Sunday, May 20, 2007

The Crackhead Open

It's not named the "Crackhead Open" because someone cracked their head open, but because we decided that our coaches were on crack when they elected to have us all race against each other for our final long BRICK workout.
I know I am not the only one who was terrified at the prospect of it. Certain "anonymous" blog commenters agreed with me that we really shouldn't have to do it...but I also know the coaches were right. You don't train 6 months for a race and then not try to simulate the conditions before the big day. They wanted any mistakes that we made to be made at a mock race, not on the real race day. The good news is that hardly any of us made any mistakes. Everyone looked very strong.
Believe it or not I actually and truly thought I was going to come in last on the bike. And I knew I was going to come in last on the run. I had been dreading this day for months -- as soon as I found out there was going to be a day when I had to run 16 miles. When I signed up for Eagleman half iron, i never intended to train for the run. I figured I'd just limp along as best i could on the run and walk most of it -- just trying to finish. But I'm also one of those people who just follows the rules. And there was so much guilt associated with not doing a workout, I decided it was easier just to try my best to get it done. And with very few exceptions, that is exactly what I have done. True, I haven't followed all the swim workouts -- mostly because I am a strong swimmer who enjoys open water and who doesn't have access to an indoor pool or health club -- I do all my workouts at Maramarc or with TRIgirls.
Anyway, I'm rambling... I never ever expected that I would do so well on the bike. Now I know it is for several reasons that I "appeared" to do better than I actually did.
1. Cyndi didn't race with us (she would have rocked out!)
2. Liz and Susie got bumped up to the Ironman-Maramarc racing group and also rocked out!
3. Although there was no public acknowledgement of it, I'm sure there were several girls who could have performed better and raced faster but were silently protesting.
So, Anna Mac came in first. I came in about 10 seconds later...and actually everyone else was RIGHT behind me. There was really no big gap between all of us who finished. (unlike on the run when after that big gap would be me!) It turns out I like racing. It was fun being passed by Anna and Carmen and then passing them back and then being passed again by Anna.
Mark was sorta upset when I told him that I planned to run for an hour before the "race". Actually, he wasn't upset at all. Basically, he told me not to and I'm the one that got upset! Then he said, you know, you do what you gotta do. He wanted to see me race on fresh legs. I wanted to get a jump on the run so I didn't finish an hour (or more) after everyone else. I sort of compromised...running 4 miles before and running 12 miles after the bike race. For the 4 before, I took it really easy, it was difficult to shake Mark's advice not to run at all. I walked up each hill. The morning was cool. The sunrise over the lake was lovely and I really enjoyed my time. I allowed about 15 minutes when I got back to rest my legs before the race. Sharon was so cool and got everyone race "packets" with water, race numbers and a first aid kit, which I needed almost immediately -- I busted open my thumb right before the race while pumping up baby pink Kim's tires. Certainly, this is a fun group to train with. I love the spirit and the humor of this team.
Here are my times for the bike race:

26.40 1st 8 mile loop
28.16 2nd 8 mile loop
26.41 3rd 8 mile loop
Total time 1:20.41
average 17.8 mph
23.97 miles
Unfortunately, the run didn't go as well. Including breaks it took me almost 3 hours to run 12 miles. And, although it was about 75 degrees, windy and beautiful, I found that I was hot and didn't have enough water. I'm looking forward to water stops each mile during the race. Blake gave the great advice to ask for a cup of ice at each water stop put it in your hands and anywhere else it it'll fit to help keep cool. I counting on putting it in my bra and my hat. I know I'll need it. Mr. Preschool has promised me a nice day, not too hot for Eagleman (you didn't know he was a Shaman, did you)....but says that in the process it might have to rain. Anyway, I know I can't count on it. I'll be trying to find some hot afternoons to run. I was walking way more than I had anticipated on the 12 mile run and wasn't able to be as consistent with my run to walk ratio as I would have liked.
Running 6 miles before the bike and 6 miles after the bike, or breaking up my run in other ways on long run days, really has been much easier on my body and perhaps has not been the best way to train for a 13.1 mile run. Regardless, I feel optimistic that I will finish -- especially given the moonings, and cheering section that I'm anticipating at Eagleman.


Anonymous said...

Awesome job!!!!!!!!!!!
That was such a hard workout - never been so happy to finish one.


Cyndi said...


Fantastic times! That run WAS hard, huh??? I walked some too and you know what? By that time, I didn't even care! Finishing is finishing, period. Great job!!!

Melissa said...

SO proud!!!

Diane said...

Fantastic! No wonder you looked so serious out there Saturday.

TriGirl 40 said...

My friend who came out to ride was like - wow that girl on the bike is good - and she was talking about you! Though we all knew it already. Congrats on blowing this workout out of the water!