Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Boulder Triathlon Club Running Race at 5400 feet

Our race prep wasn’t exactly what I would refer to ideal, however, this wasn’t really an important race so that didn’t really matter.

To demonstrate how relaxed it was, we drank beers the night before, stayed up late and were late to wake. I woke up about 20 minutes before we got in the car and only 50 minutes before race start. Some people like my brother may think this is ideal, however, I’m usually up hours before a race.

Weather was amazing for the race. It wasn’t the sunniest, however, it was probably 10*C, I’m happy with that. Starting off the race, Will and I didn’t know which race we were going to do, 10k or 10 mile. We decided to go with it and see how we felt (in retrospect probably a bad idea).

The gun or loud shout as it was went off and we started up at a staggering jog. It was really strange. Since this wasn’t a real race and everyone was doing different distances people were pretty relaxed. After 1mile Will and I were in the lead and people around us were all talking.

Almost immediately I could feel the altitude, but it wasn’t anything like I expected. I was expecting to feel really winded with led in my feet. This wasn’t the case at all, however, the air simply felt different. You could tell when you breathed hard that it was lighter. When running hard at sea level I can feel the resistance of the air traveling through your windpipe, and during this race it felt like it was just slipping by. It was similar to really cold air sometimes or helium. Helium probably being the more accurate description, and the cold sensation was probably due to the lowered atmospheric pressure therefore more evaporation from my lungs.

Will and I settled into a pretty easy pace with the leaders (unable to take off because we didn’t really know where we were going) who eventually upped their pace to a harder run (I think our first mile was something like 8 minutes [slow]). Once we picked up the pace this is when the elevation really hit me. I noticed I was perfectly comfortable running at 4:30/km pace, but everytime I tried to up my speed it felt like I was at the finishing kick of an 800 meter.

At ~ 5km there was an aid station and this is where the 10km/10mile route split. I was struggling a bit at this time and when Will turned around to ask me which way I sputtered something along the lines of 10k. Then we did something funny (I would never normally take water during a 10k) but the aid station was at the split point and we decided to take 20-30 seconds just chilling at the water station drinking a full cup and then I took a gel which I never intended to eat and continued on our way. During this little rest a runner also doing the 10k passed us and Will took off after him. I was thinking I would be more conservative and bridge the gap over the next 1-2 km.

Either they picked up the pace or I just had nothing left. I kept bridging up to the mystery runner, but only once began to close the gap on Will but he started to pull it away again. The mystery runner and I traded off second and third and he eventually ended up beating me in the last mile, I remember trying to pick up the pace for my typical 1 mile kick into the finish and I made it about 300 meters before I had to slow right down. Will commented saying he felt the same thing.

All in all it was a fun time. Despite the slow start and lengthy aid station and a slight slow down due to getting lost Will won the 10k in 41:11 and I finished third a distant 42:42.

Kelly and Angela also ran the 10k, Kelly breaking 1 hour for the first time ever. I’m not sure exactly what their times were because the times were never really posted.

The race was followed up with a trip to a Mexican restaurant where we saw this sweet car,

 then we walked along 16th avenue Mall in Boulder. In the Volcom store I saw an awesome hat, but they all agreed I shouldn’t buy it. Too bad, I think it could have worked with my shirt (I’m kdding)

Here I also saw Barack Obama!

And checked out a bike shop where I tried out the Felt DA TT bike. It was pretty nice, unfortunately I didn’t leave the shop, I was just up on a trainer, I’ll have to find one in Vancouver to try out. That was unfortunately the only bike I tried.

We returned to Kellys where her mom made us some awesome Chicken with all the fixings and we watched the Oscars. All in all I wasn’t too surprised with an of the results of the night.

We concluded the night with some drinking games and cards mixed in with some billiards and music. 

 All in all, a good time. 


RunningLaur said...

What a cool race, it sounds so fun to do a race with friends and just play it by ear.

cts said...

thanks for the email, i finally got to it. boulder sounds amazing too, and although australia's been unreal i do miss the snow

Tanis said...

You were getting into real nerd territory when you started talking about atmospheric pressure and air evaporating in your lungs.... watch it. Also, you talk about your clothes a lot... just think about it. I love you!

Ulyana said...

I'm planning to run a marthon in Fort Collins after training in San Diego!!!! Oh no!!! But I'll come probably two weeks before the race and bum around at my friend's. We wanna go check out Boulder and just go hike in the mountains... should be enough time to get used to the high elevation! Yours is a great time, btw, without getting used to the elevation! During my first time in Colorodo, I had a problem continuously running!

Anonymous said...

I took that picture of you and embarrassing...just kidding. I'm glad you had fun. I had fun. And for the record, my time was 59:14. YES.

Nice blog.


holly said...

Hi Vincent! Sorry for the delay on this:)

Let me know when you've posted so I can see your answers.

Interview Questions:

1.) What injury do you fear most? Why?
2.) If you could only do one sport for an entire summer, which would you choose? Why?
3.) Christina Aguilera or Britney Spears? Why?
4.) What is the best piece of advice you have been given since you started competing? Why?
5.) If you could visit anywhere in the world, where would you choose? Why?
To play along:
1. Leave me a comment saying, "Interview me."
2. I will respond by giving you five questions. (I get to pick the questions.)
3. You will update your blog with the answers to the questions.
4. You will include this explanation and an offer to interview others in the same post.
5. When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions.