The Swim (Part 2)

Swim 1:05:26 / 12th in AG / 73 overall

Race day came along and the same ritual that has worked for me in the past was all set. Wake up @ 4:00 am and get a shower, eat breakfast that consists of 2 bananas, 2 ensure bottles, 2 loafs of bread with almond butter, and grab a perform bottle for the hours to come.

 

My dad and I went to the Boulder High School in the car, since I always try to walk as little as possible before a race. We found a parking spot and went to T2 to organize my run gear. Which always is a Headsweats visor, a pair of oakley sunglasses, a pair of black socks, ON running shoes, race number and belt and the nutrition. My nutrition plan for this race was BASE salt, along with 4 power gels, 2 Honey stinger waffles and the rest would come from the aid stations.

Once all this was done it was time to grab the bus that would take us from T2 to the swim start, which was the only way to get there. There were so many buses to take athletes and families to the reservoir that it was literally no wait line at all.

 

I got to the reservoir at around 5:30am ready to set up my cycling bag and my bike prior than focusing on the race. When I arrived there the announcer was saying that the water temperature was 78 degrees, which meant no wetsuit for those hoping to qualify for awards and kona slots. I honestly didn’t care, I was just prepared for anything. After setting up my cycling bag (helmet, shoes, BASE salt, 4 waffles and 2 gels) I went to set up my bike. One thing I like to do a couple days before a race, is to write on a piece of paper everything I need to do and have on each bag, on my bike, on the swim, etc. Because with the anxiety of race day we often forget little things, like for example leaving the chain on the big ring, turning on the garmin, taking body glide to the swim, etc. After fighting with my garmin to make it find my power meter for quite a while, I had to take my bike to a corner so the watch was able to find my pedals and not the other 2000 that were around, I was ready to focus and throw on my Roka Viper Pro Swimskin.

 

IMG_0254
before the start

I went to the swim start and position my self at the front of the race, where I can catch some faster swimmers and be able to swim behind them the whole way, not totally at the front but between the “under 60” and 1:00-1:10 people. The cannon went off and instead of everybody running like crazy to the water we were encouraged to walk and everybody did which made the start much smoother and a lot less kicking at the start.

Swim start

I was using Roka F1 goggles, the best I’ve had so far and thanks to them I was able to spot everything quite easy, both with the sun in my face and against it. The start of the swim was nice and we got to see part of the sunrise which is always beautiful and it meant it was going to be a hot race (which I always enjoy). The swim was quite simple, a huge triangle so it made every turn about the same distance from the next which made it easy to break the swim in three parts.

Unfortunately I never found people to swim behind them and pretty much it was me all the way with some guys right behind me the whole time. I was feeling smooth and great and was really concentrating on maintaining a good effort throughout the whole swim. My main goal was to be consistent and not burn nor go too slow.

Boulder Resevoir

The swim was calm and beautiful and I felt really good. My goal was to be as close as possible to 1:00 and there was a time were I thought I was going to be able to swim under an hour but I guess I burned up a little and ended up with a 1:05 swim, which for me wasn’t bad at all and put me in a good place to start catching people on the bike, which is my stronger discipline. I was 12th out of the water in my AG so to get to the top spots wasn’t going to take a crazy effort on the bike.

 

 

What happened in Boulder (Part 1)

Ironman Boulder was supposed to be a breakthrough race for me, the spot where I would finally get my slot to Kona and be able to race among the best in the world, plus some other people that go there by other accomplishments; racing a lot or paying a lot, anyway, still almost all of who go to Hawaii are the best in the world and I wanted to take a shot against all of them.

I went to Boulder with such great expectations, a race in altitude and with a hilly bike leg, Just like where I grew up and where I train every day, sounds like a good match. Boulder, as we all know, happens to be the home for many top triathletes and that had me excited too, to meet some of them and to see the place they all go to become the best in the world, and since in the future I want to be one of them it was exciting to see where they lived.

I arrived there with my dad and we were automatically blown away by the beauty of this place, it was just simply amazing, the city, the landscape, everything. Plus, you saw people cycling, running, walking or just doing some kind of activity wherever you looked.

Boulder

After building up my bike, which is always uncomfortable on a hotel room I was ready to hit the roads for my first training day in the course. I had to bike 1:30 with some short efforts, just a little above race pace. Once I started my ride I felt it was meant for me, the course had these false flats, some downhill and the screaming fast flats, broken up by more hills. I felt great, my power was great and I just thought to myself that I was going to nail this race.

The next few days were all about training, swimming, running and some more biking. The swim had to be in a pool since the reservoir was only opening on certain days at a certain hour, so I went to a local pool. Every day throughout the week was the discussion about the water temperature, some people said there was no way it wasn’t going to be without a wetsuit, other said it was already too hot to be wetsuit legal, and it just went back and forth, bets came in place, pros were saying one thing, other were saying other, it was just funny to hear all of this. I was just mentally prepared for anything, Personally I couldn’t care less how the swim was going to be, I had swam a lot for this race and knew I could have a good swim that was going to set me up for a killer bike leg.

As for the run, one image says more than a 1000 words…I had the honor to run in this kind of scenery

Boulder Run

The day before the race I was very lucky to meet Ben Hoffman and Tim Don, two guys that were incredibly kind a we had a really good conversation about a lot of stuff. I also got some good advice on the course, gear, goals, it was a just a really cool conversation. It was just so much fun to have met those two guys the day before. Oh and The Hoff speaks fluent Spanish!

Tim Don

It just made me even more prepared to what I came for…to win.

Little that I knew, Boulder had a little surprise for me.

part 2 shortly…