I've been putting this post off until I uploaded photos and then I uploaded those and then ... well, I dunno. Some recaps are easier to write than others.
It also didn't hurt that for a while, I was very frustrated with my result in this stupid race.
In any case, our race morning started out like it usually does; wake up, get ready, eat breakfast, finish packing up Fiona, get on the road to Boulder, etc.
There was a wrench thrown into that day, though - it was rainy and it was miserable. We weren't particularly looking forward to this race as it was, and the weather just made it so much worse. The entire drive to Boulder was in this steady drizzle. We kept checking the Boulder Tri Series Facebook and Twitter feeds, making sure the race status didn't change. We attempted to stop at a Safeway in Boulder for some trash bags, but they weren't open. The two Target bags I grabbed last minute would have to help for the bike seats.
Despite the rain (which was letting up by the time we got to the res), there were still a lot of people when we got there. Including in my damn age group/bike rack, which is starting to become a problem (more on that in a bit). In any case, we found spots in transition, set up and took care of stuff.
Rain on the bike racks.
After setting up, we wanted to take our bikes for a quick spin just in case we ended up having to ride on wet roads. It wasn't too slick, thankfully, but given some of the downhills on the course, we knew we may have to take it easier than normal - just solidifying that the race that day wasn't going to be too serious.
My transition issues started when I got back. When I left for the ride, I tossed my wetsuit over the rack where my bike normally would be, marking my spot (my towel with everything was already set up with my trans bag behind it). I get back ... and no spot for my bike. The girl who had taken my spot (from the other side) ended up shifting over after I explained my situation (hey, took my bike out for a warm-up, my stuff was clearly already here and the wetsuit on the rack was to save my bike spot. "oh, that's fair i guess." you guess??? it is, and you move. now.).
At the same time, however, some other girl had tried to get a spot on the same rack (one section in from the front) and the girl next to me (forgive me, but she was a right bitch) said that, oh, she could possibly take a spot there, but then there'd be no room to maneuver and that would just be bad. New girl kind of rolled her eyes but walked off to find another spot and bitchface just shrugged, making some comment about getting to transition early enough to find a good spot.
(which i *did* and still had issues with. ugh.)
Regardless, after enough trans drama, it was time to leave and get down to the water, thankfully.
Since I started about a half hour before Brandon, I warmed up first, doing two laps in the little swim area. Happy for the sun and hopefully drying roads, it was time to get out and start my race.
While discussing 5430, we thought I started out too fast in the swim, which hurt me later on. Therefore, my course of action for this race, was to take it easy in the beginning and try to pick it up as the race went on.
For the most part, this worked. It took a really long time to get going and at one point briefly considered bagging it, but kept on plodding. That being said, I didn't feel like I got into any sort of groove until the shortish across (my typical boulder race nemesis) but when I did ... one of the subsequent waves (m45-50, maybe?) caught up to me and I got swum over like crazy. I started having sighting issues because I was trying for survival at that point.
Still, the last part of the swim felt like it went okay (if not boring. IM is going to suuuuuck because i'm going to be so. damn. bored. on the swim) and soon enough, I was out of the water.
Time: 42:20 (rate: 2:50; 1078th overall)
My new TriSlide worked pretty well as I felt I had fewer issues getting off the wetsuit. However, some of my stuff was scattered about due to the whirling dervishes I was apparently sharing a transition area with. *sigh*
While I may be slow everywhere else, at least my time in transition stays kinda short.
I took the first several miles a lot easier than I normally would because I knew I had the Stage climb ahead of me. However, I wasn't expecting to almost need to take those early miles easy due to my quads HATING me. Seriously, those first five miles or so were miserable.
When we actually started climbing up the hill, it was bad, but I expected it to be bad, so the pain wasn't bothering me nearly as much as it probably should have. Weird, eh? I even smiled for the race photographer because I was actually, oddly, enjoying the hell climb.
Then the climb took a turn for the worse and I had to stop to breathe, same as last year. Stopped, started, legs felt a lot better for a little while longer. Then I had to stop again. And I clipped out of my right pedal fine, but I don't know if it was because I was a little dizzy or what, but I fell over trying to clip out of my left. Oops.
No big deal, right?
Except I broke my saddle.
Yep, you heard that right. After I fell, some spectators asked me if I was fine - I was, just slightly embarrassed. But then I tried getting back on my bike and the seat swung. "Um, that's not normal." Got back off - and yep, saddle was definitely broken.
At the time of the race, though, the metal was out of the nose of it, too. Instead of three points of contact, my seat had one. I accepted at that point my day might be done. Luckily, however, one of the aforementioned spectators was able to somehow reattach the nose. The seat was crooked, but I could ride, and ride I did. I don't know how long this misadventure took, but I wager it was at least five minutes.
The rest of Stage was craptastic, as per usual, and the descent was nice while it lasted. That back part of Stage, from Stage to Lefthand Canyon Drive, is the best part of the course and it is waaaayyy too short.
Back on 36 for a little while, on to Nelson (where I didn't get the crazy speed I did last year - boo), on to 63rd and the rollers (my butt was starting to feel the effect of a bent saddle), on to the Diagonal which, again, I think I'm getting used to, back into the res.
Definitely not one of my better rides and I was glad to be done.
Time: 1:45:31 (14.8 mph, 1062nd overall)
While my stuff *may* have been scattered slightly in T1, it was everywhere when I rolled into T2. Plus someone stole my spot on the rack (AGAIN) so I had to, in turn, shove someone else's bike over so I could fit mine in. Ladies, have you raced a triathlon before? Put your shit back where you took it from. IT'S NOT THAT HARD. SERIOUSLY.
After a quick attempted reorganization of my crap, I got ready to run.
Because I knew it was a longer run, I tried to take it a bit easier. That, and the sun was definitely out in full force and it was starting to get a bit hot (and there was still some lingering humidity in the air). I plodded on, running when I could and, from what I could tell by my watch, averaging about 10:30/mi. Which, yes, is slow, but that's not too bad for a tri run pace for me.
Given my bike disaster, I was just waiting for Brandon to catch up with me. I kept looking down the hill on Stage thinking I'd see him then and then I kept looking for him on the run.
The run went surprisingly well for the first three and a half miles. I forced myself to keep a steady, slow pace (unlike 5430) which helped me run more and feel better overall. A bit before the four mile point, I finally saw Brandon coming the other way. He stopped to talk, but I didn't want to stop much because I knew, after everything, I still had a decent chance at a PR. I let him know I broke my seat and then pretty much kept going.
That PR would have been a definite thing if I hadn't kinda fell apart from about miles 4.5-5.5. I don't know what happened - whether the sun really started baking me or what - but the run became a struggle. I still managed to gut it in to the finish, seeing the pros in the last mile (and not getting lapped by them like I swear I was last year) and finishing with kind of a sprint.
Time: 1:07:01 (10:49/mi, 1009th overall)
I then hauled butt back to trans (as best I could) to change into flipflops and grab my camera so I could catch Brandon finish. I also got a few of the pros.
Laura Bennett coming in for the female win.
Cameron Dye coming in for the male win.
Brandon coming in literally right behind Dye.
Brandon about to cross the line.
Matty Reed coming in second for the men.
We then got food, our stuff and headed home.
51/53 division (F25-29)
I got my PR, by one whole second. Woot.
Like 5430, let's play the comparison game:
Swim: 42:20, 2:50/100m
Bike: 1:45:31, 14.8mph
Run: 1:07:01, 10:49/mi
Run: 1:10:41, 11:17/mi
The swim was 27 seconds faster. Like 5430, improvement, but not nearly enough. Ugh.
T1 was 21 seconds faster. That's significant.
The bike was about four minutes slower and a good chunk of that was thanks to a dead saddle. If I hadn't had that disaster ... who knows what could have happened. I know I'm a stronger cyclist this year, so I want to say I would have at least done a 1:40.
T2 was five seconds slower. I blame my transition mates.
The run, however was almost four minutes faster. That's HUGE. Granted, the better weather played a part, but still. That's awesome.
So, while I was cranky about my one second PR, I still PRed after breaking my damn bike. That's not bad, especially considering how much better I probably would have done.
Plus Bob now has a new saddle out of the whole thing.