A few days after the Clackamas Cove triathlon, I tried running a few miles. I limped home and struggled to go up and down the stairs. After 2 weeks, I saw a sports medicine doctor. We've tried a few different things, but I haven't yet been able to run more than 2 miles without pain. Still, he said that I probably wasn't going to do any damage by racing, so he taped my knee up on Friday and wished me luck.
I usually have a mantra for each race- something that I keep repeating in my head when it gets tough. Saturday's was "Today's Best." It wasn't going to be my est race, but I would do the best that I could do on that particular day. I even had the volunteer who was body marking write it on my arm for me.
The race was at Blue Lake in Northeast Portland. I had gone to the lake 2 weekends before to swim in the lake and ride the bike course. The water was warm enough to swim without a wetsuit and the course (Marine drive along the Columbia River Gorge) was beautiful and pancake flat.
My age group was in the first wave of the swim. I was really surprised at how many 20-29 year olds were racing. My age group is usually small and not very competitive. My swim was sub-par. We swam out to the east, right into the rising sun. I couldn't see the buoy to sight and my taped knee caused me to veer to the right much more than I normally would.
800 yard swim- 18:56 (2:09 pace)
It was quite a long sprint to get to the transition area. I, as usual, had one of the fastest transitions of all of the competitors, especially since I didn't have to bother with a wetsuit.
The race officials were unable to close all of the roads for the original intended course, so they made a smaller, 2 loop bike course. I hate being unprepared for a course. The new course was hillier and not nearly as scenic. I didn't like slowing to turn around or switching between head winds and tail winds so many times. It did make it easier to count how many were ahead of me though!
12 mile bike- 42:15 (15.62 mph)
Another quick transition. I didn't know it at the time, but there was a girl in my age group who was chasing me out of transition. She came out just 11 seconds behind me.
My knee was bugging me right away. I walked on and off for the first 3/4 mile or so. The girl in my age group passed me. Her pace was slow enough though that I felt like I could keep up. I stayed on her shadow until we got to the turn around and aid station. She slowed down for water and I passed her. I settled into a weird hobble/run at about a 9:20 pace, pretty quick for not bending my right knee.
The path got a little hilly when we got back to the park. Hills were really hard without one knee. The girl in my age group must have been tailing me the whole time, because she passed me down one of the hills. She was sprinting, but she misjudged the distance left to the finish line. I knew, based on her speed earlier in the race, that she probably wouldn't be able to hold it for the last 600 yards or so. My adrenaline kicked in and I couldn't feel any pain in my knee anymore. I picked up the pace to my all out sprint. I passed her and was able to hold her off, finishing 12 seconds ahead of her.
5k run- 29:19 (9:26 pace)
Total time- 1:33:53
|Awesome finisher medals!|
I knew that there were 7 girls ahead of me from my swim wave, but I didn't know how many were in the 20-24 group instead of my own age group. I had some lunch, packed up my gear and watched the other awards ceremonies while waiting for the results to be posted. I was pretty disappointed when the results were printed and I saw that I was 4th in my age group. I had such a good season and hated to miss the podium at my last race. Then I discovered that the top 2 girls in my age group had taken overall 1st and 3rd, so my age group awards rolled down so that I got 2nd in my age group. I've maintained my streak and gotten 2nd in my AG in every single one of my timed triathlons.
|Cute division medals|
I have cancelled my plans for a fall half marathon in order to rest and recover my knee. I just got clipless pedals for my bike and it will take a while to get confident in my cycling with them. I have a bike ride to the beach with my tri club later this month. (I'm only doing the last 40 mile leg, not the entire 100 miles.) My next step in rehab is an acupuncture treatment in 2 weeks. I am hopeful that I will be able to train to run a half marathon in January. I've got to get at least one half marathon under my belt before I make the leap to half ironman. I may have to put it off for a few years though. I'm starting an accounting program and school is going to take priority over racing, at least for a while.