Sunday, September 12, 2010

SheROX Triathlon, USATF-NJ Cross Country 5K

Hi again, my beautiful bloggers! Missing in action again...and there's been lots of action, I can tell you that. I never planned on so many races this year. But just as last year was "Stay away from races and focus on finding your running mojo" year, this year, in spite of the drama surrounding my achilles tendon, I've been fully basking in the thrill and glory involved in racing. I can't hold a candle to any of you racing veterans out there, but for me, 9 races in a year (so far) is A LOT! I haven't been too smart about my training in the past (and have a looong way to go in that department) and have been going out too hard, but with a little help in the way of constant, gentle yet firm reminders from a friend, I've been able to balance racing and training thus far without killing myself or any of my body parts.
SheROX, Asbury Park, NJ - August 29, 2010
Ah! SheROX! I wish I could tell you I outdid all my expectations and absolutely nailed my first triathlon. What really happened was that I had a near-panic attack during the swim and barely managed to drag myself to shore. I was in the last wave, so I had a lot of time to watch other people rush into the water and be beaten back by the waves. The water was perfect really...not too choppy and a wonderful 71 degrees. But the waves grew a little in size and by the time I navigated them and started swimming, I had ingested a few gallons of water and was completely fatigued. I hyperventilated and created such a scene that a swim-angel (and boy, that's when I realized how appropriately the volunteers at the swim are named swim-angels...I thought I was having a near-death experience or something close to it!) swam by my side and made sure I didn't do something stupid or drown. I remember being delirious and trying to make conversation with her, while she told me to shut up (well, she politely told me to save my energy and swim, but it's the same thing, really). Eventually, I stumbled out of the water, enthralled to feel land under my feet. I could have gone on my hands and knees and kissed the sand, I was so relieved to be out of the ocean. I choked, coughed up a gallon of sea water, then temporarily wiped away the memory of my embarrassing swim and felt ready to tackle the rest of the race. I felt happy to be on the bike and even managed to pass a couple of people on my trusty hybrid. I stumbled through the run, my legs feeling like jelly, but that was of course, the part I fared best at. I was looking forward to a 5K and was a little disappointed that the run was only 2.25 miles. I managed a 7:28 a mile pace, which I was pretty pleased with, because by that point, it took a bit of effort to put one foot in front of the other.

I completed in 1:20:04, 237 / 399 overall.
18:04 on the swim (378/399)
40:31 on the bike (248/399)
16:51 on the run (22/399)

Ummm...maybe I should just stick with running.

But though humiliating, this was an incredible experience for me. I was awestruck by the superlative performances of other women, who absolutely rocked! And for a brief 2 weeks, I was exposed to an amazing group of strong, supportive women who went out of their way to help others feel at ease and find their place in this intimidating sport.
USATF Cross Country 5K, Deer Path Park, Readington, NJ - September 12, 2010

I am a glutton for punishment! How else can you explain why, after my last painful 5K experience, I would return for more? I raced the USATF Cross Country 5K this morning at the beautiful Deer Path Park in Readington, NJ. Our club entered several teams, of which there were 2 teams in the open women's category; I raced as part of Team B. It started raining when I got to the start. It was truly a cross country race, with all 202 of us rushing across the wet and slushy grass in the steady drizzle, making it down a narrow dirt path and gasping up the steep hill of the 2-loop course. I valiantly tried to keep pace with Doug from our club for a little while, which I thought was ridiculous because he is waaay faster than me. Several times during the race, I could have thrown up all over my fellow racers. So I suffered through Mile 2, and wheezed all the way to the finish. But the results were so sweet, they were worth all the discomfort. And it was awesome to see our team mates cheer for each other.

I finished in 21:33.89, a 6:56 pace. 9/68 overall among women and 4/16 in the open category. PR by more than a minute (there is a bit of question on the exact distance of the course; it may have been slightly less than 3.1 miles though Frank Forerunner showed 3.09 miles; whatever...I say it still counts)! Team B came second to our club's Team A in the open category...and I was glad to help us get there. I am totally digging this team thing!


ajh said...

You are doing great! You should feel good about yourself!

Erica said...

I think that is an amazing amount of races! You are totally rocking it. A tri! I really want to do one at some point in time. I've heard similar triathletes say how hard the swim portion is. And way to PR on your other race! Wahoooo! I hope you treated yourself to something special after all this hard work

lindsay said...

9 races! That's a lot to me, and it's only September :)

Kinda funny about the swim-angel situation, although of course I am glad you were able to calm down and survivethe swim.

Does your hybrid have clips at least? Mine doesn't... And that's totally my excuse for being slow on the bike :)

congrats on both your first tri and a 5k PR, on an XC course no less!!

Heather said...

Great job with your races. Love your tri report! I was ready to high-tail it back to the parking lot while waiting for my swim wave to start for my first tri this year. :)

Mica said...

Wow, I was thinking about maybe considering (Yeah, not sure yet) a tri, but your swim experience has set me back. That sounds terrifying! Good job for whipping out such a speedy running pace!

And congratulations on the PR! That is awesome!

Abby said...

You know what, I'm more impressed with the fact that you pushed through the rough waters (literally and figuratively!) and went on to finish your first tri. Nice work!!

And seriously, a 6:56 pace??? Amazing :)

Irene said...

"I've been fully basking in the thrill and glory involved in racing."

Yay! I am glad to read this. It gives me hope that I will find my mojo, too.

Congratulations on all of your recent accomplishments! Wow, you even did a tri!

Aileen Ruane said...

9!!!!!!! I'd say that's pretty rock star of you ;) And a triathlon! Holy crap!

Beth said...

Your tri race report really cracked me up. Congrats on both your races! A minute PR on a 5K is huge- that is fantastic! I'm so glad you are enjoying your team and are doing so well. Yeah!