How a 5K turned into a biathlon
Biathlon as in “an athletic contest combining two events.” Not two events as in, “cross-country skiing and rifle shooting.” This biathlon included running and biking and that friends, is enough.
I awoke that morning and biked the less than 2 miles to Volunteer Park for the race. I met up with my friends and freaked out a little. At what point does a person’s brain communicate to it’s mouth, “We should run a 5K for which we haven’t trained”? We were there pretty early and walked around for a bit. I was overly talkative and “laughy” because that’s what happens when I’m afraid. Eventually an announcer started talking and people began to line up. We went to the waaaaayy back and commiserated with others. We began at a leisurely pace. Luckily I ran it with my friend who runs triathlons and her fiancee who does not. She set a wonderful pace and the first mile was, actually, fun. We cornered a cemetery went downhill, and my body was fine.
Then, my body got angry. Maybe angry is a bit much, annoyed…defiant. Yes, defiant is perfect.
My breathing was fine, I wasn’t out of breath. I could feel a little pang in my stomach, but it was nothing like the side stitches of my youth. Something happened — oh right, a hill — I remember. We encountered a hill and opted to walk up. Mistake. I will own it. That was a mistake.
My legs became robotic. My arms were noodles and my everything else flopped around in the in the between. It was difficult to begin running again, but I did. I think I said, “If I don’t run now, I won’t ever run again.” Yup. Those were my exact words. So we ran. We rounded the corner and I saw the finish line. For some reason, I felt disappointed. I realized just how short of a course it was and just how much I had left to give to it. We sprinted through the finish line, had our foot tags removed, and waited for the final member of our party.
Afterwards, we went had brunch and then I biked home. I didn’t even avoid the uphill portion.
I wanted to relax, take a shower, and hang out with my dog. Instead, I got an alert that I was supposed to be a a 2 year old’s birthday party. It was going to be over in an hour. So, I booked it. I changed clothes — some of them, hopped on my bike and raced 5.1 miles to a friend’s mother’s house. I looked like crap. At one point I sat in a chair and experienced the exact opposite of what happened around mile 2.5. My entire body melted into accordance and my brain shut-off. I hung out for a bit longer and then had to leave. So, I biked around 4 miles home and got on a bus for the last mile. I was just so tired.
Overall however, I felt good. I’d like to race again without or without others. I even found a website that helps calculate your runs for you.I do see more difficult events in my future. It was fun and I didn’t get nearly as competitive as I feared. My final results were:
846/1079 with a time of 37:19 average time was 33:10. My pace was 12:02. Not bad. Not bad at all.