This weekend I ran a 5k on Saturday and did a sprint triathlon on Sunday, 400 meter swim, 10 mile bike, and 3 mile run. My first ever twofer weekend.
Race For The Cure is a huge event. Something like 40,000 people participate in the run/walk. Most of them are just out for a casual stroll to support the cause of finding a cure for breast cancer. Only 1172 participants wore timing tags. Of those I finished 24th overall and 1st in my age group. God is good. The weather was picture perfect for a 5k race. My strategy for this race was to run like hell right from the start and not slow down, no matter what. Do not slow down! Do not slow down! Shorten the stride keep the cadence high. The first mile included a nice little upward incline and my time surprised me, 6:03. I didn’t think I was running that kind of pace. Ok, no stinkin thinkin right? So I’m not going to think about the likelihood of me being able to run a 6:03 for the next two miles. I will not make the conscious decision to slow down.
“Kirk to engineering!! I need more power Scotty!!!! We need warp drive now!!!!!
I’m giving it all she’s got Captain it can’t take much more of this or the dilithium crystals will not hold up!!!”
If I slow down it will just be a matter of the dilithium crystals not holding up, but I’m keeping the pedal to the metal regardless. Mile 2 time 6:22. Ok, enough slacking, only 1.1 miles to go time to get the lead out. Pushing as hard as I can. I’m passing people. I can see the turn to New York Street and the finish. What I didn’t ever see was the 3 mile marker. My time for the last 1.1 mile 7:03. I’m guessing my last mile was somewhere between 6:20 and 6:30. Total time 19:28, a new PR, pretty happy about that. Praise God! It’s never too late, even an old guy like me can get faster. Heck, the guy who finished 2nd overall is 50 years old, he ran a 16:41. Ok nothing to do now but go home, mow the lawn, and recover for the tri on Sunday.
Accuweather was predicting the low temperature Sunday morning would be 31 degrees. I don’t ride my bike when it’s cold out. Not only would I be riding my bike in the cold, but to make it all the more thrilling I would first be dipping myself in water for about 10 minutes. My strategy for this event was to swim as fast as I can, ride as fast as I can, and run as fast as I can, but don’t worry about the transitions. I hadn’t had time to practice transitions and I’ve never done a tri in cold weather where I actually had to put clothes on so no sense in worrying about it. Just do what I can. Since I don’t ride in cold weather I don’t have any appropriate cold weather riding gear. The best I could do was the green pullover from the Tecumseh Trail Marathon. It’s a little loose and would flap in the breeze, but it stops the wind and keeps the heat in.
My bike and gear.
When I arrived at the transition area, my rack was nearly full already and I guess those who had already racked their bikes didn’t think anyone else was coming because some of them were taking up way too much space. Must have been a rack full of rookies, because all the bikes were facing out the same side rather than every other facing the opposite direction. I managed to squeeze my stuff in place and headed inside for some warmth.
I saw quite a few familiar faces but I don’t really know most of them. I did run into Cindy, one of the girls from my mini training group. I also ran into my co-worker Jason. We are going to China together on Wednesday. We are planning to run through Beijing, The Forbidden City, Tiananmen Square, etc. Jason is responsible for getting me in this mess. Grrrr! As we are waiting to get in the pool I’m so nervous/excited I was sure I would throw up. Once I hit the water though it’s time to get busy. I went out pretty fast and after about 150 meters I switch to breast stroke. I then alternate between freestyle and breast stroke for the rest of the swim. I finish the swim in 9:51 which is pretty good for me, but is pathetically slow compared to others. I really need to get some professional help for the swim. I exit the pool a little winded. I
Jason and I waiting for the show to start.
start jogging out the door and whoa, it’s cold out here and I’m soaking wet and half-naked. I run as fast as I can barefoot through the parking lot to my bike. I remembered to bring an extra towel to dry off a bit. I pull on a long sleeve shirt, the Tecumseh wind breaker, gloves, helmet, sunglasses, and cycling shoes. I run for the exit finally. It’s a pretty slow transition at 3:30, but not worried about it. The bike ride was somewhat smooth. The course was a little more hilly than I thought it would be. I went into one of the roundabouts a little too fast and thought I might not make it out on two wheels. The hairpin turn on 111th street was pretty tricky. I averaged 19.3 mph, which isn’t too bad considering the ten miles of this race nearly doubled my mileage for the year. The road leading to the dismount had a couple nasty speed bumps so I didn’t attempt to slip my feet out of the shoes while riding. This transition was a little better. I only had to ditch my gloves, helmet, sunglasses, wind breaker and change shoes. 1:50, much better, but not great. It was not nearly as cold as I had feared it would be. I probably would have been fine without the wind breaker.
For the first half mile of the run my right knee and toes were pretty sore. Not sure why the toes were sore, cold I guess. My legs of course felt like sacks of cement. About a mile into the run I realized I forgot to grab my number belt. Too late to worry about it now. I never felt as though I was moving very fast, but I was breathing hard the whole way. The legs wanted to slow down, but that just wasn’t going to happen. Very happy to see the 2 mile sign. Just a mile to go. I finish the 3 miles in 20 minutes (6:26 per mile). My run time was 40th out of 672. I can’t complain about that.
My total time was 1:06:19, 103rd of 672, 15th of 55 in my age group. Not bad for an early season effort. As I said I’m going to China on Wednesday, returning on April 30th. I think my next race will be Run With The Foxes Trail Half Marathon on May 15th. Then I’m doing the Buffalo Marathon on May 30th. Run Happy!