It was a busy weekend! I just realized I had a race for 4 of the 5 weekends in July! And I actually did 5 races since I did 2 last Saturday! Holy smokes!
Friday night, Steven and I ventured to Parkville, Missouri to the packet pick-up for Win for KC Triathlon. I had volunteered to run the 5k for my work’s relay team. I had completely forgotten what weekend the race was, so it was a little surprise when the participant guide popped up in my email.
They had a bib decorating session set up, so I put “HTFU PUCK” on my bib. HTFU being my current favorite mantra, and Puck my longstanding nickname. (Again… you can read about HTFU here).
Saturday morning came super early. (I guess staying up watching Stranger Things with the kids will do that). I rolled out of bed, got dressed and managed to sleep a bit on the ride to the race. When I did this race a couple years ago, I had to get up really early to set up in transition. It was nice only doing the run of a relay so I didn’t have to be there at the butt-crack of dawn.
I watched the first wave of the swim start and then headed over to the team area in transition. Our swimmer was in the 13-minute wave, so she didn’t even start swimming for half an hour or so. (Maybe it really wasn’t that long… it felt like a long time! It is a big race with a lot of waves).
I realized I was getting really thirsty while waiting around and wished I had brought a handheld. Oops. It was also getting warmer and warmer…
Our swimmer tagged our cyclist in, and I started stretching and warming up. Bike were going in and out… Runners taking off on the run… But still I waited. I was really worried something happened to our cyclist when finally, she came pedaling in. I guess she started the race with flat tires and had to fill up at the aid station. Yikes – always check your tire pressure beforehand!
She helped me put the timing strap around my ankle and I was off. I could feel the timing strap shifting around on my ankle. I know that our swimmer lost the strap and had to dive around to look for it on the swim. (Many athletes were reporting problems with lost straps.) I was really worried about losing my strap and not being able to put it back on myself with my broken finger. It is really sore and I am still wearing the metal brace.
I went out a little too fast given the hot conditions. It had heated up a lot by the time my leg of the relay started. I was really just focusing on making it aid station-to-aid station. I was so thirsty! I passed up the Gatorade for water at the one-mile marker. I turned on my music and gutted it out to the turn-around, grabbing another water. On the trip back, I started noticing my finger throbbing. It is already weird enough running with the brace on since it means my finger is sticking straight out, but the pain and throbbing really messed with me. I felt like I had an ET finger! Then I considered that this was a fun thing for work, and we were nowhere in contention of placing, and I gave myself permission to take some walk breaks. I don’t know if it was heat, dehydration or just my heart rate jacking up, but every time I started pushing, my finger would tell me to slow down.
Finally, I made it back to the finish. The course turned from paved trail to a grass chute. I kicked at the end, slipping for a second on the wet grass. I just always like to kick hard at the end of the race. I came up fast on the runner in front of my, and when she saw me, we both tore after the finish line. I think she thought I was deliberately passing her… but again. I just like a strong finish. (And our team came in second-to-last. So there’s that).
I collected my medal, skipping the pancake and sausage line, and snapped a group picture. So happy to get to go home for a shower and a nap! (Except I fell asleep before my shower and the body markings wore off on my bed sheets. So I have 1006 in black ink on my pillowcases. Not cool. Not cool.)
I was supposed to run again that evening…. That didn’t happen. I was so ridiculously tired that I couldn’t get my second wind. Someday I will be able to run and run, and do whatever I want. But that time is not now. I am still fighting to make it through each day. I hope it will start getting easier soon!