I did something on Saturday that wasn't necessarily the smartest athlete move but it certainly feels like it was the best thing for me.
Saturday was the annual Lobsterman Tri in Freeport, Maine. I do love the race. I've done it a number of times. Not last year, because I was getting ready for Kona. And this year, it wasn't on the plan because it was only 6 days after the Vegas race. My husband Mark, however, does it each year without fail. My brother and sister in-law often do it and lots of friends too because it's basically the last Tri of the season here in Maine. ( it was in the 30s here last night..... time to get out of the open water!) Also... In a way, I grew up in Freeport. I didnt' live there but my Grandparents did, my parents do now, we have a cottage on the point across the way from where the race is held. The venue is gorgeous being right on the ocean. There's really no better place for a race in Maine. You get the point, I hate to miss it. However, I was prepared to spectate and cheer for Mark this year. But then.. my brother Jeff had a great idea! Let's RELAY it!!! YES! I honestly didn't hesitate. It was his 40th Birthday that day and for his own personal reasons, doing the whole SBR wasn't in his cards. He asked our friend Paige to swim ( great swimmer ) , Jeff would bike and he wanted me to run. Ok... well... hmm... 6 days post a Half Ironman. Yikes. I knew it wasn't ideal. Or Smart. As hard as it sometimes is, I DO appreciate and respect the need for rest and recovery post- long endurance race. Nah.. I'll do it! What a great way to help my little bro ring in his 40s with my parents there, my kids, Mark on the course, I thought it sounded like fun.
Race day came and while I could walk just fine by Wed, there was still loads of fatigue in my legs. When I jogged to warm up, well, it wasn't pretty. No light and fresh race day feeling for me! That's ok.. I would the best I could.
Paige had a good swim and handed the chip to Jeff. Jeff Rocked his bike and came in several minutes off his PR for that course and ahead of when I expected him. My turn.
As soon as I hit the race course, something happened.
I had another chance. This was my official last chance to end 2012 racing on the note I wanted to end on. My race in Vegas was fine. Sure. The times were quite a bit off my norm and certainly off what I hoped to do. I knew half way into that race to flip the garmin around and not worry about it. I didn't realize nearly everyone was slower than normal but I did know the field was suffering. I knew after to keep it all in perspective. I am mostly happy with my 11th place finish at a big World Championship event. (The sting is the fact that girls #9 & #10 were RIGHT there within a min or two.... that bugs me... ) I walked away from that day knowing I gave me all I had, that day. I know in my head that 107+ degree heat for someone from New England, is simply, very tough. And that is that. I was sucked dry and as a result...
I could NOT run hard!!!! THAT is what was bugging me. I wanted to RACE that run and push myself out of my own skin. That is how I race 70.3 races. I am running my heart out. I don't pace.. I don't hold back... I am racing hard. On 9/9, in Vegas, I wasn't doing that. I was strong and steady and proud of that, but I was not racing with the push that I usually have.
So... when I hit that course on Saturday, despite my fatigued legs all body from the week before, lightning zipped through me and I took off.
I was a woman on a mission. I ran my heart out. Did I PR a 10K? No.. but I am really happy with what I did. I pushed beyond what I thought I could do that day. In fact, around mile 1.5-2 my quad started to seize. The tired legs were there but I had pushed that so so far back in my brain that I didn't notice. But my left leg was rebelling. I was still moving 'fast' but I was limping. The pain was intensifying and the muscle was growing tighter and tighter. I wondered what would happen.. if I'd be forced to back way off and even walk. I tried to ignore it and magically, it loosened enough to hammer on. Mile 4 is my favorite with a 6:07 split! I was psyched!! I chased down anyone in front of me ( I DID have the R on my leg for the relay so it wasn't the same as really chasing them down but it was a game I was playing in my head.) I wanted revenge.. revenge on that run last week. I needed to get out there, run my a-- off and prove to myself that yes, I can in fact, Still run hard and fast. I got through that 10K in 42:20 and feel so so happy and like I redeemed myself a bit. In my own head... it just made me feel good. I was pushing hard and running out of my comfort zone for that day. Just as a race should be... THANK YOU Jeff for getting us on that relay!!! It was JUST what I needed.