Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Highland, IL, Memorial Day Biathlon

So what was the best part of yesterday's biathlon?! I got to participate in the event with my fabulous husband! I ran the 5 mile run and then Jim rode the 15 mile bike course. Our ending time was 2:04:09 -- and the best part is that at least three other teams finished behind us so we were not the last ones out there! Yeah!

If you were here in the St Louis area yesterday then you know that it was a beautiful blue-sky kind of day -- with a heavy dose of heat. So here is the run-down for the race: We got there at about 7:30 AM (start time was 8 AM). While Jim got his bike out of the car, I went to registration and got us set up with our numbers. The only confusing part was that I expected each of us to have our own number but, instead, I had to give him the number (with the chip, of course) when we did the transition after the run. We got the bike set up in the transition area and then I went over to wait in line for the porta potty. Yeah ... that didn't quite work out. The line was super long and going slow. But I waited until someone came over the loudspeaker and announced that the race would start in 5 minutes. I decided to skip the bathroom (though I had to go!) and ran back to Jim for my MP3 player and then got in the start area. I bumped into Irwin, this fabulous athlete who lives in our building downtown, but before I knew it -- the start gun went off!

And, of course, because I felt rushed I started too fast. The first mile was not bad but I felt the heat and my lungs by mile 2. Most of the course took place in the countryside just outside the small town of Highland -- not bad for a run but enough hills to kill you on a hot day. At the first water stop, I took one cup but then took 2-3 waters at the next two water stops since the folks behind the race were using this little mini-cups that held only a swallow or two of water.

By mile 4, I was back in the residential area of the town and then I noticed the darnest thing -- I could see the finish line about a mile ahead! Not good for one's psychology while running on a hot day. I feel like I eventually limped across the finish line and Jim was right there, waiting to take the number and timing chip from me. Except that my hands were wet and shaking and I couldn't get the darn thing off. But Jim managed to get it off and he took off! (my running time was approximately 52 minutes and 18 seconds) Unfortunately, I had to pull a Paula Radcliffe -- which means I had to take my own tiny (thank goodness) bathroom break while I was running (i.e. Paula Padcliffe, the fastest female marathoner had to do a #2 in her shorts while she was running in order to beat a world record a few years back, thus the moniker "to pull a Paula Radcliffe"!)

For the first ten minutes after he left, I just sat on the grass trying to breath. Then, I took our duffel bag and sought out the concessions/ water, a few hundred years away from the start/finish line. Holy crap! Free soda and beer for all the racers! After about 15-20 minutes, I made my way back to the start/finish line and relaxed in the sun (talking for awhile to the mighty Irwin who had already finished both parts!). I was so excited when I saw Jim! He finished strong but as soon as he hopped off his bike, he could feel all kinds of aches in his legs ... which perfectly matched the aches in mine from running! (our final time was 2 hours, 4 minutes, and 9 seconds!)

I hope we get to do this again -- I know we are not ever going to win something like this but it's fun to do ewvents like this together (since I almost always do the running and triathlon thing by myself). I want to be a better athlete -- and I would love to do this with my very best friend in the world, Jim!

1 comment:

  1. Hey, great job! Very cool that you and your husband could do the race together. The only way I'd get my husband on a bike for 15 miles would be to lie about the distance. :) Man, that heat was brutal on the run. And whose idea was it to use shot glasses at the water stops??