Race Report #4 (or, Jeez, Are You Done Blathering On and On Athletic Monkey?)

So slow, so very, very slow

So slow, so very, very slow

What to say about the run? Hmm.

It was hard. It was really hard. And it was mostly my own fault.

I had planned to do a mixture of walking and running, hopefully 5 minutes of walking followed by 10 minutes of jogging.  As soon as I started the running course, I had the following thoughts:

1. I wish I brought my water bottle

2. I wish I had chapstick

3. Oh gosh, my shoulders and neck hurt so badly.

4. I don’t think I can run.

I walked for 5 minutes and tried to start jogging. I couldn’t. It was like my legs weren’t able to get the signal from my brain that said “run”. My shoulders and neck were so sore (I think from tension and being stiff and upright for most of the bike) and I was thirsty. This is where the shitty nutrition from the bike leg was really coming back to haunt me.

On the other side of the road runner after runner past me, heading toward the finish line with speed I can only envy.

I must have looked as bad as I felt, because almost every runner yelled something encouraging at me, most of it (like “Looking good!) patently false. I knew I was not looking good.

I ended up walking the whole first mile (which, because this race course was designed by sadists, included a big uphill) and then I came to the one and only water table of the course, right before the route diverts into the woods (where we would do some trail running up and down another frigging huge hill. Enough with the damn hills!). As I approached, one of the volunteers recognized me from the tri workshop. He and I had swam together during the practice and he had seen my melt down after the bike course.

“Let’s go Wendy!” clap clap “Let’s go Wendy!”

He started the chant. The rest of the volunteers quickly picked it up.

“Let’s go Wendy!” clap clap “Let’s go Wendy!”

I started to smile and shuffle a little, moving into a jog. At the table I got some much needed water, which helped a lot. Not as much as the cheering, but it still felt good to be drinking.  I ran toward the turn around point, which took me past several RV’s. Old people at picnic tables watched me run by, red faced and huffing.

“You tired yet girly?” An overweight man munching on a hot dog yelled at me from his well stocked picnic table. I hated him a little.

I made it to the turn around point and then headed into the woods. Down, down, down the trail I went. A few runners passed me. One woman seemed to be moving really fast. I hated her a little, until I saw the T on her calf and realized she was a team runner and this was the only part she had to do.

The trail curved around and then…ugh…there were stairs to run. Stairs! I wanted to barf as I hauled my tired self up those damn stairs. Finally, I came out of the woods and grabbed some more water.

“1 more mile! You’re almost there!” the volunteers clapped and cheered. 1 more mile and blessedly, it was down hill.

I ran the whole last mile (well, if 14 minute miles count as running). At one point I passed a very, very fast looking guy who seemed to be just starting the run course. I figured he was just running it for a warm down as there was no way I’d beaten him on the bike. Turned out this guy’s bike chain had broken on mile 3 of the bike course and he had ran with his bike, in cycling shoes, for 12 miles. Crazy.

Finally, finally, finally I could hear music and see the finish line. It was the Best. Feeling. Ever.

I was *thisclose* to crying, especially when I saw Michael and Miles. I was so proud of myself, so glad it was over, so sure I was going to do this again someday.




5 thoughts on “Race Report #4 (or, Jeez, Are You Done Blathering On and On Athletic Monkey?)

  1. Jen (jujubee96) says:

    I sort of hated it when people would yell encouraging things to me, because it confirmed to me that I must look pretty pathetic (well, they also knew from standing there that I was pretty late coming in).

    Sorry to hear that the bike part made your shoulders stiff! I just tried to remember throughout the whole thing this adage I read in an Oprah magazine… “there is nothing you can’t do better relaxed.” It made this point about how relaxing and enjoying, and not stressing too much while doing something could really help you do it better. Hope that makes sense. Thanks for your story! Now I’m going to continue reading below.

  2. rie says:

    how totally awesome of you. truly truly cool. zam and i are proud of you!!

    i DID cry after i finished my baby tri. i felt so amazing, i just had to. noting wrong with moving yourself to tears now and then. lol!

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