Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Race #6 of the Season: 5430 Sprint Triathlon

A little late with this one, but I needed to upload photos.

As Brandon mentioned in his recap, we both had a few ideas as to what we could do in this race. We both figured I could PR; which I ended up doing ... I just had no idea it would be by so little. I really thought I could do better than what I did that day and the fact that I didn't; well, that was highly disappointing.

Last year, I did this race in 1:58:39 ... which may seem long for a sprint tri, but this race has a 17 mile bike as opposed to the typical 11 or 12 mile bike leg that we see in most sprints around here (though it does have the relatively standard half-mile swim and 5K run). That, and, well, you know I'm slow.

This year, we got smart and packed up Fiona the Rav the night before with our bikes and packed our transition bags the night before, as well. As we get further into this sport and our gear decreases bit by bit so we have less to pack, I think I spaz more, worrying I'll forget something just because I have less stuff. Which seems so wrong, in some ways, but I'm glad I've gotten my stuff down to almost the bare essentials for racing.

Morning of, we woke up with plenty of time to eat, pack up the rest of our crap, make a snack (in my case) and get up to Boulder before transition opened. There were still a ton of people there before us and we had to wait in a line waiting for trans to open, but I'd always rather get there early than five minutes before trans closes (like some chick at one of our races did a few years ago).

We got into transition and split up, going to our separate racks to set things up.

Brandon working on getting his area set up.

Team Baby Dino dinosaurs hanging out in Brandon's trans bag.

Set up and ready to go.

Gustave, triathlon newbie, hanging out on my aerobars.

All set up, we took care of pre-race business, sunscreened up and got on the bikes to take them for a quick spin to not only work out the legs a bit, but to make sure everything was still in good shape (my cyclometer has a tendency to spaz out in transport sometimes; sometimes to the point that I'll have no cadence/speed data during a race ride). After the ride, we rolled back into transition to get ready to go. I ate the snack I brought (bread and peanut butter), we both got on our wetsuits and we left transition to go on down to the beach.

Brandon's wave started a fair bit before mine, so we decided I'd only wade in the water partway (so as not to get cold) while he did his warming up in the water. Warm up complete, he got out of the water, hugged me goodbye and got into his wave, ready to go. As his wave got into the water to prepare for its start, I ran/splashed my way over so I could be just on the other side of the rope as he left. We got another hug in and I made a crack about all the wives/girlfriends being there to support their significant others, since there were a lot of other pink swim caps (F12-29) where I was.

After the gun went off and he swam away, I did a warm up lap of my own ... the first actual warm-up lap in their set up I've done (usually, I've just swum out to one of the mini floating docks and back). I was really glad for it since my shoulders got their usual tightness and I was able to stretch them out before getting out and getting into my wave.

The Swim:

As I'm a bit more confident in my swim this year (as evidenced by the crazy mileage I've put into the pool this year), I placed myself to the inside and about middle of the pack. The horn sounded and we were off.

The start of the swim went really well; the first few buoys seemed to come up fast, which understandably made me happy. Then, as we were almost at the first yellow buoy, signifying a turn, I had to stop at a kayak to clear out my goggles.

Big mistake.

After that, my goggles just wouldn't cooperate. It got to the point that I almost constantly had to keep one eye closed due to the water in there. That, probably combined with the fact that subsequent waves were starting to pass me, and I got very frustrated. And I really don't swim well when I'm frustrated.

Or maybe the small end of the swim rectangle in Boulder Res is just my nemesis (it was in 70.3).

The last stretch of the swim to shore seemed to last forever. Usually, that's one of the quickest parts of the swim to me - "oh look, I'm almost done!" - but not that day. FINALLY, after what seemed like FOREVER, I reached the shore. I checked my watch to take the split as I was crossing the mat and was so upset to still see it as 21:something, as it was 21:something last year. Did I seriously not get better?

Time: 21:11 (rate: 2:39; rank: 1007th overall)(overall rank ironically same as previous year)


I was actually able to kind of run up to transition. I fought with the wetsuit a little over my feet, got my cycling stuff on and left.

I was happy with my relatively fast transition thanks to the girl a few spots down on the rack - she was prepping herself as I got into trans and we left at about the same time. I don't want to know what her T1 time was.

Time: 3:09

The Bike:

I'm pretty sure that the worst part of any ride coming out of Boulder Reservoir is the first five miles. The road out of the res (51st, I think?) is just slightly uphill enough with enough little hills that it's rough getting your legs underneath you. Then, you turn on Jay and while the little hills disappear, it's ever-so-slightly uphill until you turn on 28th/36 in which case it's still that incline before a couple bigger hills and then finally, happily, the downhill portion.

I still took my corners pretty slow (post-crash nervousness), but I stayed in big ring when I could (something I normally don't do) and generally tried to rock the rest of the bike course. I took in a gel and a salt tab at about mile 11ish when you turn on 63rd. The rollers on 63rd didn't seem as bad as they have in years past.

The best part was the damn Diagonal Highway. That stretch killed me in both Boulder Peak and in Boulder 70.3 last year. This year, it didn't seem nearly as bad. I do credit the Spinervals Time Trialpalooza workout for a lot of that. As much as that DVD sucks hardcore in its utter boring misery, I really do think it made me stronger - both physically and mentally.

Then came the turn back onto Jay and back onto 51st and back into the reservoir.

Time: 59:22 (17.4 mph, 913th overall)


Given the heat and my still-healing road rashed shoulder, I took extra special care to sunscreen up. I decided to forgo the body glide on the feet again (did before riding) as it's worked before in smaller races. In and out.

Time: 2:03

The Run:

I haven't done many brick workouts this year (okay, I don't think I've truly done one since March) and it definitely showed on the legs, as they were pretty dead. That being said, when I was able to run, I was able to run at a pretty fast clip.

I saw Brandon in the first mile - I tried to high-five him, but I think he was too dead as he barely noticed me; just enough to kinda sorta wave. Poopybutt. However, seeing him made me smile for a while; evident as I passed the race photog not too long after.

My legs felt tired; I was expecting that. While I haven't done bricks, I have done a lot of running on fatigued legs this year and I do think that helped a little bit.

What I wasn't expecting was to never quite get my lungs underneath me. I don't know if it was a product of my body expecting to run at a certain pace when I could run and that pace was faster than what my lungs could handle or what, but it was tricky. That being said, I still passed the first mile in just under 10 minutes (good for me in a tri; I think it was about 9:50ish).

Mile two was more of a struggle and a little longer; I think I hit that marker at 19:50ish. I was steadily in a run/walk rhythm by this point. I'd run; I'd slow to a walk and people would pass me. I'd run again and I'd pass most of them back. There was one woman in particular (not in my age group, unfortunately) in some blue Noosa Triathlon kit that I'd keep leapfrogging. Happily, I passed her for good on the last downhill of the course in mile three.

I'd been keeping an eye on my watch and I knew I was going to PR, but I knew it wouldn't be by much. I saw Brandon as I made the turn into the finisher's chute and then gave it my all running into the finish, about dying as I crossed the line.

Time: 31:15 (10:05/mi; 904th overall)

Overall Time:
926/1114 overall
327/448 female
61/75 division (F2529)


Yes, we already tossed on other clothes.

Now, let's play the comparison game to last year.

This year:
Swim: 21:11; 2:39/100m
T1: 3:09
Bike: 59:22; 17.4mph
T2: 2:03
Run: 31:15; 10:05/mi
Overall Time: 1:57:00

Last year:
Swim: 21:32; 2:53/100m
T1: 3:10
Bike: 1:00:42; 17.0mph
T2: 2:01
Run: 31:14; 10:04/mi
Overall Time: 1:58:39

The swim was 14 seconds faster per 100m which seems huge, but it only translated into 21 seconds on race day. It was also slower than what I've been averaging in the pool (around 2:25/100m). I felt that with all of my swimming this year, I should have seen a much bigger improvement and I didn't. And that hurt. Badly.

T1 was a whole second faster. Woot.

I improved the most on the bike - 1:20 or .4 mph. The best part about that is I may have been able to go faster, too. I credit all of the stupid trainer time I've put in this year to helping my bike as well as a lot of the early season rides. I just wonder a bit on how much better it might have been had I not crashed my bike and taken myself out of commission for a few weeks.

T2 was two seconds slower. Boo to that.

My run was a second slower than last year. Seriously??? I had been hoping for a faster run given how well my running has been going this year (have pr'ed every distance save the 5K), but I will concede that I haven't put in the brick training like I should. Or maybe my cardio isn't quite up to par this year. That, and I just haven't put in the miles like I've wanted to this year.

All of the above results in a 1:39 PR. Ultimately good, but it could have been so much better, dangit.

Sunday, June 24, 2012


On Thursday, T and I went for a ride along the Cherry Creek Trail, near our house.  This is a trail that will take you all the way downtown from where we are, and we very nearly went all that way.  We instead turned it around about 5-6 miles from downtown Denver, but that's not why I'm writing this.  I'm writing about an experience I had on this ride.

About 30 minutes into it, I took a corner and felt myself skidding out.  I remarked to T that I may have a flat tire, and sure enough, I did.  We pulled over and inspected my tire.  I found a thorn in there that had punctured my tube.  I had a spare tube with me, but for some reason, no CO2 cartridge.  T had a CO2 container, but no cartridge.  We decided we'd flag down another rider and see if they would have one to lend us.  In the meantime, we tackled what has been my Achilles Heel in terms of bike maintenance: changing the tire.

In the past, I have issues with getting the tire back on the rim after putting the new tube on.  However, with some patience and a bit of coaching from T, I had no issues.  It was super-smooth!  Made me very happy, quite frankly.  

A rider stopped, lent us a CO2 cartridge, and we inflated the tire.  Then we continued on our way, with no more issues.

Another lesson learned, and another proud accomplishment for Brandon. :-)

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Race Recap - 5430 Sprint Triathlon

Only a couple days late...not too shabby!

This was our first triathlon of the season, and my apprehension was slightly high for this race.  While my training has been good in terms of volume, I had some slight worry over the quality of my training.  Nonetheless, I was looking at this as a good test of where I was at.

So the night before, over our usual pre-race meal of delicious breakfast at Village Inn, we discussed our race strategy (we actually have race strategies now) and potentials.  While we agreed T should have no problem PRing in this race (her time was around 1:58) my time was 1:48:04, and when we looked at it, it seemed there was very little room to slash time.  Last year, my swim time 16:22, my bike was 56:50, and my run was 29:36 for a total time of 1:48:04. Perhaps I could swim a bit faster and run a bit faster, but a PR seemed a bit out of reach.  Regardless, I just figured I'd go out as hard as I could, race like I knew how to race, and see where that took us.

We got up to Boulder early, which we like to do.  In fact, we got there before transition even opened.  Not a bad problem to have, really.  We got into transition and went our separate ways.  I found my rack and hung my bike up and spent a few minutes getting my transition area ready.  It's kind of funny how as I get better in this sport, my transition area has shrunk.  I then went to take care of pre-race business and found T in transition.  We chatted for a bit, then sunscreened up and took our bikes out to test my new tri shorts.  Then we re-racked our bikes and waited to get ready.

Eventually, we got our wetsuits on and headed down to the res.  The weather was perfect for a race.  The wind was non-existent, the temperature was about 70 degrees, and not a cloud in the sky.  Although we knew that was going to be short-lived, as the forecast high that day was 100 degrees!  

I listened to the National Anthem, then hopped in the water to do a quick lap around the swim beach.  I felt good about that and eventually got into my wave.  When I waded into the water a couple minutes before the gun, T came over and hugged me one more time and to wish me good luck.  I positioned myself near the front on the inside.  The countdown began, and then the gun went off.  

The Swim
This year, I am choosing to adopt a slightly new swim strategy.  Normally, I start in the back, but I have figured out that I am generally a pretty good swimmer in these races and tend to swim over my competitors, causing no small amount of discomfort to both me and them.  This year, I am going to start more towards the front, keeping myself pacing with the better swimmers in my age group.

 I started off by swimming pretty aggressively.  I don't know if it was the warmer water or the fact I was in a different starting position, but I just forced myself to go.  I got my breathing under me pretty quickly and settled into a nice groove.  

Sighting was difficult on this swim, but I was swimming directly into the sun, which is a problem in pretty much all our tris.  I just tried to keep the buoys in front of me, which I was successful with.  As I made the turn forming the trapezoid, I was feeling good, but was also aware that I was swimming pretty aggressively.  As I've found in my running races this year, I haven't really needed to slow down even though I was obviously going fast.  Same thing with this swim.

Swimming back in, I started spotting a lot of swim caps of the wave that went in front of me.  I was utterly enjoying my time and when I hit the sand, I knelt for a second to catch my breath, then ran out of the water.  Time - 15:21

People say you need to practice transition.  I disagree.  Just take your time and you'll be fine.  That's what I did.  Stripped off my wetsuit quickly, threw on my helmet, shoes, and sunglasses, and I was gone.  Time - 2:31

The Bike
I am familiar with this bike course, and let me tell you.  The first 5 miles suck.  Essentially it's all uphill, with immediate rollers greeting you.  It's tricky to get your breath under you, and even more tricky to start hydration.

I worked hard to get my legs under me, but I was finding my quads were burning, and that was something that never really went away.  Working hard, I got my breathing under control before the serious climb came, and was also able to start my hydration.  I wasn't planning on eating my waffle until later in the ride. I had broken it in half so I could do some early and some late, if need be.

When I got to the top of J, which is about 5 miles, I started riding a bit harder.  Going down a steep hill with a turn, I passed a few people and started sustaining 22-23 mph.  I ignored the aid station and kept going.  My quads were still burning, but I never felt the pain in my hamstring and didn't worry about it too much.

The only part of the ride that I didn't feel went well was the diagonal road, which is a rolling, slightly uphill part of the course.  I was feeling a bit fatigued and didn't really have the strength to push it hard.  Somehow, I made the turn onto the road that led us back into the res.  As I came up and down the rollers, I shifted to a higher gear, allowing myself to spin my legs out.  I dismounted at the line, jumped off, and ran into transition, not knowing my average speed or time.  I didn't care, to be honest.  Time - 55:36

Again, just hurried my way through.  No worries there.  Time - 2:29

The Run
I knew running right away that something just felt off.  I not only didn't feel fast, I was hurting.  I chocked it up to having pushed myself a bit harder on the bike, and now I was unfortunately paying for it.  The run comes up a small hill, then is flat for nearly the entire 5K.  A simple out and back.  

Looking at my watch early on, I quickly ran some numbers in my head and figured as long as I didn't fall apart, I had the opportunity for a PR, anywhere from 5 minutes to 1 second.  But it certainly seemed like a daunting task, with the sun becoming hotter and my legs becoming more sore.

I took water at the first water stop, attempting to just maintain my pace.  I didn't really have an interest in trying to push it at this point, just wanted to hold a certain pace so I could make sure I finished.

Turning back down the main stretch, I continued to maintain, and briefly figured I'd PR in this race by about 2 minutes.  Not knowing whether it was because of the swim, bike, transitions, or a combo of all 3, I knew one thing: it wasn't because of my run!

A short way from the finish, I saw T.  She tried to high-five me; I was kind of in a daze, so I didn't reach out.  Oops.

Rounding the corner, I ran hard to the finish line, knowing I had PRed in the race.  I stopped my watch at 1:46:08, which was an unofficial PR.  Run time - 30:10

My official time?  1:46:07, for a 1:57 PR.  Not bad, all things considered.

I got to see T finish, which is always nice.  We grabbed some pretzels, a bagel, some oranges, and a can of soda, scarfed it all down, and then packed up.  I was sore, but it was worth it.  I was proud that I was able to push through the pain and PR.  Even better?  I know there's STILL room for improvement, especially on the bike and run.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

May Recap

I've been lazy on the blogging front, and I vow to change that in June.  Of course, it's already June 12th, but I digress...

May was a somewhat bigger month.  In addition to a race-specific P.R. (the Rockies Home Run for the Homeless) and a 10K P.R. (BolderBoulder) I put in some great miles on the bike.  I'm also more consistent in lifting.  My swimming went down for some reason, but that is not a huge concern right now.

Anyway, let's go to the tape/numbers:

Swim - 3,550 meters (2.2 miles)
Bike - 95.4 miles
Run - 35.74 miles

In addition to this, I lifted for nearly 3 hours in May and did quite a bit of walking as well.  The biggest thing for me, in terms of improvement though, isn't necessarily in the numbers.  It's in my mind.  Mentally, I've been able to push myself through some very challenging workouts.  I'm forcing myself to dig deep and push myself.  My friend Tim, who is a 3:50 marathoner, has told me it sounds like I'm embracing the pain rather than running from it.  I'm inclined to agree.

Anyway, June holds my first tri of the season.  Look for more posts from me this month too.  I have some fun stuff I want to talk about. :-)

Monday, June 11, 2012

May Round-Up

Hey, I said I'd be back with this today, and I am. Crazy, I know.

Anyway, May. May was ... okay. It involved me truly finally getting back on track after the accident with the exception of a stretch between the 20th and 24th ... when all I did was log a good three and a half hours of walking in Las Vegas due to dealing with first, computer crap and second, a micro-vacation. However, it also saw me somehow PRing in the BolderBOULDER.

More thoughts after the numbers!

Running: 28.02 mi
Swimming: 4.04 mi
Cycling: 70.11 mi
Lifting: seven sessions
Other: the aforementioned walking, one stint of yoga

All the numbers went up from April. I'm still on track for swimming and cycling's slowly starting to come along (although I seriously need to start ramping that up) but running ... running is not. I'm so thankful I'm getting faster even though I haven't been able to muster up the strength/motivation/whathaveyou to run more and longer. It may be a mental thing due to not having my typical run routes (from the new place, I have a 2.39, 3.48 and 5.36 mile loop. from the old place, i had anywhere from a 1.36 to 12.something mile loop). I know I can create longer loops, but there's some mental block going on that I seriously need to get over. Look for that to hopefully have been conquered in the June round-up blog. *crosses fingers*

The plus side is, even with my perceived merely adequate training, I'm still averaging over four hours a week in training which isn't too shabby now for the sprint I'm doing this weekend. For the Oly in a few weeks? That's going to have to change.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Surprising Myself

So training hasn't been going all that wonderfully lately.

Well, it has and it hasn't, but the motivation has been kind of lacking which is a BIG problem given that we have a race in ... *checks watch* ... exactly one week. I'm pretty sure part of the issue is the fact that I just don't get enough sleep. Add that to fairly heavy/consistent training, and my body can only take so much before it wants to shut down. "No, you canNOT do a long run today or anything for the next few days until you sleep, biatch!"

Yes. My body swears at me. A lot.

Still, for the most part, I push and plod and perservere, getting in something even if it's not what was actually planned.

Take this weekend. Since the hubby was overnighting in the Springs and I had today off, I figured I'd drive down Saturday afternoon, hang out, go to a 24 down there to swim and lift (back to Mark Allen lift again), spend the night and drive back up in the morning, grab breakfast with the parents (and ask them for a loan. damn hospital bills.) and then go for a longish (5 miles) run.

The swim/lift ... was definitely not as good as it could have been. We just didn't have the motivation to swim and the 600m I got in were definitely forced. The good about this? My first two 50s were SUPER fast (for me) - around a minute a piece, which is just crazy talk. I thought the pool might be shorter, but no, as I started getting into the longer part of the set (and not attempting to compete against the much faster husband), my times got back down to normal. Still finished with an average that was faster than usual. The lift ... was what it was. Oh Mark Allen lift, I really haven't missed you.

Then we come to today's run. Which I kept putting off. And putting off. And putting off. Like my May recap which will hopefully come tomorrow. Finally, I dragged my ass out the door around 5pm, only planning to do our 3.48 mile loop as opposed to our 5.37 mile loop. This decision was furthered in the run, where my legs felt like lead for the first mile and a half and my breathing refused to get under control.

Despite that, my times at my usual watch checkpoints (I have a rough estimate of where I like to be at certain spots to crack a 10:00/mi) were speedier than usual. I didn't check my watch on the last half mile stretch and just pushed it to home. I stopped my watch in front of the driveway and read 35:something. That pissed me off. SERIOUSLY? I know the last half-mile was slow, but there's no way in hell it could have been THAT slow.

I stormed upstairs, took a shower and then came downstairs to log the run on BeginnerTriathlete. Much to my sheepish surprise, the actual time on the watch? Was not 35:something. More like 32:51.33 ... which, after some research, was my fastest time ever on that loop.

(The loop in question, I might add, SUCKS. The first half-mile is fairly flat with subtle elevation changes. And then you turn to go up a nasty, awful hill that lasts for the next half-mile. The next ... probably third of a mile after that is also uphill, but not as bad as a grade. The run then flattens out for another, say, third of a mile before an ever-so-slight incline that you don't physically see, but your legs hate. Mile three starts off with a short incline but then you get to logically run downhill for a good half-mile or so. This is where you can pick up some serious time. Mile three continues with a little bit of flat and then another climb up another stupid hill (we kind of live at the bottom of this wave), curve it around until essentially the start of what would be mile four and then wind it down steadily to home.)

While I took Friday off, I think tomorrow's also going to be relatively easy given the fact that I am tiiiiiiirrrreeed and really should be in bed instead of posting this.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Race Recap: BolderBoulder 10K

Sorry I'm late with this recap...that's not like me...

Anyway, here we go.

If you've been following me at all this year, you know I'm starting to improve my running quite a bit.  My training has shifted from a volume-specific training to more of a speed-based training.  I am forcing myself to run a bit harder, deal with the pain that comes along with speed work, grow mentally, and overall, just keep improving.  The first two running races of the season were definite good tests of where I'm progressing; the BolderBoulder was going to be a serious challenge.

We woke up after getting very little sleep; I commuted in the night before and T had to close her store.  We prepped our usual way; eating breakfast.  Then we left ridiculously early so we could get parking where we like to park up in Boulder.

After parking in the very quiet garage, we went to Starbucks to get some coffee, take care of pre-race business, and have a bagel.  We relaxed for a bit, then walked to find some zip-tie thingies for our timing chips (thank you very nice race volunteer) and check in our stuff into the FedEx mobile locker.  We ran into one of T's customers, Jim, who is very nice.  We chatted a bit in the locker line, then after checking in our stuff, went our separate ways.

We got into our wave and just waited for the race start.  It was typical BolderBoulder; a lot of people, celebrating those who have run it forever, etc.  Then we got to the start, counted down, and at 7:24:10, we were off.

The Race
We had discussed race strategy the night before and the morning of, but we weren't able to nail down a definitive plan.  We knew we would have to be averaging 9:38 per mile to crack 60:00, but we weren't sure how to do it.  The BolderBoulder course is tricky.

We basically agreed that the first mile would have to be quick.  Figured 9:30-9:40.  Well we blew that away with a 9:14 per mile.  We both agreed that it wouldn't be sustainable, but at the same time, slowing down just wasn't happening.  As much as we tried to dial it back, we just kept flying.  Mile 2 was 3 seconds slower, a 9:17.  

By now, we were in a groove and ready to tackle the toughest part of the course, Mile 3.  Mile 3 is the slow part of the course, and if you're not careful, can break you down.  We did know though that we would have to push it a bit through Mile 3, or else we were going to play catch up.

When I took the split at mile 3 and saw it was 9:51, I knew if we kept the foot on the gas, under 60 was going to happen.  However, my shoulder started experiencing some pain in this mile.  Underneath the shoulder blade, and it was nothing I've ever felt before.  I told T about it, just in case it was something serious.  We made it through mile 4 in 9:29, but it definitely didn't feel that fast.

Going into mile 5, you hit the high point of the race, then begin a nice descent to Pearl Street.  On this descent, my shoulder was killing me.  We picked it up a bit as we made it down to Pearl, and at this point, I had to close my eyes for about 3-4 seconds, drawing into myself and just kind of regrouping mentally.  T was in pain too, but she had a good point after the race; sometimes talking about it can make it worse.

When we made it to mile 5 in 9:35, I knew we had 1.2 miles to go, and I vocalized that 60:00 was ours to lose.  T, very smartly, picked it up at that point, and I had to go with her.  I was in some massive pain at this point, but kept pushing it.

The hill up to Folsom the past couple years has been something of a joke for the two of us.  People complain how hard it is and how it breaks them down.  We used to breeze up it.  Not this year.  Climbing up Folsom HURT!!!!!!  When we turned into the stadium, I must have mixed up something with the time, because I thought it wasn't a lock yet.  Even though it only takes 15-20 seconds to hit the finish, I thought we were still in danger of missing our goal, and I said this to T.  She told me to shut up, and normally I would have been upset. However, I realized she was right, and told myself to shut up and run.  I came around the corner, hit the finish, stopped my watch, looked at the time, and saw 59:21.  Emotions overcame me as I realized how much I've grown and that I hit my goal in yet another race.

Post-race involved a massage (crappy, but whatever), getting a burrito thrown at me, many delicious fruit popsicles, and just other fun things.  It was yet another great BolderBoulder, another great race by us, and yet another proving of how far we've come.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Race #5 of the Season: BolderBOULDER 10K

Going into this race, I was concerned about hitting my one goal with this race - a sub-60:00 finish. Yes, my running has been going relatively well this year despite not putting in the mileage I'd like and part of that has probably been due to the lifting I've been doing as well as the consistency of working out.

Still, I didn't really like that I hadn't gotten in a run longer than five and a half miles going in, as opposed to last year, where I had gotten in at least a six miler and I'm pretty sure a seven-miler, too. The best I had gotten in was about eight miles of walking the week prior in Vegas. Oops.

Regardless, we were signed up for it (and it was technically a goal race), so I was going to race it.

Despite both of us getting to bed pretty late Sunday night (Brandon's flight got in late; I had to close at work), we got up bright and early to eat breakfast, get ready, and get on the road to Boulder by 5am. We got up there at about 5:45 (our wave was at 7:24:10) which was good, because a lot of the streets got blocked off starting at 6am.

We got parked and headed in to the Starbucks in the Twenty-Ninth Street shopping center, one of the greatest little spots/secrets at the BolderBOULDER. We both got some coffee and took care of pre-race business while I also got a bagel to try and settle my stomach. I don't know exactly what it was from (but probably not from eating a snack when I got home from work the night before), but I felt like crap that morning and even puked up some bile before leaving the house. I still felt like poo up in Boulder so I figured a bagel might help calm things down, and thankfully, it did.

At around 6:30, we left Starbucks and headed to find some zip ties for our timing chips (fail, race, for not including them with our bibs/chips) and get in the FedEx Mobile Locker line. Crazily enough, we ran into one of the nicest customers at the Starbucks I work at, Jim, who I knew was running the race. The odds of finding someone you know randomly up there, given the 50,000 people running, are not good, so it was really cool to run into Jim. We hung out with him and chatted in the locker line, splitting up to check in our bags and wishing each other a good race.

After saying goodbye to Jim, we hopped in our wave. We didn't have to wait a horribly long time to start, which made us happy - our race-morning timing was just about perfect ... and in a race that has waves going off from 7am to 9:27am, that's huge.

At 7:24:10am, we were off. Our plan was to not bomb the first mile too hard, but not too easy, either. We knew the hardest mile in the race was mile three and we knew it would be slow, but we didn't want to try and play catch-up in the last few miles either.

Mile 1: 9:14.64: Good. Speedy, but it didn't feel unmanageable. The first mile is ever-so-slightly uphill, but mostly flat. Great start to the race. I was also taking mental splits at each K, trying to keep each one sub-6:00 (which we were successful at).

Mile 2: 9:17.13: Slightly slower, but we're still good. Still a slight climb; K's are still sub-6.

Mile 3: 9:51.09: The crap mile. Which we knew would be the crap mile. But we were still VERY thankful that the crap mile was sub-10. We knew that if it was 10:00 or higher, it would be really hard cracking that hour mark.

Mile 4: 9:29.65: Faster, but still slower than our early pace. Of course, the high point of the course is in this mile and it's still climbing.

Mile 5: 9:35.60: I was disappointed in this split. Mile five is mostly on Pearl Street and I felt really good in this mile. However, I know Brandon was having some random shoulder pain and I think that subconsciously slowed us down some.

Mile 6: 9:52:58: (six, and I think .2 as well.) When we hit the mile five marker at our pace, I knew we would have to pick up the pace slightly if we definitely wanted to hit our goal. Once we turned off Pearl onto Folsom, it's straight for a little while before the hill at the end. I subtly picked up my pace on Folsom and Brandon was struggling a bit to stay with me. The hill at the end into the stadium, which didn't hurt the last two years, hurt this year. It was so hard not to walk up the hill, but we trudged on up and into the stadium. I still managed my sprint to the finish, but it was more of a faster run than a sprint.

Still, goal? MET.

Final Numbers:
Net Time: 59:16.64
Overall Place: 13159/46615
Gender Place: 4538/25155
Division Place (F28): 162/673
Pace: 9:32/mi

All things considered, especially given the massive size of this race, my rankings aren't all that bad.

After the race, we got our stuff from the mobile locker and checked out the expo. The popsicles were the BEST EVER and the free massage was okay (surprised on the small wait), but disappointed in the lack of strength by both our masseuses (seriously, dig in) and the fact that random people who didn't even run were in front of us in line. Grr.

This year will be hard to top. We've chopped off so much time from this race over the past few years that I wonder if we can get faster next year. I hope so, but it'll be hard.