April 24, 2005
This morning I took part in a triathlon relay. Every year my company foots the bill for anyone who wants to do the thing as a team. As I mentioned yesterday, I signed up a long time ago and agreed to do it mainly as sort of a dare to myself to get over the sfx and keep running.
As a team, we were kind of doomed before we started. Yesterday at registration our bike guy showed up and announced he was too sick to compete. In an event with over 3000 people we somehow managed to find out about a guy who'd showed up from Miami with his bike, looking to ride, so he joined our team. This made him the senior member when it came to tri experience, because the swimmer and I had none. The swimmer also had no competitive swimming experience, no open-water experience, and no wetsuit experience (also no alarm-clock experience, as we later found out), and I was just coming off a marathon and had no idea what I could do for 10k, so we were certainly a motley crew.
This morning: show up insanely early for bodymarking and then hang out for 4 hours waiting to run. In the swim-bike transition area I learned that the swimmer had slept through his alarm (our new friend the bike guy called him and woke him up) so we weren't sure he'd actually made it into the water. It turns out he did, but he got a cramp and had to be pulled out of the water, so we were disqualified. The bike guy and I decided to do our thing anyway just for fun.
Running in a triathlon is weird if you're used to road races where everyone starts together. There's no front-of-the-pack and no one to pace off of; you just go. I was afraid this would work against me (I am highly motivated by fear of falling behind people in front of me), but it didn't at all. I ran fairly even splits, was able to pick it up in the middle and at the end, finished 11s slower than my PR. I felt really good the whole time, and I spent the entire race passing people and nobody but nobody passed me. Of course, by this time the road was full of tired age-group triathletes and I actually felt kind of guilty because there's no way I could do what they do, nor would I ever want to. I passed some women, heard something that sounded like a question and then the answer "yes, she IS" and I knew that the question must have been "is she a relay runner?"
I was struck by the contrast between this thing and Boston. Today someone along the course looked right at me and said "5051, good running, very strong" and it rocked because he was talking to me, and I was running well and feeling good. Compared to the hey-batta-batta jabber of Boston, this was 180 degrees away.
Posted by joe positive at April 24, 2005 5:26 PM
In PR territory less than one week after a marathon? That's great!
Posted by: Alison at April 25, 2005 7:40 AM
I've done some tri relays too and have also had the "don't worry - he's a relay runner" thrown out at me too. They said it in such a way that I was ashamed to be on the course with them.
Posted by: Zeke at April 25, 2005 8:45 AM
Awesome that you're trying new things! I'm impressed how well you've recovered. I just got caught up on your blog and I'm looking foward to reading more of your experiences as you move along! Congratulations on Boston by the way! Oh, and how did you end up with two stress fractures on your foot and never finding out about them until they healed? I thought they'd hurt a lot...?
Posted by: Nanda at April 25, 2005 11:28 AM