It was awesome to be racing the Boise Spudman after a 2 year hiatus. Wow!, what a great event. It was my very first Olympic distance triathlon (back in 2003) and after doing several races all over the nation, this one still ranks up there as one of the best.
Thanks to Tim Severa and the YMCA staff for putting on this race. Spectators and racers alike are fortunate to have such a dedicated group. These events help the community stay active while having fun doing it. Also, thanks to all the volunteers, who took aside some time on a beautiful Saturday morning to make this race safe and fun for all the participants.
Hortense and I were both racing and we woke up to a calm morning under brilliant blue skies. Hortense had a fever the night before and wasn’t sure that she was going to be well enough to race. However, a good night of sleep worked some magic and she was ready to go.
It was easy to smile and relax while enjoying the day’s optimum weather with temps in the high 60’s, not a cloud in sight, and the slightest of summer breezes. I’m not sure what the water temperature was at Lucky Peak but it was comfortably warm yet still refreshing. At 9 o’clock the athletes took off on their 1.5k swim(1.7k probably). I was excited because it was my first race since St Anthony’s (the first of May) where I felt 100% healthy and wanted to enjoy my fitness. My swimming has been superb; so when someone took it out fast and pulled away in the first 200 yards, I was startled and wondering who is this fast guy? Did a pro enter the race?, was it a college swimmer?, was he a good biker and runner? I was stoked. Being challenged is always fun and brings out the best in your abilities. I caught up to him and drafted for the next 300 meters or so. I was able to recover while drafting and so I took the lead, while passing I noticed who the fast swimmer was…Peter Ney. We had swum together on several occasions, and yes he is a fast swimmer, biker, and runner.
From there I maintained a much stronger than usual pace and got into a great rhythm. I was using this event to get in race shape in time for the New York City Triathlon the following weekend. Peter forcing the issue in the swim was exactly what I needed, keeping me more than honest. He stayed close but I worked on negative splitting my swim and held off any late charge. None-the-less, we had a pretty good 3 to 4 minute lead on some other strong swimmers in the field.
After quickly changing out of my F2R wetsuit, I was off to time trial 40k (about 43k) on the super fast SCOTT Plasma. We had about a 3 mile out and back section where we could check out our competition coming out of the water. It was motivating to see my wife as the lead women. I yelled, “Go Hortense!” and surged with a little adrenalin rush. I was happy to consider her great swim reflecting on how she had been feeling.
I rode on and did my best to attack the large climb up to ‘Hilltop’, knowing this was the biggest test to my overall fitness and speed. After cresting this hill it was a several mile descent as we strode along a chunk of the Boise Ironman course. I flashed back to leading the first part of the bike in that race…and imagined my pace much quicker today.
Coming into T2 I turned my attention to having a solid run. I felt fleet footed and quick albeit too comfortable to be having a breakthrough run. I was finding it hard to force the issue and approach the realm of painfully hard running. I knew this would most likely be the case in the NYC Triathlon and did what I could to keep my pace near my threshold. I was appreciative for this glorious day and my fitness which was surely back on par. Heading back on the out-and-back run course I was elated to see Hortense still leading the race. Maybe she should feel bad the night before the race more often!? I encouraged her to, “think about those BRIC workouts.” Knowing these tough workouts serve up the mettle to finish out a 10k strong. Running towards the finish I noticed she did have company with several other women hot on her trail.
The best thing about the race, for my psyche going into the NYC Triathlon, was that the run felt short and I was left with the wonderful feeling of…’that’s it!?’ It was also super cool to finish the race and feel recovered shortly after. Feeling like this after a race is a sure sign that my body is in good shape and ready to roll.
Hortense got to mile 4 and then started to fade as the day’s heat rose and her energy waned. However, giving her minimalistic approach to training…she did awesome and winning her age-group and finishing 4th overall is something to be proud of. A few more weeks of Harold’s running workouts and she’ll be a whole new animal on the run.