Sunshine in Hell: The 2014 Peak Triathlon Race Report

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It’s been one heck of a week, I feel like I have two legs made of molasses, and it’s almost midnight. So, this is going to be short review.


The pre-race store actually starts all the way back on Monday. I am pretty much at the last point of my training for Boise, and things came to head this week. On Monday, I got in a short, moderately painful ride. After travelling to the lovely Great Falls, MT for work, it was time for a race rehearsal run. Basically, I started off with the first two miles conservative, 10 miles of pushing, and 2 miles of real pain. Fortunately, it was a beautiful warm and sunny work day on Tuesday, and I was looking forward to getting some vitamin d in. Of course, as soon as I got out of work, Great Falls began to unleash it’s epic wind on me. Here is how it played out:



This was a painful and mentally abusing run. I uttered many terrible obscenities at the wind, which certainly were carried downwind, hopefully not to children’s ears. The reason it hurt so bad is that I came into it tired, but I still ran my fastest ever half mary. I’ll take it. But the price was high.

After the run, I basically felt like crap all the way until race day. This is despite taking both Thursday and Friday off. When I awoke on Saturday, I seriously thought about scratching for the race. Fortunately, mother nature’s good temperament got me out of bed and into the car.

The drive into Missoula went well, especially since my bike did not fly off from my new Forklift bike rack by Yakima. Just like last year, the Peak had the check in process running smoothly, and I was checked in and body marked in under five minutes. For warm up, I went for a one mile run, and then did some laps around the parking lot on the bike. Then it was game time.

Swim: 500y, 8:13

This is a low key indoor swim, especially when compared to The Grizzly. In fact, it was almost too low key; it was like I was swimming with silent monks. Anyhow, off we go and yep, I feel like crap. Form off. Poor catch. Hip rotation poor. It showed. A few seconds slower than last year, and much slower than I did at Grizzly. I need to do some work in the pool.

Bike: 12.3 miles, 35:06

For the first time in a long time, I was greeted with warm sunshine after the swim in a Montana triathlon. As I started out, my legs felt a little stiff, which I chalked up to not riding for five days. Despite my best efforts, my jitters continued to hinder me on the bike. For some reason this year, I just can’t get comfortable on my bike. That being said, I felt better than I did at the Grizzly. At least I didn’t have to contend with the rain soaked roads like last year.

Despite the white knuckles, I plugged along as fast as I could. It felt slow to me. When I made the turn around, I saw that the rest of my heat wasn’t as far behind as usual. I just told myself to focus on my own race and punched it as hard as I could.

The highlight for the bike was…wait for it…a moose! A ginormous moose was enjoying the river right next to the road; only in Montana.


Run: 5k, 23:27

Lots of climbing on this run. Right out of transition in fact. Out I go and fortunately, something felt decent. Fast turnover. Nice and light. Things only seemed to get better as I progressed through the route. The major hill in the run gave me slightly more pause than I wanted. I was pretty hot by that point, especially since I didn’t take any water with me on the ride. But I endured, and then flew downhill back to the finish.


Synopsis: 1:06:46

Overall, it was a good day. The swim was off, but I knew it. The bike and run times include transition times. When I compare my Garmin files from this year and last year, I have a 44 sec PR for the bike and a 12 sec PR for the run. Today, I got a g 44 second PR for this course, good enough for third in my age group and 17 overall. With the weird vibe in my body, I’m pleased. Pleased enough to enjoy some great food at Caffe Dolce and great beers at Draught Works, my go to place in Missoula.

My family was pleasantly surprised by Caffe Dolce in Missoula. I highly recommend the Gelato!

My family was pleasantly surprised by Caffe Dolce in Missoula. I highly recommend the Gelato!

But wait, there’s more!

Like I said, Boise is only a three mere weeks away, and time was running short for an all out race rehearsal. So, yes, it was back to the grindstone on Sunday. I originally had planned to start my ride at 0600, but thanks to the greatest wife in the world, I got the chance to do this at actual race time. The unfortunate part of this was that  the winds had plenty of time to pick up something fierce. And I mean fierce. For the majority of the ride, I was dealing with either a massive headwind or a terrible cross wind. There was no enjoyment about this kind of ride. It was just pure hell. To top things off, I grossly under estimated how I tired I was going be after a sprint. So what does a ride behind a jet engine look like? Like this:



For nutrition, I took in one bottle of Perpetuem over three hours, one gel 30 minutes before the end of the bike, and some water on top. Now, I am hoping that I am going to feel way better on race day than today. Ok, I am praying that I do. And that I am a lot faster. Riding the aero bars seemed slightly better than yesterday, but it was tough to judge with all the wind. At least  my IF was right on at .82.

The run afterwards was also painful, but I was able to hold on to a 8:15 ish pace for three miles. Then, thanks to a needed potty break, my day was done. I have been dealing with GI problems ever since my run in Great Falls. Again, I don’t think this is due to my nutrition plan, just a bad week….I hope.

Needless to say, I am beat. Tomorrow is a rest day, then it’s time for the taper workouts. I am happy to be at this point, which is likely going to be my last big race taper for some time. I am going to focus on getting outside as much as I can between now and Boise. And eating healthy. Recovery here I come.

Recovery begins.

Recovery begins.

PS, I am happy to say that 20 bucks on an Amazon lightning deal ( did I mention I use Amazon a lot?) now allows me to have a homemade cafe latte as part of my nutrition plan. I’m in love with Mr Coffee!

This. Thing. Rocks. Mr. Coffee Cafe Latte maker.

This. Thing. Rocks. Mr. Coffee Cafe Latte maker.

About Ironvan

From couch potato to Ironman triathlete in 2 years.

Posted on May 18, 2014, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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