Sunday, July 28, 2013

The Tri Doc Wacky Costume 5k - 2013

Well, I certainly wasn’t planning on doing another 5k race so soon after the last one (one week later), but if the schedule allows and there’s a race, why not?

One of my former high school classmates also happens to be a chiropractor who I happen to go to for Active Release Therapy and Graston when I need it.  He is also an Ironman triathlete, so he understands the injuries and tightness we have and he fixes it so you can get back to training.  I had seen him post on Facebook that he was hosting a 5k race.  And not just an ordinary 5k race.  It was a Wacky Costume 5K Race.  You had to wear AND race in a costume, or you got 5 minutes added to your time.

My schedule was free and I hoped, once again, that maybe it might be a small race and I might be able to place, so I signed up.  And then I raided the Halloween box to find something to wear.  Because there was absolutely, no way I was getting 5 minutes added to my time.  I needed all the help I could get.  I finally decided I would wear my red Nike shorts, a red tank top and the devil ears and tail I had.  I also had a pitchfork that I would carry.  Me being a devil.  Not really out of the ordinary. 

Unlike last week, today was muggy.  The temps weren’t bad, but the humidity was.  When I showed up for the race, there were some pretty good costumes.  I was glad I wasn’t the only one in a costume, but kind of wished I had put more effort into it now.  Oh well.  I would be spared the extra 5 minutes and that’s all that matters.

And I picked right this time.  It WAS a small race.  Maybe 30-40 participants total.  Surely I had a shot.  Although there were some fast looking women, and again, no age on the leg to tell me what age group they were in (I knew there was a reason I like triathlons).

As the horn blew for us to start running, we took off.  For a while, the race organizer, another woman and myself were running in a pack.  We were doing well, but I could tell the humidity was getting to me.  This course was run on a paved trail in a park and was an out and back.  This would give me a good chance to see who was ahead of me.  There weren’t many, but I didn’t know exactly how many.

Since it was such a small race, there were no mile markers, but when I heard my garmin beep that we had been a mile I glanced at the watch and saw 8:30.  Not bad.  Not as good as last week, but not bad. 

I started to see the lead runner on the way back.  I looked for costumes and bibs and counted.  If I was right, I would be placing.  It was just a matter now of where.  I rounded the turnaround point and headed back to the finish line. 

The little pack we started with had broken up now.  The race organizer had pulled ahead and then I pulled in front of the other lady.  I could feel her on my heels though.  Not knowing her age, I did everything I could to keep her from passing me.  I even sprinted at the end.  Turns out I didn’t really need to as she wasn’t in my age group.  Oh well.

I crossed the finish line in 26:44, just a little bit slower than last week.  I waited around for the awards and was actually surprised to learn that I got FIRST place in my age group.  Out of seven. But I was first.  I was a very happy devil!

Ants in Your Pants 5k - 2013

I didn’t really have many races on the spring schedule, but when I heard about the Ants In Your Pants 5K, I thought I should do it for multiple reasons.   The first reason to do the race was that it was being put on by a local elementary school and all of the proceeds went to benefit their PTO.  When my kids were in elementary school (gosh, that seems like ages ago), I was on the PTO.  I know how much money the schools DON’T have.  It seemed like a good cause.

The second reason to do the race was that it was really close to my house.  I thought about running there as a warm up on race day, that’s how close it is.  And the final reason is that selfishly I hoped that word had not gotten out about the race and that I might actually have a chance of placing in my age group.

Running a race in May in Texas is almost guaranteed to be hot.  It’s a no brainer to get up, throw on some shorts and a tank and go race.  Well, normally.  Not this morning.  When I woke up this morning, the temps were in the 40s.  In May.  Wow.  What to wear?

The wind was also blowing, so I decide to wear shorts with my tank and then throw a long sleeved dri-fit over that.  I also took gloves and my ear band as my hands and ears get cold pretty easy.  Instead of doing that warm-up run over to the school, I drove.  I knew I’d get warm on the run, but I didn’t want to get there and be sweating and then get cold from standing there and waiting for the start.  So yeah, I drove.  And sat in my nice warm car until just a few minutes before the start.

There weren’t a ton of runners there, but there were some running groups, so I knew there would be some fast runners.  It’s hard to tell what age group the runners are in (you know, their age isn’t written on their calf like it is in a triathlon!), so I had no idea who my competition would be.

When the horn sounded and we started running, I just went with what I could.  There was a group of us that pulled away pretty quickly from the main pack, but I was at the back of that pack.  Interestingly enough, however, no one really passed anyone else.  Whatever place we fell into was kind of where we were.

The first part of the course wound through a neighborhood and was relatively flat.  I’m pretty good about judging distances, but didn’t know if the course would be marked well or not, so I glanced at my garmin to see where I was.  What I saw scared me.  At 0.91 into the race, my time was 7:50.  Um, I’m not usually that fast.  I hit mile 1 at 8:05.  The other scary part was it really didn’t fell all THAT hard.  Yes, I was pushing it and didn’t know if I could keep that up the whole time, but why not try.

The second mile was still fairly flat with a little downhill through another neighborhood.  I started getting a little warm here and debated about taking my long-sleeve top off.  I did take my ear band and my gloves off.  I hit mile 2 in 8:08.  Surprised myself with that one.  I thought to myself that I might actually place if I could just keep up the pace.  But the last mile was a lot of uphill.  And into the wind.

I took off my top and wrapped it around my waist and then prepared to climb the hill back to the school.  With the wind blowing straight at us, my pace slowed.  But I wouldn’t stop.  I wanted to finish strong.

Mile 3 was a bit slower, with a pace of 8:49 and then the last 0.1 mile took 1:04.  I crossed the finish line in 26:05.  My 5k PR is 24:42, so not too bad for not running a lot lately.  I hoped that it might be worth at least 3rd place.

I hung around to see what the results would be and got a massage in the meantime.  Then I saw where the results were posted and headed over to check it out.  I can’t remember now exactly where I placed but it was either 6th or 7th, so no podium for me.   Since it was still cold and I had a soccer game to get to, I headed home.

This was a great first year small race and if the schedule allows, I’ll do it again.

Team Red, White and Blue Triathlon Camp 2013

For the second year in a row, Team Red, White and Blue held a triathlon camp in Austin, Texas.  This year’s camp was held April 11-14 and had over twice as many participants as last year.  This year’s participants also included two amputees and a visually challenged athlete, which meant when we were planning the activities we needed to keep this information in mind.
Planning was fast and furious, but it all came together in the end and worked out well.  Since we had so many athletes this year, we rented vans to transport them all from the hotel to the training venues.  Thursday afternoon those vans came in handy as we ran shuttles to and from the hotel and airport most of the afternoon.  Once the athletes were picked up at the airport, some of them headed over to Jack and Adam’s, the local bike shop, to either pick up their bike and assemble it or to get fitted to a new bike that they would take home with them from camp.  It’s always exciting to see the new athletes get their gear.
After most of the athletes had arrived, we headed to Zilker Park for the team dinner that was hosted by the Texas Beef Council.  This is the second year they have partnered with us as well and the athletes love eating a nice steak on their first night in Texas.

Friday morning we all met back at Jack and Adam’s to make sure that everyone had their bikes and to make final adjustments for anyone who was getting a bike or who had gotten in late and not yet assembled their bike.  Then it was time for the awesome bike clinic that Derick put’s on for the athletes.  They are taken to a large grassy area and run through a bunch of drills to work on clipping in and out of their pedals, work on riding in a straight line, work on drinking while on the bike, etc.  There are always several people who fall, but no one laughs at them.  We all laugh with them, because we have all been there.
After the clinic it was time for some lunch on the lawn.  Then we all headed north for some swimming.  The athletes get to experience open water swimming in a wetsuit and get to learn some tips and techniques from the pros that come to help at the camp.  This year we were fortunate to have Jessica Jacobs, Jessica Myers, Tim O’Donnell and Logan Franks.  The pros are so amazing and friendly and willing to share any information they have with the athletes.
After swimming everyone headed inside for a yoga session.  This was something I asked Derick if I could do for the athletes this year and he worked it into the schedule.  I had so much fun teaching the class to these military veterans and several of them came up to me afterwards and told me how much they appreciated it.  I loved doing it so much in fact that I am going to take the YogaFit for Warriors training class in August.
After yoga we headed to dinner at BJ’s Brewhouse.  Everyone got lots of time to bond and we heard from the founder of Team RWB, Mike Erwin, who had joined us throughout the day to see how the camp was going.
Saturday morning was a group ride, which unfortunately I missed.  I was being a good mom and attended my son’s soccer game before meeting back up with the group for lunch.  After lunch was more swimming and some running and then dinner at a Bar-B-Q place, which again, the athletes loved.
Sunday was another full day of camp.  The athletes got to play garbage can ball on their bikes.  If you don't know what that is, it was kind of a combination of soccer/rugby, but on the bike.  Oh my!  Those men and women did not hold back.  It was great to watch them have so much fun and be so confident on their bikes. The day ended in a nice dinner with a pro panel where we were joined by Patrick Evoe and Kelly Williamson.  What an honor to have so many pros to share with the awesome veterans. 
Everyone had a great time and year two was another success.  Being a part of organizing and putting together this camp for Team RWB and the military veterans who attend is one of the highlights of the year for me.  I look forward to meeting the men and women who attend and seeing them progress in their skills.  Even the ones who come in having done long distance triathlons walk away with some new knowledge.  It’s a great group to be a part of.

Cap 10K 2013

Every year I do the Cap 10K.  This year was no different.  There were several folks doing the race as part of the “Do It Like It Means Something” non-profit, so we met at the start line for a group photo.  Most of them are walkers or very slow runners, so I knew I would not stay with them in the race and headed up the coral toward the start line until I found the group that would be running my pace.

Last year the race didn’t start until 9am and it was already hot and humid before the race even started.  At least this year, the start time had been moved back to 8am.  It was a little bit better at least. 

I have been doing a lot of studying this year and not as much training as usual and after the TIR two weeks ago, I knew this would not be a PR race for me.  I just hoped to come in under an hour.

The Cap 10K course is fairly hilly in the first half and then flattens out in the second half, so it’s a good course to negative split.  I think I did that.

Mile 1:  9:43
Mile 2:  9:29
Mile 3:  9:42
Mile 4:  9:20
Mile 5:  9:24
Mile 6:  9:24
last .2:  1:53

Somewhere around mile 5 I started running next to a guy who had about the same pace as me.  I would pass him on the slight inclines and then he would catch me on the slight declines, but we kind of stayed together.  It was motivation to not slow down and it worked.  We crossed the finish line about the same time.  My final time was 58:58 for a 9:30 pace.  I was ok with that and got to say another Cap 10K is in the books.