It is funny because I wasn't nervous. I don't know if it was because I knew I hadn't trained like I should have or if it was just because I was looking to have fun and just do it. The weather was pretty great, too, so that was nice.
The course was set to be a 5k run, 15 mile bike, 5k run. Well, it turned out to be more like a 5k run, 16ish mile bike, 5k run. The first run was fine. I was pacing myself way to fast at first (despite repeatedly telling myself to hold to about a 10 min/mile). I ran the first mile in 9:15 and was at 18:50 at the second mile mark. I knew if I didn't slow it down, I would be in trouble. I was able to chill out a bit and ended up finishing the first 5k in 31:32 (10:09 pace).
I hit the transition area and HAD TO PEE, so I did that, slammed my Gatorade prime, ate a few Shot Bloks (side note: Margarita flavor = awful!) and took off on my bike. The course wasn't too bad. It was my first time taking a long ride on my new-to-me bike, but it went well. I got nervous a few times when the road got bumpy (there is a portion that is REALLY rough...), but it went okay. Many people followed the rules and did the single-file line thing and were good about keeping to the right when you passed them, but there were others who just did whatever they wanted. *sigh* You can only do what you can do. Anyway, back to the transition area after I finished my "15 mile bike" (actually, over 16 miles) in 1:00:30, which is better than I had expected.
When I got back to the bike rack, there was no place to put my bike. People just threw their bikes wherever they wanted, including on top of my bag, so I had to muscle a spot for my stuff. I couldn't, however, get to my bag, so I couldn't get my gel. I ate up some valuable time in there, so I just had to take off without it. Starting the second 5k, I knew I didn't have a whole lot left, but decide that I would at least run across the first bridge before walking. My legs were jello, but I kept it slow-ish and they loosened up a bit. After the bridge, I told myself that I could make it to the first mile marker before the Stone Arch Bridge. I got there and told myself that I could make it across the bridge before walking. Then, I said I would run until a certain time, then it was the 2 mile mark, then it was just to keep going. I couldn't believe that I made it that far, but was excited to keep going, when BAM...pain ripped through my left knee. It felt like I had a golf ball-sized knot in my inner knee. It was awful and I could barely walk, let alone run. I rubbed it out as best I could and started running again. The pain got pretty intense again, so with tears in my eyes, I had to walk for a bit. Then, I called myself a pansy and told myself I had to finish out the run, as I was almost there. I crossed the finish line for the second 5k in 36:03...a pace of 11:40...but at least I finished it.
|The Official Race Breakdown|
After I crossed the finish line, I got my medal, my water and Powerade, and my food bag and hobbled over out of the way to try to work out my knee. I met up with my brother and we chatted for a while about the race, then eventually we headed to grab our bikes and gear, and it was back to the cars to head home.
|Our Token Photo (Stolen from Jason since I forgot my camera...)|
My two biggest gripes with this race were:
- The road for a part of the bike was trashed. I was actually worried that my bike would snap in two and I would have to walk my bike to the finish... I know there isn't much they can do about it, but still...it sucked.
- The lack of enforcing the so-called rules. They said they would be watching for people riding two or three wide and not single file. I had a TON of trouble trying to get around these people, despite yelling "on the left" as I went by. Also, they said they would watch for drafting. I feel like I carried my fair share of people along for a while. AND MOST IRRITATING...they said that there was ABSOLUTELY NO HEADPHONES ALLOWED...but about 1 in 6 people had them! I was jealous of those who had them for the run...totally jealous...but I was really worried when I'd try to pass someone with headphones on a bike, since a few people almost took me out! *sigh* Do better, Team Ortho...
Overall, it was a fun race. I'm not sure that I will keep running Team Ortho races after this year. While the gear is great, the races are really pricey and the courses generally are repeated a lot. We will have to see...