Triple Threat and Double Trouble

Five months in and so far, I've kept my resolution to do one event each month - my quest for 12 in 2012. May has been my busiest month yet. I've competed in three events in three weekends! My triple threat has included two relays and one 5K and all have been a blast. Plus, Double Trouble was the name of my sprint relay team with my niece, Lydia! I'm thankful that I chose this year to do a few new races and share them with friends and family!

The first test may have been the hardest. Jen, Michelle, Jess and I tackled the White Lake Half Iron. Michelle, Jess and I - the Derby de Mayos - split the effort. Michelle did the swim, Jess the bike and I did the run. Jen did the whole 70.3!

We met our goal: we did it to do it. We weren't in it to win it. We did it to have fun. Michelle beat her predicted time by 10 minutes, Jess killed the bike and I finished! Honestly, it was one of the hardest runs EVER.  Prior to my run leg, I watched Michelle start and finish her swim and cheered Jess onto her bike start. I had gone back to our home base (more on that in a minute), eaten a light lunch and even taken a nap! My only worry as I waited for Jess to return was a nagging fire ant bite on my left foot - scored at T1. Otherwise, I felt strong. But, by the time I started the run, it was high noon and it was close to 95 degrees.

Let me warn you that White Lake triathlons are no joke. Wait. There is a joke: Erica (the smart one who chose Las Vegas over White Lake) and Renee joke that White Lake is a secret gate to hell. The lake itself is usually beautiful, but for three of my races has been dark and choppy. It may be spring fed, but by the springs of Hades. The roads are not paved with good intentions. they may have been, but now they're a string of patched-up asphalt. [Ba-bump, ba-bump, ba-bump] There is a big white wall as you round one edge of the lake's oval that radiates heat (from the core of HELL!). Of course, there is something tempting about this mecca of triathlons and urse, we keep going back. This was my seventh White Lake tri!

My mantra for this race was: you know what's hardcore? BLANK is hardcore.I filled it with everything in sight. I am hardcore. That guy is hardcore. My pace is hardcore, etc. Fire hydrants are hardcore. Truly, White Lake is hardcore. 

I had a race plan: run 4 miles without stopping in heart rate zone 2, run to the turn-around and walk a minute, run a mile + walk a minute to mile 10 and then run it in. I was hoping to finish in 2h15m. I didn't stick to it. I ran the first 5K at a great pace. I stayed in HRZ2 and kept up a 9min/mile pace. I stopped at the first aid station and ran two more miles. For the next few miles, I'd run for half a mile, walk a half mile. I did walk/run fartleks [which is truly a joke because fartleks mean speedplay and there was nothing speedy about me]. I'd run to one fire hydrant, walk to the next. Walk to one billboard, run to the next.

I sang it: I'm Mr. Heat Miser. I'm Mr. Sun.

My saving grace: ice at the aid stations. I would pick up a cup of ice water and drink a few sips. I'd shove a few pieces into my sports bra, tuck a few in the back pocket of my tank top, pour some water into the front of my tri shorts and run with a few pieces in each hand. I'd make myself run until the ice in my hand turned to water. Ice is hardcore.

Mile No. 10 - my longest - took 14 minutes. My heart rate kept soaring into Zone 3 and my legs threatened to cramp. With two miles to go, I saw a woman ahead of me with a big fat R (for RELAY) on her left calf and thought: well, I can at least pass one more. I increased my pace and was happy to finish in 2:30:16. Two hours and thirty minutes is hardcore.

The great thing was that I was not disappointed in my performance. I was happy to finish in the time that I did with the conditions I faced. Plus, I was excited about our finish line celebration! The whole weekend really centered on the Derby de Mayo party......behind the aforementioned white fence!

Yes, it's true: the Derby de Mayos stayed at Camp Clearwater! I can't reveal too much because what happens at White Lake stays at White Lake. I will say that there was cornhole, hula hooping, supermoon, headstands, a missed dance at the RV pavilion, a horsey ride, a crazy hat game, moonshine and more. Oh, yes, I'll Have Another. We were hard core. Here's a peek at what you missed:

Stay tuned for the part two of Triple Threat and Double Trouble! More to come........

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