So yesterday I'm driving to Boulder yet again. I really gotta move there. Or at least rent a vacation home there or something. I'm getting familiar with the drive between Greenwood Village and the people's republic of B-town. Yea, so, I'm driving there to drop off my bike at Excel Sports. It's getting a bit transformed and needed to be there by Friday morning. I'm singing in the car, having a blast of a time. Chill, mellow, quite content actually.
I was lazy that morning and slept in, thus missing my window to get in my tempo run. I was planning to drop the bike and then get in the tempo run in Boulder, thus waiting for traffic to die down before driving back home.
I started thinking, where to run? Where to run? I remembered Chuckie had told me about a 1 mile dirt loop he had found, and that was exactly what I was supposed to run my tempo run on, so I shot him an email to ask where the magic loop was.
I get an email back saying "Hey, why don't you come do the Boulder Stroke and Stride with Angela".
Like just impromptu like that?
Oh, and it's 5:15, I'm 20 minutes outside of Boulder, I still need to drop my bike off, do I even have goggles with me? The race starts at 6:00pm.
Humm, I think I have my ghetto pair of goggles in the bottom of my Saucony workout bag. What the heck? Why not?
So I respond "Hummm, Sure! I'm gonna need to find a swim suit".
And I put the pedal to the floor. I switch the radio over to Eminem, and I start getting excited.
A race, ohhh goodie, I love races.
I pull into Excel sports at 5:32. I'm back outa there at 5:33. I cruise on over and hit the reservoir promptly at 5:41. Boo Ya.
A quick trip to the registration tent and I've got a race number. Angela threw a ton of clothes and swim suits in her bag for me, but I conjured up my old trusty pair of worn out tri shorts and a rather tight sports bra. Come on, only the best for my A races.
I didn't even have a Trakkers visor with me. I didn't have a race belt, Chuckie said "Use your heart rate monitor strap" Brilliant!
I found a swim cap, grabbed my googles, sequestered my A game, and got my butt down to the water with 45 seconds to spare.
Angela and I had time to show Chuckie our game faces. You see that? That's GAME ON baby. That's what your supposed to look like just before you tow the line to your A race (of the day). I had tapered all of 2.3 hours, but it's all good. Chuck Norris only tapers for 2.3 hours.
As I got on the line, the water line that is, I could just feel the nerves, I could feel that I was trained well for this, that maybe this was my calling in life. I'm kidding, actually I felt like a girl who decided to race about 45 minutes prior and who was about to get her fanny handed to her in the swim.
But no, focus Sonja, focus. Stroke and Strides don't come along every day. This is big business. Really, the pressure! Ha!
So the dude said "Ummm Go!" and we were off. I did my best, however I found myself to the far right. Which I guess was good because I lined up on the far right, and I usually end up far left when I do this...getting pummeled along the way. I need to learn how to draft in murky water. How do you all do this? The bubbles are like nonexistent?
After the first buoy we made a right turn and there was Holy Chop Batman. Pull hard Sonja, you were made for chop. You eat chop for breakfast, right along with your Mix1. Pull Pull.
Then another right turn and we were on our way in. I pushed hard, go go go, nothing worse than a crummy swim time that will make you think you are all slow again.
I exit out of the water, and then it dawns on me, I signed up for the 1500 swim, what was I thinking, I could be done right now, and yet, I have to run down the beach and do it all over again for another loop. Rats!
So down the beach I go. Hi Chuckie, this is weird, my coach is watching me race. Skip Skip Skip into the water. DIVE. I love diving now, it's like my favorite.
The second loop was a little lonely. I swam right again. I found a swimmer but ended up swimming next to him more than behind him. Then I decked him at the turn buoy, total accident, but you know, it was crowded around the buoy....NOT. We were like the only two left out there!
Somehow I made my way back into shore. Oh dear, thank goodness, there is a triathlon God after all.
I run up to my "transition" spot, AKA my Denver Zoo sweatshirt on the ground with my run shoes loosely tied on top of it. Angela was only doing the 1500 swim, no run for her, and she's waiting there, already dressed, with like her hair done, and blowdried and stuff. Just kidding, she only beat me out of the water by, oh, say, 6 minutes.
This transition was one of the most comedic I've ever had. Angela acted as my Ironman volunteer transition person. She put my race belt around my waist while I put my shoes on (race belt = heart rate monitor). She handed me my watch and off I went. It was nothing but first class service.
So Chuckie had told me to not run too hard. Just cruise nice and good. Now I don't think he actually understands what it's like to be one of the slower swimmers. You constantly feel insanely behind. I wanted to just cruise, and maybe I did just cruise. But I cruised with and "edge", as in a "wow, it's so fun to run fast" edge. I took off.
It's a 5K, it's over before it starts for me. And I loved every second of it. I had fun reeling people in and just letting my hair fly in the wind. I felt free and fast, and I had a blast.
I blinked three times and I was back at the finish line. Angela was yelling some sort of gibberish at me and I mumbled some sort of "huh" response. Apparently she wanted me to do a cartwheel or something to try to get a prize. Uhhh, Ummm, Yea, not gonna happen. I was happy to get across that finish line.
About 11 seconds later...I was fine. That's the thing with Ironman training, your fitness is deep, but you may not be the fastest thing out there. And the fastest I was not! But the funniest I WAS!
So, yea, it was an awesome A race. I'm so glad that we have been training for that one all year. Well worth the fitness loss I will have from the 2.3 hour taper!
You gotta do something wacko every once in awhile. How will you actually know that you are living life unless you change it up, throw caution to the wind, and do something silly on short notice?