Today was my 6th trip to the Boulder Peak 5i50 Triathlon but more importantly was the first time I had been to Boulder Reservoir since I left in an ambulance last year after the Half Ironman. After racking my bike and doing a nice warm up run to shake things out, I went to the spot where I had left my wetsuit and goggles. However, when I returned from the run my new red TYR Nest Pro goggles were stolen. I had allowed myself 25 minutes to get my wet suit on and do a short swim before the race. Instead of sticking to plan, I ran to transition to see if I had somehow left them there or if they were in the lost and found. After every option had been explored, I had to buy a pair from Runners Roost and then ran to the start without even touching the water. A quick hand shake from Beth O’Brien helped me to relax, but I knew having new goggles could be a problem.
The men’s elite wave went off very first and I managed a nice 400 meters before the strap loosened, and I was swimming with the lake in my goggles. I stopped and tried to reposition them but that lasted another 200 meters before I gave up and just swam semi blind. (NOTE: Stick with TYR goggles because Blue Seventy Goggles are not compatible for me.) This, of course, killed my swim, as I was constantly correcting my direction and feeling aggravated at the situation I was in.
When I made it out of the water, I couldn’t have been more excited and took off on the bike like I had nothing to lose. So far back that I had plenty of people to chase down as I went on to my best time on this course. I averaged over 22 mph and with the Old Stage Road climb in elevation in there, I was pleased. The last time I raced here I had wrecked and ran into severe dehydration problems on the run so I was sure to drink plenty of my energy drink and water. This came back to bite me in the run with a nice side stitch, but there was no doubt I was hydrated.
Racing 2:14.23 on this course is my all time fastest here, and by breaking 2:15, I can race elite for another year. It's encouraging that under poor circumstances I am getting better and can improve. With a sub par swim, a decent bike, and a run that was pedestrian compared to what I am capable of without a side stitch, I was disappointed. My dad was quick to remind me that I didn't end up in the hospital, I did not flat, and I was healthy. Being healthy is the most exciting thing because the future is bright when one is healthy, and under better conditions I should be able to fly. It is hard to say where I will be a year from now, but if I can spend a full year training and not spend five months injured, I should be exactly where I need to be. I have a free entry into the HY-VEE 5i50 USA Championship in September, but due to coaching commitments, I may not be able to race there. I plan on racing the Grand Prix 10K in Colorado Springs this Saturday and will decide after that.
I am so thankful for Jim Halberg and his coaching and cooking, to my parents who drove up to support me, and to all my friends who raced today. It's so easy to get down when things don’t go the way we planned. I don’t like to think that it's bad luck, but instead, it is God teaching me patience, trust, and finding new ways to remind me how dependent I am on Him for strength. I may not have had my goggles, or swam the way I had wanted, but in the grand scheme of things, I would say I am very lucky. God is Good.
2:14.23 (S28:42, T1:52, B1:05.05, T:44, R:38)