On to the Ironman Boulder bike report, but you can catch up on my swim report here!
T1 – 7:10
The transitions at Ironman Boulder are so long! I had a wonderful volunteer in the change tent who helped me get ready. Then I ran over to my bike and I got to say hi to Neil, my mom and my dad. On my way out I spotted Angie (who was not expecting me) and yelled, “What just happened??” She went wild when she saw me!
The Bike – 112 mi/180 km
I was so pumped about my swim but it was time to put that behind me and focus on the bike ride ahead of me. After driving the bike course earlier in the week I was really excited to ride here.
My goals for the Ironman Boulder bike were to:
- Ride smart, ride strong.
- Minimize stopping on the bike. I spent 27 minutes stopped in 2014, wasted between bathroom breaks and stopping to deal with cramps.
- Eat and drink like a champ.
I pedalled as easy as possible in the opening miles, taking the first hills in my easiest gear. We rode under a foggy sky which helped to keep the temperatures cool to start off.
The first loop of 23 miles held the toughest hills and it flew by quickly. I then started on my first of the two large loops around Boulder. Riding north on Foothills Parkway didn’t look like a huge climb but it had enough grade that this felt like a slow hard go. Luckily thanks to the race director’s great pre-race videos I knew to expect this and I tried to keep my effort in check as much as possible.
My lower back started to hurt around the third aid station just before 40 miles. I pulled off to the side to stretch a bit. I don’t tend to ride in aero that much around Calgary so I don’t think my body was used to spending so much time in this position on race day.
Once I hit the intersection of 36 and 66 I reminded myself that I now knew what to expect since I had ridden the next 16 miles of the course earlier in the week. I broke the course into mental chunks and before I knew it I was getting started on my second loop.
My low back pain persisted so I kept trying to switch up my riding position, plus my feet started to feel like they were cramping on me. I’ve had this happen on really warm days before. I started to make quick stops at the aid stations to pour cold water on my feet and for a quick stretch. It helped to do the trick to manage the discomfort.
The volunteers at the aid stations were so enthusiastic and positive. One team even advertised snow cones at their station! They had little cups of crushed ice topped up with orange Gatorade. A wonderful volunteer here offered to put some ice down my top, something I’ve never tried on race day before. Let me tell you…ice down the sports bra and in your back pocket feels heavenly!!
I made the final turn on 26th Street towards transition with a huge smile on my face. I felt so much better today than I did two years ago. Smiles all the way and easy pedalling to get the legs ready for the run! I also managed to ride a 51 minute best time on the Ironman bike.
112 mi – 6:53:51
W35 – 39: 43 out of 68
Women: 224 out of 415
Overall: 987 out of 1,490
T2 – 9:21
Again, this was another long transition at more than 0.3 miles! Once I dismounted from my bike I pulled over to the side to take my bike shoes off so I could walk in socks. My feet were feeling so sore from the cramps I dealt with on the bike, but walking in socks gave a chance for my feet to stretch out. In transition I swapped out my socks, put some sunscreen on and headed out.
Bike Gear: Cervelo P2C, Torhans Aero20 Bottle, Zipp 60 Wheels, Garmin Vector pedals, Garmin Edge 810, Shimano WT60 Tri Shoes, Specialized S-Works Evade Helmet, SOAS Racing team kit, Specialized Women’s SL Comp bike gloves, Feetures Elite Light Cushion No Show Tab Socks
Nutrition: 6.5 bottles of Tailwind, 1 banana, 6 dates stuffed with almonds, 1.5 Pop Tarts (75 gr carbs/hour, 314 cal/hour)