Thursday, July 7, 2011

Race #3 of the Season: 5430 Sprint Triathlon

First of all, I KNOW I'M SO BEHIND IN BLOG POSTS. I'm back three races and a recap AND I have another race this weekend. So I figure I better catch up a bit here ...

When we signed up to do Ironman Boulder 70.3, we learned that you could just sign up for the Boulder Triathlon Series which would include the 5430 Sprint, the Boulder Peak (olympic distance; now part of the 5i50 series) and the 70.3. We wouldn't really train for the first two - we'd just train through them and see how things went.

Leading up to 5430, we were feeling okay. Training had started, we were getting into somewhat of a groove ... and then we tried getting in open water swims. PILE O' FAIL. My swimming has been a struggle this year and the OWS the week before 5430 scared me back into SwimLabs (which really didn't help). Technical form is okay, but my endurance? The suck.

Talking to the ever-awesome Kris helped calm me down and alleviate some of my fears and learning the water in the Boulder Reservoir would be about 10 degrees warmer than that of Aurora didn't hurt, either.

Race Day

We woke up butt-ass early to make the long-ass drive to Boulder, making us even happier we booked a hotel for the night before the half. Yeah, we'll still have a 20 minute drive, but it's better than a 50 minute drive. We got to the Res even before transition opened so we had time to wander around a bit and take care of things (bathroom, sticker application, etc.).

5430 Sprint Triathlon
The water.

5430 Sprint Triathlon
Brandon looking out over the water.

Soon after, it was time to head into transition. This was our first race we've done together where we couldn't set up next to each other; everything was set up due to waves and we were in different waves. We split up for a few minutes to get set up and to get body-marked.

5430 Sprint Triathlon
Brandon's calf marked up with our tribute smiley.

5430 Sprint Triathlon

My calf all marked up.

We took the bikes for a spin to make sure they got through the trip okay (Bob can be dumb like that) and soon enough, it was time to get our butts out of transition and down to the water.

Down by the water, waves were going off every few minutes and my wave was a good 25 minutes or so after Brandon's. I got in the water a bit to warm up with him and was in the water right near his wave's start, but my wave was so far back in that I actually saw him get out of the water before I even had a chance to start my race. Which kind of sucks, actually.

The Swim:

This race was a return to the wave start that I did in my first couple tris (the Tri for the Cure years; My Way was a mass start and both Cheyenne and Rattlesnake were time trials). I think I like the wave starts better because you get to hang out in the water and get acclimated before the gun goes off. I like that, especially when the water is a little colder.

I knew that crawling the whole half-mile or whatever this race was was going to be an issue ... and it was. I ended up breaststroking most of it (tricky in a wetsuit due to lack of leg mobility) and had to kayak it to wipe out my goggles.

And I know this is probably going to be too much TMI, but throughout the whole damn swim, I felt as if I could do better and relax if I could just make myself pee. Couldn't do it. Argh.

Time: 21:32 (rate: 2:53; rank: 1007th overall)


Nothing much special here. I could tell I was new to this whole wetsuit thing as it inadvertantly helped me expand my personal space area ... which the guy next to me kindly pointed out as he tried to get his bike off the rack. Oops. Live and learn ...

Time is also a bit longer as the mat was RIGHT as you got out of the water. Helps for more accurate swim times; sucks for transition times.

Time: 3:10

The Bike:

The sprint bike course was surprisingly sucky for the first few miles. The first mile out of the Res was also the last mile of the bike so you got to see a lot of people coming in and that kind of sucks. I kept my eyes peeled for Brandon, but no dice.

My legs felt super heavy in the first five miles or so ... which were actually kind of uphill ... an uphill so gradual you didn't really realize it until in mile 5 when you started heading downhill. I got passed by a lot of people, passed a couple myself and started feeling really good in the middle miles of the ride.

The end of the course had a couple surprisingly nasty baby hills (just because they're small doesn't mean they don't suck), but I made it through the 17ish miles okay.

Time: 1:00:42 (17.0 mph, 893rd overall)


T2 went by really quickly. I switched off the race belt (had to wear our race numbers on the bike) for my race skirt and took a chance and didn't BodyGlide my feet for a second time. As a result, I was out pretty fast.

Time: 2:01

The Run:

I knew the run was in the actual Reservoir and I thought I may be marginally familiar with the course from doing KBCO's Race Around the Rez a few years back which took place at the Boulder Res. However, the Res is apparently fairly large and I think we ran in a totally different place.

My legs felt kind of crappy (as to be expected), but the few bricks I've done (even with the ass-long transition times) have apparently helped as the legs didn't feel as dead as they have in past years. So, yay for that.

There was a gradual uphill leading out of transition to the main part of the course (with a photog at the top of the hill; go figure - I made sure to smile) and then it was gently rolling.

I ran as much as I could; walked when I had to and just let the miles tick by ... though it seemed like a long 5K. I think tri runs ALWAYS seem longer since you've done so much before them. On the way back (out-and-back run), I chatted with another girl for a bit (and I wish I remember about what; too long ago). It was obvious it was at a slightly slower pace for her, but the conversation actually was a good pick-me-up and helped me get through the last little bit of the race.

Unlike Rattlesnake, it was also nice seeing people still starting the course and not being one of the last people out there.

Entering the chute, there was a woman wearing the bike jersey from last year's Boulder 70.3 and I tried to catch her, but as you'll see in the photo collage below, no dice. Sad day. In any case, I managed my traditional sprint across the finish ... somehow. Brandon has a fun video of it; ask to see it sometime.

Time: 31:14 (10:04/mi; 955th overall)

Overall Time:
940/1132 overall
357/496 female
56/80 division (F2529)

While it seemed to be a crappy race compared to other people, I actually had my fastest bike average and fastest run average ever in a tri, so really, I'll take it.

I won't bore you with anything else - I'm behind in posting as it is and I've got to bug out to take Brandon to the airport, but I will leave with a photo collage of the official race photos courtesy of Action Sports International (ASI) and the Windows snip tool.

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