Boulder 68.3 was great. I spent the week leading up to the race in the mountains at 8300' sucking wind on all my workouts. No such thing as zone 1 up there.
By the time I got to Boulder coming down 3k feet was like being home again except there is NO humidity. This race was the first time I was in the first AG swim wave. Male pros, female pros and then us. That meant I was only getting passed on this day. The swim was uneventful with water temps in the low seventies.
The bike was awesome. A one loop with two climbs and some rollers. At one point on a nice downwind section we were doing 40+mph! I felt good coming off the bike and proceeded to the two loop run around the reservoir on a combination of gravel, dirt and paved roads.
It was cool getting passed by Alicia Kaye on her second loop and getting a better appreciation of how smooth and strong the pros are. (BTW Tim Don is tiny, but effing fast!) I managed to get a cramp in my hammy early and spent the next 2-3 minutes walking it off.
On the second loop I felt much better and got into a rhythm. With a 1/4 mile to go and pushing for a strong finish I managed to slip on the loose dirt and get another cramp. Stretched it out and quickly and bee lined for the finish.
Crossed the finish and felt like I put together a solid race despite a slower than planned run. After getting through the finish area I look at my watch to see 5:00:16! Is it possible to be happy and pissed about a result at the same time? I say yes.
I immediately start thinking about all the ways to cut those seconds to go sub 5. Better hydration as the dryness there threw me for a loop. I am so used to the D.C. swelter it's hard to judge how much liquids you need, or not slipping at the end and cramping?
All in all I felt great about the day. I realized later that the bike course was only 54 miles. While being annoyed by the short course this makes the :16 seconds sting a little less, but still the motivation to get faster!
My advice to anyone headed to Boulder for a race, hydrate and then hydrate some more, appreciate the beauty on the ride and spend some time in Boulder. Such a cool town.