It’s my 3rd time doing this race! And probably the 6th time I’ve raced in this neighborhood, so I’m super comfortable with the process. I’ve talked about this area before–beautiful, calm racing, so I won’t go into detail. But here’s what stuck out yesterday:
I finished in almost the EXACT same time as last year, but I finished with the thought, “I think I could’ve gone faster.” It was almost too enjoyable, if that makes sense. Well, I guess there are different ways to race–some can leave you feeling like you’ve got NOTHING left & others can just be scenic & a good work out. I really want to test myself by pushing harder next time–even if it means totally walking the last portion of the race. Just an experiment. Walking 6 miles doesn’t sound like a fun experiment, though.
My swimming stroke has improved, my ability to stay calm and focused during murky lake races has not. I found myself wishing I was in the ocean so a scary wave could push me in. My goggles leaked. People were running over me. Typical race stuff that for some reason, I haven’t quite learned how to deal with & don’t really know how to train for. Do I have any volunteers–someone to just bash into me while I’m swimming at the pool? It’s just so weird to me (someone who HATES my personal space being invaded) that in a huge lake–we are all on top of each other. Can’t there be a way to start in even smaller waves of people–literally one at a time?
The bike was easy–I definitely could’ve gone faster, but man, I was loving that it felt easy too much to really speed up all that much. It’s almost all hills, which is never great for my time–but keeps it interesting. One of my favorite bike courses out there.
Someone complimented me on my excellent mid-foot running style during the race. I went on and on about my form, how I had it video-taped, what the coach told me, etc–talking WAY too much for someone who is supposed to be racing in a 5k!–and apparently the guy thought so, too–he was speechless after the compliment & eventually just started walking to get away from me.
Around the last mile, there was an 8 yr old in front of me. This normally would be embarrassing, but she was actually racing the shorter course–so it’s not like she was really BEATING me. But there are a bunch of people in the park watching that don’t know this, and so I’m humiliated. I catch up to her–by this time she’s walking, and say, “Come on! Run with me! We’ll finish together!” I pictured this inspiring her to pick up the pace & we would run in arm in arm–me being a hero of sorts, a mentor in the tri-junior world. No, instead she just giggled and kept walking. No one was having me and my bubbly personality. So I sprinted in alone.
For real inspiration, there was a father/son team–the son was disabled, so the dad was having him ride behind him on a tandem bike & pushing him around in a stroller type thing on the run–now that was cool. It’s always good to gain a sense of perspective in the middle of the race like that–in a moment where all you can think of is you and your own struggle. It made me incredibly grateful that my body is able to do what it does on race day, even if it isn’t getting any faster :).
The race did exactly what I wanted it to–it completely motivated me in both my training and racing. Or at least it did yesterday, today I skipped my morning swim & instead of my evening workout–I’m going out to an early happy hour. But it will inspire me tomorrow! My next race is in 4 weeks (twice as long!), and I can’t wait for the season. It’s going to be my best yet!