Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Ironman Boise 70.3

It's hard to believe I'm writing about Ironman Boise 70.3. Kassia and I said at the end of June last year (2014) that we were going to do this race. Before this triathlon adventure I pretty much only lifted weights with some running thrown in here and there. So when Kassia said we should do a half Ironman I thought she was crazy, I was thinking more of doing Sprints or Olympics but definitely not a half. After some coaxing from her I decided we should go for it, we had a whole year which is plenty of time. So now on the other end of the race, I couldn't be happier that we did this race, it was a blast! The best part of this whole thing was doing this together, we made this goal together and it was awesome being able to finish.

Anyways enough of that lets get on to the race!
The race started at 10:00 am, my wave didn't start until 10:55 and Kassia's started at 11:05. I would have preferred to start right at 10:00 instead of waiting for almost an hour. That hour gave me plenty of time to psych myself out, I stared out at all the buoys and all I could think is how impossible it seemed to actually swim that far. But after talking to a couple of friends I calmed down and remembered to TRUST IN MY TRAINING! This phrase got me through the entire day. Once it was time to go, I got in the water and all my nerves were gone, I just told myself that this was a nice training swim and that I would be fine. The air horn blew and I was off. I opted to stay in the back of the pack to avoid all the congestion and to just take it nice and easy which turned out to be a pretty good strategy for me. I kept track of how many buoys there were, I knew there were 5 yellow, 4 orange and 5 more yellow. My sighting was much better than my race in Oregon last month and I was able to stay relatively close to the buoys, I got to the halfway point and I felt great, I wasn't having a panic attack nor was I gasping for air. All was going well, I was on the home stretch and this dude just rammed me in the head out of nowhere, I wasn't happy about it but I stopped for a second regained control and swam to the ramp. I couldn't believe how good I felt! I looked down at my watch and I saw 38 minutes, I was pretty stoked about that!

The Oregon race was only 1 mile and it took me 38 minutes as well so there was some improvement! I ran up the ramp, ran to the strippers (one time in my life I've ran into a group of girls to have them rip something off my body haha) they were great, I sat down and the wetsuit was off quickly, that was way better then me doing it myself. I got to my bike, threw on the helmet and sunglasses, stuffed my wetsuit into the bag and I was off. Going into this race I was probably the most nervous about the swim because it just seemed so long, so when I was able to run up the ramp and still be alive I was ecstatic. I love the bike portion so I was ready to roll.

Since my knee has been irritating me for the last month or so, my coach told me to take it easy for the first half of the bike ride and then if I felt up to it I could push it the last half. Well I took it easy for the first couple of miles, there was a pretty good hill we had to climb so I just took that nice and easy. Then next thing I knew we were at mile 10 and I thought "man that was quick!" And that was enough of the easy stuff for me, I decided it was go time! There were some hills, they weren't too bad but the wind was rough. There was a portion of the race where the headwind was brutal but the only thing to do was to keep pushing. I was nervous about my nutrition since I had never done a race of this distance before but everything worked out. I drank a UCAN during the first hour, grabbed a Gatorade at the end of the first hour, ate a Honey Stinger Waffle, drank my Gatorade and water then in the last hour I ate Honey Stinger Gummies and I felt great. I wasn't hungry at all nor was I stuffed which was my goal, I absolutely did not want to bonk. The bike continued on and I continued to feel really strong, in my mind I kept thinking "man this race so far is easy!" Haha what a stupid thing to think! But this was my first one and I was surprised how good I felt on a hilly, windy, hot course. I hit mile 50 and I couldn't believe it, it was almost time to run! The last couple of miles were kind of a pain, we came flying down the big hill we climbed at the beginning but we had to make a turn on to a path that had a few very tight turns which totally took away our speed. After that though it was an easy ride to T2. I biked in, saw my in-laws who made the trip up to see us and then I thought "Awesome, all I have is the run left" Haha once again why I was celebrating that I don't know. I racked my bike, threw on my belt, shoes and socks and I was ready to pound out this run. Overall I was really happy with the bike I finished at 3:01

Let me tell ya I was an idiot for thinking this race was easy, yes the swim and bike felt good but the run was so hard! The first 4 to 5 miles weren't bad, it was pretty fun there were a few spectators here and there but then about mile 6 my legs were dead! Luckily this is about when you do a loop by the finish line and there was a ton of spectators which was super motivating and I desperately needed some motivation. Then my friend Jordan Sandberg caught up to me and gave me a ton of motivation. He kept telling me that it's all mental, I'm strong and I can do this. I kept saying I can't do this my legs don't work! He kept telling me to think positive and that we were going to finish this together. This was the biggest help I could have received, he pushed me for a few miles and I honestly don't know if I could have gotten through that run without him. I also loved hearing people yell "BAM brothers" as we ran by, that was fun. At about mile 10, I told him I had to walk and that he shouldn't wait for me. He wanted to push hard to finish for his boys, he is an amazing dude and like I said he literally saved my run, I'm very grateful I had the chance to run with him when I was struggling so bad. After Jordan left I ran/walked the rest of the way, I really wanted to push hard to try and finish under 6 hours but honestly my legs were shot! I was able to muscle it out and once I hit the chute I kind of sprinted to the finish line and I can't even explain how happy I was. No this was not a Full Ironman but I didn't care I was pumped! To think that just one year ago Kassia and I got into this whole triathlon thing, and we really started training with a coach in January, it felt so good to be able to finish! I got my medal, hat and some much needed water. My overall run time was 2:20 and my overall time for the race was 6:07.

Unfortunately for Kassia her knee started flaring up around mile 4 (you can read about in her race review) I was so proud of her for finishing, I felt bad for her though, we had put so much time into training it was really unfortunate her knee was irritating her. But being able to take a picture with her with our medals was awesome! It was seriously one of my favorite moments of my whole marriage to stand at the finish line with her and just hug her, this whole triathlon journey has brought us so much closer together, it is true what they say, the couple that trains together stays together! I can't wait for everything else that awaits us in the triathlon world.
Man did I learn some important lessons in this race, and the most important one was that I am mentally weak! The last half of the 13.1 miles requires a ton of mental strength to convince yourself that you can do it. I kept telling myself I couldn't do it when I should have been saying I can! That run was the hardest thing I have ever done mentally and physically, honestly I was tired but I'm so happy that I could finish!
This weekend was amazing, we met some incredible people and it was so fun being around friends. The race was run very smoothly, Lucky Peak was gorgeous and the water felt great, the bike ride was gorgeous as well and the run course was awesome too. This was a fantastic race and I"ll definitely be back next year!
I am so grateful for our great coach Keate Avery, obviously without him there is not a chance we could have done this race. I'm also so grateful for Balanced Art Multisport, we have met some of the most amazing people through this club and everybody has been so helpful. We are rookies and we know nothing, it has been awesome to pick the brains of all these triathlon veterans and build these friendships. This is just the beginning for us and I can't wait for what is ahead of us..... Uh oh do I see a Full Ironman in the future? After Boise, we both left craving a full, we'll have to wait and see what happens!

Thanks for reading,

1 comment:

  1. it's really very nice