Friday, May 25, 2012

Aquathon Y'all

First things first.  Monday was the Evil Genius's end-of-school-year program at the church.  It was an adorable program with all of the kids singing songs on stage in the small sanctuary and all of the proud parents cheering them on.  I didn't get any pictures of the program itself, but mom came up for a couple of nights to visit and attend the program.  It was a wonderful visit.
We did get to go to dinner at Natty Greene's brewpub, one of our new favorite places.  Natty Greene's keeps sponsoring races that I'm in, and their marketing works.  They have a great patio for outside dining, it's in a cool part of downtown, and the kids like eating there.
Bigun has dicovered giving people bunny ears on photos.

Evil Genius was an unwitting victim

This marks the end of EG's time in Connections preschool at the church.  She went through the 3 year old and 4 year transitional kindergarten program (and loved being a TK Tiger).  She absolutely loved being at the school.  It brought us much closer to the church, she had a great social outlet and made some fantastic friends.  Right now all she wants to do is celebrate her new grade and is excited about starting at Bigun's school in the Kindergarten program.  Now instead of telling her she's on a summer break, we tell her she's "tracked out" just like Bigun will be.

Bigun tracks out next week. Today is Field Day at her school, so she's all excited about the potato sack race and other fun outside activities.  She will go back to school July 9th as a second grader, and for the next 4 years we will have both kids in a year round school on the same schedule and out of the house from 9:30 to 3:45 every day.  I cannot tell you how excited I am about this.

Aquathon #1

Wednesday night was the first Aquathon, a series of three swim/run races that take place on the first wednesday of the month for may, june, and july.  This month's race got pushed back to may 23rd for park restrictions, and it took place at Harris Lake state park in New Hill NC, just outside of Raleigh.  It's supposed to be an old school way to check your mid-season fitness against local competitors.  Turned out to be a fantastic race series, as I ran two out of the three races last year, and this year is looking even better.

Of course, since it was 84* outside and sunny all day, Kelley left the windows down on the car so it wouldn't be sweltering hot when we got in there to drive to the race.  This caused me to laugh heartily when we forgot about that during the thunderstorm when the car got rained on.  These are the memories we make and I love it.

Before the race
There's a bit of a gap in our pictures thanks to a thunderstorm.  This race is a half mile swim followed by a 2.6 mile run, making the whole thing a 5k distance. It started at 6:30 pm, so you're supposed to be able to get there after work and get a fun race in.  Packet pickup was supposed to end at 6 pm.  At 5:25, when we left the house, there was a torrential downpour thunderstorm going on.  But I knew it was supposed to clear out by 6:15.  Sure enough, I got the packet in the rain, we got that one pic when the rain had stopped, and when I went to setup my transition area Kelley got the kids back in the car to wait out the rain.  Eventually the storm blew through and it was a nice cool evening to race.  They had some trouble getting the buoy's out in the water, including a boat with people fishing right on our swim course, but by about 6:45 everything was clear and we were off!

Swim 1/2 mile: goal 15:00 actual 13:23

The swim was two laps and the buoys were just sort of placed out there in the middle of the lake.  I know I was pushing it pretty hard so I can totally believe the accuracy of the distance, but I'm not going to 100% guarantee you that it isn't a bit short.  The start was a bit congested, but soon enough I was able to split up between people.  I swam very slim, seemingly passing people at will.  I took an elbow to the chest once, got kicked in the shoulder once, and brought my arm down on someone's back once or twice.  Overall that first lap was very clean. 

By the second lap the field was spread out enough to not be a problem.  I did start pulling to the right pretty hard about halfway through the second lap so my arm form must have started to break down by then.  I came out of the water feeling clean and strong, much stronger than last year.

The eventual winner came out of the water in 8:18, and only one other person broke 10 minutes.  Most of the top 10 were in the 11:18 to 12:12 range.  So I am amazingly pleased with that swim.  Being that close to the race leaders means that my RAM practices are really starting to pay off.

Transition: goal 1:30, actual 1:10

Dry off a little bit, throw on some socks and running shoes and get out of there.  Really should have been under a minute, but I was trying to get my heart rate down so I wouldn't start the run completely exhausted.

Run 2.6 miles: no split available

The course went down a road for a bit then turned onto some double track trail.  End of the trail was a turnaround.  There was water at the trailhead and the turnaround, and I took it both times.  A few hundred meters before the turnaround I had a horrible side stitch settle in.  I knew it was dehydration because I didn't drink enough water before the start.    I absolutely hate running those trails anyway, it's just the wrong mix of sun/shade and uphill/downhill.  It's like that trail tries to make it as tough as possible to begin with.  Every year I say I'm not going to run that trail again, and every year I keep coming back.  torture.

Kelley and the kids were out on the road near the finish line, so it was pretty cool hearing their cheers and getting high fives from the kids going into the trail. 
Running in a speedo isn't always glamorous.
When I came off of the trail and turned back onto the road the side stitch got me, and I walked for two breaths.  Two people passed me at that point.  I was pissed about that; I should have been able to hang on.  There are series points at stake here!  Of course those two kicked it into the finish so I couldn't catch them again.  And one of them ended up being in my age group, damnit.

Coming into the finish getting ready to high five the girls
Finish: 34:16, 4 / 4 Men 35-39, 32 / 62 overall

Unbelievable.  I didn't know that guy that passed me was in my age group at the time or I might have fought harder.  I thought he was younger than me.  He finished in 34:05, so I was only 11 freaking seconds away from an age group award!  Blerg.  I'll get him next time.

Last year I finished this race in 36:11, so I still picked up 2 minutes since then, which I'm really pleased with.  It is quite unusual for me to blow it on the run leg, that's usually my strong suit.  But next month holds another aquathon with a more unusual format, so redemption will be mine!
Walking back to the lake after the finish
When it was all said and done we let the kids play in the lake for a bit.  The park had a great playground so they had a ball soaking up the race environment and playing outside all evening.

The fun fact about Harris lake is that it's the water used to cool the reactors at the nuclear power plant (visible in the background in the last picture).  So during the swim you'll unexpectedly encounter a patch of 90* water, that just makes you swim faster to get through that hot stuff.  Cool lake, cool park, cool race.  What better way to spend a Wednesday night?


B. Kramer said...

Congrats on a great race. You illustrate why I think everyone is in my age group at the finish. None shall pass! You'll get him next time. Cheers!

Rose @ Eat, Drink, and Be Meiri said...

This is why I like having people's ages written on their calves in triathlons. I know when I need to pass someone.

Lisa from Lisa's Yarns said...

I love that picture of the girls spectating and you are running! So sweet!

And that is awesome that they'll be in the same school on the same schedule! That's huge!

raulgonemobile said...

Nice race! Love the fact that your fam comes out to support you.

I've seen that power plant while driving around down there.. I didn't realize there was a park there. lol

Kyria @ Travel Spot said...

Good job! I hate it when someone in my age group passes me in the very end! It makes me so mad! I love that photo of the girls giving you fives!

Unknown said...

so close! still, you did great!