Sunday, June 9, 2013

2013 Boise 70.3 Race Report

With my family's recent move and my job change, I wasn't even sure if I would be able to compete in the Boise 70.3 this year.  I continued to bike and run after Kona but definitely not at the volume that I did in 2012.  About 2 months ago I decided I needed to buckle down and get some more structured training in so I could give Boise a shot.
This is my 4th year competing in Boise.  This race has had a run of bad luck with the weather over the years.  The first year was extremely hot and windy.  Year two was actually perfect.  Year 3 was freezing cold, rainy and windy.  This year was back to the hot and windy category.  It was manageable though.  Every time I am in a race that is windy I always compare it to the St. George Ironman last year.  Once I do that I feel a lot better about the conditions!
The day before the race was busy from early until late.  We got some great exposure for RODS in this race.  I got to be on the Kevin Miller morning show to share an update about RODS.  The Idaho State Journal also did a story you can read HERE
In the afternoon I was fortunate to get to do a story for Channel 7 News.  You can watch that story HERE.

Towards the later part of the day, I took my bike up to Lucky Peak reservoir to drop it off for the morning.  I decided I'd ride my bike from the parking lot to the drop off area which is only a few hundred yards.  Normally I walk it.  I'm glad I jumped on it because I found that I had an issue with my front derailleur.  I couldn't get it to shift to my big ring which is a problem.  I actually had this happen just this last week.  I took my bike into a new bike shop here to get fixed.  Unfortunately they didn't fix it.  So back to Boise I went.  I took it down to TriTown and Antonio worked his magic for me.  Antonio is an incredible bike mechanic.  
Race day came and I was ready to go.  Brynlee and her best friend Bailey came along for the entire race.  They also had a special friend with them, our very own Spuddy Buddy.  Having our premier sponsorship for RODS be Idaho Potatoes, it seemed fitting that Spuddy Buddy would be part of the days activities.

We had 4 of our RODS athletes racing in the Boise 70.3.  Pictured here is Brian Preece, and Trace Dandrea.  I couldn't find Tucker Botkin for the picture but he was out there battling along side us in his first 70.3 race.  Trace has raced in this race every year since they started 6 years ago.

Water temp was 60 degrees which was really nice for this race.  Last year it was a balmy 52.  After the initial shock it actually felt pretty good.  This was the first time that I've swam in open water since Kona.  Our age group go "cute" pink caps. 

I felt good during the swim but based on my time in the water, I must have felt anything but good.  This was actually the slowest 70.3 swim I've ever had, including my very first race I did 4 years ago.  Not sure what happened, but luckily the race doesn't end coming out of the water.  I saw somebody using a snorkel during the race which was pretty funny.  I didn't think these were allowed, but I might be wrong.  Maybe that's the key to getting a faster swim time!

This picture is about 38 miles into the bike.  I was feeling great on the bike.  Being a slow swimmer has its advantages.  You get to pass a lot of people on the bike!  The wind was strong all throughout the bike course.  The nice thing is it was either in your face or at your back.  That is a lot better than being a cross wind.  Those can get a little dicey. 

By mile 45 I was averaging 21.5 MPH and on pace to have a personal best on the bike.  My legs felt great and my heart rate was in check.  My nutrition was dialed in perfectly and I felt like I was going to have a great run.  That's when something went wrong.  There is a small bike path that takes the athletes under the highway.  It's a small and narrow path that you have to go slow on.  There is a little climb at the very end.  That's where I really hammered down on the pedal to gain some momentum up the hill.  The only problem is the bike crank completely seized.  I almost biffed it since all my momentum completely stopped.  I thought I had dropped a chain and that it was jammed in my crank.  That is a somewhat easy fix.  I jumped off the bike and looked down.  The chain was in place so I started to look for what the problem was.  I thought to myself, "hurry and get this fixed and it won't be an issue.  You might lose 30 seconds."  I stopped my watch and started investigating the problem.  That's when I saw it.  My back tire was completely wedged up against my back fork.  The alignment was way off.  I knew at that time that this was a big issue.  I carried my bike up to the main road where there was an aid station.  Some of the volunteers rushed over to help me out.  We popped the back tire off and started to see what we could do.  Minutes were passing by and so were dozens and dozens of athletes.  We adjusted one of the alignment screws and it seemed like it worked.  I jumped on, started to pedal and it popped right back out of place.  I did this 3 or 4 times and every time it went right back out of place. 
By this time, I knew that any hope of a personal best was out of the question.  I had to regroup my thoughts and evaluate the situation.  If I didn't get this fixed, I wouldn't be able to finish the race.  That couldn't happen.  I continued to work on the bike and got the wheel to somewhat function.  It was still rubbing on the fork but I could muscle through it.  I knew I only had 11 miles to go.  I decided that even if my bike wasn't up to speed I had to get to the run so I went for it.  Luckily after a few hundred yards it stopped rubbing and I was able to get to the run portion without incident.  I lost 26 minutes on my little bike debacle.

Our great friends the Morris' were out to support us in their RODS gear!

Coming into the bike transition I felt a huge sense of gratitude.  Even if I wasn't going to have my best race, I at least got to finish the race.  I didn't hold anything back and got onto the run course as fast as I could.

Boise has the best run course I've ever been on.  Most of it is in the shade and it's right next to the river.  It's all on the greenbelt which makes for good places for spectators to watch.  Throughout the run I was feeling pretty good but still encountered the typical challenges that always come up during an Ironman.  It takes 2-3 miles to get your legs back after a long bike ride.  There are many many times that you have to fight the thoughts that come to mind about just taking a little break and walking for awhile.  Then around mile 8 my legs start to hurt pretty bad, especially my quads.  That's all part of the fun though.  Those are the times when you really have to remember why you're doing this.  It's a time when you learn the most about yourself as well.  I've found that as long as I smile, keep positive thoughts in my mind and just keep going, the finish line always comes.  These races are about doing your best given the circumstances you face.  Regardless of the adversity we face, we must keep moving forward!

The best part of the entire day was at mile 12.75 of the 13.1 mile run.  I caught up to Trace.  He has been part of RODS since the beginning and is a huge support.  He's a great athlete as well.  We got to run the final part of the race side by side and cross the finish line together.  If I didn't have the mechanical issues on the bike we wouldn't have been able to experience that.  I'm thankful that I got to have that experience!

The Olmos' were also at the finish line.  They are also RODS members and great supporters of the cause.  I'm very appreciative of all the incredible support that I had out there during the entire race.

 I'm pretty sore today, but just like after all the races before, I can't wait to get out there again.  We are making much progress with RODS Racing because of these races and our incredible athletes and sponsors who support us.  I am also extremely appreciative to all the individuals who have donated to our RODS Orphans.  We are racing for Vaughn right now.  We have 7 children who have been adopted now because of all those who have believed in our cause.  We have a lot of great things in the works and most importantly are having a great time during the journey!  Until next time...



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