Thursday, September 3, 2015

RUN ONE Race Report

I was SUPER excited when I heard there was a one mile race coming to Houston!

I mean, I wanted to work on speed, perfect.  It is hot as blazes out side and I can't run far without walking, so one mile = perfect.  It had great swag (tech SINGLET, medal, beer) = PERFECT!  I was totally in from the beginning and I even convinced Preston and Grasshopper to run it with me.

I didn't count on it being the Sunday after we got home Thursday from vacation so I hadn't run in 2 weeks, but you can't win them all.

We left our house at 5:45 to swing by Grasshopper's at 6:15.  Parking was easy and we were resting on a park bench by 6:35 for a 7:15 start.  There was a (lack of) toilet paper issue in the portacans, but otherwise the waiting was pleasant.

We lined up at the start and checked the weather.  72 degrees with 85% humidity.  Hot but tolerable.  And off we went.

Preston and I were running next to each other in the beginning and I told him that my goal for the race was to get to just under vomit-level and then hold it, and that is EXACTLY what I did.  He dropped me around a quarter mile in, but I kept sight of him for the whole race.

I loved the quarter mile markers, by the way.  Very helpful for pacing.

First quarter I think I went hard.  Second quarter I was trying to hold it.  Third quarter I started really struggling and at one point thought, ok, slow down a bit or you're going to have to walk or vomit, so I did.  Fourth quarter I knew I was home and I pushed as hard as I could, but I had basically no kick, which for me is good because I left it ALL out on the course. 

Once I was done I grabbed my medal and started walking it off.  I truly did feel like vomiting for at least 15 more minutes.  I headed back a little ways so that I could yell for Grasshopper when she came in.

Final time: 9:14.4.  I will admit - I was really really hoping for sub-9.  BUT I am pleased that I went hard and left it all out there.  You can't really be disappointed when you give it all you have.  This is a good benchmark for where I am as the weather starts turning and I start focusing on speed.  My splits were, shockingly, 4:35.6 and 4:38.7.  I really thought that the second half would have been much slower than my first, so again I'm super pleased with that.  It is fairly even pacing and it shows that I didn't slow as much as I thought I did when I started to struggle.  Also I was 37th overall (of the non-elite wave) out of 104, so that was cool!

I was pretty miffed at Preston's "natural talent" read: long legs.  He ran an 8:33 on absolutely zero training, the punk.

And Grasshopper was thrilled by a sub-13 time and no walking, so everyone came away pleased!

Nice banana, cup of breakfast mash from My Fit Foods, water, and we were off home by 8.  Another excellent benefit of such a short race!  This one's definitely going to go on my annual list!

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Tri Aggieland Relay Race Report

My sister-in-law is an Aggie and she pointed out this race to me.  The timing coincided with when my husband got a new bike and the idea for a relay was born.  SIL and I went back and forth for months about who would swim and who would run, she finally decided to take the swim about a month ago.  She also got one of her friends to let us spend the night at their home in College Station, saving us a long morning drive or hotel money, yay!

We paid extra for race day packet pick-up and arrived right at 6 when that was supposed to open.  There was already quite a line and it was moving at a snail's pace to the extent that we were becoming worried that we'd miss the mandatory 6:45 relay team meeting.  We almost did because they changed the announced location at the last minute (to somewhere way louder, no idea why) and no volunteers seemed to know where we should be.  The whole thing only took a few minutes though and essentially was to tell us to stay out of the way and who would wear what body markings.

The swim took place in A&M's natatorium, which is NIIIIIICE.  It was pretty neat because we were able to go into the spectator seats to watch the invitational racers swim.  Then SIL headed down for the swim.  They did a snake course through 8 lanes for 400 m, starting one swimmer every 10 seconds.

I will say this: they asked for your anticipated swim time when you signed up, but honestly, this is a very beginner friendly tri, and I don't think it is reasonable to ask that question of most beginners who probably have no clue.  And that was very apparent with the differing speeds in the water.  The good news is that passing seemed to go well.

My SIL struggled with the swim.  It was her first tri experience and talking to her afterwards, she had a classic tri panic attack.  She is a good swimmer, and has been a lifeguard for YEARS.  I am proud of her because she demonstrated excellent judgment by choosing to switch first to breaststroke to keep her head out of the water and finally to swimming on her back to stay safe.  She was upset at how slow she went and that it happened at all, but she demonstrated and modeled excellent judgment!  I told her never to feel bad about that - I honestly panic a little at every triathlon I do during the swim start - there is something that is just very different about it than regular swimming.  Next time (and I hope there IS a next time) she'll know to expect it and be able to handle it better.

It took her about 15 minutes but she made it through and then she was out to transition to hand off the chip to Preston!

I didn't get to see him start because I stayed to see her finish and then texted the family to look out for her.  Then I headed by the lovely indoor restroom and then outside, where I hung out with everyone while waiting for Preston to bike.  I kept track of him on Find My iPhone, so when I guesstimated he had about 10 minutes left, I headed into transition.

I felt kind of goofy standing around transition while everyone came and went around me, but it was what it was.  I finally saw him and he came slogging towards me and when he was close I knelt down and transferred the chip from his ankle to mine and I was off!

I must say it was nice to start the run on a tri NOT feeling the bike bricks in my legs!  But it was HOT hot.  It was pretty evident even from the beginning that it was going to be a survival style run.  It was a two loop course.  I really liked that because on the second loop I had a really good feel for good landmarks to run to/walk to because that was how I was doing it - run to that tree, walk to that corner, etc.  They had a bridge you had to run under and there were kids down there who would shoot you with water cannons to cool you down - LOVED IT!  With all the heat and the walking, I ended up being quite pleased with the 32:52 run that I turned in.

Finally came into the finish and collected my medal AND my water bottle AND my finisher's shirt.  GREAT SWAG!!  Nice finish party too with beer and snow cones.  We ended up being the 7th relay team out of 8, but hey, we had a great time!

All in all, great race other than the heat and the swim start!  Would totally do it again!  And good first (tri) relay experience.  I'll do that again too!