July is my birthday month! I love having my birthday in the summer and it always reminds of the pool parties or trips to Six Flags that we would do for my birthday! This year, Paul had a bachelor party to attend during my birthday, so we celebrated early with sushi and seeing Joseph and the Technicolor Dreamcoat at Starlight, the outdoor theatre.
Since he was gone on my birthday, I decided to do something exciting solo. Of course, that translates to a race. I signed up for Psycho Wyco on purpose, but I meant to only sign up for the 10 mile race.. because, you know, I was supposed to have completed 50 miles the weekend before. Well, I goofed and signed up for the 50k by accident. I decided to roll with it anyway. I mean, what’s 21 more miles?
The race started fairly late at 8am and I live pretty close to the trail, so I even got to sleep in a little bit. The 50k and 20 mile racers started at 8am and it was already pretty toasty. The course was another looped course with 3 10.3 mile loops.
I really don’t trails run very often. I love it and I wish I did, but I always get nervous about getting lost. I wear my old pair of Brooks Cascadias which I bought when we hiked the Inca Trail in 2012. I have no issues switching between these and my Brooks Adrenaline. I also wore my Orange Mud backpack which I am in love with. I was able to stash my phone in there since I was running alone, as well as Gu.
The first loop was a blast. I had an awesome time navigating the rocks and branches. It amazes me how some people can just barrel down a hill at top speed, while I often stop to climb over things. I definitely need practice!
I finished the first loop (10 miles) about 30 minutes faster (1:30) than when I ran the loop back in December! I stopped at my gear bag and ate some jerky, refilled the water bottle in my Orange Mud backpack and then started loop 2. This loop was a lot slower, but I was still feeling good. Thankfully the trail is mostly shaded. I stopped at each aid station to fill up my bottle and I had the GREATEST bacon grilled cheese at one stop. Towards mile 17, I started to get really hot. The temp was in the mid 90s and while we were in the shade, there wasn’t any wind on the trail either.
At the end of loop 2, I ate a lot more jerky, chips and more Gu. I started loop 3, but I was struggling and very hot. I walked almost an entire mile before trying to get my pace back up. By 1.5 miles into loop 3, I was ready to call uncle. I alternated run/walking until I got to the first aid station around mile 3. The volunteers were SO nice. They encouraged me to sit, drink, eat and take the time to cool off, but I wasn’t really interested in it. This certainly was NOT an A race, I was ready to just call it a day. One of the volunteers gave me a ride in her car back to the Start. I was feeling rather guilty for taking the ride, but she said she had driven almost 10 other people back already too. It was a HOT day.
I turned in my bib and they still gave me the 20 mile medal. All told I went about 23.5 miles. I know I could have toughed it out and walked the rest of the loop, but hell, it was my birthday. I wanted to get home, shower and order some pizza 😀
The next weekend (July 20th, hey, I’m only a month behind!), we had Kansas 5150. I had originally wanted this to be an A race so that I could qualify for the 5150 championship at HyVee in August. However, after major IM burnout, I really haven’t swam or biked much this spring. Paul was in the same boat, so we just decided to go out there and get some good exercise in 😀
The swim was wetsuit legal, but boy, it was warm. I was worried almost immediately that I made a huge mistake wearing it, but it ended up not overheating me too bad. My swim was slooooow, but I felt good and steady the entire time. I never needed to flip over and backstroke or stop or anything. My time was 44:26. Woof.
I was hoping to blow my bike time out of the water from last year just because I was now on my tri bike and I think I have grown a lot as a cyclist in general. I ended up only averaging .2 in speed more (14.2 overall), but at least I didn’t feel so deflated after my bike like I did last year. After last year, I was convinced I could never pull off an Ironman. I also felt confident knowing the course and after getting past the halfway point, I made an effort to try and kick it up a notch. I really need to get back on my trainer and riding outside, because I think I have the potential to make some real strides on the bike.
The run was HOT, but I pushed hard to get under 1:00. I ended up hitting 1:01:18, so close, but not quite. The run is still my favorite part.
Overall, I came in last in my division (out of only 7). Ouch. However, that means I still qualified for the HyVee championship race by default…(same as last year). If you can tell by my random ultramarathons, under-trained Grandma’s Marathon, and this race, my training or lackthereof is just all over the place. If I want to get GOOD at anything, I need to pick a plan and stick to it, but right now I’m honestly having fun just experiencing everything.
On the radar I have the HyVee Triathlon over Labor Day weekend and then the Berlin Marathon at the end of September. I’m making no promises for HyVee, but I’d love to get focused on running a bit more and race Berlin at around 4:30.
Oh, and a teeny little thing happened: Paul and I signed up for Ironman Louisville in October 2015. Sorry for partying 😀