If you're a long-time reader of this blog, you may recall the last time I did this race back in 2014. In short, my first podium, blahblahblah.
It fell on the same weekend as Dino Half last year (it usually does) and since that race had a T-Rex medal, clearly I was doing Dino Half. This year, I wanted to make the return to Barkin' Dog. I once again did the short course (1.2 mi run, 11 mi bike, 5k run). I don't really recall if I tapered into this race two years ago (knowing my training life back then ... probably), but I definitely didn't this year.
Thursday: strength work, hour time trial on the bike.
Friday: bit of yoga, 2:50 bike ... riding good chunks of the IM Boulder course.
Brandon cresting a hill.
Saturday: race day, with a lot of miles in my legs.
Although I was the last wave to go off, we got there soon after transition opened ... this extra time ended up being a Very Good Thing, as I realized I was WAY underdressed for the race. I didn't bother looking at the weather that morning, thinking it was going to be nice and toasty that day. Yeah, well, it was in the 40s that morning and might creep up into the 50s by the time I finished. I was wearing a tri kit and my new, comfy BU zip up hoodie that I technically could have worn, but it's super lightweight and kind of big and would have turned into a sail on the bike and really isn't all that warm.
Since Brandon a.) wasn't racing; and b.) is the best husband ever, I gave him the keys and he busted ass back home to grab me my snug BU pullover and my MaccaX cycling jacket. He got back to me about 6 minutes before my wave went off; perfect.
Still kinda cold, but much better off! In the start corral.
The course was different this year than in 2014. The first one left the Hobie Hill parking lot (Cherry Creek State Park), went out on that little road, up the Res road toward the entry station, on to the bike path to the top of the hill, and back down again.
I managed to run up the whole hill, and then back down again, kind of dying the whole time.
On the way back down. You can see the runners up above me.
Time: 10:32 (5th division, 21st gender, 52nd overall)
Take off the shoes, try to remember to loosen them, swap out hats, go.
Time: 1:02 (2nd, 13th, 27th)
The bike two years ago took place on the Dam Road due to flood damage within the park. This year, it was basically back to the course that I rode for the two Chilly Cheeks races ... with an extra little dip-doodle-y thing to add on a tiny bit of extra mileage (probably to help the long-course racers get their 30k). I was pushing it, but I definitely felt the last couple rides in my legs.
However, I did continue my Barkin' Dog short course streak of having the fastest bike split in my AG both times. Woo hoo!
My socks made me easy to spot.
This was on that little added part.
Time: 38:10 (1st, 8th, 31st)
When I saw later I had the fastest T2 time, I was shocked as I felt like I went slow. After I racked my bike, I took a sip of Skratch, flopped down, changed shoes, ditched my MaccaX jacket ...
Time: 1:04 (1st, 11th, 26th)
For the second run, we went out basically the same way as the first one, but turned left on to the path paralleling the main road, popped out on the main road to about where the Butterfly Hill (I think?) is, went up the dirt path, did a tiny out-and-back, across this bridge, and popped out near the middle school before heading back down to the finish the same way as the first run.
I was running as best as I could, but I still had to take more walk breaks than I wanted. Stupid lungs. I also took off my BU pullover and carried it through half the run because I finally started getting warm again. Yay being a hot runner!
Brandon got me at the aid station just after mile two ... which meant nice pictures of my fancy new Smash kit, but with me walking with my water, so boo.
I don't think I noticed him taking the picture ...
Isn't the kit pretty????? Also notice that black blob in my hands - that's my BU pullover.
I told Brandon to bust his butt to the finish (he was cycling all over the park for these photos) where he met me there.
Time: 30:41 (6th, 30th, 61st)
As I rounded the curve to the finish, I saw that girl and decided to beat her ... which I did, thanks to my amazing ability to sprint at the end of races (usually). Fortunate thing, too, because she was in my AG and I beat her by ONE SECOND. Aww yeah.
2/12 division (F30-34)
I was pleasantly happy to see 2nd when I got home, as the results had me third at the park. I got bumped up as the overall female winner of the short course was in my age group, so all of her stuff got taken out of AG consideration (she was technically the only one in my AG to beat me on the bike).
As the short-course race is still small, no podium for me as they only honor the tops in the division. Which is kind of sad, but I'm still happy with how I did. Let's compare the numbers to 2014, shall we?
Time 2014: 1:27:28
Time 2016: 1:21:31
Difference: basically 6 minutes faster!
Run 1 2014: 10:14
Run 1 2016: 10:32
Difference: slower. But IIRC, the run was easier (that is, not up a damn hill) in 2014.
T1 2014: 1:10
T1 2016: 1:02
Difference: 8 seconds quicker. Woo.
Bike 2014: 42:56
Bike 2016: 38:10
Difference: about five minutes quicker. This is where I gained a lot of my time. I would also argue that this year's course was harder.
T2 2014: 1:09
T2 2016: 1:04
Difference: 5 seconds faster.
Run 2 2014: 31:57
Run 2 2016: 30:41
Difference: and here's that other minute I chopped off.
The biggest thing, however, was the amount of people that did the race this year as opposed to 2014.
1/7, 13/39, 34/71
2/12, 14/63, 40/118
There were a lot more people racing this year. So yes, I may have gotten faster, but other fast people also showed up. All I can do on a given day is show up and do my best ... and make sure I always sprint across that damn finish line.