replenish our calories by grubbing on some pizza and burgers. No beer though - that would have to wait until we got back to the house. Finished with our snacks, we all headed over to the Ironman store to pick up a few items to commemorate our accomplishments, then it was time to head back to the house.

It was a long (14 hours) day but worth every bit of the aches, pains, frustrations, lines etc. that we had to deal with.  My first HIM experience was a success and I can not wait to do it again! Many, many thanks to all my readers, fellow Tri-Fecta members, my online coaches Meredith and Brett, and friends and family for helping to make this dream a reality. The support and encouragement I've received along the way has been so overwhelmingly amazing. The sacrifices my family has made during this process is far more than I could have ever asked for.

What's next? I have quite a few more races on the calendar for this season so you'll definitely want to stay tuned. Also, Ironman Arizona 140.6 volunteer registration opens up next know what that means..........

Beer and I reunited once again........cheers!

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

IRONMAN Boise 70.3 - Race Recap 1 of 2

Why hello there! It's been awhile hasn't it? Well, after my race in Boise a few weeks ago I decided to take a mental and physical break from all things triathlon related, including blogging. And it was very much appreciated, tell you. Now that we're back on that horse again, I figured it was about time I gave you a recap of my race - the one and only - it's a long one folks, so buckle down and enjoy....

Thursday, June 5 

Time to head out! After P dropped the pups off at their kennel, or as we call it "summer camp", we packed up and made our way on down the road.

Minus Ben and an ice chest - not too bad for three people!

Someone wasn't too thrilled about the 6 hour drive. He slept most of it anyway.

After 6.5 hours and one stop for gas and lunch, we made it to Boise. It was kinda fun seeing all the cars with race bikes in tow making their way along the same stretch of road. I often shared knowing glances and big nervous smiles with the folks we passed . "You racing this weekend? Me too! Holy crap I'm scared!" - I love being a part of this tri community.

After arriving to the house that we rented for the weekend, my brother and I (I told you he was racing too, right?) had planned on driving up to the reservoir to meet a local tri club for some OWS, test out the water temp and get a lay of the land. Unfortunately we had planned our drive based on west coast arrival times, completely forgetting that Boise, ID is on MT. So our assumed 5pm arrival was actually 6pm. Although the club was only meeting for a short while, we dropped our families off at the house to get settled and work on dinner and decided to drive out to the water anyway. 


Ugh - so yeah, although renting a house outside of downtown did prove to be very relaxing, the amount of driving we had to do while prepping for race day is not recommended. As the reservoir is 20 minutes away from downtown and the race finish, it made for A LOT of driving. Anyway, we made it to the water and actually had plenty of time to take a quick dip! The course start was already blocked off by Ironman personnel, but thankfully there was a nice little spot just around the corner that is used by the locals.

Not a bad venue, eh?

All that I've been reading about in past race reports was how freezing the water is here. I guess being a fish and having grown up on the beaches of SoCal, I really didn't notice. Heck, I could have swam that thing sans wetsuit and have been just fine. Whew!! One less thing to stress about. Bro and I did a few laps between bouys to get a feel of the chop (water was a bit cranky this day). I was content with the conditions and overall very pleased that we had a chance to test things out ahead of time. Another 40 minute drive back to the house and in for the night!

Friday, June 5

Picked Mom and Aunt P up from the airport this day - yay! They both flew in from Colorado to watch us race. So blessed to have a family that easily offers up their support. After welcome hugs and kisses, we made our way downtown to the race village where we met the rest of our family for registration and the mandatory athlete briefing. Ho-ly cow there were some seriously cut folks out there! Definitely a lot of nervous energy as we made our way through the multiple lines picking up packets, bracelets, race gear etc.

Locked and loaded!

Afterwards we treated ourselves to lunch at a local grill. P and I always make sure to stay away from chain restaurants when in a new town. We want a local experience - and this place had it all.

The whole crazy crew! Couldn't ask for a better group of supporters.

With lunch over we headed back to the house so that everyone could drop their bags off and relax a little before the next day's craziness began. Everyone but my brother and I, that is - we still had to head back out again in order to drop our bikes off at T1. (why we didn't just bring them into town with us earlier that day I don't know - poor time management!) So another 40 min haul up to the reservoir it was.  Kind of nervous leaving Ben out in the open overnight but they had the place pretty well guarded so we had nothing to worry about. Good thing we chose to do this on Friday though - the last minute madhouse we witnessed on race day by those who waited to do so did not look like fun. Parking is super limited at the reservoir in general and even less available during race day so you can only imagine how long of a hike those poor souls had to make that morning. As luck would have it though, my brother and I got to rack our blue beauties right across the the aisle from each other!!

Ben and I - ready to make some magic!
Bikes dropped we decided to drive a little bit of the course just to see how it compared to the elevation map that I had been obsessing over. Except for a few long hills the course looked pretty tame - I was convinced that time and pace would be close to what I've been maintaining in training. That was before I remembered to factor in the wind...oh you crazy, high plains desert-like wind..........

Needless to say, this day was full of running much so that I was pretty exhausted by the time I was finally able to crawl into bed. **TIP - do not wear flip-flops during the days leading up to your long distance event. With over 10 hours of walking around to do this day, I fully regretted not wearing a good pair of running shoes. Lesson learned!**

Back at the house with a full stomach of delicious spaghetti dinner in my belly later, it was time to pack my transition bags. Because of the multiple course locations, this was a "clean" race, meaning all gear for each transition must be able to fit into the bags they provided during check in. Not the typical set up with everything laid out before hand. Nothing left on the ground before or after transition. I think I actually prefer doing it this way. Made for a heck of a lot more room to change gear in and you didn't have to worry about another racer's junk splayed all over your area.

624 is all packed up and ready to go!

10pm and  it was lights out for this gal!

Saturday, June 6 **Race Day**

I slept fairly decently the night before, and with a noon start there was no getting up at 4am for once. I set my alarm for 7am but naturally woke up before then. As part of my race day nutrition plan I knew I needed to get in a regular breakfast but the stomach just would not cooperate. Normally I don't have issues eating on race morning but I did have a bit of trouble this day. Still managed to get down at least half a peanut butter bagel (my go-go), half a banana and a nice large cup of coffee. I brought a PowerBar with me and planned to take that down about an hour before start time. Thankfully my stomach had settled by then and I was able to eat the whole thing.

Nervous but happy racers!

So, everyone out of the house we made our way downtown. Found the perfect parking spot, **TIP - get there early**, dropped off our T2 run bags and hopped on the first bus that would take us up to the reservoir. Very thankful to Boise for providing these buses free of charge, not only the athletes, but our families and spectators as well. A quick 20 minute ride and we were there - Ironman Boise 70.3!!

Holy.crap. The place was housed!!

With a noon start you are bound to get to the venue quite a bit early and given the time of day, will be sitting in the sun for a few hours. We had no idea what to expect and definitely learned a few lessons. **Tips #1. Bring an umbrella! Nice for your support crew but even better for you, the racer. Sitting out in the hot sun for 2 hours before your start can be a bit energy draining. Try to shade yourself as much as possible. #2. Bring chairs for your support crew! As the bike course takes the road leading back down from the reservoir, your support crew will be stuck up there until the last biker is down from the hill. This can mean they are waiting around for another 2 hours after the start, just itching to get back on those buses and back down to T2. #3. Bring an extra pair of sunglasses - once transition closes you still have about 45 minutes before start time. Sun in your eyes for that amount of time is also an energy suck. #4. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate! 2 hours in the sun without taking in water and electrolytes can be very detrimental to your race. Starting out dehydrated is no bueno. Thankfully the volunteers had plenty of water available for everyone but no additional electrolytes, so bring your own. Do it folks - your cramp free swim will thank you.**


My age group was set for Wave 7 and my brother's Wave 8. This gave us a great chance to view the Pros take off on the swim. Even little Apollo Ono......yes, he was there! Apollo is this year's Chocolate Milk sponsored athlete. And just like Hines Ward he is also training for Kona with Boise being his 70.3 prep race. Though I personally never got a close up, P and The Kid were apparently eye level to him coming out of the water - guess the poor guy was a bit disoriented and looked whipped. He had a great swim time though and overall a very fast race. Congrats to Apollo!

Anyway, back to my start - after a quick good luck to my bro and a round of hugs, I said good-bye to the fam and lined up on the boat ramp. I was ready. Given the amount of time I had already spent in the sun, the thought of that "cold" water sounded ah-mazing. 1 minute after the wave before us took off we were allowed to enter the water and swim over to the start. This was my first in water start and something that I prefer. As usual I decided to stay in the middle of the pack (though I should be starting up closer to the front) and tried my best to make some space. Ladies 35-39 were fired up! Lots of nervous looks but you could feel the energy bouncing around.

And GO!!!!!
I'm somewhere in this mess!

Almost immediately I had trouble with my goggles - the effers kept leaking!! The darn things have NEVER given me an issue!  Unfortunately the leak was big enough to where I couldn't possibly ignore the water, so I spent a good 300 meters swimming/stopping/fixing goggles/swimming - best guess I lost about 2 minutes messing with the dumb things. Errr...oh well, no panic, just correct the issue and get moving. Once I finally got them settled I was off once again. Honestly the swim, other than the goggle incident, was pretty uneventful. Given this was my first 70.3 I wasn't sure about pacing so I took it easy (a bit too easy) and focused mainly on keeping my hear rate down. I found a group of pink caps (my wave) that were keeping a good pace so I just stayed with them. The water was fairly choppy but the bouy set up was awesome allowing for super easy sighting. About half way in I started to pass up the swimmers from earlier waves - although this is a great motivator, usually these folks are a little weaker in this portion of the race so it can get a bit hectic trying to wade through the flailing arms and legs.

It stayed like that through the last half of the swim but by the time the boat ramp came into view I was honestly sad to have it over! I could have easily done another loop without issue......such is the life of a swimmer. Now it was time to fret about that darn bike....and the wind! Out of the water I made my way up the boat ramp - usually I run all the way through to transition but knew that anything but an uphill walk would irritate my calf and decided to take it easy.  P and the fam were right there cheering me along the whole way....
It's soooo bright out here!!

Total Swim Time -  00:36:51
Age Group - 13
Gender - 67
Overall - 278

**Like I said, wasn't pushing myself and could have gone sooo much faster**

T- 1

Can I get a shout out for the WETSUIT STRIPPAS!!!! That was awesome. Lay down, stick your feet in the air and swoosh - that sucker is off! It's normally pretty easy to take my suit off but I just had to experience this. :)

In addition to the stripping, T1 had another "interesting" moment. I knew that I was going to take a few extra minutes in order to put my compression socks on properly (which is not an easy task to do with wet skin, mind you) but had no idea how much I was going to need to pee! Holy cow I must have swallowed the whole dang lake. In the heat of the moment I dried myself off, stuck the towel in between my legs and just went....and went.....and went. Sorry, TMI, I know but it was crazy! Never once did it occur to me that perhaps a quick trip to the port-a-potty might be in order. Nope - "What's the fastest, most efficient way to do this?" I thought....hey, it kept me from having to worry about how to go on the bike, so there's no shame in my game! :)

Total T1 Time - 00:07:12

Part 2 of 2 - The Bike, Run and Finish be continued........

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

IM Boise 70.3 Week 19 - Training Recap


That should be the real title of this week's recap. I have ONCE AGAIN injured myself in a way that has possibly taken me out of Boise. Out of the race that I have been training fervently for these past 5 months! 5 months of hard work...1 week to go and I am officially on rehab. Uggh. I swear folks, you can't make this stuff up........let's recap how last week's training went and I'll give you the nitty-gritty on exactly what happened...

Monday - Rest Day

After Sunday's long 60 mile brick I took a much needed rest day. Enjoyed the holiday by basking in the glow of my awesomeness.

It's egotistical thoughts like these that will get you in trouble....

Tuesday  - 2800 Yard Swim

Easy Tuesday morning swim. I got to the pool a bit later than I would have liked and had to cut the swim short by about 500 yards - still got 2800 in so I'll take it. The arm at this point I can happily say is at 99%. Primed and ready for Boise.

Wednesday -  1 Hour Bike (trainer)

Nothing special to write home about here - all the hustle and bustle of my after work errands ended too late so I made due on the trainer. Really wanted to get in another hilly ride outside but am thankful to have at least gotten my legs moving.

Thursday - 4 Mile Run & 8th Grade Promotion

8th Grade Promotion! How in the world do I have a son that is graduating from the 8th grade already?! Yowzaa! This was a really fun day for the whole family. The Kid pretty much took over the ceremony with his speech and rock band performances (he sang, 'Ho, Hey' and 'In The Middle'). It was like the "Seth Show" up in there. :)

Rockin his 8th Grade speech.

The Kid and his girlfriend - young love.

So proud.

"No cameras, please."

After the evening's festivities, I managed to get in a 4 mile run before having to pick up the Kid and his buddy from their end of year dance later that night. Whew - that day was a long but very fun one!

Friday - Rest Day

Unplanned but much needed. I enjoyed the heck outta it. :)

Saturday - 1600 Yard OWS & A Strained Calf

Headed out Saturday morning to a lake nearby where local pro-triathletes Chris Bagg and Chris Boudreaux, along with my favorite LBS were sponsoring an OWS clinic. Although I'm not a newbie to OWS and wasn't looking for basic instruction, I figured it would be a great chance to get in the open water in before Boise. Oh, if I had only known....

We spent most of the two hours practicing siting and swimming in a crowd. Also got some great pointers on breathing techniques which I hadn't thought of before. Near the end of the session we did a beach to water race simulation - complete with high knees etc. Literally 6 feet of group takes off.....and there goes my calf muscle! What the heck? I swear it felt like I tore the darn thing!!! Jumped into the water and swam across to the exit without issue but the moment I stood up to walk out, I knew I was done. Literally had to keep from crying it was that bad. All I could think of was how my 5 months of training had all gone down the drain with a simple hop! Is this really happening? Maybe it was just a cramp?....Nope. Not a cramp. Crap! Crippity crap, crap!!

Clinic was over so I dried off, packed my bag and headed back out on the bike, doing everything I could not to just give up, sit down and bawl my eyes out. I had planned on doing an hour ride followed by a 3 mile run that afternoon, but all I could muster up was the defeated 10 mile ride back home. Thankfully my quads are doing most of the work on the bike so I did manage to make it home ok. Not knowing the extent of my injury, I immediately starting icing, compressing and elevating. The Kid had his birthday party that night so I managed to hobble over his shin-dig and tried to enjoy myself.

Sunday - R.I.C.E and Trying Not To Freak Out

I'm sure you can imagine what my Sunday consisted of. Rest. Ice.Compression and Elevation.....along with drinking a few beers and eating crap food. Basically feeling sorry for myself. (lame, I know)

Swim - 4400 yards
Bike - 20 miles
Run - 4 miles
Hour - 15

So here we are, 5 days out from Boise and I have a strained right calf muscle. Thankfully I was able to get into my PT yesterday (Monday) who ruled out a tear. She did some ASTYM, ART, ultra sound and taping. Pretty much everything she could in order to get the healing process moving as fast as possible. That along with some additional stretching and I can already see and feel a difference today. Hallelujah! Per PT's orders I was able to go for a 2 mile walk last night up to our fav frozen yogurt spot while my son chaperoned on his long board (birthday present - he won't get off the darn thing) There is definitely still pain, and I can't yet fully support pushing up on the balls of my right foot, but.....I feel a thousand times better than Sun, heck even yesterday and I am bound and determined to race, even if it does mean that I have to walk the 13.1 miles. There is still a bit of time before Saturday though and I do have another PT appointment tomorrow night so please keep me in your prayers and positive thoughts - yes, I will walk the 13.1 but I won't be happy about it.

Update to follow..............