Sunday, April 17, 2011
Well I knew when I woke up I was dehydrated from yesterday. I made sure to push liquid today. I had picked up some onion mix and roasted some red potatoes with it. Had an vegan/gf waffle with applesauce at breakfast. I knew I would be splurging at dinner to celebrate my race yesterday, but I did not finish my meal (pat on the back) and it was not too bad.
I was relieved that my knee didn't feel a bit tweaked this morning. It did feel a bit like that at bedtime. I was very wiped out at bedtime last night, so I hit the hay early. My quads still feel heavy. Hoping to feel up to something tomorrow and think about what to plan for next.
Saturday, April 16, 2011
I had been looking at this event last year, thinking how cool it would be to challenge myself in a different way. When I was in the midst of testing my knee and easing back in to running, I would be up for a 10k. I couldn't find one the exact weekend I was due to run one (and I can tend to be impatient about this aspect of planning my races)...and since I had wanted to try this out (and had biked at a good clip while watching TBL), I signed myself up. Whether or not the race would happen was up in the air yesterday until I got the email around 2:30p. The race was on, regardless of the weather. I had biked in wind (not too many times but I had done it on my good friend's bike this past week and would be racing with it). I had run in rain. Even cold rain. I had not biked in the rain.
While I didn't sleep solid through the night, I'd say I did okay all thing's considered. I did feel like I stress snacked late yesterday, so I only nibbled on a Lara Bar before the race (vegan and GF!). I chugged coffee, which is the usual. I wasn't sure what I'd want to do for what to wear. Would you believe I almost forgot my knee brace? Running 2 legs and no brace? That would have gone over like a ton of bricks! I put the brace on when I got dressed so it was in place. I wore tri shorts, my fave running tank with a long sleeved performance shirt over top. I brought dry clothes (knowing I'd want them so badly when it was over) and had put a pair of running tights in. Well, after a jaunt over to check in and marking...I knew I needed those tights for the race. I sat in the car, listening to the wind and the rain picking up. Sighing inside, but knowing I was going to do this. No matter what. I slipped on the tights and was also relieved I had the common sense to bring my freebie running gloves (thank you Frederick Running Fesitval goodie bag) and my son's winter cap (over top of my running visor).
I waited until the last possible moment to go out for the pre-race meeting and it wasn't as terrible as I anticipated. I stayed towards the back of the pack so I wouldn't feel that I was impeding faster runner's. I knew I wasn't allowed to have music, which was a bummer but I accepted it a while ago. The entire thing was based out of a local park, with all of our running along paths within the park. We headed out and I kept my focus on my breathing. In and out for 4. I'm kinda loud with the breathing out part but it works and I have to say helps overall. So just pray I don't spit on you if we run together ;) Anywho...I felt I was going at a good clip but had no idea (chip timed but no time clock when I finished running the first leg (that was visible)). I opted not to wear the Garmin because it wouldn't be accurate for the biking leg (I am not set up to use it for this type of distance yet)...and with the weather. I just opted to keep it dry and that was fine. The first leg felt fine and I eased into the transition area.
I was one of the last few with a bike left in transition, but that did not bother me. I was careful and steady (except for putting on a glove upside down so that took a little extra time to fix). I went to the mount area and waited to be told it was okay to get on the bike and go. From the start of the biking leg, I felt like a wind whipped puddle. I kept my cool and pressed on. The course was well marked. There were some moments where the wind whipped pretty hard and I slowed my speed to ensure I had full control if the bike decided to go over. Thankfully that never happened. I did pass a few folks along the way when I felt ready. There were a few challenging hills, but thankfully they did not last too long.
I was relieved to be back in transition. The winter cap and gloves for the first leg were soaked and not worth a lick, so I left them and kept the biking gloves on. When I headed out for the 5k, my legs felt heavy and numb. I spotted the clock and it said 1:11 (and some seconds), so I knew how long the two legs took me, but not how long each leg took thus far. But I made note of the time for my return. I definitely felt like I didn't have much to give...but my spiritual side kicked in and guided me through it. I immediately kicked in to controlling my breathing and putting focus on it and that helped a good deal. I took in some clif chews. I didn't drink water on the bike because I had to focus on staying in control of it all, but I did take full advantage of all water stops on the running legs. So back to the 2nd running leg. It took me a good .25 to .50 mile to feel like there was less lead in my legs.
Once I finished the out and back segment and got back onto the trail, I was ready to use up all that I had energy wise. I was ready to finish. But I was not going to look like I was dragging myself there. No way! Chin up and focus hard! I felt strong and I was happy with my running. I made my way through the path and up the hill to the finish straightaway. Again, I saw the clock...but I needed to see the full results to know how my running vs. biking was overall. As Mel (MJGARVI) told me, I'd PR it anyway because it was my first time. Nothing but the truth there! My finish time was 1:45:25.0. Based on this, I knew for sure that my 5k was 34 and change. THAT for sure was a 5k PR for me. But I still did not know my pace on the first leg (~2 miles). So without further ado (and grateful they were prompt to post the results):
Leg 1: 20:51
Leg 1 pace: 10:59
Leg 2: 46:48
Leg 2 pace: 12.8
Leg 3: 34:15
Leg 3 pace: 11:02
I am TOTALLY psyched with my pace. For me, it was very solid on the running and fairly consistent. Even after a 10 mile bike.
After the finish, I headed to the pavillion for the awards ceremony. I knew I was not first or last. I grabbed a half banana and an orange slice. I was not having the complimentary bagel wedge, and that was okay. I clapped for all the finishers. I was wondering why they didn't announce the 3rd person for my age group. But I also knew they were hustling to gather up the results. I didn't think much of it per se because of my time overall. So when they posted the results...GUESS WHAT?
I placed THIRD overall in my age group!
I'm pretty stoked. My first placing in an age group for any of the races I have done. And I am very happy with my running pace. So even if the rain and wind are whipping around, I'm a duathalon girl!
Sunday, April 03, 2011
I guess you could say that, in many respects, I don't know how I could define my comfort zones. Especially when it comes to my health and fitness. If anyone truly knows me well, then they know they cannot tell me I can't do something. I might not be an expert or be the fastest or what have you...but when it comes to our fitness and our health...we hold he winning ticket. Whatever value it is...no one person (except ourselves) can define it.
I've never cared, even when I was heavier, what people thought of me. Of my hair, my makeup, my clothes. I was not a follower. I was Julie. If you don't mind me getting spiritual, then I can say there is only one person who's opinion of me really matters. I thank Him every day and find the good or better side of things instead of becoming consumed. Now that I have digressed, I will get back to my point. When I finally said 'Julie...the kids are getting older and faster...you want them to be healthy...so you should be healthy. Feel good physically and feel capable of whatever may be. You have immediate family with health issues and if you don't take care of yourself then it will be the same for you.' I knew one thing...I did not want any of the negative health effects.
Just a couple months into my 'done girl' progress, I went for a jog. I hadn't even officially run the local 5k but I knew my pace. So when an old friend told me about the Marine Corps Marathon...I did not think 'man I have never run a marathon before'. Instead, I thought 'hey my pace meets the minimum and training would keep me committed to my fitness goals...why not?' I did not think about pain, or inexperience, or anything negative that would allow me to talk myself out of it. I had discomfort during my training, but I'm still here :) I wasn't the first to cross the finish line and I wasn't the last one either.
And coming back from injury, I thought to myself 'okay you want to ramp back up smart...fine...but what are your options?' With each distance, I figured I would sign up for an event. I would ease back in to stay healthy. So in a separate workout I had biked 10 miles on a stationary bike and I knew I was part of the way through my 10k training. So wouldn't a duathalon be a natural choice? Not really! LOL. But it's all about leaving your comfort zone. Yes, I've fought the mental and worked my way through runs. But I was surprised at how I had to dig deep and do the same tonight. And I did. And I made it. I don't know what duathalon day will hold. But I feel ready for whatever it is. I will start and I will finish.
Don't wait to prove yourself. Make it happen because you want it. Believe in yourself. You might still not believe what you accomplished when the event has come and gone...but you'll have that bling and race fodder to prove it (and maybe some pictures too!).
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