So, this was my first multisport event. I'd never been to this location before, never done an event solo before. Most of the team had other obligations. I was a little nervous. I knew I hadn't run nearly enough in preparation. But this was my birthday present to myself. Another goal, milestsone to reach. Still annoyed with myself for DNF at Tour de Olmsted.
Since the race was to start at 7:30 I set the alarm for 4:50, thinking one snooze and one hour prep would be good. I had loaded the car the night before, made my bottles up and they were in the fridge. So Mother Nature decided to put on a show and about 4:30, lightning, thunder and pelting rain on the windows rose me from my slumber. :-) Good morning, Sherri! I carried through with my normal routine, breakfast, loading the bike, checking and double checking the list in my head. No! it's not written down, hmmm.
I had google mapped and gotten directions, the ramp to 71 where it splits with 264 was closed. Oh dear, I wasn't sure I knew an alternate route! I figured it out. As I got off at the Buckner exit I was going through my list in my head again. I'd forgotten the water bottles! Not good. I stopped at a gas station and picked up a Gatorade. I arrived at the event with 45 minutes before start time. I kept telling myself there's no reason to get upset. What happens, happens. It will be all right. I went in, got my packet, wrote my check, had my number written on my right arm and left leg, 100. and with my packet they gave each of us an insulated water bottle! YES, I've been carrying a gallon of water with me in the car, because there is nothing worse than getting dehydrated.
Time to start. There were at lest 125 participants I think. We started the first run of 2 miles. It was on grass and gravel trails, up and down hills. My prep has been on pavement, with limited hills, truly mostly flat. The hurt was on! We've had buckets and buckets of rain, and of course the morning saw another nice dose. One area was downhill, jump across the creek and run uphill. Technical! All but about 5 people passed me on the run. I got to the bike and felt good about the transition and took off! I passed quite a few on the bike. Even up hills! I was feeling really good about my ride and only on one hill did I screw up and stay in the big ring too long. The second transition was fast and there were many sets of shoes still waiting for their wearers. I took a big gulp and started running. Within 100 yards both calves started cramping. It was like ripples running up and down, not the locking kind of cramps though. I walked, but as fast as I could and tried to relax. Talked to myself, breathe, focus, walk it out. Within about 400 yards the cramping subsided and I could run. I walked more than I wanted, all the uphill efforts. There were young girls cheering everyone on just before the finish. That means SO much! I ran as fast as I could muster the last 50 or so yards, smiling the whole way. While my time was 1:23:38, the overall female winner has just over 1:04. I couldn't believe that I came in first in my age group and I wasn't the only one in it! :-)
As I passed cyclists or saw faster runners go by when I started my 2nd run (I didn't pass any runners), I would tell them, good job! I met several people while waiting for the results. All very nice, varied backgrounds. This was my birthday present to myself. Friday I turned 51. It was time to raise the bar and I did something new and I can be proud of my effort. Though I have lots more work and training to do before my next. :-)
This week will be fairly light with a couple of hard efforts and a couple of easy spins, with a couple of runs. I've signed up to race in Sunday's Master's National road race. Not the brightest thing I've done. But, even if I get pulled, it will be good experience in prep for Senior Games in August.