Monday, October 31, 2011

Rockin in St Louis

Back on the #RnR series, I picked up this race on whim. When I asked my coach if I could do it, I could hear her mind punching numbers...thinking I was crazy especially when I was planning a marathon on Nov 6. "It's possible" and that's all I need. (I think she knew I would do it anyways, just had to figure out how without getting injured.

I actually had already bought airfare and had a hotel on reserve so it was just training. I had presented this to my coach in Mid august. I'm living in Phoenix where the temps still at 5 am are 90* and she forewarned me about the double training cause this training would be during my triathlon training.

I managed to get it all down and was doing a run/walk at various time lengths due to IT band issues. So that was the plan for the race: run/walk it as I have been and if I felt that I could run the last couple of miles..DO IT.

Step back..taper week. My coach wanted the long run done on Sunday than flat out rest remainder of week. Um...yeah...My week actually went: Run Sunday, work Monday, Tuesday (13 hours cardiac RN) Wednesday (nada), Thursday work, and Friday fly to STL. Not really a taper since I've figured out that I walk 5-6 miles daily at work.

Catch an early flight out of Phoenix to St Louis and get to the hotel to sleep a bit. Did a short run in the "cold" weather and checked out the expo. A friend was suppose to be staying and racing with me but had a family emergency so it was just me this weekend.

Saturday I laid low. Had a slight cold so I was taking cold medicine, watching football, and sleeping. It was after all a vacation for me.  I got out all my race gear, laid them out, got my gear check bag situated and fell asleep.

The bonus of race times at 7:30, you don't have to get up until 6am. YES!!!! So I did, got all bundled up and walked to the starting area. I could already feel the energy. This was St Louis's 1st #RnR and they did a pretty good job.  Dropped off my stuff, ate another half banana, and found where I was suppose to be.

#RnR are a blast. Bands every mile, cheer squads, and there is always Elvis. I really enjoyed this race. I didn't like all the hills I had to conquer but I tried to keep on pace. I probably would have hit my goal had I not walked up 2 hills but I really didn't feel like dying over them. I stuck to my plan up to mile 11. I had to dig deep to keep going. Right around mile 6, I hit a mental wall of "what were you thinking". Mile 11 passed, then 12 and all I kept hearing was the "you're almost there" or "the finish line is right there"  I kept saying where, where cause I was cramping bad; luckily I ran by a med tent with salt tabs grabbed 3, downed them with a little water and pushed on.

I managed to pick up a runner who just stopped running; got him up and running to the finish line. He thanked me-I was his first half marathon. I sure hope he had a blast.

I love the #RnR series. I may run with my ipod but I still hear the bands, crowds. It's an experience that I keep coming back to.

So what's next? #RnRSV half (yeah I changed it), #RnRAZ 2012, OD in Feb, and HIM end of April.  I can't wait.

Sprint Re-cap's been awhile since I first posted the beginning of my triathlon venture. It's called life. So back to the race.

I woke up at 4:30am and I can say that I really didn't sleep well that night anyways. I was afraid that my alarm clock would fail or even worse, I would sleep through it :(  It went off and I got up; ate my normal PB and J on bagel with banana. I knew that this race I would be going all out. I had already set up my transition area the night prior and had it packed. So I grabbed my bag, bike, extra water and out the door I went. I was only 5 minutes from transition and it was a quick walk cause it was cold (for me).

True to the sport, the company around me was very helpful. I was so nervous. There were the obvious top competitors-Vineman, Oceanside and then the newbies who rolled in on the beach cuisers (that was cool). Still being dark I set up my transition area-luckily that got an end spot right on the bike out. Couldn't miss my bike. Set up, wetsuit on, and the walk to the starting line (which wasn't fun being all stony and barefooted)

Being Sept 11th, the National Anthem was sung by a military personal who was overseas during that time. Very moving and, yes, I did shed tears. As the ways started into the water, everyone got to cheer each on. When it was my turn, I knew the instant I hit the water, a toasty 68*, that my swim was going to be difficult. Treading water trying to stay warm, I couldn't keep my feet from cramping; as the gun went off, I tried to kick and all I felt was constant cramping in feet and up my calves. Welp-plan B: pull the whole way and I did. First OW and I pulled the whole way. That was an experience in itself. This, though, was the best 400 yds time that I posted to date.

Coming into T1, I was totally off balance. I had some motion sickness from the waves (dramine next time) and couldn't think. So T1 I took a little longer to recollect myself and head. Thanks to @crittermedic, @kgirltris, and @indianabackdoc, I had my bike setup all coordinated. Grabbed my bike and off I went.

Bike: Um..they will have to re-do this part. It just isn't fun to have ride over them at a 45* angle ON padding, coming down a hill,  to hopefully prevent crashes. I saw many "top" competitors walking back with their pricey bikes and many visiting the ambulance that was purposefully placed there.  Otherwise it was a good ride. There is a photo of me with "deer in headlights" look. My coach and I laughed.

Run: For me T2 was easy, drop bike and helmet, and go! And I did, at the fastest I could. This is a sprint, so you're going to push yourself. I did to a pace that I hadn't seen in a year!! :) But I felt it every step, in every breath. I walked only 2x for maybe a minute but once I crossed that finish line, I was done. Luckily, my friend @tipcan was there to rescue me and help me out.

I had a blast and plan to continue the triathlon experience. I PR'd the 5K. I will always remember this race, this day, and all the aches, pain, tears, joy that I felt. It was so worth it.

swim:400 yrd-13.18
bike-9.2 in 40 min