Adventures in Triathlon

Multisport as art and science

My 10K as a “Bandit”

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What a busy weekend! The hubs was out of town on a bike trip with his best friend to celebrate his birthday. My mom came over for most of the weekend to help out and spend time with me and the kids. Without the help there’s no way I could have managed to get in my weekend workouts. And there’s no way I could have managed to do all of the other stuff we ended up doing!

Saturday morning my coach had our training group do a ~20 mile “time trial” on the bike. The course was pretty much a part of the tri course, but with a couple of the biggest hills cut out. She started us about 10 seconds apart and encouraged us to treat it like a race. I did my best, and had a decent ride, but I still am having one fairly major problem with my cycling. I can’t seem to get the hang of shifting on the transition from a fast downhill to a steep, or even gentle, uphill. I never quite know when, or into which gear, to shift. I seem to lose all of my momentum. On Saturday my uphill riding felt even more slow than normal. I kept glancing down at the Garmin and seeing ridiculous speeds like 8mph. WTF? I mean, I don’t *think* I usually end up going that slow up the hills. My legs felt very lead-like. On the other hand, I did feel pretty strong and fast on the flats and downhills. My average speed was 17.8mph over the 19.86 mile course. I got stuck at a couple of traffic lights (auto-stop was on, but there’s the slowing down and starting back up) and a turning vehicle slowed me down one of the round-abouts. All in all I’m happy with the ride. I think I should be able to improve on the hills, especially if I can get the feel for shifting. I would love to get my average speed to around 19mph by Columbia, but I am down to just over 30 days and that may be simply too far out of reach. Especially considering it would probably take more out of my legs than I should be allowing just before a very hilly 10k run leg.

Sunday morning I joined a couple of my friends and several of the people from the tri training group to run Clyde’s 10K in Columbia. I wasn’t actually registered because by the time I was able to confirm that my mom would be able to watch the kids, the race had already closed. I went anyway and ran along the course as a bandit. I didn’t partake in any of the race amenities, or course, being an unofficial participant. The weather was pretty much perfect for a race! Plenty warm to go with just a sleeveless running top but not hot at all. I wouldn’t have minded even cooler temperature, but I’m not complaining. The crowd was thick, especially in the first mile. Actually it never got that thinned out, but it wasn’t as crowded as the Cherry Blossom, seeing as how there were something like a 10th of the number of people! We started somewhere in the middle of the field and had to do quite a lot of dodging for the first mile. That was by far my slowest mile, but that’s fine, as it gave me a chance to get warmed up. In the second mile I think I felt a little too good and maybe should have held back a bit more. I had a fast (for me) second mile, probably going a bit too fast and precluding the possibility of running a faster second half. What can I say? I was really enjoying the run and felt good! My running friends were joking with me about how fast I was going and how they couldn’t keep up with me. These guys are stronger runners than I am and I should have stuck with them. They knew this route (and I didn’t).

Clyde's 10K Garmin Plots

The third mile is when the bigger hills hit. There are at least 2 really long hills in the middle of the race. They aren’t all that steep, but they just keep going and going. And that is what I tried to do… keep going and going. My pace definitely slowed because of the hills, and furthermore, AFTER the hills were over I couldn’t get back to the speed I had at the start. And each of the smaller hills in the last couple of miles seemed really hard. It was somewhere near the beginning of the last mile that the guys caught back up with me. The race finishes with a hill up to the end, or at least up to mile 6, then the last .2 mile is flat or a bit downhill. Heading up that hill was when my friends kicked it up (or maybe it was when I totally faded) and they went ahead of me. I was a bit bummed that I couldn’t stick it out up that hill, but then again I still knew I was having a good race. One of my friends who was also running as a bandit, turned around a bit before the finish to run the last quarter mile or so with me. He ran alongside me yelling encouragement and advice and assuring me that I could finish strong. It made a huge difference, too. I powered through the end of the race finding strength from both within and from my friend’s support. I wish I could bottle that and take it with me on a race belt for the last half mile or so of Columbia, when I know I’m going to need that mental toughness even more.

My splits and summary from Clyde's 10K

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Written by lieberwoman

April 16, 2012 at 8:02 pm

One Response

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  1. […] this year, but still remains precarious. In fact, while I had a great Cherry Blossom, and a good 10K a couple of weeks ago, since then my running has been […]


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