June 17, 2009

Salute To Freedom 5k....Chasing the Rabbit...And Adventure Racer, I am Not

I told you'd I'd post more often, and lordy lordy it's hard to keep that promise.

At any rate, I ran my race last Saturday. I did not have a flying PR like I had hoped, but I did finish within 2 seconds of my last PR (24:35) which tells me that the last PR really was that...a PR..and not just a stroke of luck.

I ran most of the course prior to the race (RC racing strategy #1), and did 6 strides right before the start (30 seconds bursts...RC racing strategy #2). I maintained a consistent 8 min pace for the first mile (RC racing strategy #3) even though I really wanted to run faster and stop getting passed by all those people who go out too fast. I was good until the half-way point. And then I'm not sure what was a combination of turning around and realizing that we running into a head wind, and the sudden realization that trying to shave so many seconds off of my time just wasn't happening. And then I thought I wasn't even running my tempo pace because when I run a race my mind tends to play tricks on me...Saturday was no different, as my mind was telling me that my tempo pace was 7:45 and I was running an 8:01. Fortunately for me, RC has a much better brain than I do and laughed (and probably thought to himself that I probably used to be blond) when I explained to him that even though I didn't PR I was more mad that I didn't even use it as a good tempo run. tempo run pace is more like an 8:20 something. So, I spent at least a good 1.5 miles beating myself up about it, when in actuality I rocked out a superb, controlled tempo run. Go me (after the fact, of course).

I found out after the race that one of our local super-star's Dad was chasing me the whole, not like that! He and I run at relatively the same pace during the weekly track workouts, so he decided that his strategy for this race would be to chase the rabbit..or the Amy. And he PRed too! Fast forward to Tuesday (the next track work after the race) and Super-Star's Dad was instructed by RC to chase me on our 6 x 800's. To say it mildly, I was flattered. There used to be this time in my life where I felt like I was chasing everyone else and always pulling up the rear. Well, I'm still chasing everyone else but it felt good to know that I was finally...FINALLY...pulling someone along. Not sure what RC has in store for us tonight, but I wouldn't mind being chased again (that sounds weird....)

Since I've waited so long to post about a race 2 weeks ago, I'll fill you in on my racing adventures last Saturday too. Who doesn't love a 3 for 1 post? It goes something like this: Troy volunteered to be on an adventure race team with a former teammate...The Siego on Ft Yargo...some how or another, I agreed to be a part of that team not fully knowing what I was getting myself into. In other words, I was sick to my stomach everyday for a week leading up to and including the day of the race. Turns out I had reason to be scared. I've come to learn that every adventure race is different, and this one proved to be the same...different than what I thought. It consisted of 3 legs: a bike (mountain biking of course), a canoe, and a trek (I thought it was going to be a trail run...but it wasn't...more on that later). We had to orienteer through the woods on each leg and get at least 2 checkpoints on each leg. We had 5 hours in the blazing GA heat to find as many checkpoints as we could. We were randomly selected to do the trek first which I was excited about for the first 5 minutes because I thought it was trail run.

It wasn't. We made our way up the hill following the power lines (running...with a camelbak...and a life vest...which just made me feel like I was running in my own personal sauna). There were supposed to be two checkpoints at the top of the hill...just off in the woods...and looked relatively easy to find in the woods. They weren't. Actually, they were both misplaced and we spent almost an hour and a half looking for them. That wasn't the bad part. The bad part was tromping through knee to waist high brush and dead trees...and I couldn't see my feet...and I was getting stuck by thorny vines...and I kept thinking "what if I step on a snake?" NO, really what I was thinking is "4 more hours of this???" The other part of the trek that I wasn't looking forward to was a swim across the lake (guess that's why it's called a "trek" and not a "run"). I don't swim. I'd like to learn. I don't swim in lakes either. And I don't want to learn how to do that. Fortunately Troy cut his big toe trying to get a checkpoint in the lake and then with all the time we had already wasted, my team members decided to bag the swim (and they have no idea how grateful I was!)

Onto the canoe. No big deal except that there wasn't a 3rd seat so I had on knee pads and was supposed to sit on my knees the whole time so I could paddle. Sitting on my knees hurt my ankles so I opted to just paddle sitting on my behind...which wasn't really paddling at all. It was more of a "clank-clank...clank-clank" as my oars hit the side of the boat and never came close to hitting the water. At this point I didn't care because I knew I didn't have to "trek" through any scary brush anymore. I did feel bad for my teammates though because so far, on this adventure, I have been useless (and just so you know...I was pretty useless the rest of the race as well). We opted to just get the mandatory 2 checkpoints and move onto the mountain bike (I could hear angels signing in the background!). One important thing I did learn on the canoe: rowing would probably make my arms look really really amazing.

Back to land and oops! someone lost our checkpoint passport! Luckily a fabulous and wonderful team found it at the last checkpoint and brought it back for us. Thanks guys!

Onto the mountain bike. This was the part I had the most fun in because, well, I just like riding my bike. I thought I was pulling up the rear, but luckily we were with another team of all males for most of it, and I was better on the bike than one of those guys. Score one for Amy! Because we had spent so much time on the previous legs of the race we basically just had enough time to ride the course (you had to go all the way around the lake) and get a few checkpoints. The only part that really sucked was at the end we took some pretty hilly street roads. And I was out of steam. I ended up pushing my bike (how embarrassing) but I was so ready to be done with this race that I really didn't care what anyone else thought...

All in all, I liked my team (Troy and Dave) and my team name (Two Farts and A Tart) and that was about it. I'm not the adventure racing type. The tromping through brush and having to get checkpoints part really soured my taste for all things adventurey. I think (if I learn how to swim) I could totally do a trail triathlon? Is there such thing? Maybe I could be talked into another one? Who knows.

So, there are my adventures as of late. I'm really going to have to get on the blogging bandwagon as these posts are entirely too long!

Oh, one last thing: I quit my job last week to go pursue my dream of being an Olympic athlete. that's not what I'm going to be doing! Actually, I'm going to work with Troy at the business he started 10 years ago ( It's pretty exciting and not at all as scary as I thought it was going to be...and maybe...just maybe I'll have more time to post more often :)

Have a great week...I smell a beach trip in my future!


Stefanie said...

Actually yes there are trail triathlons. It's the Xterra Series. Unfortuntaly all of the Xterra events in GA are trail runs on tri's. However there are some events near by in SC, TN and FL. You can totally rock the Rock N Roll man Sprint next year!

Trey Gavin said...

Congrats on your first Adventure Race. These things are all different. Having gear and proper training is usually the difference between fun and immense suffering.

On another note... dump FACEBOOK and hit twitter. You can do 1 sentence posts to keep your readers up to speed because you can link it to your blog. I love it. Also, twitter doesn't have the burden of people constantly harassing you to be their friend... they either follow you or don't. I told you that I stalk your blog!!!! Keep up the running!

Home exchange said...

Congratulations on the job decision! Sounds pretty exciting, and you'll have more time to do fun things! Cool blog.