This past weekend I chose to go to Boulder, Colorado, to do the Boulder Peak race as a little altitude tune up to get ready to race Big Bear on the 15th of this month. This was my second foray into altitude racing this season… the first being the Epic of Keystone. This race didn’t have the happy ending that my suffering at the Xterra had. I had no power, no gas, and no dignity as I rode around slow as molasses, and then got my shirt torn off by the wind currents created by the age groupers running past me, seemingly like gazelles since I was going so amazingly slow. It was a VERY tough day at the office.
I didn’t think it was going to be amazing, I went a bit to early to perform last minute, but too late to be acclimated. The plan was to try about a 10 day acclimation for Big Bear, so it was "suck it up" for the road triathlon. But my body just didn’t cooperate, and I couldn’t even suck it up. It was more like training at about 60% as I was spinning my 25 cog up the climb, not attacking, and then getting bogged down by this giant 56 chainring I thought was going to be the ticket on the flat portion of the bike course. Whatever, McQuaid. At least I had a great view of the drama in the men’s race unfolding, since they started 14.5 mins back, and since I was so damn slow, the top guys were passing me on the bike course! One bonus of a tough day…
The swim was fun, especially the part where we reached about 400 metres and the Xterra girl thinks, ok, we gotta turn by now, turns left, taking about 3 girls with her, offcourse, to be yelled at and run over by a jetski to get us back on course. It was so bad I just had to laugh about it and think… I am getting more training today than the speedy Susan Williams. Olympian shwimpian, she’s not swimming 1800 meters, is she? She squashed me completely swimming, then on the bike and on the run. She’s fast, but Nicole deBoom was even faster, four time BPT Champion.
I have left out the run, but that is because it was horrible, uninspired, and really not that tiring. At that point I was cutting my losses, it wasn’t a good enough effort to be a race effort, I felt like crap, and didn’t need to tough anything this horrible out. I finished, in 11th, and just shrugged it off as the worst race of the season.
So now I am enjoying the training in Boulder, lots of cool riding, swimming and running, and will be back at Big Bear to give it a shot, another altitude race to learn from. Hopefully learning from the front!
Thanks to my coach, Houshang Amiri, and all my sponsors, Saucony USA, K2 Bicycles, Compex Technologies, Ford Cycling, Sundog Eyewear, Maxxis, Powerbar, Shimano, Giro, Descente, Hypoxico, Arq, Deuter, Rider’s Cycles and Pacificsport. Big Bear Xterra is next, ciao for now. Melanie