Wow, 6 weeks is up, which means that I’m more than halfway through my stay here with ‘just’ 5 weeks to go until leaving for the Ironman 70.3 World Championships in Las Vegas. It’s been another great week with lots or training, laughs, fun and a hard race at Ironman 70.3 Boulder to finish it off.
Monday and Tuesday were both fairly standard training days, with the highlight being two ‘longer’ swim sets. The term ‘longer’ in this context is relative, as they were both just over 3500m, which most people wouldn’t consider long. However, given the lack of swim training in the last 10 weeks, it felt good to get these two sessions in the bank without any lingering discomfort. On Wednesday I had the last normal training day, before three easier days leading into Sunday’s race. I had a 3 hour ride with some tempo efforts as well as a stock standard 7 mile run. At this stage of the week I was feeling good and confident of putting out a good performance on the weekend.
On Thursday 2nd August I turned 24. I’m now officially in my mid-twenties! It was nice to have an easy day scheduled, and I took advantage of the early morning start by having a long leisurely coffee and zucchini bread slice, contemplating – as I often do on my birthday – what I want to achieve in the next year.
After a short ride, we helped a friend move house, which took a few hours of lifting boxes, mattresses and other paraphernalia up flights of stairs and through corridors. After a hearty burrito lunch, I had a short run and swim to end the day’s training. Later that evening a group of us went out to dinner to celebrate, followed by a few birthday drinks and games of pool. Being athletes, it wasn’t a particularly late night, but it still warranted a few extra hours of sleep in the morning! It had been a really fun day and I was really grateful to have had the chance to spend my birthday here in Boulder with such a great group of people.
After a gratuitous lie-in on Friday I was ready for another easy day, with only a short run and swim planned, as well as going to pick up my registration packet for the race. After the short 20 minute run, we headed to Boulder Reservoir in the afternoon to officially sign in for the race and pick up our race numbers, timing chip and swim cap. Once that was done I put the wetsuit on for my 20 minute swim in the reservoir. There had been a lot of muttering about the possibility of the race being a non-wetsuit swim, as the water temperature was apparently quite close to the wetsuit legal cut-off. It didn’t feel too hot with the wetsuit, and having been light on the swim training recently, I was one of those hoping that wetsuits would be allowed.
Saturday was a typical pre-race day with a little bit of swim-bike-run. I did the bike-run before lunch and left the swim until the afternoon. After two easy days, I was starting to feel pretty relaxed and I was really looking forward to racing what would be my local race! Once I’d got all my gear together ready for the morning and made sure the bike was ready to roll, I spent the rest of the day with my feet up watching the Olympics. After dinner and a final check of my gear, I headed to bed hoping for a good night’s sleep.
I’ll get a full race report up in the next few days, but all in all it was a good day out there, finishing in a time of 4:16:19 for 3rd in the 18-24 age-group and 34th overall.