Monday, August 29, 2011

Iron Girl Boulder Sprint Triathlon

Now don't fall out of your chair, but for those of you who are actually still following me, yes I am alive and posting.

This past weekend, I raced the Iron Girl Boulder Sprint Triathlon, which was the first race that I have done in over a year. On May 23rd, I had knee surgery after dealing with knee pain for the past 9 months, so Iron Girl was my comeback race and needless to say, I was stoked to get back to racing.

It was also my first triathlon.

Race Morning:
The stupid alarm went off at 4:50. Really, WTH was I thinking? I reset the alarm and promptly fell back asleep until 5:20 rolled around. At 5:23, I stumbled down the stairs so that I could check my list for the sixth time to make sure I had all my gear. The night before, my dog had taken off with my race belt and bib, so I was a little paranoid that she had hidden something else, like a bike shoe, which would not have been good. All was accounted for and after a pee and a quick application of mascara, I was ready to go.

Roll your eyes over the mascara, I don't care, I can't race without it. I wore pink too. Shoot me.

The drive from Denver to Boulder took less then an hour and before I knew it, I was setting up in what is called the transition area. This was the first indication that I was clueless as to what was going on. Thank goodness Beth came over and helped me set my stuff up and gave me a few quick pointers on what was to happen. THANK YOU BETH.

Yes, I wore my wetsuit, I wanted the buoyancy factor.

We were booted out of transition at approximately 7:00, it was time to go swim. Crap.

The Swim:
Anyone who knows me, knows that I am not a swimmer, so I was extremely nervous about the swim. I lined myself up in the back of my age group and waited with the other 171 women who were in my age group and prayed that I wouldn't drown.
When the gun went off, I leisurely strolled into the water, trying not to get grossed out by all of the mud and plants that were squishing around under my feet. Nasty. Once the water was about chest high, the thought occurred to me that I should probably start to swim, so I plopped down in the water and took off. If I must.
If there was any part of this race that surprised me, it was the swim. Once I started swimming, I took it nice and easy and I felt very calm and relaxed. I started in the very back, yet my husband said that I was in the first 1/3 to exit the water.
Here I am taking my leisurely exit out of the water.

Seriously, I am in a race here, let's move it a little, the entrance and exit ARE part of the total swim time.

Total swim time - 10:08

At this point, I just wanted to sit down for awhile; I have never wished for a lawn chair so hard in my life. I peeled off my wetsuit and plopped down on the ground and stared at my feet for what seemed like an eternity until I reminded myself this was no time to stare at my feet.

Total time - 2:41.

The Bike:

With the exception of a 4 mile gradual uphill at the start, the bike course was nice and flat with some fun rolling hills at the end. I didn't want to kill my legs for the run, so I took the bike at a high cadence, low resistance approach.

You should have seen all of the fancy tri bikes some of these woman owned, seriously, I was drooling over them. I have a full carbon Trek Madone 5.1, but I felt like I was cruising around on a ghetto jalopy with a basket and a kickstand. I could actually hear the bikes coming up behind me with their whooshing wheels. It was awesome and I made the decision that I want one of those bikes or at least a set of clip on aero bars so I can go faster on the bike.

I haven't told the husband yet.

I rolled in at 57:36 minutes or 18 mph and headed to T2

Not wanting to give myself time to even think about sitting down in my imaginary lawn chair, I raced in, threw off my helmet, changed shoes and took off in 38 seconds. So fast, that I forgot my race bib. Oops, I guess I should have just let the dog keep it.


By the time I got to the run, it was hot, with no shade and anyone who has been or lived in Colorado knows that the intensity of the sun can be brutal. I *ran* the first mile and then developed a terrible side stitch, so I had to walk/run the rest of the race. I feel no shame in the walk/run. I have only been back to running for a little over a month since I couldn't run for 6 weeks after the knee surgery. My cardio is not where it should be right now, but with more training, that run time will come down. I have waited so long to be able to run again.

Total run time 27:50. 8:58 pace.

Total Race Time: 1:38:53
Division Place: 41/165
Overall Place: 151/814

I must say that my first triathlon experience was new and exciting. The energy at Iron Girl Boulder was phenomenal and I was so happy to be able to take part in the race. Athleta puts on one hell of an event and I will definitely be back next year.

I have been out of the race scene for over a year now because of injury and I have a whole new appreciation on listening to my body and knowing when to rest and when to work hard. I have waited a long time to be able to cross a finish line again and I have to tell you, I was not disappointed.