I. I forgot to put any posts about a race I did last month. I went to the Culpeper Olympic on Sunday the 3rd. All in all, it was a good day but I didn’t get home in time for much of the birthday party happening at lunchtime across the street. It took me 2:20:27 to get around the hilly course which is not even close to a best time at that distance.
I swam a few seconds over 22 minutes and although the pace was not noteworthy, it felt right. For the first time in more than a year, the swim felt like I was pushing just hard enough from start to finish. I was first in my wave and age group and second overall. I wore the Roka Viper speed suit again — and really, if that suit had existed and been race legal when I was a kid I would have lived in it at age group swimming meets. I really love it. The bike was hilly but there was really only one “leg buster” and in part it was so bad because I didn’t see it coming. My average power was 239 watts and the normalized power was 250. I was aiming for a NP of 263. My Garmin had it at 1821 feet of elevation gain. I was passed right out of transition by a younger guy and I kept him in sight for 19 miles before passing him for good. I had hoped to be the first off the bike but was passed by another guy (Mike Stevenson from Ignite) and though we yo-yoed a bit with me gaining on the descents, he finished the bike leg seconds ahead of me. To his great credit, he was out of transition way ahead of me and then continued to run away.
The run was a slog. Elsewhere I noted that after the first two miles I was in triage mode. I had done 5:31 bike followed by a 17 minute brick run on the day before the race and I really felt it on the run course. I had no oomph, no spark. At the end of the day, I was first in my age group and twelfth overall. I hung out with some friends from the shop and saw at least one person from the Tuesday night run crowd.
II. Last weekend, the tribe did a 5k at Great Falls. Everyone took part and it was the first in the series — I think we have been to three or four since last autumn — where I was not running alongside one of the kids. What at doozy. The course was a bit long; as in, it was 4.29 miles and included a massive stair-step style hill through the woods that we had to do twice. I did a brick the day before this race too — 105/5 miles — and even though I think I finished 10th overall, the big win of the day was simply outpacing E. It won’t be long before she gets me every time.
III. We went to Family Camp. I had the most sublime run of the year there. I circumnavigated the lake. It was 12.1 miles and took me a big chunk of the morning but I never really tired and I could have kept going. At the end, it was a 7:57 pace on a hilly course on a sunny day with no water or nutrition for duration. Later that day I told Dana that I felt like a runner. This is no small feat and I attribute it all to the magic of the environment. Even if those runs — that feeling — only comes a few times a year, it is what makes it worthwhile. Hard to believe that I spent time hobbled and on crutches earlier this year.