August 30, 2010

Iron Girl Sprint Tri Race Report!

Or otherwise known as The Best Race Ever!!!
O-kay, there are several reason why this was the best race ever.  Not only was there a great outcome, but I got to meet and hang out with two wonderful blogger friends, I had the most fun I've had in a race, and I got a super cute race shirt!  Onto the race report!  *Feel free to skip around, it's a long one (aren't they all?)! :)

I got up at 4am, got dressed, got my bagel with peanut butter and honey ready, and headed out for my 45 minute drive to Boulder.  This is what I found when I got into the car.  I love my husband! :)
There was absolutely no traffic, and the drive up was pretty uneventful.  I got to the Boulder Reservoir and it was sooo dark outside.  I forgot my headlamp, which would have been perfect, and ended up walking all my stuff in the dark towards the packet pick-up tent.  For some reason, I thought race day packet pick-up would be crazy, but I was wrong.  There were no lines and I made it in and out with all of my stuff in less than 15minutes.  Woohoo!  Here is my swag:
   The black bag actually folds up into this neat little case.  It will be perfect for storing in my car for those times I forget my reusable shopping bags!
I got to the transition area and found out that I had to rack my bike based on bib numbers.  Apparently, the later you registered, the further you were from the entrance.  I ended up having to rack my bike in the very last row.  Now, at first I was bummed about it, until I realized that the bike exit was right by my bike row!  Score!  Woohoo!  I love having my bike close to the bike exit because it means I don't have to run very far in my bike shoes!

I got my transition area set up, visited the port-a-potties a couple of times, and basically hung out until transition closed at 6:30.  I debated whether or not to wear my wetsuit because a 1/4M swim is so short and I knew the water was in the low 70s.  I have never raced this season without my wetsuit, so I was leaning towards wearing it until I saw that no one else around me was wearing theirs.  I seriously was freaked out about what to do.  Finally, I said screw it, and walked out of transition without my wetsuit.  I got maybe 20feet out of the area when I turned right back around and went back to my spot.  I finally figured that if I was that stressed about whether or not to wear it, then I SHOULD wear it.  I had 5 minutes to get it on before transition closed.  Once I had it on I immediately knew I made the right decision.  I felt so much calmer and relaxed.  Having my wetsuit just comforts me somehow.

I headed down to the swim beach and proceeded to wait and wait and wait.  My wave was the 2nd to the last wave, and I didn't start until 7:20.  So, basically I had 50 minutes to wait around.  Usually I'm totally nervous before the race start, but I was just so calm.  I looked at the buoys in the water and almost laughed at how short the swim course seemed.  I mean, the 1/4M swim looked like nothing!  It was awesome and I was so excited to swim.  Oh, and there actually were a lot of women with wetsuits, so I wasn't the only one! :)

Swim (1/4M):
Get this, the count down for the swim start ended with the announcer screaming "AFLAC" like the duck in those horrible commercials.  It was so cheesy and we all started laughing about it.  We were off and it took awhile before it was deep enough to actually swim.  I was finally able to swim and just decided to swim as fast as I could.  It was tough because there were a lot of women struggling and they would just stop in front of me (I have been there so many times, so I totally know how they were feeling).  It made it difficult to swim because I didn't want to swim over them, but I finally found my groove and just kept swimming!  I made it to the first turn buoy, then the second, and before I knew it I was at the finish!  It was amazing how short that swim felt...I LOVED it!  I got out of the water with a huge smile on my face, pulled my wetsuit down, got a great towel from the volunteers to dry off with, and ran the LONG way to transition.

Swim stats:
1/4M swim time:  8:30 (includes the long run)    Rank: 93/619
* I looked at my watch after coming out of the water and it said about 7min, which isn't incredibly fast, but it was a great time for me!  Yay!

This was pretty uneventful.  I got my wetsuit off, shoes on, helmet on, glasses on, and I literally had to run like 20 feet to the bike exit!  It was great!
Time:  1:14

Bike (17.2M):
I got on my bike and just started riding.  Although I was doing this tri for fun, I still wanted to push myself and see what I could do.  Because I have ridden this course before I knew what to expect.  I knew the first few miles or so are the worst, but after that it's just a great, fun course.  As I got up to speed, I started focusing on all of the calves ahead of me.  I was looking for women in my age group, 30-34, and I found them.  I felt so good on my bike and I just kept passing women the entire time.  It was a really weird feeling actually, and I almost felt guilty about it.  I don't really know why except maybe that this race is really a "beginner" tri for the most part and I almost felt out of place.  I only got passed once, on a downhill turn that I didn't feel comfortable going fast on, but once we went up again, I passed her back and never saw her again.  After awhile I stopped seeing women between 30-34 and was wondering where they all were.  I kept thinking that they had super speedy swims and super fast bikes and were ahead of me.  So, I kept pushing myself, trying to catch the women in my AG.  Finally, I was back at the reservoir.  I got to the dismount line and headed into transition.

Bike Stats:
17.2M   Time:  49:01  Avg. Pace:  21.2mph    Rank:  10/619
Woohoo!  I am so thrilled with this time and my avg. pace! 
*  As a side note, I did the Boulder Sprint Tri last year and my time on the same course was 52:24, so I beat my time by almost 3 1/2 minutes! :)

Again, this was pretty uneventful.  I got into transition and there weren't any other bikes around me.  It was crazy!  I racked my bike, got my running stuff on, took a swig of NUUN, and headed out.
Time:  1:07

Run (3.1M):
I left transition and my legs felt awesome!  I knew at that point that I was going to be able to push it on the run and I was so happy about that.  After my run experience at my Half Ironman, this was just a great feeling to have.  I got on the course and just started to run.  I told myself that it was only a 5k and I could do it!  I felt great and just kept pushing forward.  At one point, the leader of the race passed me in the opposite direction and she was flying!  I kept looking at all of the calves on the women ahead of me and I never saw anyone in the 30-34 age range.  I just kept thinking how strange it was and wondering where they all were.  Because the run course is an out and back, you get to see everyone that's ahead of you.  I saw some women that looked like they could be in my AG, but really it's impossible to tell how old someone is.  As I was nearing the turn around, I saw Kathleen coming the opposite direction and yelled some words of encouragement.  I was so happy to see her and she looked great!  I finally got to the turn around and I swear I had a huge smile on my face.  I was having such a great run and just having so much fun.  I stopped for a brief second to grab a Gatorade and gulp it down, and then headed towards the finish.  I saw a women in front of me with a 3_ on her calf and I couldn't tell if it was 34 or 39, so I decided to pick it up a little bit and find out.  As I got closer I realized it was a 39, but I just kept going.  I could hear the announcer at the finish calling out women's names and I got so excited!  Finally, I was at the finish chute and I ran it in, put my arms in the air, and sprinted across the mat!

Run Stats:
3.1M  time:  23:11  avg. pace:  7:29/M    Rank:  7/619
*  Last years time at the Boulder Sprint was 25:29.  

Overall Stats:
Overall Time:  1:23:01
Overall Rank:  9/619  (Note:  5 of the women that finished ahead of me were in the 35-39 AG...That is a FAST group and I'll be joining their ranks next year!  Yikes!)
30-34 AG Place:  1/120   I GOT FIRST PLACE!!!!!   Yay!!!  

Post Race:
After I finished I waited by the finish area because I knew Kathleen would be finishing soon!  She came in and I cheered her on!  We hung out for a little while talking about the race, then Julie, another blogger, finished.  Here is a picture of all of us:

Me, Julie from You Just Have to Tri, and Kathleen from Dare to Dream

I was so glad to finally meet Julie!  She is so nice!  We all hung out for awhile, then headed to the food tent where they literally had a full spread of yummy, yummy food.  Salad, yogurt and granola, bagels, pancakes, fresh fruit, muffins, etc...  It was awesome!  We loaded up our plates, then found a place to sit.  I knew my husband and boys wouldn't be there for awhile, so I got to hang out and just relax.  It was nice.  

Then, we noticed that there were a bunch of women gathered around a table.  They had posted some results, so I went over to check them out.  Imagine my surprise when I saw my name at the top of the list on the first page! :)  Then, I looked at the AG of the women that placed ahead of me and realized I was the first one in my AG.  I was totally taken aback by that so I actually asked another girl if that meant I got first in my AG.  She said yes and congrats, then I headed back to the table with a huge smile on my face!  I could not believe that I won my AG!  I was beyond ecstatic!  Just then, my husband and boys showed up and I told him the news!  He was so happy for me!  Then, of course, we had to take lots of stupid pictures by the Aflac duck...don't ask me why!

My boys loved the duck!  They thought it was hilarious! 

Then, they had the awards ceremony.  Kathleen and  Julie were so cute and they waited around with me and my family!  I was so excited to see what I won!
Here is what I won:

I am not a jewelry person, but I will probably wear this on occasion.  It's very simple and very pretty.  Plus, I love the message behind the saying, "Race with Grace."

Isn't that awesome!?!  

Before heading back to Denver, we ended up playing in the water with the boys at the reservoir.  It was wonderful!  I love this picture b/c my youngest looks so happy.  :)  

So, my tri season is officially over.  :(  It is a bittersweet feeling.  I love racing and am kind of sad that I am not doing another tri until next year.  But, this tri was an awesome way to end the season!  Plus, now I get to really focus on my marathon training.  It will be different, but good! :)   


Runners Fuel said...

Nice job

Alisa said...

Great work! My tri goal for sometime is to place top 10 in my age group for the swim. I no it's not going to happen in the other two but for the swim it might be doable.

Christi said...

Wow, congratulations on a great race and your podium finish! That is absolutely awesome!

Jon said...

Oh my goodness, Aimee!!! You knocked this one FAR out of the park! This wasn't some little tiny race that you one first in your age group. You beat 120 other people in your age group! Holy cow!!! You are amazing!

Kovas Palubinskas said...

Congratulations! ISn't it terrible knowing that the AG you are going to join is amazingly fast? The 40-44 men seem to be strong this year in the Midwest, and they are my competition. I'm just going to outlast them, win the 70-79 AG.

Diana Tries-A-Tri! said...

Way to end on a high note! That's awesome! Great that you went out there just to have fun and did so well, congrats!

Julie said...

Oh Aimee, congrats to you for your wonderful finish! First place for your age rocked it! Your 5K time is one second slower than my 5K PR...I also did not swim and bike before hand:) You are such an amazing athlete and something tells me that you are only going to get better! You look fantastic...I would love to have that toned body of yours:) Excellent job!

Jeff - DangleTheCarrot said...

Awesome Job Aimee!

Rebecca said...

As someone who never places in her age group, reading your blog was a real thrill. Thanks for sharing this awesome race with me. My tri season is done now too. :( Happy Recovery!

Java Joggers said...

AG award!!! Way to go! And that was definitely a lucky thing that your "bad" bike rack assignment worked well for you!

DRog said...


What a way to cap your Tri did GREAT!
cute note by your Husband

You nailed it all

Andrew Opala said...


Megan said...

Wow! Way to go! Don't you love the feeling of passing girls in your AG? I like to seek them out and reel them in. : )

P said...

Aimee, that's so AWESOME!! Great job, you really smoked the whole course! I love your award, it's very pretty. Being done with the season is definitely bittersweet - I'm also having some "tri letdown" feelings today, knowing that it'll be months before I do another one. Of course, that marathon coming up in a few short weeks is something to look forward to! :-)

trifitmom said...

awesome ....... totally awesome

Julie said...

Woo hoo again!!! You are an amazing woman and athlete and I am so glad that I got the chance to meet you! It was such a fun race. Loved getting to read about what it's like to pass so many people! Again congrats on a great season and what a way to end it!

Will be looking forward to hopefully seeing you at race soon.

AM-GoalsfortheWeek said...

You rock on with your bad self!! so cool!!! congrats!!! you deserve it.

any yah...the 35-39 ag i believe is the fastest. ugh. but it keeps me motivated;-)

track coach and adorable wife said...

Yay for you! That must have felt great! Way to end on a high note. Weird that you are done and I will start and end my season in two weeks!

Whitney said...

Congrats and what a way to end your tri season! Your award is awesome and the race shirt is super cute. I'll have to look at the AFLAC series for next looks like it was a fun race.

Melissa Cunningham said...

great job!!! i love reading your recap!!!!

Cynthia O'H said...

Awesome job on your age group. I love your bracelet.
The Iron Girl races sound great. I wish I were there or I'd totally be into them.

Kelly said...

Amazing! What a great way to finish the tri season. I was so bummed that I didn't make it over from Vail for the tri. I thought about everyone all Saturday morning! :)
I might be doing the Denver 1/2 - so I'll let you know so we could meet up. :)

abbi said...

Awesome job on your first place the note from your husband too!

Caratunk Girl said...

Congrats on 1st place!! Awesome pictures too!!

*~* *~* *~* *~* *~* Tracy said...

Great race report and congrats on 1st place!
I agree, the shirt is very nice!

Heather said...

Congratulations!! Sounds like it was a great day for you! Love the photos with your boys!

ShutUpandRun said...

FIRST!!!!!!!!!! Damn girl. I might have to bribe to help me with my first half IM.


SWEET!! Sounds like it was the perfect day.

Zaneta said...

wow!! you did such an amazing job!! :D congrats on the AG victory!! :D I loved reading your entire race report! :D

Anonymous said...

What an awesome way to end your season! Congrats!!!!

Teamarcia said...

What a spectacular day! Congrats on the AG win! Love the pics!

Kathleen said...

That Post It is so sweet :)

What a fun day!
What a great race for you and what a gracious winner you are.
I have enjoyed watching you win this summer (Metro Brokers). Congrats!

Ironman By Thirty said...

Way to end the season with a bang! Way to rock your age group!!!

Kirk (GottaTri) said...

Awesome race! Congrats on numero uno! I like the age label on the calfs as well.

Colleen said...

Aimee, that's awesome! You did amazing and what a way to cap off your season! :) Congrats!

Barbie said...

How totally awesome. What a great race report and congrats on your first place. You rocked it.

Anne-Marie said...

CONGRATS on your 1st AG and 9th OA -- that is awesome! Way to go! :) It's always a bit sad when a season ends, but at least you got to go out on a (very) high note!

Cute shirt & bag too! When I saw the name of the tri I was wondering if they'd have a real duck there ;)

Big Daddy Diesel said...

1st AG and TOP TEN OA!!!! You are a rockstar, I am sooooo excited for you!!!! Congrats!!!

Amanda - RunToTheFinish said...

great great recap and you are probably one of the only posters to inspire me to maybe try one of these bad boys! i really like irongirl too and know they have one in FL next year!

Jill said...

Wow, you got some very cool stuff! I love that shirt and the bracelet is very nice, too! I love the saying. Congratulations on a fabulous race and placment. I know it was sooooo warm here Saturday (ugh!). Way to go!!!

Regina said...

Way to go out with a BANG! Congrats on winning your AG!!!

jojo88 said...

Way to go and finish out your season with winning. You're amazing. Love the last photo, so sweet.

Barb said...

I am so behind on my blog I just read your race report. AWESOME!!! great swim, 21+ avg on the bike :) and a sub-8 avg on the run = WIN

Congratulations and I LOVE the 'race with grace' bracelet.

Good Luck with your marathon training. I have trained for a Fall marathon the last two years and am glad to be 'just' doing the half marathon this Fall. Those long runs are tough, and yet feel so rewarding when you are done!

Krista said...

AWESOME! You did amazing.