Ah...let's see. The race. Shall we talk about the race?
Sunday was the first race of the season. I was excited. Nervous. But more so stupid excited. I didn't realize how much I missed lining up at the butt-crack of dawn to run/bike/swim or any of the above. I LOVE tethering my bike to the roof when it's dark and setting up transition when the light is peeping out.
Anyway, the race. So I went in with some expectations. And, in my typical fashion, I had reasonable ones that I shared with everyone and patently unreasonable ones I kept tucked under a fold of my heart, out of sight. It's the later that usually makes me cry after races. It's all good. I wouldn't trade the secret goals for anything, even when they mean a few tears.
But I'm getting ahead of myself, no?
The night before I was UNCHARACTERISTICALLY organized and together. No, seriously folks. I had my bags packed, bike de-wheeled and waiting by the door, b'fast made in advance, and directions written out for me AND Mighty M. I even had his camera ready. All by 8:00.
I know. It was like aliens had inhabited my body and brought good judgment and forethought with them.
(Don't worry, they have since left.)
So Sunday brought an excellent night of sleep, totally organized little Able and THANKFULLY no rain. Cause there had been rain in the forecast and there had been rain on the streets when I woke and there had been a fear that I wouldn't be able to stop my bike on my new tires in the rain. Apparently, no worries.
The duathlon was held at Hibernia Park, a mere 20 minutes from my house. Which meant time for coffee. Which brings up this important question -- how come the Dunkin Donuts on Rt. 30 cannot EVER seem to make my coffee right on race day?? Huh?? (Which, of course, begs the question of why I keep going back there on race day. I guess it's my faith in humanity. Or something like that.)
Mighty M joined me a little later (I graciously let him sleep in) and we got the transition set up properly, met some fellow racers, and M and I did a warmup together.
(As a total aside, Mighty M is getting back into running. NO JOKE. He is hell bent in not doing it even close to the way I would (do), instead opting for the purist route. Did he buy a new outfit? No. Did he use it as a reason to upgrade his shoes? No. Does he even write down his training? NO! He doesn't even keep track! I know. Blasphemy. But he just wants to run. Damnable purists.)
By the time we lined up for the race I was super excited and just happy to be there. HAPPY TO BE THERE. Take that, life!
First 5K went totally fine. Took me a little while to get my heart rate down to something resembling normal, but the route was through some wooded areas and the first half was soft dirt, a godsend for my knees.
Transition was totally uneventful and lots of fun. Michael was right there chatting with me, taking pictures. He's a peach, you know. I love seeing him when I race -- keeps me centered.
I mounted without any embarrassing falls (WHEW!) and hit the road. And, may I remind you, this was my first time with the bike out on the road.
Just love my new bike. A little squirrely, yes. MUCH lighter, yes. Totally different experience, yes. Best way to spend money I didn't have? Totally.
The ride was uneventful and I had a smile plastered all over my face the whole time. Talked to volunteers, talked to fellow riders, was a wee bit surprised at the hills, and generally had fun.
And a note about the hills. I had a little edumacation this weekend. Here it is: 700 miles on the trainer in the basement is NOT a viable replacement for training outside, on the hills. I was under the illusion that my intervals downstairs would get me up and over these little nuggets with ease. Ain't happenin'. No way.
In order to do well on hills, you have to ride hills. Period.
Excellent lesson, no? I thought so, too.
Okay, back to the Race. Came into T2 well over my estimated time, so I knew I was blown. I was happy with the bike, but my mph was seriously lower than I had hoped for. (You know, those hopes tucked up in hiding.) But, I was ready for the last leg of the race.
Or so I thought.
About 100 yards into the second run my left leg started barking at me. YES, YOU HEARD RIGHT. LEG. NOT KNEE. LEG.
My knee (outside and underneath), the outside of my leg, my butt, and the top of my hamstring. A chorus of pain. Screaming at me from below the border.
Knowing my finishing time was already blown, I decided to just run through it and get to the finish line. And I did. There was much more walking than I ever do, and some bad words. And lots of frustration.
But I finished. I hobble/ran across the finish line in 2:19. Not my best performance by far. But, as I later realized after much drama, it was fine for the beginning of the season. I have lots of room to grow this year and I'm not going to reach my goals in April.
Right now, I'm sore but my head is in a good place. I have an appointment with an ART therapist next week to literally pay for pain. I'm hoping she'll be able to help me with this so I can keep plugging along.
In the mean time, I have a race to look forward to in under a month. Another one, I know. I'm spoiled.
And it's a half.
And it's flat.
I know you're jealous.
It's okay, I'm used to it.