D.O.athlon and EWF (Easier With Friends)
I can't believe an entire year has passed so quickly. It seems like just yesterday that I was trying to pull myself together enough from a back injury to do a duathlon with my husband in September 2007. That was a great day and event - I was able to finish and neither of us were last.
Fast forward to this year's D.O.athlon duathlon. Same distances (5K run, 20K bike, 5K run), but new location in Walnut Woods Park in Des Moines. And in the course of a year, I found that some things change - like location and being a year older but other things remain entirely too much the same. I still struggle with my back and the same injury of 12 months ago and I still came to the line wishing I had more time to actually train for these events I sign myself up for.
This race was the last in a series of racing events and the the field was obviously built for competition and speed. I think if you added up all the athletes in the field, we may have come up with a whopping total fo 15% body fat for the entire group.
If I went by myself, I would have been a wee bit intimidated. But I was with friends - my husband Jim and Nancy. And it was alot of fun! Jim and Nancy made up a team (Team Underdog) and I decided to go it myself. Nancy and I had the chance to run the first leg of the run together. It is always nice to run and chat with Nancy - it was like a 5K "warm up".
And then the bike leg. The #$%$%) bike leg. I normally enjoy the bike leg and try to go out and ride as hard as I can and cruise. But today, mother nature had other plans. The 2 loop bike course was CHALLENGING! Long, steep uphills follows by very short downhills. And then to make it more fun, mother nature whipped up some headwind of 20+ mph, and rain. At one point, I was on a downhill, peddling like a madman and looked down to see I was only squeaking out 12 mph. What the heck??? On other parts of the bike course the wind was so strong it was hard to stay vertical - it felt like someone was tackling me every few feet.
But thank goodness, the bike was only a 20K and soon I was back in the park running, cheered on by Nancy and exchanging high fives with Jim as we passed on the course. And for another year, none of us were last!
As I ran along the last leg of the run, I thought about how much fun the race was with friends. And of course, as we say in our little running group, it's Easier With Friends.
Here's a salute to my running friends and all those running friends that keep us running and running happily! What would I do without you!