Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Race #7 of the Season: Colorado Sprint Triathlon

Catching up still! I have a list and a plan, though, so I can hopefully get back on track with this here blog. I'm sure y'all care ...

A few weeks ago, back on June 4th, we raced the Colorado Sprint Triathlon up in Boulder, Colo. Brandon wanted to do an early season sprint - mostly to regain some confidence after all the DNFs last year - and I raced alongside him because:

1. Why wouldn't I?
2. Familiar course - basically the same Boulder sprint course as we've done before.
3. A Without Limits race, which means slip-n-slide (see: Harvest Moon).
4. Flippin' Flapjacks was there serving pancakes afterward, which, duh.

Race morning was pretty standard. Wake up, eat food, drive up to Boulder, get there right about the time when transition opened. I was once again wearing my new Smash kit while Brandon broke out the old Team MaccaX kit.

 photo co_sprint_zpskkqjfomf.jpg

I also, since it was a tri, got my first calf smiley of the season:
 photo co_sprint2_zpsopw2lovb.jpg

We chatted with the guy on the rack with us, I shared some sunscreen, fun times. 

We walked down to the water to warm up; I ran back to trans as I forgot my snack (Bobo's Oat Bar - this was a great pre-race snack; ate about half). I got in about 250 yards for a quick warm up. I forgot how much that first open water of the season sucks; took me a while to get my lungs and breathing and chest under control, doing my old tricks of bobbing my head underwater and getting used to the cold and blahblahblah. That anxiety had not been missed, let me tell you.

The sprint waves went off fairly late - after all the olympic waves - but soon enough, it was time to start tri season.

The Swim (750m):

Oh, tri open water swims. You are the bane of my existence. I swim so well in the pool, I'm comfortable in the water ... but throw me in open water and for some reason, I swim like :40/100m slower than I do in the pool. I'M WEARING A WETSUIT. THIS MAKES NO LOGICAL SENSE.

Now that I have a Garmin that tracks said swim, I also know that I sighted pretty damn well as the line on my Garmin map pretty much looked like the line on the swim course map.

Maybe the wetsuit/tri suit and how they hit my body change my stroke due to subconscious noticing of chafing. I don't know, but it needs to get figured out. *grumble*

Crawl out of the water, think about hitting my watch there to get a more accurate actual swim time even though the time includes the run up to the mat right outside transition, don't, regret it later.

Time: 22:55 (8th division, 121st gender, 257th overall)

T1:

Jog through transition gingerly (owowowOWow), throw off the wetsuit, toss on the bike shoes, helmet, and sunglasses, clomp out. 

Once again, get an amazing T1 time. This is why I don't practice transitions; I have a freakish ability to do well at them. 

Time: 1:29 (1st, 14th, 45th)

The Bike (17mi):

I know this bike course like the back of my hand I've ridden it so damn much. I am still highly frustrated with how much 36 from the Jay to Broadway NEVER gets easier despite how much I ride it. That is the one section of Boulder tri course riding that hurts me so damn badly. I lose so much time there, and I have no idea how I can get better on it. It might just be a mental block, but I don't know.

At least I can fly down the hill right after Broadway and for good chunks of Neva/Niwot.

Legs kind of started hating me as I hit the Diagonal (too much time off the previous week, I think; didn't mean to take that time off, but I had cookies to bake!), but I pushed through their crankiness back into the Res.

Time: 57:23 (5th, 58th, 160th)

T2:

Always a little slower, but I didn't bother Body Gliding the feet as I still had a lot of the baby powder I shoved in my bike shoes caked to my feet. Bike shoes/helmet off, socks/running shoes on, race belt skirt on, hat on, out transition.

Time: 1:35 (5th, 62nd, 141st)

The Run (5K):

I'm pretty sure my lungs were still trashed from riding Stage a week ago, as I kept having to stop to walk. When I could run, I was running in the high-8s, low-9s ... but I couldn't sustain it.

Out on the path by the dam around the Reservoir, see Brandon coming the other way (about a mile or so ahead of me), turn around, fight back.

Make a really ugly face crossing the finish line right before hitting the slip 'n' slide (trust me: it's bad).

Time: 31:10 (8th, 96th, 214th)

Overall Stats:
Time: 1:54:34
7/10 division (F30-34)
80/160 gender
190/322 overall

This ... was a disappointing race. I know, I know, I KNOW I'm not training speed right now, but that swim just pisses me off. Still. I felt GOOD during it. I felt like I was pushing it some. But that time ... abysmal.

The bike was okay. I didn't feel as snappy as I could (or probably should) have felt, but I really can't be too upset with damn near an 18mph average. 

The run ... well, I know why that was mediocre, and I saw glimpses of what I could do.

I did 10 minutes faster at essentially this same race (with a two mile shorter bike course) three years ago. The swim was :30/faster per 100m, but I don't know exactly where the mat was. Regardless, my T1 time was only a minute longer, so even if it was right as you got out of the water, there's an extra minute there. The bike average was faster even with the shorter course and the run was 20 seconds faster. If you go by the old 17ish mi bike that the course typically had, this year was the fastest by three minutes. So who knows ... I'll stop grumbling and let this go since it is MOST DEFINITELY IN THE PAST.

But pancakes. Mmm, pancakes. Flippin' Flapjacks, I love you.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Race #6 of the Season: BolderBOULDER 10K

... though I really hesitate to call this a "race."

As Brandon said in his recap, we forced ourselves to take this one easy. This meant the Saturday prior was Operation: Trash Legs, which meant riding three hours and climbing Olde Stage Road in the process. Operation successful, let's just say that, shall we?

Monday, Memorial Day, we wake up early and drive to Boulder to get there before they shut down the streets. Like we do. We parked at the 29th Street shopping center and headed to the Starbucks. I'm slowly learning I shouldn't run on coffee (or at least iced coffee the way I like to drink it), but as we weren't *racing*, I decided "meh," and got it anyway. And my new addiction, the raspberry swirl pound cake. Norm and Emily came to meet us before Norm had to go run in the super speedy A wave while we took our time.

Our bibs said the E waves (EC and EG, respectively), but as we wanted to make sure we got to experience the fun, we actually started somewhere in the Fs.

 photo bb10k_zpsjby6d9ah.jpg
All the people!

 photo bb10k2_zpspmfg1tvn.jpg
In the start corral.

Our new wave made its way up to the line and off we went. Less than a mile into the race, we both realized, hey, we should probably pee. Off to the first bank of porta-potties we went!

 photo bb10k3_zps5bozchyd.jpg
Obligatory Steve in a Speedo shot.

Legs ... were definitely feeling Saturday's ride. We both mentioned to each other how much it hurt, but whatever. We were making steady progress. 

The rest of the run was a blast. Slip 'n' slides, bacon (me), marshmallows and cotton candy (B), watermelon (me), Red Vines (B), Otter Pops (me) ... I never want to race this race again. We also ran into the always amazing Katie and her Team Amazing Day peeps and got a mid-race running selfie, but I didn't bother to transfer that from my phone to my computer, so you're going to have to find me on Instagram for that one.

 photo bb10k5_zpsxyhpemlw.jpg

 photo bb10k6_zps3htaq7jy.jpg
Slip 'n' slide (first one. I hit two).

 photo bb10k7_zpskxd10zea.jpg
Catching marshmallows.

 photo bb10k8_zpsbw9muxk7.jpg
Trust me, there's cotton candy in his hand.

 photo bb10k9_zps7xpvk4zn.jpg
Dorito costumes!

 photo bb10k10_zpswcoo7jmw.jpg
Highest point on the course banner.

 photo bb10k11_zpsab8dkwys.jpg
Okay so I really had dropped most of this on the ground and it was really sad but I got a picture pretending I was still really happy about having the Otter Pop regardless.

Overall Stats:
Time: 1:12:52.93
277/521 division (F32)
9059/23930 gender
21020/44632 (I think) overall

I will probably return to this race, but I will most likely never "race" it again. This year was just too damn much fun.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Race #4 of the Season - BolderBoulder 10K

Good morning to all.  I'm dealing with some gastro issues, so bad that I'm making an appointment with a gastroenterologist to figure out what's wrong.  I don't think it's a lactose/gluten/pickwhatevertrendeveryonethinkstheyhave disease, but I'll put it in the hands of a doctor at this point.

Anyway, last Monday was Memorial Day and since I had the day off, it was time to run the BolderBoulder.  This 10K is a tradition for many Coloradans.  There's nearly 50K participants, it finishes at Folsom Field where the CU Buffs play, there's a huge military presence racing, etc.  It's a great race.  It's also a tough course.  It's nearly all uphill.  Usually the day is warm.  It's crowded.  And there's a ton of distractions on the side of the course.  Slip N Slides, beer-chugging, belly dancing, kids with candy, it goes on and on.  It's what makes the BolderBoulder a blast.

Every year we've run it, T and I have run it hard, trying to PR.  In 2010, it was my first 10K.  2011 I wanted to better my '10 time, and so on.  In 2014, T and I ran it very very hard.  It wasn't enjoyable for us.  I'm not good at the 10K distance as it is; it's a tricky distance to pace.  From what I hear from runners, it's either a distance that you love or hate, and clearly I fall into the latter camp.  So we decided that this year, we were going to fully embrace the BolderBoulder.  We were going to have a lot of fun, hit the Slip N Slides, maybe drink beer, eat bacon, all the fun things!  To do this, we were going to go deliberately slow.  To ensure we would be deliberately slow, two days prior, we did a 57 mile bike ride that included a climb up Old Stage Road.  Operation "Trash Legs" was a success!

We got up early that morning and drove up to Boulder.  We parked at the same garage we always do and got to Starbucks early.  I pooped and had a cup of coffee.  We hung out and waited for our friends Norm and Emily.  We chatted with them for a bit, then they skedaddled.  We hung out a bit more then made our way to the bag check line near the start of the race.  It felt odd to not hop in our "wave" (I was EB this year.  Go speedy BAA 5K time) and T was in EE, but we vowed to hop in the F waves so the fun stuff would all be out and about.

We made our way towards the start in the FB wave.  Both of us vowed again to take it slow.  I love the start of this race.  There's a dude with a trumpet who plays the Call to Post right before your wave goes off.  You can imagine my giddiness as a horse racing fan.  Then the starting pistol went off, and we were on our way!

The Race
About .3 into it, I hit a porta-potty to pee.  We both said that we felt the fatigue in our legs and we were very happy.  

Here's a small list of what I did along the course:
- Slip N Slide 1x
- Ate a Red Vine
- Ate cotton candy
- Walked a lot
- High Fived some kids
- Fake-sprinted to the finish line

It wasn't a race to be sure.  It was a leisure 10K that I had a blast doing.  Simply put, I would never want to race this race again.  My friend Curtis summed it up best; the BolderBoulder is an event, not a race.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

May Round-Up

Oh look, I'm getting behind in recaps again. Quelle surprise. I need to do this, the BolderBOULDER recap, and the Colorado Sprint Tri recap ... and I've got another 5K this weekend. Well, even though this monthly recap is out of order, I want to get in on this first. 

Ugh.

Swimming: 18150m (11.28 mi)
Cycling: 277.18 mi
Running: 75.52 mi
Lifting: 15 sessions (1:54)
Other: eight stretch sessions (1:03), five yoga sessions (:54)

Swimming was an improvement over April, but I still don't feel like I'm where I want (or need?) to be with it. Part of it is I feel I should be swimming more than I am, but who knows. I have seen improvement in the pool, but the open-water translation is a different story ...

I think I'm slowly starting to get there on the bike, but I also know I still have a loooooong way to go (... in the next two months. eep.). 

Running isn't necessarily getting faster, but I am building up the mileage base, which I guess is more what I should care about given that I have to run far, and not necessarily fast. Endurance first, then speed; isn't that how it goes?

It seems like a lot of lifting sessions in not a lot of time, but a lot of that is planks here and there which don't take up a lot of time, but are still "sessions." I'm also trying to work in the yoga and stretching, but I also know I'm still not doing it as much as I should. Things to work on ... I do think it is helping, though.

The beginning of June has been a bit rough (work for me this whole week (6.1-6.7) has been a giant stress ball, but I think I've figured that out to not be an issue anymore and free up a whole lot more time for stuff like, I don't know, riding my bike, swimming, running, and maybe even blogging ...