Bring on the Birthday! 
Friday, July 17, 2009, 12:17 AM
Posted by Administrator
Paul and I hit the road Saturday morning for a 90-minute tandem ride. We were motivated to get out fairly early as it was forecasted to be 110 degrees that day. All was going well until, about 1.5 miles from home, I heard a strange noise and then felt something slapping me on the back. Paul hit the brakes and then expertly maneuvered us off the road and onto the dirt shoulder. I was sure that we were going down, but he somehow managing to keep us upright and, for this, he has earned my lifelong love and admiration. Okay...he already had those, but the situation certainly reinforced my wise choice of husband and tandem captain.

It turns out that the noise was the tread coming completely off of the tire, and the painful back-slapping was the tread hitting me each time the tire rotated, until it got wound up and looked something like this.

The tube was still intact and so we were able to remove the shredded tread and ride home - very slowly.

I was in bed early that night wondering how I had let Denise talk me into doing the inaugural Run With the Roosters 5-Miler. When I signed up, I had thought that 5:15 a.m. was not a bad time to run at all. I get up that early and run on my own sometimes. What I didn't take into account was that the race was at Old Tucson Studios - a 40-minute drive - and that we needed to be there at least 15 minutes early. All of this meant a 3:30 a.m. wake-up and out the door at 4:00.

As it turned out, once I was awake, I was fine. Or so I thought until I met Denise to carpool and realized that I had left her race packet on my kitchen table. Apparently I was not as awake as I thought.

It was a beautiful morning; the scenery out by Old Tucson is spectacular; and the temps were very comfortable for the entire race. I was impressed that almost 300 people showed up for this early morning event.

I really had no idea how I would do at this race. I had no goal and did not warm up beforehand. My plan was just to run and see how I felt. As it turns out, I felt great! I have absolutely no idea why, but nothing hurt, I had lots of energy and I kept of a good pace despite the rolling hills.

At the first turnaround, I kept an eye out for friends and fellow Tri Girls to holler encouragement and I thought it was strange that I hadn't seen Shari. However, when I stopped to grab some water at the next aid station, I discovered that she had been right on my tail matching my pace. I stayed right in front of her until the final aid station when I stopped for a drink and she kept going. The last bit of the course was uphill and so it was nice to have Shari in front of me now to keep me motivated. I caught her just before the finish and we crossed together which was great.

I highly recommend this race - it's worth the loss of sleep. Denise and I hung out for some breakfast, socializing, free massages, and the awards ceremony. Congrats to Renee for picking up some hardware!

I was thrilled with my time of 48:02 (9:37 pace), especially on such a hilly course, but was disappointed that this still left me at 14th out of 31 in my age group. Could it be that I am an aged 34 year-old in the 30 - 34 age group? You know, competing against all of those young, spry 30-year olds. Studying the results (which were posted that afternoon - always a nice touch) I found that, had I already been bumped up to the 35 - 39 group, I would have come in 8th out of 22. So, I welcome my 35th birthday (which is in 11 days) and look forward to having new goals in a new age group.

Next up? Canada! Paul and I leave Saturday for 11 days of adventure in the Calgary area.
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