A friend from masters convinced me to do this race. Which took some doing because I had to get up at 4:30 a.m. to get up to Fort Collins in time for the 5:30-6:30 check-in. For a swim race. If not for her there's no way I would have signed up for this on my own.
The drive there in the dark was a bit harrowing because it's country roads with lots of twists and tight turns that you can't see in the dark. And suicidal bunnies. Lots and lots of suicidal bunnies. I told my friend please to hit the bunny rather than swerve into a ditch if it comes to it. Thankfully it didn't come to it. I know, I sound mean, I love bunnies, nobody wants to hit a bunny, but I also love living and not ending up in a ditch.
It was a chilly morning, 45 degrees or so when we got there and the sun never made it up over the mountains before race start. Thankfully I brought a hat. And did jumping jacks and high knees running. Lots of high knees running.
Before. Waiting it out in the chill.
Thankfully the water was supposedly 72 degrees, maybe even a little warmer, so I was fine once I got going. 72 degrees and a chilly air temp. is no problemo in a wetsuit but kind of a problemo without a wetsuit for some people who ended up with hypothermia.
The sun came out while we were swimming and it turned into a beautiful morning for me in my nice toasty wetsuit.
I was warned that the race was disorganized and it sort of was but not completely. Parking, check-in went off without a hitch but the course description? Major confusion. They kept explaining it over and over during the pre-race meeting but there were 2 people who took turns explaining different courses. Then at the start line the starter woman explained a different course. But since she was the last person to tell us, that's the course I followed even though it made no sense whatsoever. And of course it was wrong and the kayakers came out and shooed all of us over to the correct course. Then at the end lots and lots of people skipped the last buoy and cut the course. By a LOT. I think more people cut the course than did it correctly. And the kayakers let them all go. I was there for training not awards so I wasn't bent out of shape but sheesh, it's a race, it should be fair for everybody.
I pushed hard the whole way, did a good job of keeping focus for once. My wave was small, only 52 people so I wasn't able to draft much or practice working in the crowd which was my main motivation. But I did get to see where I am with my swimming and what my current race pace feels like.
I ended up winning my age group in the wetsuit division as did my friend. I was second woman overall and she was fourth. A very good day for the Boulder BAM ladies.
After. Showing off our bling.
Of course I left my medal in my friend's car but she took a nice photo of both of them.
The race was 1.2 miles and I swam exactly 1.20 miles according to Garmin. Time was 38:37 for a pace of 1:50/100 yards, about my typical race pace. Kind of frustrated that I can't seem to get any faster but also kind of happy that I'm not losing speed with age so far. My swim time for Nat's. last year was 2:08/100 yards but the course was crowded, especially at the start, and I didn't go too crazy because it's a long day. Also hard to know how accurately the course was measured or how accurately I swam it, I didn't have my Garmin and there is much weaving because of the crowds. Anyway, I can expect to swim something similar this year, gives me a good idea of pacing and coming up with a race plan/goals.
Had some hill repeats later in the day. Those could maybe have gone better but in addition to being tired from the race we had some remaining haze from the zillions of wildfires out west. It wasn't horrible but it wasn't great. Thankfully only seemed to make it a bit harder to breath while running and didn't have any effects once I stopped. Some people were bothered by smoke at the race and it only just occurs to me that it could have effected my pace though I can't say that I noticed the smoke at all and the pictures aren't crazy hazy though supposedly the smoke was at its worst in the morning. Thankfully much better here today. Hopefully they'll get those fires under control soon. Not good for anybody.