Boulder Sunrise Sprint Triathlon – Race Recap

  •         Race day prep started the night before. Our super sweet semi-permanent houseguest made us a carb-loading dinner, pasta and homemade tomato sauce and a giant baguette with goat cheese to snack on.

  •        And yes, that is a beer the night before the race. Nothing new on race day!
  •        My alarm went off the next day at 5:00, set to “Perfect Day.” One of my favorite treadmill songs. “I’m in the race but I already won/Cause getting there can be half the fun.”
  •         I felt like I was going to vomit and was shivering like I had a fever. Still not sure if this was race day nerves or if I actually felt sick. Either way, that sucked! Tylenol and water helped.
  •         We arrived around 6:15, race started at 7:00. It was a long walk from the parking area, then there was a mix up with Chris’s bib number, I forgot to tell them I wanted to drop down to the sprint and had to go back. Packet pickup drama! We were rushed, and that wasn’t fun.
  •         Chris’s wave took off at 7:05 and mine wasn’t until 7:50. I swam a little to warm up. I chatted with a guy I know from my gym and then with other women in my swim wave. I have said it many, many times: triathletes are the friendliest people in the world.
  •         Time to line up! Realized I had been given the wrong swim cap color, but I was with the right group. A guy in front seemed really nervous and asked the race director a lot of questions. He was also the only man in our wave, I think because he was a relay-er.
  •         We were all struggling to see the buoys since we were staring into the sun. Such are Boulder races.
  •          My swim was kind of all over the place until the first turn. I was trying to see and breathing every stroke and letting my heart rate get way too high. After the first turn, though, I wasn’t looking at the sun anymore and I was able to remember how swimming worked.
  •         On the home stretch of the swim, I ended up right next to another swimmer for a solid two minutes or so. We were both breathing every other stroke, but I was breathing on the right and she on the left, so every four seconds we were facing each other, our faces maybe two feet apart, gasping in air. It made me laugh.
  •         On the way out of the water I remembered advice from a friend to keep swimming for a few strokes after your hand brushes the ground. I saw people around me standing up, but I kept swimming until the water was very shallow and then got up and scooted out of the water.
  •         Stopped to give a thumbs up to the photographer. And solicited some high fives from spectators waiting at the water exit.

  •         Pulled off the top of my wet suit off, but kind of held it up still because I feel immodest sometimes wearing just a sports bra on top.
  •         I had to pee so bad. Yanked the first “vacant” portapotty open but it was occupied! By a man peeing. “Sorry!” “SORRY!” Awkward. Darted into the next one but also yelled “Dude, there’s a lock!”
  •         Made sure to lock the door. Peed.
  •         Ran towards my bike but I didn’t see it! I had specifically laid my yellow shirt on the seat to make it easier to find. Panicked for half a second, then realized it had been knocked onto the ground.
  •         Cursed the mean girls on either side of me who had knocked my bike over! I had put my sunglasses, clif bar, shot blocks, and cycling gloves into my helmet and hung my helmet on my handlebar. My helmet was on the ground and all my stuff was scattered several feet away.
  •         Very, very briefly considered…I don’t even know what. Leaving a note to scold them? Waiting there for them to return so I could give them dirty looks?
  •         Instead, I pulled on my shirt, sunscreened up, helmet on, gloves on, clif bar in my back pocket, shot blocks in my sports bra.
  •         Looked up and felt silly for feeling self-conscious in my sports bra. After earlier seeing a man peeing, I was now seeing a guy directly across from me who was wearing only wet tighty whities and was pulling on shorts for the bike. Triathlons are a fairly naked sport.
  •         Took off for the bike ride. A nice volunteer told me to “keep that smile on your face!”
  •         Remembered from last year that the first few miles are gradual uphill. I was going slow (sub 12 mph) but I knew I could make up time later.
  •         Passed and was passed by the same gal a few times. We chatted a bit at each pass. Her name was Stephanie and this was her first triathlon!
  •         Started to make up time on the flats/downhills. I was staying between 15 and 20 mph. My garmin was on the wrong setting so it was showing me minutes per mile instead of miles per hour. Doing the math in my head kept my brain occupied at least.
  •         The bike went by quickly. Since this is usually the part that drags for me, I was glad. No kicking my bike to make it shift either like last year. Yay!
  •         There is one last short, sharp, steep hill right at the end of the bike course. I rode right up to it, hopped off, and walked to the top. I’m not hardcore. I don’t mind walking for 20 seconds.
  •         Came into transition. The guy in front of me wiped out on his bike while trying to dismount, but he seemed okay.
  •         A different girl who had passed me a few times and who I had passed a few times came out of nowhere and darted into transition just before me, and that kind of made me mad, but I passed her on the run so whatever!
  •         I couldn’t find my stuff (I was on the wrong aisle) so I just left my bike where I sort of thought it should be, took off my helmet and gloves, and trotted out towards the run. Luckily, I wear the same shoes for biking and running, otherwise I’d have panicked. For me, T2 is only drop off, I didn’t need to pick anything up.
  •         I did kind of want more sunscreen. Since I didn’t see mine, I admit I grabbed someone’s random bottle off the ground, put a squirt in my hand, and then put it back on the ground where I found it. Thanks, fellow racer! My nose got a little burned but not bad.
  •        I felt slow but good on the run. I know I wasn’t going fast, but I didn’t feel like I was dying to walk either. Walked through the aid stations. Cheered on my new bike friend, Stephanie, who took off on the run way fast!].
  •         Saw Chris and cheered him on! He passed me and I gave him a hard smack on the bottom for good luck. The run was an out and back, so I ended up seeing Chris three times on the course, which was really fun.
  •         We also saw our friend Meghan! She was killing it.
  •         As I came up to the finish Chris hopped back on to the course with me and we ended up with this awesome finish:
              
  •         Our friend Jenna came up to watch us race and ran the 5k. (Her first! And she came in ninth place!) Unfortunately she misjudged how much time she had between her finish and ours and ended up completely missing us finishing. Oh, well.

  •         We waited to see Megan finish and made lots of noise for and the other folks coming in. The one downside to this race is that the finish line isn’t really set up so you get a lot of crowd support. It’s kind of off to the side, which is too bad.
  •         Sat down in the grass and drank a damn beer. Well, I drank half a beer and then decided I was way too dehydrated to enjoy it, and we had to drive back to Denver.
  •         PS, Avery IPA after a race instead of crappy Michelob Ultra Light, who seems to sponsor a million races? Yes, please.
  •         Megan and I tried to pitch our respective neighborhoods to Jenna, who is considering buying a new place soon.
  •         We gathered our stuff from transition and headed back to the car. The walk from transition to the car, lugging my wetsuit, bag, and pushing my bike was the hardest part of the day. I was hot and tired and started to feel the effects of the morning. 

Some things that don’t quite fit into a timeline:

  •         I won 3rd in my damn division! I sort of go back and forth about whether to register for the Athena division when it’s available. I just do because…I wish it were a more legitimate thing. If all of the women who qualified registered in this division, I think it would be better. I think a lot of people don’t because they are embarrassed. Which is dumb. You’re doing a triathlon! Clearly you’re not a lazy bones sitting on the couch eating junk food. So, I came in 3rd out of the six women who bothered to register for this division. Which is not really that exciting, but there you go. (For reference, if I had raced in my age group, I still would have come in 3rd. 3rd to last! Ba dum bump.)
  •         I have heard of some women not going up to stand on the podium to get their medals in the Athena division. That would not be the case for me. If they had called my name I would have made a damn scene and screamed my head off. But my chip didn’t work! It didn’t register at all. They were able to give me an overall finish time a few days later, but no splits. Such a bummer! And I admit I am sad that I didn’t get my special…whatever they give you when you place. A plaque? I don’t know since it’s never happened to me before. I was pouty about it for like a day, and then I just figured, first world problems. I had fun.
  •         My best estimate is I did a 23 minute swim, a 1:16 bike ride, and a 38 minute run, assuming 3 minutes for transition one and 90 seconds for transition two.
  •         I have some sexy sunburn “wings.” My top was racerback but my sports bra wasn’t, so I have these lovely crescent burns from the gaps between, despite putting on sunscreen three times.

  •         This race was a first for me in the sense that it wasn’t a first. I felt relaxed the whole time because it wasn’t my first triathlon, it wasn’t a new distance, not my first open water race, not my first mass swim start race.
  •         And final thought:  I loved my braids! I’ve never worn braids while working out before (I know, I know, nothing new on race day. But I had an extra hair tie on my wrist for a pony tail if needed.) And it was so nice to have tangle free hair when I got home. Usually between swimming and running my ponytail is a rat’s nest.

Okay! That’s all she wrote. This has been open sitting open for six days.

I have no idea why I had so much to say about this, but I had a great time and it has me eying races coming up in July and August for reals.

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