So, I survived the whirlwind that was this weekend. In a nutshell, I photographed the Cancer Society's Relay for Life on Friday night with my friend Breanne. Doug and I were up at 6am on Saturday for the Welland duathlon. Sunday morning, we were up again for a 40k ride with our cycling group, headed to Art in the Park and then I photographed a fabulous band called The Bends on Sunday evening as part of S.C.E.N.E. fest in St. Catharines. Crazy!
Saturday morning's duathlon was a little intimidating because I knew that I was going into it really tired from 6 hours of walking the night before and a restless night to boot. I wasn't sure how I was going to find the energy to run, bike, run for over two hours.
Then I realized that this is probably a bit like what the second half of a marathon was going to feel like. Exhausted with hours left to go. So I decided to just pretend I was training for that. It took a lot of pressure off.
We arrived and set up our transition spot. I was struggling with what to do about my hair.
I have long hair now. It almost stays in a ponytail but chunks still fall out and hang in my face. During the race, I have to start off with a running hat, then put on a helmet, then back to the hat. I knew that my hair would be falling out, in my face and driving me crazy. Causing me to lose precious seconds in the transition area. I decided that the most logical solution was to put my helmet on over my hat for the bike ride. Easy peasy right?
I checked my pre-race sugar and it was 12.4. I had a gel for good measure and headed up to toe the line, as they say.
Let the race begin!
The gun went off and everyone took off like a shot. As per usual, I felt everyone pulling away within seconds. As I fell further and further behind, I checked my pace. 5:00min/k. That's crazy fast for me. The hell with those other runners. I was racing against myself now. I kept up a good pace and, once everyone settled into their groove, I found myself not quite dead last and was actually able to pass the odd person. I finished the first 5k with a time of 29:25 (5:53min/k pace). That blew last year's time out of the park (31:17).
I am amazing!!
Then I rushed into the transition zone, put my helmet on over my hat as planned, changed shoes and grabbed my bike. I ran/hobbled towards the spot where we can mount our bikes and was very unceremoniously stopped by a race official. "Hey! Stop!! No one is allowed to have a hard brimmed hat on under their helmet."
Because people who have fallen have actually been scalped by their hat. Scalped...
Enough said. So I pulled off to the side, removed my hat, fixed my flyaway hair, put helmet back on my head, tied hat to handle bar and headed off. My transition time went from 1:46 last year to 2:55 this year. So much for the amazing time in the first 5k.
The bike ride went well. Heading out, it was a wind tunnel and I pushed hard to keep the pace around 24k. After the turn around, the wind was at our back and I made up lots of time with a brisk 33k pace. All in all, my time for the 30k was 1:07:37 compared to last year's 1:05:27.
Back in transition, I now had to remove my helmet, deal with a soaking wet head of hair that had fallen out of the elastic and put my running hat back on. 2:27 compared to last year's 1:49.
I was really dreading the second run. I was tired and remembering last year's feeling of nausea during most of the run. I told myself that I was allowed to nap for as long as I wanted as long as I finished the run. I started running and, while I felt slow and lethargic, the nausea was mercifully absent. I can deal with slow. I tried to keep my pace around 6:30s so as to beat last year's time. It was a struggle and the last few kilometers seemed ridiculously long. But I did it. My second 5k was 34:18 compared to last year's 35:46.
I crossed the finish line with Doug and my parents waving and cheering. Sweaty hugs all around.
After the event, my blood sugar was 8.3 despite having completely ignored it for the entire race. I helped myself to a wonderful chocolate milk followed by a chipotle steak sandwich on the way home. Once home, I luxuriated in a two hour nap.
This year's finishing time? 2:16:40.6
Last year's time: 2:16:03.0
I blame the difference on my hair.