Saturday, April 7, 2012

Did the Du

I took it pretty easy this week though I had not intended to be quite so lazy.  Got busy (and lazy) and didn't do much the rest of the week.  Did got to a quick packet pickup yesterday afternoon.  Last night my husband challenged my son to run to the corner, then walk back into Wakoda Woods and out and then run home.  I told him I'd do it with him.  I just had on jeans, but this really isn't an excuse for the way he dropped me like a bad habit.  Now realize, though he is almost 11 (in May), he is 5'2" and 125+ pounds - not a small boy but also not particularly athletically inclined.  I was a bit impressed that he could sustain the pace and didn't seem too worse for the wear after the first run.  When he dropped me on the run back, I was surprised until I caught up and he was having a total mental meltdown with tears and the whole nine yards.  He hasn't figured out how to adjust his pace and he had psyched himself out.  He couldn't just enjoy the fact that he had smoked me, but rather he was throwing a fit (not cute at this age btw) that he couldn't just sit down (we encouraged him to walk until his heart rate came down, but the tears and snot were precluding that).  Frustrating for him and us.

We went to a long mass last night for Good Friday and came home to a pretty chill evening.  Daughter headed to grandma's for the night and we all turned in relatively early.  I slept fitfully - excited and nervous about today.  Woke up a lot to check the clock - maybe paranoid the alarm wouldn't go off?  Anyway, got up about 5:45 and dressed.  It was a tough call with the cool weather that moved in this week.  They were calling for afternoon rain, but 70° - but morning low was in the mid-40's.  I settled on my tri shorts, a tech tee, my light running jacket, some semi-disposable gloves, my lucky ear band (from XLMIC - thought I could channel my inner honey badger on those hills) and then slipped on sweatpants (way too large now, but with a drawstring good enough) to keep warm.  I was glad I had those! 

My sweetie and I kissed our son goodbye and headed to Columbia (returning briefly when he realized he didn't bring a chair to sit on while he waited for me).  We got to the site and I waited while he parked a couple blocks down.  MaxTrax Duathlon is a pretty small race, but well attended locally.  After setting up transition, getting body marked (which was silly because it was covered), and getting my timing chip - hung out for a bit.  Then went for a very short warm up run, stood in line for the portopots, tinkled a bit and headed for the starting line.

Warm and feeling strong before the start.  Sun wouldn't last. 
Ditched the pants and headband just before the start.

Listening to race instructions - not sure why I look constipated here.

Listened to the national anthem and then it was time to be off on the first 1.5 mile run loop.  The folks doing the long course were a speedy bunch and I was at the back of the pack by the time we left the parking lot.  Only folks near me were much older.  I leapfrogged with a gal that was 64 (according to her calf) and passed her just before the end of the loop.  For me, it was a solid pace - 10:42 min/mile - and there was a wicked uphill at the end.  But I managed to run (aka "jog") a good portion of the loop.  Peeled off my gloves pretty early on and stuck them in my jacket pockets.

First run loop finished...the old lady is now behind me,
but everyone else doing the long course is in front of me
Transitioned to the bike pretty quickly.  Had a sweet rack spot right next to the Bike Out/Bike In which helped.  Off to start my 2 x 7.5 mile loops.  I had looked at the elevation profile and it didn't "look" that bad.  It started out flat/downhill, but then the first uphill wasn't steep, but seemed to last a while and was just after a turn where I kind of had to slow down (though I will note here that we had AWESOME intersection support with volunteers and police).  I got up the hill and through the intersection and passed a couple people on the next downhill and got passed by the only guy who came out of transition after me.  He was obviously more of a biker than a runner.  I cranked away, but suffered on a long uphill by the fairgrounds (also not that steep but the lack of shoulder unnerved me a bit when a couple cars came kind of close).  The terrain was pretty rolling, but the uphills were longer than any momentum you built on the downhills.  There was a seriously fun long downhill on BlueRidge, but then you had to slow to turn and then climb Derby Ridge. 

That last hill was tough, but you knew at the top you'd get a glimpse of your cheering section.  I was seriously annoyed that I had been slightly talked into doing the long course at this point.  I really didn't want to do the bike loop again.  But I got a couple drinks on the flat/downhill and kept pedaling away.  Husband missed getting a pic on my bike.  It was awesome having him there to cheer for me though - he wore this crazy bright carhartt (safety orange) sweatshirt so I could see him 3 blocks away.  The second loop went about like the first on the bike.  My knees were getting cold, but otherwise everything felt ok.  I did notice just before the 2nd to last turn that I had dropped a glove on the first bike loop - mental note to pick it up afterwards.  Fifteen miles on bike = 1:07:30 = avg pace 13.3 mph (solid for me!).

As I came in from the bike, I was dreading the run.  I was getting pretty tired and sore and my legs felt gooey as I unclipped and prepared to dismount.  I stopped and couldn't get my leg to lift over the bike.  I didn't fall though I felt like I could have.  I tried to jog out of transition, but my legs wouldn't heed the command.  I was hurting and nearly wanted to cry thinking about having 3 more miles to do (with a big uphill in the middle and end).  I walked out of the parking lot and the volunteers are trying to cheer me on with "You're almost done" and I said "No - two laps to go - UGH!"

At the first turn, it started to sprinkle.  I tried to jog down the hill.  Sometimes my legs would cooperate and sometimes they wouldn't.  As I turned back to the west, the sky was getting dark.  I tried to pick up the pace again, but my legs wanted nothing of it.  Got to the top of the hill and was so glad to be starting the 2nd lap and it helped to have my husband cheer me on.  But 1.5 mi in 21:06 min was nothing to be that proud of.  Man, why didn't I do the short course??  I'd be long done by now!!  SHIT!!  Thanked the volunteers as I went and felt bad that they were still standing there waiting for me and a couple others to finish as it really started to RAIN.  Now I really, really wanted to be done.  So I counted mailboxes - jogging four or five at a time and then walking a couple.  Spelling out "M-A-I-L-B-O-X" with my left footfall to make it go by.  Then spelling out the number too (O-N-E, M-A-I-L-B-O-X).  Anything to get my mind off the fact that I was now getting pretty wet and pretty cold and my ass was hurting on both sides (usually it is just the RAC).

Saw my husband get up to cheer me in.  He was a trooper of a spectator - already moving the truck closer to us and loading up his chair to get it out of the now pouring rain.  Finished a little stronger on the 2nd loop (probaby due to wanting to get out of the rain) = 19:19 for the 1.5 mi (better pace for me). 

Really ready for this to be over and fighting to finish in the rain.
Slogged my way through the finish chute as they were calling out the award ceremony.  Grabbed my cool Maxtrax pint glass and caught my breath as I talked to my husband.  Final time for the 19.5 miles was 2:06:22 - within a few minutes of my guess.  Ended 120/121 for long course folks (held off the 64 year old woman!) and 8/8 in my age group.  But I finished.

The slump of my shoulders is indicative of how I was feeling here. 
Didn't know husband was taking this shot or I'd have tried to fake a better finish smile. 
The gal to my right was racked near me at the Show Me Games last year
and commented that I was "shrinking".  So nice of her to say!
They were dismantling the transition area quickly due to the rain so my bike was laying over there so we got that and headed back across so I could get a couple slices of pizza.  What sounded good as I started out on the run (jealous to watch folks eating it when I was facing the 3 mi death march), didn't so much when I got it.  I nibbled on one piece and shared most of the other with my sweet husband.  We loaded up and headed out - as I just got colder as I stood there in the rain.  He fired up the heater and we went back to pick up my glove.  Then headed out so he could get some lunch as he had failed to pack food for himself.

Stopped in at Culvers and I still didn't feel like eating much, but did have a little ice cream and take a quick pit stop before we went home.  The truck heater finally defrosted and dried out my feet by the time we got back, but the hot shower was nice too. 

Had a pretty lazy afternoon with some foam rolling, resting in the recliner and reading of "Iron War".  Never took a nap that I had hoped to, but such is life.  Tomorrow we'll do all the Easter stuff with the in-laws.  Luckily that is just across the street and all I have to do is throw together a 7 layer salad.  I think my lettuce wilted all up so I need to pick up some more after mass tomorrow.  Will leave you with a little shot my husband and daughter set up to celebrate:

(Colored actual eggs by kiddos, pretty and yummy cookies from neighbor)


  1. Racing in the rain and cold is tough, and being near or at the back of the pack is even tougher, but never mind that. You finished. You might not see it now, but you've made a huge step forward in mental toughness. This is all good.

  2. Solid race, solid day. Well done.

  3. You did it!!!! So awesome...and I know that hot shower was the best part :)

  4. Great job and really cool someone mentioned you are shrinking! Kudos to your husband too for being such a great fan.

    Don't count those 60+ year olds out. If they are out there doing it, they are no slouches. I've been passed by my fair share (I realize you didn't get passed). Anyway, way to go!

  5. Congratulations on the race! I know the feeling of kicking yourself for your choices...last weekend I was heartily regretting doing the biathlon instead of the trail run. But you know I'm a big believer in stretching your boundaries and pushing yourself, and you definitely did that here. Way to go!!

  6. What a great way to start the weekend - nice job!

  7. I am so proud of you! You did great!

    Happy Easter!

  8. Looks chilly but you did it! Way to go!

  9. Says you, you put in a solid and consistent effort in crappy weather. That's both great and all you can ask for. Well done!

  10. Congrats on the race!! And in tough condition on top of it

  11. Wow, great job! What an accomplishment!

  12. I'm late reading this. (Catching up on blogs now.) You did amazing. In some ways, it's much harder to be towards the back. The point is, you finished. You persevered, and you got through it, when it would have been so much easier to quit. Awesome!