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Ironman Boulder – Bike (2014 Race…Late Post)

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Ironman Boulder – Bike (2014 Race…Late Post)

Straight up chaos at the start of the bike leg

Over a year after the race I am finally ready to write about the downfall of my whole race, the bike. The bike is my favorite leg of triathlon and I was so upset with how it went. With that bit of info lets dive into it.

After leaving the changing tent I ran to the bike corral and a volunteer handed me my bike. I ran to the mount line. Mounting my bike was interesting to say the least. I am used to small races, 500 people max, and being in the first group on the bike course. Trying to mount with 20 plus people was a wee bit freaky, but I was a successful. I went by my cheering squad again and was beyond excited that they moved to the start of the bike course. After exiting the res I dropped into aero and began the race.

My biggest fear on the bike leg of a triathlon is getting dinged for drafting. Most races I have done are too small for this to be an issue, but racing an Ironman with 2800 other people leads to a lot of congestion. I did my best to make sure I was not drafting. Thankfully the course thinned out and I was able to find my space to bike in.


Best cheering squad and friend


More amazing friends and cheering squad

The first 30 or so miles is an area that I know well, so I expected to do well. I felt good until the climb back up St Vrain Rd. It was at this point, mile 15ish, that I start a bonk. Having a chest cold meant that my body needed a lot more calories than normal. Usually on the bike I only need about 200 calories an hour. In typical stubborn Chelsey mode I only grabbed water at the aid stations. So my speed dropped and I felt really sluggish. I was upset that I couldn’t enjoy the beautiful course. Normally the downhills are my favorite and I pedal as hard as possible. Coasting down was all I could manage. Around mile 40 I took a Roctane electrolyte pill, hoping that would help. It helped a little, but not enough. I kept pedalling and counting down the miles to special needs.

I was really excited to get to special needs because it was right in front of my step-sisters neighborhood. I filled my jersey pockets with M&M’s and jerky; put sunscreen on my face; got sunscreen in my eyes (that was lovely); and hoped back on my bike. Then I was off on the second half of the bike course. I saw my step-sister and her family cheering for me. That gave me the pick up I needed for the next big hill.

I tried to eat my jerky, but it made me want to puke. Awesome. Back to pure liquid fuel I go. I got to see my step-sister and family again. Which really helped after my jerky experience. At the next aid station I grabbed a banana thinking that would be better than jerky. The banana was quickly denied by my body. I took 2 more Roctane pills and really hoped that would help. About this time I saw J and two of my friends. I stopped and got off my bike to tell J how bad I was feeling. He gave me a pep speech and sent me on my way.


No longer in the bonk of my life and happy to be on the bike

It took about 20 minutes, but the Roctane pills finally started working. Around mile 70 I started feeling better and finally was able to take in fuel. My speed started going back up and my mood got so much better. As I turned West and started my trek back to Boulder. Going West and seeing the mountains always makes me so happy. This was also the point at which I saw my mom and step-dad for the first time. My mom was clicking away on her camera, so I had to smile.

Around mile 80 J and my friends showed back up. They had gone to the store to get my apple sauce and green juice to help me get fuel in. I refused the amazing offer because I was afraid a referee would DQ me for taking outside help.

Around mile 100 there is the hill of doom. I was in my lowest gear and just barely moving. Once I got to the top I was so excited. I knew it was downhill all the way to Boulder High. I flew through the last 12 miles and made sure to take in enough fuel and water to give me a good start for the run.


Coming in hot to T2


So excited to get off my bike

When I got to the dismount like at Boulder High, I hopped off my bike and took off running to T2.


Brain Days – Triathlon

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Road to where?

Road to where?

What do you do when your brain is spinning and you can’t get anything done. You use your fingers to tap the thoughts out. Then hope for a productive day. So here we go with a Chelsey brain dump. Ha…

I watch triathlon videos and it makes me want to go hard. It makes me want to run sprints. Oh the horror. I want to train, but I just never really can get my butt out there. There is some sort of disconnect. I am hoping to close a chapter on my life Sunday. I hope that when I cross that finish line at the Aurora reservoir I will have fixed my brain. I feel like I have some un-finished business in the triathlon world. One thing is my DNF that I have had a hard time owning up to. I know why I got the DNF and it makes me sad. So far the race is shaping up to be a hot one. I want to have time goals for Sunday, but I am afraid. I have not had a good year of racing. No time goals have been met. Very little training has been done. Mental prep started on Tuesday. Ha

I have a strong desire to do Ironman Boulder next year, but there is so much fear. Last time around I got burned out, super sick for race day, and ended up with so many damn “allergies” and health issues after the race (I’ve had them for years, but they brought me to a breaking point after the race). I think a huge part of the issue stemmed from working a crappy job that had me working several Saturdays. Working Saturdays meant that I spent the first 6 hours of the day working on a road construction project and then the next 6 hours training in the heat of the day. My job caused me so much stress and anxiety. This stress and anxiety followed me into my training. I was super sad, upset, and just not a happy camper. I have made so many good changes in my life and I think I am in a place where I can really put my heart into a big race. I just got to keep my mind right during training.

End of brain day Friday. Such a random post. Hope someone enjoys this.

Cervelo P2 -Aqua

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My bike has been named!! Aqua. We went for our first ride with a big black cloud creeping over the foothills. I planned on going for an hour ride. After 15 minutes it started raining and the wind was kicking my butt. I was almost back when a 50 mph gust came flying at me. It tried real hard to knock me down but I made it back to town.
(I wrote this last February and forgot to hit publish. I am still in love with my bike a year later. )


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Cold to the touch
Burns the skin
Blinds the eyes

Chill in the air
Logs on the fire
Cocoa on the stove

Soft mounds on the mountain
Boards break through
Freshies in the face

Ironman Boulder – Village and Swim

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Its been several months since the race and I am finally ready to finish writing about it. Since the race I have been working on a race recap. It has not been easy. The race did not go as planned at all, except the part where I crossed the finish line. So lets just start this on Friday when I picked up my packet.


I took Friday off work so i could go to packet pick up and not stress about work. I arrived at the Ironman Village with a huge smile on my face and headed straight to the packet pick up tent. I was surprised that there was no line. I got all my stuff and headed to the merch tent where I picked up my backpack. I have been waiting a year to get my backpack and was so freaking excited to finally get it (I wear it proud everyday I go to the gym). I went on a shopping adventure in the land of M dot. I got an Ironman Boulder tank top, beanie hat, and an M dot Christmas ornament. The shirts are super cool because the M dot on the back has every competitors name on it.

I spent the rest of the day hanging out in Boulder. When Jason got off work we headed back down to the village so he could check it out. Then it was time for dinner. Supporting the local businesses is very important in Boulder, so I was really excited when I found out that instead of a welcome dinner banquet all the athletes got a voucher to be used at the local restaurants. We decided to head to Foolish Craigs. As always they served up a superb meal.

After dinner there was still time until the Welcome Ceremony and the Ironband, so we headed to OC for some wings. Our friends joined us at the bar and then we headed back to Boulder High. I was really excited to see Ironband. I had heard about them for years and was finally getting to see. They did not disappoint. Any guy willing to sing about getting chicked is awesome in my books.


Fast forward to Saturday. I packed all my gear into my 5 bags. Man is that stressful. Then I loaded everything into my car and headed to the reservoir to drop off my bike and T1 bag. HOLY CRAP. That was a disaster. People driving every which way. Finally I got out of the res and headed to Boulder High to drop off my T2 bag. After dropping off my gear I started feeling like poo. Hmm… Foreshadowinglooking over T1

With a 6:30 am start and having to take a bus from Boulder High to the res meant a very early wake up. 2:30 am to be exact. I was nervous that I wouldn’t wake up so I set a million alarms. I ended up not needing any of the alarms. I only slept an hour and spent the rest of the night wide awake. At 2:30 am I took a shower and attempted to eat 1,000 calories. My stomach hates eating early so I got most of my calories from green juice and apple sauce. Jason cooked bacon!!!!! I ate a few slices but with my cold they weren’t going down easy.

We got to Boulder High at 4:30 am. I dropped my special needs bags off and put my watch in my run bag. Then we got in line for the buses. When we got to the res I got everything set up on my bike and hurried through throngs of people to get in the 1:10 – 1:15 corral area/ Standing among a sea of wetsuits waiting for the canon to go off was surreal. I couldn’t believe I was actually getting to do this amazing race. We slowly made our way to the water. Finally it was my turn to run in and start. I hit the timing mat and was off on what I thought would be a 12 – 13 hour adventure.


I loved having buoys that were numbered. It helped me know how far I had gone. The thing I did not love was all the men swimming on top of me. I understand and am used to extreme congestion at the start of a race. But when there is clear water on either side of me, there is no reason for swimming on top of me. I think I added on 10 minutes because I had to fight for space in clear water. And it was only green capped guys that were creating this mess. On a normal swim I have trouble staying focused on swimming and my speed drops off. Not so today. The longest I had swam in training for this season was 2,000 meters, so my focus was on the numbered buoys. Time flew by. Before I knew it I was at the half way point. Then I picked up the speed. When my hands hit the ground I was excited. I jumped up and ran out of the water. I still couldn’t believe I was doing an Ironman. I grabbed my bike bag and ran to the transition tent. On the way to the tent I got my first glimpse of my amazing cheering squad.

running to tent

I couldn’t how amazing the volunteers were. I was lead to a chair. My bag was dumped out. I got help getting everything on. They put everything back in my bag. I ran out of the tent and handed my bag off. Then I was off to get on my beautiful bike.

Swim – 1:28:00

T1 – 8:00

3 Life Lessons Learned From A Life in The Wilderness

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There are a lot of lessons that can be learned from spending time in the wilderness. To learn these lessons you need to take the time to slow down and really pay attention to what your adventures are teaching you. Getting the great views from the top of the mountain is not the only reward for reaching the summit. Spending time in the wilderness can teach you how to better deal with every day life if you allow it.

  1. The harder the journey the greater the reward
    – Imagine you are climbing a mountain that you have been dreaming about summiting for years and it is a lot harder than you expected it would be. As you trudge up the mountain you think about turning around, but then you remember the amazing views and feeling of accomplishment you are awarded with when you reach the summit. Everyday life is no different. Whether you are searching for your dream job or the person of your dreams life is tough. You have to work through the rough spots and celebrate the small victories. When you reach that ultimate goal you will enjoy it more because you know you worked hard for it.
  2. Know when to turn around. There is always another day. Know when to walk away
    Playing in the outdoors, whether paddling a canoe on a lake, mountain biking on a single track, or one of the many other outdoor activities, there are hard and soft reasons to turn around and head back home. In life out side of our outdoor activities it can be really difficult to know when to walk away. When canoeing if you flip the canoe in the middle of a lake and loose a paddle its a pretty good indicator to head home. But in life what is a good sign that you are heading down the wrong path or it is not the right day to be starting down the path? Spending time outdoors will teach you the signs and feelings to look for. Maybe its a boss that is making your work tougher than it needs to be or a family member that expects you to spend all your free time with them.
  3. Don’t let the pesks get you down
    – Mosquitos are probably the most common pesks we face when playing in the wilderness. If we let these little bugs keep us from enjoying our hobbies we would never get to play in the wilderness during the summer. Everyday life is the same, you have to let the small stuff go or you will never be able to enjoy life. When someone is driving slow on a 2 lane road, getting upset won’t make them go any faster. Just take a deep breath and tell yourself it is ok you will still get to your destination. Work life is no different. If you have a co-worker that works in a way that irritates you, but they still do quality work, you should learn to take a deep breath and focus on the positive.

The Drive

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