Tuesday, July 29, 2008

5430 Sports Sprint Triathlon video from foxsports.net

Checkout this video summary of the 5430 Sports 2008 Sprint race:

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Tuesday, July 22, 2008

2008 Boulder Peak Race Report

The alarm went off at 4:15 am and I was ready. I got to bed early last night and I was exhausted. Most experienced triathletes would tell you to race like you train and not try new things on race, but I like to keep it interesting and try new things. I started with breakfast, eating a bagel with almond peanut butter, banana and 32 oz of lemon lime Gatorade. Normally I eat oatmeal and a can of diet Dr Pepper before the race, but the last few races I've felt a bit sluggish, so why not change it up on race day? Overall, I felt good about the change, most competitors aren't drinking soda before the race! I rode over to the reservoir with my neighbors Craig and Chris at 5 am.

There are two ways into the reservoir, the main way and the back way. I was contemplating being a back seat driver and recommend the back way, but I didn't. Big mistake. When we got near the reservoir, the line was a mile or two long, but it went quick. When we finally got to the reservoir and parked we were faced with at least a half mile line of triathletes waiting to get into transition and marked. Craig and I walked past everyone and entered the transition area from the rear figuring we could get marked and our timing chips after setup, porta potty and warm-up. It worked, but I'm sure there were some choice comments for us from those that waited in line. At any rate, the delays with parking and transition entry resulted in a 15 min delay to the start of the race. Feeling good.

I headed down to the water to check out the course and get in a quick warm-up. As opposed to yesterday, I felt really fast, which was a good sign. I was really getting pumped and excited for the race, a feeling I didn't have for the 5430 Sprint for some reason. I was in the second wave today, which I was happy about. I'm always worried about being the last one on the course, which is a lonely feeling. I worked my way near the front of my wave for the start hoping to find the perfect position. The gun sounded and I was off. The first section of the swim is directly in the sun, so sighting was interesting. I immediately wanted to go faster than my wave would let me, so I tried to work to the inside to the left of the pack and found a lot of open swimming. I felt great, no wetsuit terror or general fear like some of the other races, just pedal to the medal. Generally I like to swim on the outside of the pack, but that usually leaves me swimming extra, so I made an adjustment in race and decided to swim on the inside, closest to the buoys. It was a great decision and feel like I swam the perfect race, minimizing the distance I paul taylorneeded to swim staying close to the buoys. I could see the pack on my right, which seemed to be taking a much longer path to the first buoys, which I couldn't figure out, but I suspect most were just following the leader. I felt great the whole time and definitely felt a good time coming. I approached the beach, went to stand up and ahhhhh hamstring cramp...yikes, I hate that. I pulled back and it went away as quickly as it appeared. I exited the water, looked at my watch, 25 minutes! Whoa, that's awesome! I was targeting less than 30 and hoping for 28, off to a good start. After the run up the beach into transition, I entered T1 at 27:09 which was good for top 20% swim, which I felt great about. I took my time transitioning to the tune of 3+ minutes. Now the fun part starts.

As I mentioned before, why not try new things on race day, I decided that today I would wear a cycling jersey during the bike and switch to a running shirt for the run. Makes sense, but not something I normally do on race day. I also decided that I'd only carry a half full water bottle on the bike so as to not carry extra weight up Old Stage (mind you, I'm 200+ lbs, a water bottle probably isn't going to make much of a difference), where I'd re-supply at the first aid station. Great plan, poor execution. I got a drink upon exiting transition and promptly dropped my one and only water bottle less than a mile from transition. I was dreading the ride up old stage with no water and I was right, I could have used some water. The ride out to Old Stage was uneventful, but I was in granny gear much sooner than expected. To make the ride a bit morepaul taylor exciting, a fire truck and ambulance passed me on my ride up Old Stage on the 15% grade. Luckily it was not race related, but something was going on at one of the homes along Old Stage. As I reached the Fire District sign, which marks the end of the steepest point, I saw the devil. A friend of mine was dressed as the devil, running up and down the hill encouraging everyone to push it. I was ready to make a deal with the devil at this point, but when I saw him I had a burst of energy. It's really great to see people you know out there cheering you on! Thanks Mike. After Old Stage, the ride was fairly uneventful. My lower back and between my shoulder blades started to tighten up around mile 15, so it was a bit uncomfortable heading back to T2. I finished in 1:35 or so, which was slower than I wanted to go, still on pace for my goal time of 3:21. T2 went smoothly, I took my time taking in fluids and a gel prior to the run.

paul taylorThe run started out ok, I kept to my water station to water station game plan for the 1st two miles, but then mile three happened. Mile 3 was like 10 miles. I think not being able to see the water station at Mile 3 was the killer. I walked a lot during mile three. I struggle with the run and today was no different. As opposed to the Bolder Boulder 10k, I was chasing Kim and Rebecca and I didn't want to let them get away from me. With the Peak, I'm not tied to anyone and I just didn't have the will to keep going and consequently I walked more than I wanted to. I ended up with 1:17 10k, which leaves a lot of room for improvement. Looking back on it now, I don't know why I didn't keep running, just didn't have the mental toughness again.

As I approached the finish line I was invigorated by the crowd and cheering. Since I started early, there were still a lot of people watching and cheering at the finish. For the Sprint, Kim and the boys were waiting about 50 yards from the finish and we all ran in together & it was a great feeling/memory. When I saw Kim and the boys today, they were about 100+ yards from the finish. We hadn't talked about it before hand, so I ran by thinking that it was to far. Turns out the boys were looking forward to it and hurt their feelings a bit. Looking back, I wish I had stopped and walked with them if necessary. It was a great feeling to finish the Olympic distance race, but it would have been better to share it with the boys at the finish. Next time.

I missed my goal by 6 minutes, but I'm overall happy that I finished what I'd consider my greatest athletic achievement. I exercised at a relatively high level for over 3 hours, where a year and half ago I couldn't exercise for 30 minutes without wanting to pass out. The good news is I've got a lot of room for improvement. Within a couple of hours of finishing, I'm already thinking of what I need to do between now and the 2009 Boulder Peak to improve my time. My tentative goal for 2009 will be under 3 hours. That's aggressive, but there's no reason that I can't get my bike down to 1:25, run down to 1 hour and transition within 5 minutes total. If I can do that, I can get under 3 hours. I plan to be doing a lot of cycling and running this off season. I'll be looking to my cycling experts (Craig and Ben), running experts (Jason G) and strength & conditioning expert (Jason B) to help me reach those goals next year.

The next scheduled race for me is the Oktoberfest Sprint at Union Reservoir in Longmont where I'm planning to do a team event with a couple guys from work.

Thanks again to everyone that helped make this a great triathlon season!

(I'll add pictures later (Done 8/22).)

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Saturday, July 19, 2008

2008 5430 sports Boulder Peak - expo and race goals

The calm before the storm. Today is the Boulder Peak expo at the Boulder Reservoir. The family headed over around 11 am for packet pickup, expo and swimming. If today is any indication, it is going to be hot, hot, hot tomorrow! I expect to be done by 10 am, but it's already in the mid-80's and not a cloud in the sky, just you and the sun. I picked up my number (125), t-shirt (not thrilled with white performance tee) and goodies. I forgot my USAT card, but they let me pick up my stuff and told me that my timing chip would be held hostage in exchange for my USAT card. That's a lot of pressure considering I live 30 minutes from the reservoir. (Note: I pinned it to the shirt I was going to wear race morning when I got home so that I wouldn't forget it. Now I just have to remember to wear that shirt!)

triathlon t-shirts, run mommy run, triathlon gear, race day supportThe expo was packed with vendors, athletes and support crews. Family Fan Club was well represented at 3 booths: Adrenaline Tri-Sports, Runners Roost and 3x Fast Triathlon Equipment. It's always great to see people I don't know wearing our designs, great feeling to see people validating our vision and wearing their support on race day.

triathlon t-shirts, run mommy run, triathlon gear, race day supporttriathlon t-shirts, run mommy run, triathlon gear, race day support

At noon 5430 sports had a guest speaker, Craig Howie, from Howie Endurance Project (HEP) giving a workshop on do's and don'ts associated with Boulder Peak triathlon. Craig is a top-tier age grouper (going to Kona this year) and coach of the HEP. A couple of my friends (Mike and Kristina) are part of the HEP family and rave about how Craig has helped them reach their goals. If I ever take the plunge for Ironman, Craig seems like the type or person that would work for me too, but we'll save that for another discussion.

The rest of the day was spent lounging on the beach, resting up and hydrating (lots of water and gatorade). I went for a quick swim to work out the kinks and keep loose. I debated whether to bring my wetsuit, but decided to leave it at home and go for the sluggish effect today and tomorrow I will feel really fast! (I don't know if that will work, but I'm sticking with it.) I did feel sluggish and just took a leisurely pace around the designated area. They have diving platforms throughout the area, so naturally I had to stop and try that. I didn't feel fast, but I didn't expect to.


This is the race I've been looking forward to all season, my 'A' race. I'm stepping up from the comfort of Sprint racing to the unknowns of Olympic distance racing. I feel real good about the swim, good about the bike and running is required, so I have to do it. The run continues to be my least favorite activity, but it's something that I can get better at fairly quickly, as opposed to if I had to learn to swim. So, here are the goals:

Swim: 1500 meters in 30 minutes or less. I did 1500 meters at Stroke and Stride a couple of weeks ago so I expect to do it in 28 minutes or less. If I go by my training times (750 yards in 6:30 or so) I should be able to do it in 26 or 27 minutes. The farther I am from 30 minutes, the happier I will be.

T1: 3 minutes or less. I need to have some sense of urgency here, but I'm not going to rush for the sake of rushing.

Bike: 25 miles in 1:30 minutes or less. I'm planning to go as hard as my body will let me. The last ride on this course I started to get a stiff back and neck around mile 15, so hopefully that won't be an issue tomorrow. Old Stage is going to be interesting. I don't have any concerns about my ability, but wonder how it will be with cycling traffic, cars and my endurance as I usually ride it fresh.

T2: 2 minutes or less

Run: 1:15 or less running water station to water station. My goal is to walk only at the water stations, but we'll see how it goes out there. The run is very hot and boring. It's an out and back loop around the reservoir which is much like what I'd expect the desert to be like. Hot, dry, no points of interest, just you and the soft trail. Craig gave me a bracelet he wore at CDA that reads: Harden The Fraggle Up (HTFU and yes, it's a family blog, therefore Fraggle is more appropriate). When I have an inclination to walk, I will HTFU.

Overall: 3:21 or less. These goals are achievable, I just have to execute and have the will to meet them.

Tomorrow starts early (up at 4:15 am), transition closes at 6:20 am and I'll be in the water for my heet at 6:30 am. If everything goes according to plan, I should be done by 10 am before the heat really starts.

Thanks to everyone for their support, encouragement and advice, particularly my wife Kim, Connor, Griffin, Craig, Ben, Jason, Jason, Mike, and Bryan. See you at the races.

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Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Boston Thief Turns Triathlete

I think a getaway car would have been more appropriate: http://www.boston.com/news/local/breaking_news/2008/07/boston_theft_su.html

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Monday, July 14, 2008

Mission Accomplished

Over the winter as the pounds were dropping I started to think about some goals, special dates etc... that I could use to benchmark my progress. Some of my loyal readers know that I was in the Navy for six years, from 1989 to 1995 and today, July 14th is the 13th anniversary of when I got out. A few months back I thought it would be fun to see if I could get down to my out of the Navy weight. I then started to think, if I can get the weight down, I bet I could fit into my Navy uniform. I'd given up the possibility of that happening within a year of leaving the Navy. College, food, laziness, beer...just didn't see it happening. (If I can find a picture of me in the Navy, I'll post it. Or maybe one of my readers can send one?)

Today, I made impossible possible and celebrated my 13 year anniversary by making weight and putting on my cracker jack uniform (One of two uniforms I still have. I also have the summer white polyester uniform. Maybe next year I'll put that on.) It fit like a glove, literally. It wasn't as tight as I thought it might be. I buttoned all 13 buttons on the pants and I could still breath. I didn't have any trouble getting the top on either, complete with ribbons, name tag and I Like Ike button. I also have the neckerchief I probably rolled and taped in or shortly after boot camp and I topped it off with the lone cover I still have. I received this uniform in boot camp when I was 18 years old. Luckily the tailor left some room to grow 19 years later. It's a bit tight around the mid section, but another year of exercise and I'll be ready to go out on the town. Well, maybe not on the town, I forgot how freaking hot it is! It was really hot. I also have the shoes, but by the time I got the uniform on, I was ready for some pictures and get out. (See previous comment on warmth)

Anyway, Connor joined in for a picture, Griffin was to shy. I'll keep working to make my old clothes wearable, who knows, maybe I can get down to my high school weight? That would be nuts, but who knows.

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Sunday, July 13, 2008

Boulder Peak Old Stage vs Me - Rnd 3

Today was my last trip up and down Old Stage before the 2008 Boulder Peak Triathlon on July 20th. I tossed around riding to Old Stage and back from home (44+ mile round trip), riding Boulder Peak Olympic bike course start to finish from the reservoir or doing hill repeats up Old Stage with a 30 min run at the end. I decided on the latter, figuring that the strength work on the hill would satisfy my biking needs and I'd have something left in the tank for a 30 minute run.

Old Stage is not getting any easier, however I have made some observations. The hardest part is the first part. This is the steepest part of the hill and it's really no fun. There's no way around it and stopping is not an option, as I don't think it would be to easy/possible to restart. Once you make it to the "Lefthand Fire District" sign, it's all "downhill". Well, as you can see from the picture, it's not really down hill, but relatively, it's reasonable. From this point, there's a rolling section, two more reasonable hills and then you're done.

The other thing I like about Old Stage is the scenery. It's very brown, but you can't beat the views. When I stopped to take the picture of the reservoir, where the Boulder Peak swim starts, as well as the transition area, I noticed one of the homes has an inground swimming pool. I can't imagine the water bill to keep that full! The climate is so dry around here I have to re-fill my fish tank weekly due to evaporation. I'd imagine that swimming pool has to be refilled weekly also.

Anyway, I did the ride twice, figuring that the second time would simulate what it's going to feel like next Sunday during the race after swimming 1500m and biking 5+ miles out to Old Stage. It wasn't fun, but I made it. I stopped to get a drink at the top after the second summit, unclipped my left shoe but my weight was leaning right and.....yep, I fell over. Luckily I only skinned my knee and elbow, but it was embarrassing. Luckily only one other cyclists witnessed that!

I zipped back down the hill with no major issues. The only thing that was bothering today was GI issues. I was trying out some new nutrition options for the triathlon next week and apparently my body is not to happy with my choices. Prior to the ride I drank some Mix 1, but that gave me some nasty gas and a bit of an upset stomach. Not a good start. Even worse, where's the porta potty when you need one? Not at the trail head I parked at! I wasn't bothered to much, but I wasn't 100%. After the two trips up Old Stage I went for a quick run, where I ran out and back 13 minutes or so for 26 minutes round trip run / walk. As if the Mix 1 issues weren't enough, I threw in a Vanilla Cliff Energy Gel to the mix. I didn't feel worse, but I wasn't feeling better either. I took the time to think about my run goals for the race next week, which I'll discuss in a separate post later this week.

Summary: I've done Old Stage four times now and I have no doubts that I can make it. I just need to make it past the initial incline and look for the Left Hand Fire District sign and I'll be all set. Once I get to the top I'll have 10 to 15 minutes on the downhill to gather myself, breath and get ready for the rest of the race. I'm planning for some more running this week, probably 3 mi Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, open water swim on Tuesday night and a nice flat/fast bike ride probably Wednesday. I'll probably rest the rest of the week and get ready for the big race on Sunday.

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Saturday, July 12, 2008

Free Shipping through July 20th!

Hello Family Fan Club fans, if you're looking for a Cafepress coupon for free shipping, it's your lucky day. For a limited time, through July 20th, shipping is free within the US on all orders over $65. Just enter the following Cafepress free shipping coupon at checkout: FREESUMMER.

Visit familyfanclub for triathlon t-shirts, triathlon support, triathlete t-shirt, run mommy run t-shirt, run daddy run t-shirt, it's business time t-shirt, i need more cowbell t-shirt, major league triathlon t-shirt and many more sports t-shirts.

Happy shopping!

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Friday, July 11, 2008

Family Fan Club featured at Workout Mommy today

Family Fan Club has the honor of being featured in today's "One Fit Family" segment over at Workout Mommy. Stop over and checkout the article. Also vote for your favorite shirt for a chance to win it!

Support Workout Mommy by shopping for Family Fan Club gear via the affiliate link on the Workout Mommy webpage (right hand side).

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Tuesday, July 8, 2008

5430 Boulder Peak Old Stage vs Me - Rnd 2

On the two week anniversary until the 2008 Boulder Peak race I tackled Old Stage for round 2. This week I decided that after conquering "just" Old Stage that I'd add the full 5430 Boulder Peak bike course in for a training ride. My neighbor Chris decided to join me this week, as she's been battling through some injuries this season and testing the water as to whether she'll be able to do the Boulder Peak this year. The plan was to start at the base of Old Stage, ride the entire Boulder Peak course and then do Old Stage again at the end.

We arrived in Boulder at a open space trail head on Lee Hill road, about a mile from the base of Old Stage. Mounted up, quick loop around the neighborhood to get the blood flowing and we were off to Old Stage. It was just as I remember it from last week, the beginning is slow and annoying. It doesn't look like much, but I was already feeling it. Much like last week I was in granny gear in no time keeping a steady 10 mph until I hit the intersection of Lee Hill Road and Old Stage, which is where the fun starts. My pace was quickly cut in half, down to about 5 mph but still moving steady, keep the pedals moving.

Once you get past the steepest part of the hill, it's still uphill, but it's all downhill so to speak. There's still some climbing to be done, but the worst is behind once you make it over the first peak. There's actually a relatively flat spot after the first climb that I've fumbled my water bottle both times. Can't seem to get the bottle back in the cage. Another thing I'll say about both climbs so far, my butt has not left the seat one time. I think before getting some pointers on the attacking old stage, I would have thought that I would need to stand up, out of the saddle to make it. I've been told that burns a lot of unnecessary energy and that I can get up just as fast in the saddle as out and to my surprise I can definitely make it sitting down.

Chris was right behind me the entire ride and for someone who's been on the shelf with injury, she kicked some butt. The ride down the backside of the hill was fast and fun. I tried to keep it around 35 mph, but did notice I crept up to about 39 mph a couple of times. It was a nice reward after a steep climb up. In fact, one of these days I'll probably have to ride the opposite direction. It's not as steep, but it's a longer climb. Pretty much from there on out it was a relatively flat, with some rolling hills back to the open space trail, however by this time it was starting to rain and weather was moving in on the mountains pretty quick. That was fine with me because I was tired, wasn't really motivated to do Old Stage again.

Chris and I had planned to do a short 10 minute run after getting off the bikes to get our legs and we stuck to the plan. The legs were a bit wobbly, but after 5 minutes or so, no lingering affects. On the way back to the car we ran into Nicole and Tim DeBoom, which was AWESOME. Chris works for SkirtSports, so we got to stop and chat. The great thing about living in Boulder is that you never know who or where you'll run into. Maybe you'll run into arguably the Michael Jordan of Triathlon (2x Triathlon World Champion - Tim), IronMan Wisconsin winner (Nicole) and owner of arguably the most chic, often imitated by never duplicated Skirt Sports skirts. That was really cool.

So, another old stage climb for the notch in my belt and rubbing elbows with who's who of Triathlon, another great day in Boulder County.

Next week, I'll be doing Old Stage again, just haven't figured out exactly what/how yet.

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Friday, July 4, 2008

Stroke and Stride

The great thing about living in Boulder County is that you can almost always find a race, even on weekdays. I've been wanting to participate in the Stroke and Stride series at the Boulder Reservoir all season, but due to t-ball practices and games it just hasn't worked out. This week, due to the holiday, there were no games or practices so I jumped at the opportunity to participate. Boulder Stroke and Stride consists of a 750m or 1500m swim followed by a 5k, where I selected the longer swim distance to simulate the Boulder Peak swim in just over two weeks. Prior to the swim and after setting up my transition area I spotted Gail and Roger from Adrenaline Tri-Sport in Niwot, CO selling their FamilyFanClub t-shirts. Stop by and see them for all of your triathlon and race day support gear!

I positioned myself in the front of the middle tier of swimmers for the start. I moved a bit closer to the front compared with the sprint in attempt to find the right spot with minimal waiting and hitting. The position worked out great and I really wasn't slowed, kicked or touched from behind, so I felt like I had the perfect spot. Another thing I'm finding is that I like to swim on the left side of the pack, where I can keep all the swimmers and buoys on my right. The wetsuit terrors seemed to have passed with the wetsuit tip I mentioned a couple of weeks ago. When I start feeling uncomfortable, I just pull the collar forward on my wetsuit to let the cool water in and everything is good.

The first lap of the swim was uneventful, came out of the water in 13:05 which I'm pretty happy with. I'm by no means sprinting, just taking a nice calm and even pace. For the swimmers doing 1500m, you have to get out of the water and jog on the beach for 100m before starting the second lap. The second lap with 100m jog/walk/catch your breath was just over 15 minutes. I'm very happy with swim time under 28 minutes. I was targeting under 30, so feeling good about the swim.

Oh the run. Transition from the swim to run is very casual, very much unlike race day. Friends and family can be in the transition area, not at all like race day. I took my time for a 3+ minute transition to my running gear, which is about normal on race day, but seemed particularly slow today. I started off on the run at my normal pace, feeling pretty good initially, but then I started to cramp up and just couldn't shake the cramps. I walked a bit and ended in 32 minutes, so by no means a stellar running performance.

The nice thing about today's run was that we had friends (Jason, Tammy and kids Kaleb and Aspen) visiting from Nebraska for the holiday. Jason is a physician's assistant, certified strength & conditioning (formerly trained special forces, pro baseball, college football and college hockey) and a bunch of other credentials. He gave me some tips on my running stride which was helpful, now I need to practice and build up some endurance with my new stride. He also has a blog and website you should checkout.

Anyway, another great time at the reservoir with family and friends. Feeling good about the swim, but the run, which will be a 10k on race day, has me a bit concerned.

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Tuesday, July 1, 2008

5430 Boulder Peak Old Stage vs. Me - Rnd 1

The 5430 Boulder Peak triathlon is less than 3 weeks away and I still haven't rode up Old Stage. Old Stage is the famous 15% grade, 600 ft vertical climb over 2/3 of a mile that starts about 5 miles into the bike portion of the race. I've driven it once and it scared the heck out of me. I've been wondering if I could do it and how I would feel mentally & physically. I've been figuring that I need to ride Old Stage at least three times before the Boulder Peak, to get my legs under me and prove to myself that I can do it.

Old Stage is a very interesting section of the course. As urban as Boulder is, heading out on US 36 and out towards Old Stage you get back to nature really quick, where it's not uncommon to see deer, fox or black bears. Yes, black bears. In fact I know of at least two occassions where cyclists have HIT black bears on their bikes and lived to tell about it. Here are a couple of stories here and here. I can't imagine hitting a bear at 45 MPH on my bike, feet clipped into pedals and flying end over end.

Back to me. I decided that yesterday would be my first attempt at Old Stage. My goal was to just ride Old Stage once and get up with no stopping. I started at the open space trail parking lot on Lee Hill Rd. I took a quick lap around the neighborhood to get the blood flowing and then headed up. The incline is steady and annoying at first. If you were driving, you probably wouldn't even notice, but on the bike it's just annoyingly steep and continuous. I shifted down, down, down on the way up, wondering how I'm possibly going to make it up the hill when I'm already on the small ring? Finally I made it to Old Stage and the hardest part of the hill was facing me dead on. I continued to turn the crank continuously & steady, firmly in granny gear now, breathing heavy and just taking it one turnover at a time. I don't know if this is good or bad, but the hill is deceptively long, where you can't see the next section as your climbing. A rider could be easily fooled into thinking the climb is shorter than it is. I was by no means tearing it up, averaging about 5 mph, where I started to wonder just how slowly do you have to be going to fall over? I continued to push the pedals round and round until I finally made it to the top. It took almost 20 minutes from the trailhead (about 2.5 miles), but I made it with no walking or stopping.

I celebrated for a moment, snapped a couple of pictures and head back down. I quickly picked up speed and started to ride the rear break very hard as to not exceed 25 mph, which isn't easy. At one point I was squeezing down on both the rear and front brakes and still moving at a good clip. I returned to the trailhead in under 7 minutes after an uneventful ride down.

Summary: Round 1 goes to me.

Although I won round one by making it up the hill, I know that race day will be an entirely different challenge as I'll have swam 1500 meters and rode just over 5 miles out to the hill. I didn't see any bears, but I did see two deer. I haven't decided what Round 2 will be yet, hill repeats or riding the entire Boulder Peak course, but I will do both. I definitely want to do the hill at least 2 more times before race day to build up strength and confidence.

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