Thursday, June 13, 2013

Boise 70.3- Where the heart is

I am still coming down off of the energetic high from this past weekend. Being my second race in the pro field, this event presented an interesting dichotomy: the comforts and familiarity of racing in my own community coupled with the added pressure to perform and make my city proud.

The week leading up to the race was not a stress-free time for me. In true over-achiever fashion I had saddled myself with 3 work-related project deadlines. I had also suffered a little tumble at the Lyle Pearson 200 bike relay that resulted in a broken handlebar the weekend before. This made for a nail-biting situation for me and MFMG to get my bike fixed within a 6 day window. If that weren't enough this rookie went and screwed up her registration and had to scramble to remedy the situation 48 hours before the gun went off. Stress is only as influential as you allow it to be, though, and by Friday afternoon my life had harmoniously aligned. It is critical to mention that I schooled MFMG in a game of cribbage the night before the race. Historically my cribbage performance is inversely related to my race results...but it appears the winds are changing...
Take that, sucka!
Photo by Matt Green
Surrounding myself with positive, supportive people is critical in the days leading up to a race. The individuals with whom I spent my pre-70.3 time are some of my favorites: MFMG (of course), Heather and Wattie, my friends and fellow Wattie Ink teammates Sue and Jay, Dusty Nabor & Karin Langer, Wildflower roomie and buddy Liz Lyles, my coach Flanny, as well as dozens of friends and coworkers who have all got my back.

I will spare you too many details, as I realize everything I think is important to convey in a race report may be snore-worthy for all of you. In reflection, there were some key voices in my head throughout race day that were crucial to my performance. (I teed up that one for you smartasses who want to make a quip about "the voices") Here is a quick breakdown of my breakthrough:

  • Nutrition Bullseye! Matt told me on race morning, "Your nutrition plan is your greatest advantage. It will be hot and windy out there, and people are going to meltdown on the run. You've got your nutrition dialed, stick to it and HYDRATE." So every time the wind jolted me around I said to myself, "Drink!" It worked...I drained my Speedfil at least 4 times over the duration of the bike, ate my standard salted potatoes and power cookie and routinely sipped my Powerbar Restore (yes, I use this during the event instead of Perform). 
  • Relax and swim. When I was getting all worked up about the intensity of the swim start and my lack of confidence in that area, Flanny encouraged me to look at every race start as a learning opportunity. "Don't spend a lot of energy worrying about such a small fraction of your race," he said. Liz and her mom played chauffeur to me race morning and it gave us a chance to share some hopes (and apprehensions) about the race. Having her encouragement really helped. And wouldn't you know it...we swam shoulder to shoulder. Booyah!! If not for the sensation that I was drowning after that second buoy I would have smiled about this. Thank goodness it was a wetsuit-legal swim; my Blueseventy Helix performed flawlessly. Remember that waterboarding scene from GI Jane? This is what I sounded like during the latter portion of the swim (no joke):

  • Race the bike, but don't race stupid. That gem was provided by Flanny when discussing race strategy. At Wildflower the word of the day was "patience." For this race, I was given a little more discretion to use my power meter as a tool and gauge my efforts accordingly. Boise spring lived up to its blustery reputation and made for an extremely challenging bike leg. If not for the comfort of my ISM Adamo Breakaway I could not have stayed tucked into my aerobars for such a grueling effort. At the turnaround at 10 Mile Creek I could see that I was hanging in there mid-pack. Sweet! 

Highlight of my race: a shout-out and supreme fist pump from my #1 fan, MFMG.
Photo: Matt Green Photo
  • A run PR! My run training is relatively in its infancy this season. We have infused my steady (but cautious) mileage build with a few speed sessions and my body is responding well. That and the nonstop party (courtesy of the Boise Aeros) occurring on 8th street fueled the fire under my KSwiss Kwicky Blade Lights for all 13.1 miles. Huge thanks to Wattie, my mentor Harold Frobisher from Tri Town and local pro Chris Ganter for zipping around on their bikes giving me splits. Also, my good friend Justine was a bike escort for 3rd place pro male so I got an extra boost from her giving an encouraging shout-out to her "bitch". A 1:32 half marathon after that tempestuous bike?? I'll take it!
Photo: Matt Green Photo
Our State Representative and friend Holli Woodings ruled by volunteering , cheering and snapping photos!
Photo: Holli Woodings
  • A 4th place finish. I am thrilled! I executed my race plan impeccably...and in the midst of my family of Boiseans! From the wild cheering on race day to the touching Facebook posts and texts for days following, I am humbled and moved by the volume of support and camaraderie of this community. 
Photo: Dusty Nabor

  • 10 Barrel after-party with Wattie Ink teammates Sarah Barkley, SheriAnne Nelson and Toby Baum (who all had fantastic races!), Jay & Sue, Matt, Liz, Ben Hoffman (who also finished an impressive 4th...look for good things to come from him at IMCDA in a couple weeks!).

There are just so many people to acknowledge that I'm afraid of accidentally forgetting someone. Of course, Matty Green, the wearer of many hats, I couldn't do this without you. Wattie Ink and all the aforementioned sponsors and teammates, thank you for all of your time and support! Flanny, I'm so excited to continue down this road with you- great things to come! Thank you and congrats to Liz and Heather for inspiring me and being such awesome ladies...and to Uli Bromme for pushing me all the way to the finish line. And finally, to Heather Fuhr and the Ironman team who were very cooperative and prompt with helping me correct my registration error.

Media coverage: The Statesman and KBOI

Next up: Pacific Crest


  1. Great work Erin! What a successful race for you on so many levels. Proud of ya! :)

  2. Thanks for your support, Damie! Hope to catch up soon!


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