The 2017 race season has officially started!!! This one was close as it almost didn’t happen. Ever since Cherry Blossom 10 Mile Run my left calf has not been the same. Then, when you combine a weak calf with TKD Family Class of spinning back hook kicks… you will get a pulled calf muscle. To make things worse, I haven’t been the smartest injured runner as I ran a 5k (while traveling in Costa Rica for work) where I strained it again, and then felt MORE pain during the Speed Sherpa team training camp last weekend while doing our Sunday nine mile fun run. I am NOT the brightest injured athlete.
This led me to call a fellow teammate to get some non-emotional advice if I should race or not. I’m pretty sure I was highly advised against racing from my pain level descriptions as of yesterday (Saturday) afternoon… but was then altered to “see what you feel like tomorrow morning”.1
The race morning started like any other weekday morning where I wake up at 4:00am and eat a quick breakfast, getting mentally ready for the day. I arrived at the race site early as I wanted to do a short warm-up to see how my leg was going to behave. I did a quick 1.5 mile ride to make sure the bike was ready to go, and get my calf ready for my warmup 1 mile run. After my warm-up I could tell that my calf was tight, but it didn’t hurt. It was go time!
I knew exactly what I wanted to do in the pool. I wanted a comfortable, relax stroke the first 150 yards with quick push-offs at the walls. I did catch up to the swimmers who started before me, but waited till the last lap and sprinted past five individuals. I can do pool swimming all day.
The bike course was a closed off two-lane “commercial zoned” area of Chantilly, VA that consists of two loops of mostly flat, with an occasional low rolling “hills” (not really hills… but not 100% flat). The first loop I tried to keep a high cadence while pushing myself just under “race pace” to make sure I didn’t burn myself out. The second lap was the time to kick it a little harder as I wasn’t sure what was going to happen on the run.
The run course was mostly on a paved trail system in the middle of trees. Normally I would be thankful for tree shade, but today the “urban forest” mostly captured the humidity towards the ground vs. letting it escape to the clouds. As mentioned above I was very cautious about my calf, because every step I was sure it would be my last “running” step and be forced to walk. Somehow, I was allowed to keep going.
Post Race Thoughts
This race was so much fun for several reasons:
- Racing with teammates makes ANY event that much better. Great to see Joe and Federico racing, and teammates Kathy and Josh supporting racers by volunteering!
- Since the race venue was close to home, my family was able to cheer me on… and for a while they were pacing me while I was pounding on the bike and they were trying to find parking!
- Joking with racers while on the course makes the event better
- Getting a hi-five from Kathy as I exited the water
- Seeing other volunteers or official Rev3 staff shouting encouragement
- Fellow Wattie Inc racers giving each other a supportive head nod or a shout-out of encouragement
- Brave female survivor of the crazy squirrel that attempted to attack her during my second loop.
- “Embrace the suck” during the final mile of the run where I began thinking I could place in the top three of my age group and step on the podium.
The race itself was great. As always Rev3 did a spectacular job of communicating what to expect, ensuring the course was well marked, and had some great extras like food (breakfast burritos for finishers), music entertainment, and some great awards at the end.
- Overall: Placed 31st out of 412 (top 8%).
- Gender: Placed 25th out of 241 (top 10%).
- Male 40-44: Placed 2nd out of 42
Among the Male 40-44 category there were 42 athletes, which I ranked on a per sports comparison
- Swim: Ranked 9th
- Bike: Ranked 5th
- Run: Ranked 5th
|Rev3 Westfields Sprint||250y Swim||T1||11.8 Mile Bike||T2||3.1 Mile Run||Total|