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Ironman Boulder – Bike (2014 Race…Late Post)

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Ironman Boulder – Bike (2014 Race…Late Post)
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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.

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Best cheering squad and friend

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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.

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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.

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Coming in hot to T2

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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.

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.

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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.

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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.

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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

Ironman Boulder Week 5

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Fairly good week. It has been snowing and super good so I didn’t work much. Still haven’t gotten to ride my bike. My running sucked. I was supposed to do 60 minutes on Friday, but felt like crap after 20 minutes.

Monday – Rode the spin bike for 1.5 hours
Tuesday – 20 minutes of strength training
Wednesday – Rock climbed for an hour. 30 min bike followed by a 15 minutes brick run.
Thursday – 45 minutes on the spin bike. Road the demo bike at the gym, so I got to see how many miles I ride. 16.3 miles.

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Friday – 22 minutes run of suckiness. 1.83 miles.
Saturday – I had to work for the first time since Monday. After work I went and saw family. Then went to Denver with a friend to see James and the Devil.

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Sunday – We went snowboarding. Berthoud pass was closed when we got to it because of an avalanche. We sat in traffic until they opened the pass at 10:30. Got some awesome boarding in and left early. We had dinner plans with my Mom.

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Ironman Boulder Week 4

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It was an awesome week for snowboarding. Pretty crappy week for training. Not sure why, but I’ve been super tired lately. I was only able to do 5 of the 15 minutes I planned to run on Wednesday. The 5 I did get done were so hard. I still haven’t been able to ride my new bike. The roads have been snow covered.
J took Tuesday and Friday off work so we could go boarding together. I had a blast getting to board in so much powder.

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Ice covered roads between Lyons and Boulder on the way to go boarding Tuesday

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Chutes at Winter Park

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Boarding with a friend on Friday

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So much powder

Monday – Rest

Tuesday – Snowboard

Wednesday – Bike (30 minutes) Run (5 minutes) brick

Thursday – bike 10 min. Found out Berthoud pass was closing at 8. We had a hotel in Winter Park and didn’t want to drive the long way. Long story short we missed the pass closing by 5 minutes.

Friday – Snowboard

Saturday – rest

Sunday – rest

Ironman Boulder Week 3

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Monday – Yoga

Tuesday – 30 minutes 2.69 miles

Wednesday – 10 minutes shoulder strength

Thursday – climb, 30 minutes spin 100+ RPM

Friday – On my way to the gym and I had a minor freak out kinda resembling a burnout moment. Then I freaked out more because there’s no way I can be burnt out after only three weeks. So I took the night off.

Saturday – Supposed to do an hour bike ride. Instead I bought a bike. I have been riding a 1995 Cannondale S2000 for the last 2 years. As much as I love that bike it was really a bit too small for me. I did a bunch of research and decided to buy the new Cervelo P2. When I finally get to ride it I will do a review of sorts.

Sunday – Went ski touring with J and a friend in Rocky Mountain National Park. The snow was so wind blown you couldn’t see where J had made turns.

Overall not the best week for training.

Ironman Boulder Week 1

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This is the week I have been waiting for, for months. For the first time I am super excited to start training. My first week wasn’t the best, but I’m not going to let it define my 30 week training cycle.

Monday – Supposed to be a rest do so I attempted yoga. I am getting over a cold, so every time I would bend over my ear hurt. I made it 5 minutes before I quit.

Tuesday – Ran 2.4 miles in 30 minutes on the treadmill. This is a huge milestone for me. The longest I have ever made it on the treadmill previously was 10 minutes. Went rock climbing with J.

Wednesday – Brick work out. Biked 30 minutes on the spin bike then 15 minute run on the treadmill.

Thursday – Biked 30 min at a cadence of 95 on the spin bike.

Friday – We spent the weekend in Winter Park and the roads were getting bad fast. I skipped my run so I could get over Berthoud pass before it got too bad.

Saturday and Sunday – Went snowboarding at Mary Jane.

Total – 2 hour 15 min (not including snowboarding)
Bike – 1 hour
Run – 45 minutes
Cross Train – 30 minutes

2014 – The Year of the Ironman

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This is the year I will toe the line to accomplish a life long dream. On August 2 I will like up at the Boulder Reservoir to race Ironman Boulder.

I knew 2014 was the year for an Ironman, but I wasn’t sure what race I wanted to do since Ironman St George is now a half Ironman. J told me that there were rumors about an Ironman being started in Boulder. I started researching the rumors and found them to be true. When registration opened in July I was ready. I gave Ironman all my money and signed my life away.

Doing my first iron distance race in Boulder is pretty special for me. I was born and raised here. Boulder is where my love of doing what most people perceive as crazy was learned. I will be spending the next 30 weeks pushing myself to places I have never been to.