Sally is a friend that I’ve been bugging for years to do an ultra. She’s always put me off saying that they’re too difficult. Meanwhile, she’s been doing lots of marathons and tris, and last year did her first full Ironman. Finally, last year she agreed to do an ultra, but the catch was that I had to do a tri. Hmmm, didn’t really see that coming, but I agreed. Then she asked what distance I wanted to do. Since I run ultras, it really didn’t seem right to do a short little sprint or Olympic distance tri, so I told her I’d do a half Ironman. I figured doing that would make me expend enough effort and require enough training to qualify for an ultra level effort.
Last November we decided to do the Boise Half Ironman as our tri. That meant that I had plenty of time to get back in the pool swimming laps and to at least figure out how to stay upright on a bike for 56 miles.
Training for this silly little race began back in December. The first time in the pool had me worried. No upper body strength at all. Technique from my swim team days was there though. Within a couple months, I knew the swim wouldn’t be an issue. Check that off the list. I started attending a spin class once a week and stationary biking on my own at about the same time. Finally bought my own road bike and started using that to ride into work once a week. Ok, check that off the list. I’ll survive 56 miles, but it won’t be pretty. The run? 13.1 miles? Big deal, I’m training for the Grand Slam of Ultrarunning this summer. Check that off with no worries.
I was intentionally going into this race cold, I did no other tri's prior to Boise. I think I wanted to add the unknown factor and see what it would do to me
So, Friday my lovely wife and I drive to Boise. We manage to check into our hotel and find the race check in. I was expecting the water temp in Lucky Peak Reservoir to be in the low 60’s. Then I saw this posted at check in.
We met Sally and John, her boyfriend at check in and she was even a little worried about the water temp.
|T2 on Friday|
The swim start was in waves rather than a mass start. This meant that my wave didn’t actually start until 12:09. So we had to stand there sweating in the sun in our black neoprene wetsuits until it was our turn to jump in the water. We all herded on to the dock by the boat ramp and jumped in. The water was refreshing for about 0.2 seconds, then it took a couple more seconds to catch my breath. The cold literally took your breath away. Every time my face got water on it, my chest would tighten and I had a hard time breathing. While I was treading water waiting for the start my thought was that this swim would not be a good thing. How was I going to survive for 40-45 minutes in this cold of water, let alone swim decently.
So the gun goes off and it’s a mad dash out into the lake.
|My wave start, I'm somewhere in that thrashing mess|
|Goat skin on and ready to go|
My T2 time was a little quicker, about 3 minutes, but the same thing happened as I got off my bike and started walking. I was a little dizzy. I managed to get to my spot, rack my bike, put on my running shoes and head out on the run, but it didn’t feel good at all. I thought it would end up being a sufferfest. It took me about a mile to start to feel good about the run and then I discovered that I had some legs. The other thing I noticed was how slow I seemed to be running after the speed of the bike. The run was the best part of the day for me. 13.1 miles in two loops and I pulled a negative split by about a minute. It felt really good just cruising on that course. I think I made up around 100+ places during the run. I know I was passing all sorts of people. Some of them looked pretty rough. It’s like the run got rid of all the negative thoughts I had been having during the day, even thought it wasn’t trail, I was in my element. Sally had left T2 about 10 minutes before me and by the time I hit the second lap I had gained several minutes on her. She ended up crossing the finish line about a minute before me, but still kicked my butt because of her swim start time.
|#999 Sally Shadle nearing the finish|
|Me nearing the finish, #270 is in my age group and I managed to outsprint him to the finish|
It was fun to do the event with Sally and catch up. My wife and I have known her and her family since she was 14 but haven't seen her for several years. She’s grown into a wonderful lady and an amazing athlete. But I’ll get her back. She has to do an ultra distance run now!
|Sally and I the next day feeling much better|
BIB AGE STATE/COUNTRY PROFESSION
252 53 MARRIOTT SLATERVILLE UT USA Engineer
SWIM BIKE RUN OVERALL RANK DIV.POS.
40:18 3:06:29 1:54:58 5:53:15 573 32
LEG DISTANCE PACE RANK DIV.POS.
SWIM 1.2 mi. (40:18) 2:07/100m 599 34
BIKE 56 mi. (3:06:29) 18.02 mph 750 48
RUN 13.1 mi. (1:54:58) 8:46/mile 573 32
T1: SWIM-TO-BIKE 8:18
T2: BIKE-TO-RUN 3:12
There were 1420 athletes that finished. There were 74 in my age group.