Saturday, August 27, 2011

Iron Girl Boulder Race Report

I’m going to make this a sprint race report because this was a sprint triathlon. Okay, quick, GO!

Got up at 4:30 a.m. and did the usual minus a dump. Headed out the door by 5:10 a.m. then had to turn back for home because I was obsessed I left the coffee pot on. Do you do that? Thing is, it wouldn’t have mattered if I did because it has automatic shut off, but I turned back anyway. It was off.

Hit the road again. Turned around again because I wasn't sure if I closed the garage door. Do you do that? It was closed.  99 eff’ing percent of the times I check the iron, the stove, the whatever, it is off.  Zero risk. But, then I go jump out of a plane and go zip lining. It makes no sense.

I got to Boulder and it was pitch dark. I was way too early. I set up my transition and literally had 2 hours left to wait. So, I went home and checked the coffee pot again. Just kidding.

Scooby Doo towel rocks!



I visited the porta potties three times for a little pre-race cleansing:


Here’s the thing. This is a women’s only race, the first women’s only event I’ve ever done. For some reason I assumed the porta potties would smell better than at a coed race. But guess what? Big revelation. Everyone's shit smells. Women’s poop stinks as bad as men's (except for mine which smells like Chanel #5). I now know this. There is nothing feminine and pure about women’s poop. It is all the same.

I did enjoy, however, the short porta potty lines and the table with a linen cloth outside the johns that had a variety of yummy smelling antibacterial soaps. Nice touch, Iron Girl!

I caught up with Tara who was doing her first tri. It was great to see her out there. She had knee surgery this year and now is officially back in the game!!


Heading to the swim, no wetsuit:


Finally it was “go” time. This was an age group swim start. I decided to forgo the wetsuit since the swim was so short (1/4 mile) and the water was 72 degrees. It was a beach start, so you had to run in the water and dolphin dive in. I did more of a run in the water, get stuck in the mud and belly flop in, but that’s just me.

I don't know if it was nerves or the cool water, but I immediately lost my breath. I couldn’t catch it the whole swim. I swallowed mouthfuls of piss water and got off course a couple of times. It was short but not sweet.

Swim: 1/4 mile in 8:45

I thought I breezed through transition in like :02 seconds, but turns out it was over 2 minutes. What the hell? I seriously do not know what I was doing except for when I stopped to check the coffee pot. 

T1: 2:12

Hit the road on the bike and started passing people like crazy. Settled in my aero bars and cranked it out. I actually felt pretty out of breath and my heart rate didn’t calm down until mile six or so. I took a Clif Shot halfway and this helped.

Three women in my age group (you have your age marked on your calf) passed me, then I passed them, then they passed me. I never saw them again. I knew for sure I had at least three AG women ahead of me, so no podium for me unless I caught them on the run, which I doubted by the looks of these maniacs. Plus, I figured there were more girls out there who finished the swim before me. Who knew where I stood?

There was another AG’er (cute girl in braids, kind of had a crush on her) who I played cat and mouse with the whole bike. On the homestretch she passed me, but I decided I would get her on the run (foreshadow). Maybe ask her for a date?

Bike: 17.2 miles in 51:31. Average speed: 20 mph

Going into the transition two area, someone cut in front of me and almost knocked me over with her bike. I turned into my row and could not for the life of me find my Scooby Doo towel. I actually spent about a minute looking. Ridiculous. Another shitty transition time.

T2: 2:00

Set out for the run. It was *HOT* at this point with no shade. I kept a pretty good clip. By mile 1 I passed my crush, the girl with the braids. Never saw her again. The run was uneventful, but I could feel myself running out of steam by the last mile. I could tell since it was an out and back course that I was near the top for finishers. I kept up the pace. My ass only ached a tiny bit, even though I worried about butt pain a lot last week.

Run: 3.1 miles in 24:20. Average pace: 7:48

Total time: 1:28:45
6th/164 age group
29th/818 overall

Some of my favorite life moments have involved crossing finish lines over the past two years. This was no exception. As I came down the finish chute, there were no runners near me, so I had my own little moment. I had no family or friends at the finish (well, Tara, but she was racing), so I just smiled and tried to pat myself on the back without looking double jointed. Go me!

After thoughts: I know 1:28 is a good time and I know I gave it my all, but I am super disappointed in my transition times. The two girls ahead of me who got the 4th and 5th spots finished only seconds before me. Their swim/bike/run times weren’t faster than mine (actually slower!), but their transitions were. If I hadn’t dicked around so long in transition, I could have easily been 4th. Oh well. Lessons learned. Something to work on for next time.

For now I am an Iron Girl. Hoping someday to grow up to be an Iron MAN.



PS: So much for a sprint race report.


  1. Nice job! Is that last sentence a hint at what is to come?!

  2. I enjoy foreshadowing... a lot.

    Also, your times were amazing! I'm contemplating attaching a fan to the back of my bike to go 20 mph, but maybe that's just me.

  3. Wow, this looks like so much fun. I really need to learn to swim so I can try something like this. Maybe this should be a goal for next year...

    I like that they announced you coming in. You're famous! Woo!

  4. Congrads. I was thinking about your race during my run this morning!!! You Rock!!!

  5. Wow your run was fast! I think I would suck at transitions too. I can't even change clothes fast, and that doesn't account for say changing shoes or removing a helmet or drying off.

    Nice job!

  6. Awesome times!! I can't help but be impressed that you are thinking about being on the podium at the finish line. My goal is always just to not barf and/or pass out at the finish line! You pretty much rock, Sister! WTG!

  7. Thanks for sharing this. Although I pretty much suck at tri's, I just completed my second sprint...thought I'd share with you what I wrote about the joke that is me doing a
    Thanks for your complete honesty! Love it.

  8. enough foreplay and sign up for Kona already!

  9. Congrats on a great day! Having fun is more important than a podium finish any day. (says the guy who has never been close to a podium in his life.) Don't sweat the transitions. A bit of practice and you'll be fine.

    Also congrats on the decision to do IM! Though you'll have to get over your obsession with the coffee pot. They don't mind if you set one up in transition, but they won't let you go back to check it.

  10. Nice work! I wish I had finished as fast as you...then I wouldn't have been finishing that damn run when it was 100* out!!

    If it makes you feel better, no one made me fall off my bike but someone DID try to get me hit by a car on 28th Street :)

  11. You made me giggle with the coffee pot comments. I'm the same way with locking the car door. I turned around this morning, pushing my bike, to go back and make sure I locked the car doors.

    Congrats on a strong race! Frustrating about the transitions, but you can work on that!

  12. Congrats! Awesome time and thanks for the fun write-up.

  13. Great job! I did my first ever sprint tri today and took 2nd in my age group (40-44). You are very inspiring and have helped me want to work harder and continue to "tri" and do better. Thanks for your blog.

  14. Yep - work on those transitions, and you'll see a podium spot for sure! Nice job, SUAR!

  15. Great job on your tri!!! If you want to be super awesome and save time on your transition...just leave your helmet on for your run like I did. hahaha :)

  16. Congrats on an awesome job! I can't wait to see what you will do with this whole tri thing. I'm so excited for you!

  17. I'm amazed at how quickly you get your race reports up! Awesome fast bike time! Transition = 4th sport so you gotta practice it like the others. :)

  18. Great job! A 6th place finish is nothing to sneeze at!

    And it takes me more than 2 minutes just to put my running shoes on in the morning, let along all that other stuff that goes down in the transition area, I'm screwed if I ever tri!

  19. Awesome job!! I <3 your blog. I find you so inspiring!! :)

    I have a slightly random question. Did you wear that outfit that entire time? It’s cute btw! :) Did you just swim in it and then hop on the bike after drying off?

    I signed up for a tri just because I wanted to do something different and fun. My tri is in October (just a sprint). Unfortunately, the people I know are not into racing or being very athletic so I do not know anyone that has done a tri – I have never even seen one on tv so I have no idea how it all works. I am just going to show up and do it so I won’t have anyone there to help me figure anything out.

    I am starting to get really nervous/worried about my transitions and what I am supposed to be wearing/what is the most efficient to wear. I went to REI and saw that they have "tri suits" but I was embarrassed to ask the guy there about all the technicalities of when to wear it vs. not wear it. So now I still have no idea how that is all supposed to work.

    If you feel like you got some to share.. it would be so cool if you posted any tri tips that you might have gotten out of your racing experiences.
    Thanks for having such a cool blog!

  20. Hey Kate: yep, I wore it the whole time. It is a tri-specific top, so very tight fitting and with a built in bra (I think it's from Sugoi). The shorts are from Zoot and are tri shorts. I swam in this and wore if for the rest of the race. I will try to post more tri-tips to come including transition tips (something I am not good at). Good luck, you will do great...tris are so invovled with all the stuff you have to think about!!

  21. Love the picture of you and Tara, my two favie Colorado tri girls :). I think you did fantastic - look how speedy you were for the run, in that mucky heat no less. You will figure out the transition times, this is all a learning process and can't be perfected immediately. I always think the races which are most successful are the ones we learn more about ourselves. Congratulations, Bethie - very happy for you!

  22. Congrats Beth !!! You did awesome and glad to hear your butt did as well.

  23. Kate. The clock is running from when you start till when you cross the finish line, so your transition time is counted in your results. Most races have no facilities to change, and there are rules against even temporary nudity. So most people wear the same outfit all day. That usually means tri shorts and a top of some sort. The tri shorts have thinner padding than bike shorts, and it's a material that deals well with water. Female tri tops are tight so as to keep water from collecting and slowing you down. Your size will determine if you can get away with a built in bra, but spend the money if you need to. That's just as important as shoes.

    Some people like a one piece tri suit. They can be hard to fit properly if you are long in the body. In shorter races you sometimes see people racing in a swim suit.

    Best advice for transition is to rack your bike near the bike exit. That means less time pushing your bike through the transition area. Bring only essential stuff. Like, really essential stuff. Pile it up in the order you will need it. Do not spread your stuff out, transitions are crowded.

    Walk from the swim to transition to your bike spot. Note landmarks, like that ad on the fence. Mentally go through every step, in the order you will do it. Walk to bike exit. Then walk back to your bike rack, noting landmarks so you don't go past it. Mentally go through everything to take off bike stuff, and put on run stuff. Walk to the run exit. Do this several times, so you know it.

    Do not panic during the transition. Take your time and do things methodically. Trying to rush here will just make mistakes that will cost time later.

    Don't be embarrassed. Ask. You need to know. The people in the store have heard it all. Triathlon is a sport where people are very open about things that are not normally discussed in public.

    As an example, the last thing I do before taking my bike off the rack is to take a huge breath and blow my nose as hard as I can into the towel I used to dry my feet. Twice. Three times if necessary. You need air on the bike. Air can't go in if mucous is there.

  24. Great job! So glad that your butt didn't hurt. Sorry about the transitions and the coffee pot. :) Iron Man, here you come.

  25. Well done! And yes, I always think I left the oven on, the door unlocked, etc. . .except it's usually that my husband DID leave the door unlocked or the oven on. ;)

  26. I am duly impressed. Woo wee. Your results were great Beth. You are really getting stronger and stronger. Congrats.

  27. I hope you don't mind me saying it, but you look pretty hot in that last pic!

  28. Love the pink shirt! At least it was the transitions and not poop problems that were the holdup. You can work on transitions, right?

  29. I am a huge Tara fan, her blog is the first "runner" blog I've ever read. She better do a race report for this one : )

    I didn't wear a wetsuit for my race either, was the only one in my wave without one!

    My transition times for Irongirl Syracuse were SO SLOW, I still don't know what the hell I was doing. :

  30. Thanks!! I will look into Sugoi and Zoot! That is really cool its just like an outfit. :) Thanks for all the tips Keith!

  31. Sorry late in congratulating you. I was without power for 24 hours due to Irene. Great race report.
    You sure inspire me!

  32. I just got a lump in my throat full of pride by reading IronMAN. You have no clue how happy that makes me.

    You kicked the snot out of this race. Race#2 of your Tri Career and moments away from the podium. Nothing to be disappointed with.

    I noticed some stuff with your transition that I will email you about.

  33. I'm thinking about doing a sprint tri next year. Good job!

  34. Nice job!

    I saw you on the run! I was with the TriBella team at the run turn around point!!!

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