I have the great fortune to be part of a really fun triathlon training group, Team Endurance Fusion. On Friday we had a Spaceballs Prediction 5K (a few of our team members registered for a virtual 5K and got cool medals, but I just ran). I wasn't sure whether to predict 34:00 or 35:00, so I split the difference and said 34:30. I ran most of the race with a team member who had predicted 33:00, and surprised myself by finishing in just over 33:00.
I wore my Enell gear for this race and even had a chance to evangelize a bit with a team member who didn't like her current sports bra. We had a fun party afterward with lots of healthy food and a dunk tank. It was too cold for me to dunk but I happily tried (and missed all my throws) to dunk another team member.
|The problem with race photos is you see the problems with your form. Look at that arm!|
|The start of the race. I am hidden behind the woman in gray.|
- To finish
- Not to puke
- Not to finish last
|Another run-form nightmare. I need to be more upright.|
I found the runs very challenging. They were only 2 miles each, but they felt long to me. I think I might have been a little sore from Friday's race, but I also was alone for most of the course because almost everyone was faster than me. I would always start to wonder if I had gone the wrong way.
The biking was better, since I am so much stronger on the bike, but there were 30 mph wind gusts and there were times when I was going into the wind and really struggling. I did manage to catch a couple of people on the bike and close the gap that had opened up during the run a bit. The first bike loop was pretty cold, but the second one was warmer. Even though the bike loops were only 6.3 miles, they felt long because of that wind.
I got lapped by the first-place man when I was finishing my second run loop. The biggest thing I had to fight was the mental challenge of feeling so far behind everyone else. It helped to know I had other team members there. There were three or four people behind me, and one was close enough to make me worry that she would pass me if I let up too much. I walked a few times because one of my feet hurt but I didn't let myself walk for very long, just a few steps.
|I wouldn't say I look happy in this finish photo, but I was relieved.|
I did, however, manage to score second place in the 45-49 women's age group, since there were only two of us (I'm 44 but I have a birthday in December, and in triathlon, you race as the age you will be on December 31).
I was so far behind the other finishers that they hadn't printed my results before handing out awards, so I had to ask for my medal. The race organizers were really nice about it. This was a tough race for me, so I think I earned it! Our team had one third-place finisher and four second-place finishers, so I think we are going to have a great season.
Will I do this race again? Maybe, especially if I can improve that pesky running form.