Sunday, July 22, 2012

Boulder Iron Girl 2012 Race Report

I shouldn’t be so hard on myself, but I thought I had a shot a the podium today.  Mother f’er - I finished 4th in my age group.

Yes, 4th is acceptable, competitive, blah, blah. But, I want to be faster, stronger and to slide into one of the top 3 slots, dammit. The good/bad news is that I wasn’t even close to making the 3rd spot (about 5 minutes short), so I don’t have to torment myself that I fell short by just a few seconds when I slowed down to fart or pull out that wedgie.

 I always want more. I am never satisfied. This makes me annoying, but also makes me driven. It’s who I am. There is a fine line between acceptance and pushing yourself. I am still trying to find it.

Enough wah, wah, wah. It was a GREAT morning to be racing in Boulder today.


I knew temps would reach at least 100 degrees later, but hoped my 7:35 a.m. wave start would make me beat the worst of the heat and it did.


Iron Girl puts on an A-class race. This race caters to newer athletes and strives to provide racers with an experience, not just a venue to swim, bike and run. Case in point – have you EVER been to a race where they had tampons, pads, extra toilet paper and nice smelly soaps on a table outside the porta potties? I almost wished I had my period so I could partake:


In the parking lot, I ran into Dimity (Another Mother Runner), which was nice because I didn’t really know anyone doing this race. We did a bunch of people-watching commenting on how freaking in shape and perfect lots of these people are. One girl seriously looked like she just stepped off of a fashion show runway and put on a tri-suit. I wanted to give her a hamburger, but I didn’t have time.

Ken and the kids showed up right before the start and it always calms me to see them. My kids are probably sick as hell of waking up to see us race, but whenever I feel selfish about it I remember two things:

  1. Let’s see – how many piano recitals, baseball games, soccer games,  school plays and choir concerts have I been to? Oh, yeah about a million. ‘Nuf said. I think it’s good balance for mom and/or dad to be the focus sometimes.
  2. I’m hoping coming to these races and watching people (me included) dig deep plants a seed in their minds about perseverance, going for goals and not giving up. They certainly don’t have to do triathlons or marathons, but there will be many opportunities in life for them to work their asses off for something they want. I need them to know it’s theirs for the taking.

Water temperature was 74 degrees. I did forgo the wetsuit since it was such a short swim. After a moment of silence for the victims of the recent Colorado shootings, we were off.



That’s me in the pink probably praying that I don’t get clocked in the nose.


Yes, it's the best to swim into a nice sun glare that makes you legally blind.

My swim (1/4 mile) was slow, sluggish and frustrating. Lots of people were doing the backstroke, just trying to to drown and I was having a hard time getting into a groove. Everyone really should just get out of my way. Swim time: 8:53.


Here I am giving someone the finger.

The bike (17.2 miles) was speedy and a blast. I spent the entire time trying to catch this one girl in my age group. I never got her, but passed her later on the run. I swear, she made me faster because she was like a little carrot the entire time. So, thank you anonymous 45 year old girl with the bony spine (c’mon, you know you notice these things too when you are riding someone’s ass forever). Bike time: 51:45 – 20 mph.


Clearly the dude in the stripes should be shot for blocking this photo.

The run (5K) was uneventful except that it was getting really hot and no shade. They had ice cold sponges, which I shoved in my non-existent cleavage. My friend Julie was at the aid station and it was a mental boost to lay eyes on her!! Run time: 24:39 – 7:56 min/mile.


I hate this picture. My legs look like tree trunks.


I finished in 1:28:18 which is exactly 31 seconds faster than last year. 4/55 in age group, 25/444 overall.


I am happy with that time because at this time last year I had just done the Boulder 70.3 and was in better racing shape than I am right now. I also went to a party last night and might have had a few drinks and lots of Mexican food. I think that will have to be my pre-race fueling from now on.

Sometimes I think the sprint races are harder for me because I am PUSHING my ass off the entire time vs. a longer race where I settle in pace yourself. Regardless, it’s never easy. And shouldn’t be. I always like to know I gave it everything I had so there are no regrets. When I get tired in a race, I constantly tell myself that. No regrets after I cross the finish line about what I did or didn’t do.


The best fan club in the universe.

Thanks so much to Athleta for today’s race entry!

Which do you prefer, shorter/sprint races or longer/endurance races? I am more of an endurance girl, but I do like a shorter race. I mean sometimes it’s nice to not be out there for 49 hours.

Do you drag kids to your races? No, not every single one, but most. If Ken and I are both racing, my mom and dad will often bring them to the finish.

How’s the weather where you are? Colorado is stinking HOT. Over 100 degrees everyday. Time for a nap.



  1. Awesome race, Beth! You killed that bike split! And your running form looks really good. And 4th in a tri is really fantastic--they can be so competitive!

    I have an IG race in four weeks. I am jealous of your distances--ours is 3/4 mile swim, 17.5 mile bike and 3.5 mile run. Stupid that mentally that makes a difference to me, but it does!

    1. Yes HUGE difference between 3/4 mile and 1/4 mile swim. But you will still kill it

  2. too funny. You and I are on the same race calendar (different time zones) as this is second time I've raced this summer and then seen your race post later in the day. I hate 4th! Did that in my first couple of tris. Varying between "never could have caught third" and "if only I'd done X I would have been third." Today was third. Secret to my success? Age up and small races. Haha. 6 mins behind 2nd, 9 behind 1st but ... 4 ahead of 4th and faster race than last year on the same venue. Of course, today it was cloudy, humid, and in the upper 70s. Last year it was sunny and in the upper 90s (river was 91 last year). Thought of you as I stopped on the run to pee in the bushes. Thanks for a fun blog.

    1. Congrats to you on third! And you even peed in the bushes! Clearly I need to do smaller races.

  3. This is a good race report for me to read right now. I just chickened out of registering for a sprint because I consider it too hard (I'm an endurance girl and would rather be out for 49 hours than push myself for 49 minutes).

    Instead I registered for a 150K ride. Clearly I have issues.

  4. Back stroke really?? Congrats you on a super duper race!!! ~ Nora

  5. You are so rad! I loved the pics and your running form looks really good!

  6. Nice work--4th place in ANY tri in Boulder is awesome! No matter the race, that is a competitive city to do an event in :) Glad you beat the heat-- it is toasty out there today!

  7. Nice job…and better than last year :)

    I don't drag my kids to races at all. They would be fighting on the sidelines and distract me from my deal and they'd miss the whole thing while arguing and punching each other. Lose-lose :(

  8. Great time! And if your legs look like tree trunks, well that would be a sapling, young look fabulous! Wish I liked to swim....

    I don't drag my kids to my races, but I made my whole family come to the Chicago marathon last year, my one and only! Got some awesome post race photos. I still can't believe I did that!

  9. Awesome job on 4th even though you wanted the podium. I prefer longer races by far. No kids yet but when the time comes ill drag them long, lol. Temps have been nice in the morning in NJ but heats up in the afternoon...not as hot as where u r though. FYI ur legs do NOT look like tree trunks, lol

  10. Well done Beth! Awesome time on the bike and fast fast fast run! I too notice the other athletes/triathletes... I did a sprint triathlon this am myself and saw lots of bums, yes... bottoms! Those tri-suits are see through and if you're not wearing anything underneath, well... and if you're a man and it's white, the suit is wet and I'm behind... oh well... it was fun! The swim was 1200m instead of 750m and the sea was very rough... it was hard, but... I made it!
    I love sprints but I've got my eye set on a 70.3 some day :p
    No... I'd love to bring my kids but hubby is non-cooperative so... unless it's in a very safe place I go on my own :( (I so missed them cheering me on at the finish line today...)
    Very hot here in Spain (I live in the north-east, about an hour's drive north from Barcelona, in Girona), unbearable if you ask me :p
    Congrats again... you so rocked it! Woohoo!

  11. I won't rub it in, but.... 65 degrees, sunny, slight breeze blowing in off the Pacific Ocean.

    I don't have kids to drag around, but I do drag my bf to almost all my races so he can hand me water, sunglasses, extra clif shots, and be responsible for clothing layers I'm shedding. It's a win-win for everyone.

  12. congrats Beth!!!
    it is really hot here in CA over 100...
    I am over it

    yep my kids come to all my races...all thanks to a VERY supportive husband. I am lucky. He is not a runner but he GET'S it.

    speaking of kids I am most impressed with your son's choice of hat! Montreal Expos!! I am a Quebecer so that was my team!!!

    1. I'll tell him!! He'll be psyched that you noticed!

  13. Faster than last year, with less training under your belt (and fighting back from that hamstring thing) AND a scorching hot day - AWESOME job! Congrats!!

  14. Awesome job! Glad you got out before it was *too* hot. I'm in HOTlanta so I feel your pain!

  15. Awesome job! Loved reading your race report.

  16. Way to go! Impressive that you were faster than last year. I hate 4th place too, boooo! ;)

  17. Awesome race! If we're talking triathlon, I prefer the sprint distance. I like going balls to the wall for an hour and a half. It gives me the rest of the day to lie around and drink beer.

    I'm in Toronto and it's been down right sweaty here. Humid as all get out. I think we broke 4 temperature records by the middle of July. Hasn't made it easy training for a fall marathon!

  18. There were some ridiculously in shape people there. Not that you or Dimity are any slouches in that department. I wish I had seen you so we could have talked about people. I think I was peeing in the water when I saw Dimity and another girl and I talked to her for a moment!

  19. This is fantastic! Great job on the race! Maybe you should have given "Boney Spine" a cheeseburger? Maybe it would have slowed her down a little more on the bike portion. ;)

    By the way, your legs look STRONG in your 'tree trunk' photo. You love you- tree trunks or not! Remember, many of us aspire(and are working our happy tails off) to be as strong and fit as you are! You are such a fantastic motivator and example! :)


  20. Nice race! Why would anyone do backstroke in such a short swim? Those legs do NOT look like tree trunks. I think that drinks and Mexican food is a great pre-race meal, especially if you're leading. It's warm here, maybe low 20's. Nice. Have you notice that Emma is almost taller than you?

  21. I understand about being disappointed in fourth (even though it was really great)--you'll get it next year.

    I think I prefer medium distance races--10Ks and half-marathons, or anything medium-ish that's done on a trail. Depends on what kind of mood I'm in....Right now I'd take anything!

  22. Cool race! Congrats! Hey is that an Expos hat you son is wearing? Love it!

    1. YES, you have a good eye...his favorite hat ever.

  23. Next time could you include the photo of 50 women exiting the water and fighting over shoes? Or does a fan throw some at you and you catch them, just praying they fit and that you don't get pelted in the bean? Or even more badass, do you bike/run barefoot for the remainder of the race? I'm clearly not an athlete, but I am curious to know how the logistics of these things work!

  24. Sweet race, Bethie!! Yeah, I'm always really hard on myself, too...but I think you did fantastic - especially considering since you've done no speedwork. It took me a really, really long time to master that different footstrike and my pace suffered greatly because of it. I am in awe (and super jealous :)) that you picked it up so easily. Great work in such miserable heat. Seriously, is this the hottest summer you ever remember? I know I'm going to hate winter even more...but seriously, I'm a bit sick of this heat. Bleh.

  25. You are off your rocker if you think your legs look like trunks in the picture of you running. You can see your quad muscles bulging! The last picture of you running makes you look like a total badass! Great job on your finishing time. You are awesome!

  26. Congratulations on a great result! Sorry you didn't make the podium that must be frustrating. I'm not usually in the running for a podium finish but I imagine if I was, then missing out by one spot would bother me too. I think we all have that competitive nature!

  27. You pulled off a great race. If you got 3rd in your age group, you would've wanted 1st. 4th is EVERYTHING to be proud of espec. with that time. Next year = No. 1 for sure.

    I like long distance for the very reason you said, you just settle in and don't push until later in the race.

  28. Awesome! I hope to do a Iron Girl race next May! They look like fun!

  29. Great job! I completely relate to doing well, but always wanting more. I missed qualifying for state xc in high school 2 years in a row by one place {one year by 1 second}.

    By the way, I wanted to let you know that I nominated you for the Very Inspirational Blogger award. The details are on my blog The name of your blog sums it up.

  30. Hey, Love your son's hat! Go Expos!!!

    - a montrealer....

  31. Great race, Beth! I am nowhere near fast enough to finish in the top spots in my age group, but I know how it is to always want to have done more; if you've given it your best, that's all you can do. I like longer events, but occasional shorter ones are fun as well. I just did my first Ragnar relay (6.8 miles hard, 6.5 miles hard, 3.8 miles easy for my three legs) and loved it, I think even more than half marathons.

  32. We had a break from the heat and I am so happy that I got myself out of the funk for a little to get out there for 8 miles.

    Congrats on your race! 5 minute gap? Craziness - impressive you beat last years!

    My mental mind game is better in shorter races - you only have to keep pushing for 20 more minutes, etc. seems better than over an hour or more :)

  33. Your legs don't resemble tree trunks! Great job on the race! My kids come to my races. I don't race that often though.

  34. Congrats on your race! That's a huge improvement over last year's race. You should be proud.

    Also I'm about to do my first tri this weekend and so this post got me all giddy with excitement and anticipation. I've done duathlons before, though - two sprints and an Olympic distance. I have to say I liked the sprint distance a lot more, and not just because it was shorter. I liked the balls-to-the-wall sensation of racing my heart out for a full hour straight. I do want to try the longer endurance ones (Olympic tri and maybe even a half-ironman) but right now I love the sprints.

  35. Great job my friend. I bet there were a few minutes in transition we could work on right? haha!

    By the way forget the tree trunk comment check out the calf in that shot across the finish line.

    And a few other items of note:

    1- Forget the 2 items you listed. You gave birth to those kids. Period end of story. Go to the race and enjoy the pancakes after.....haha!
    2- LOVE Sam's Montreal Expos hat. Love it. I may go buy one today now it has inspired me so much. Were the Expos even around when he was born?

    Congrats on a great race.

  36. I ran a local 10K last weekend. I was the 11th woman overall. I was really hoping to place in my age group. In any other age group, I would have placed in the top three. In the ever-popular 30-39 age group...I came in 6th! Seriously?!? I told some of the people I know that they should do the 5K next year.

  37. LOVE Sam's hat!!!!!!! Oh ya WAY TO GO!!!!