Saturday, August 2, 2008

18 Miles With The Girls

How about an overcast morning, steady, light rain, cool temps around 70 degrees, and green leafy trees and lush green grass surrounding a group of girls out for a run? It was great, the rain actually lasted for about half the run and it was perfect running conditions. Six of us started out together and the more we chatted and laughed the more I realized how inspiring they all were as women and runners!

One girl told us her hilarious experience of running with the local hasher running group and we all decided we would skip out on that one. She also sang snippets of her all-time favorite disco music throughout the miles, forcing us to smile and have fun and sing along maybe... Another woman completed some tri's this summer, including placing third woman overall in the Shoreline tri! And she is signed up for Iron Man Lake Placid for next summer. It was so much fun to run with just the girls and keep each other going. Especially for me in a new area where I'm still getting to know people. These women really were inspiring and so comfortable to hang out with for a run. They were accepting and made you feel like part of them even though I had just met several of them for the first time.

Most of the little group made it for 13.5 miles together, then two went on to make it 15 and three of us stuck together for 18. The two I was with picked up the pace for the last four and half miles! I had them in sight the whole time which really helped me not slow down and keep a steady pace. I couldn't hang with them though! In the final mile, (which ended up being my fastest mile, go figure) we sang James Brown's "I Feel Good" and ran it in on sheer adrenalin and a "Shine On" mantra with every step. It was definitely a highlight of the weekend and great start to the day! Shine On Girls, until next time!

Shoreline Triathlon

Last Sunday marked my first tri in a couple of years! I had some anxiety over whether to sign up at all because of little training time on the bike and swimming but I managed to sign up anyway! Then I worried about how choppy and cold the lake might be on race day! Well, talk about worries for nothing!! It was the most perfect, beautiful weather for the entire race, including warm, calm lake waters! I had sheer fun for every minute of the tri!

Most people wore wetsuits for the half mile swim in Lake Ontario and I rented one for the event. It was a good swim, I never panicked and didn't get kicked or bumped into by any other swimmers. (That was a first!) I was not fast of course, the swim is always my slowest part. In fact I was 163rd to get out of the water out of 220 people! Then a barefoot run up a grassy hill to the bike transition area...

My new friend Kim came into transition seconds behind me and we actually spoke a little bit during the mad rush of pulling wetsuits off and getting into bike gear. It was so much fun to go with a friend and laugh and talk and stress pre-race, and then see each other throughout the race too.

On the bike, I just flew! It was crazy, we had an awesome tail wind for several miles until a turn in the route changed it to a head wind! But overall it was gorgeous country side, clear blue skies, cute houses and the 15 miles flew by! I averaged 18.1 on the bike which was a surprise to me! Colin said why can't I ride like that with him??? Because, it's not a race and in a race I know it's only a short distance and I push through the leg pain while trying to forget I have to run next...

I was the 111th person to finish the bike and then off for the four mile run with concrete legs. I always forget how hard it is to run in a triathlon! I felt like I was doing 10 minute plus miles as I ran along the marked route. It was in Hamlin Beach park, through some trails, some paved path and some road. While I was running I saw all the people ahead of me who were faster and beating me! I just plugged away with the energy I had left. My legs warmed up for the run after about a mile and a half or so. One woman told me I was running strong and looked great and then sailed past me! It was great, she actually helped me with her comment and she looked amazing herself, I couldn't catch her!

Alas, I reached the finish line! I was the 94th person overall to finish the run, the 10th woman overall to finish the run. My 10 minute plus pace was actually more like 8:30 for the 4 miles, but it didn't feel like it! I was the 129th person to finish the triathlon overall and I actually got third in my age group! Okay, so there were only 7 others in my age group, but it was still the first time I placed in a tri before.

I liked it so much that I signed up for another sprint on August 17th, Sodus Point, another Lake Ontario swim...Guess I better buy a wetsuit, to be continued...