Sunday, April 09, 2006

The Rio Rancho Duathlon (race report)

Nearly twenty-two years ago, I gave birth to my first child. I presented to the emergency room in labor around 2 am, labored for fifteen hours until I was told that I was going to have to have my first child by natural childbirth. I was told that this was because of some anomoly in my spine that prevented and epidural (this was later found out to be utter bullshit). I was nineteen years old, 5'5", and a size eight. Sometime after 10:20 that night, my son, eight pounds and fourteen ounces, was born.
I'm telling you this now because that was easier than what I did this morning. This was by and large the hardest thing I've ever done in my life. It was harder than the two half marathons I've done. I'd spent Friday night and all day Saturday escorting junior high kids to the state science fair in Socorro, and got back home last night at 9:30 pm. I was in bed at 10:30. At eight o'clock in the morning I took off on the first 5K run, which went straight up the hill, up another hill, and the last mile through soft sand. I kept a good pace, about 11:40 mile (the best I've ever done, I think) but I did say the F word when I got to the sand. I hate sand. I said the F word a lot during that mile, both the first 5K and on the second.
Then it was off on the bike - it was a 25K ride, but went up and down rolling hills while gradually gaining altitude out on Unser road. The bike back was against a slight wind - about 6mph - and not that much easier for the rolling hills going back. By the time I got to the last hill I was saying, "I can't do this. I'm done. I'll never be able to do the second 5K. I don't have anything left". Somehow or other, though, I managed to drop three people on the bike and head into T2 and go out on the 2nd run.

...which, and I imagine is no big surprise, was considerably slower than the first one. It is lonely being nearly last. I suppose being first is lonely too, but somehow more satisfying. Half the volunteers had left already. By the time I got to the last four hundred meters, which was around a track and through the finish line, I was alternating walking twenty steps, running twenty steps. I was whooped. Holy cow.
but what a race! The course was well-marked. It was well-organized. All the people present were enthusiastic and encouraging. I yelled "GO RAMS" a lot. (The Rio Rancho track team were volunteers, and I teach in Rio Rancho). The bike course was on a smooth paved road. My only complaint was the usual borish behavior of Rio Rancho drivers on the road - they rarely gave a full lane when passing, blocked cyclists and blew their horns at them, unless prompted by the Police not to do those things. Apparently, not being 30 seconds late to church, fishing, or whatever was more important than the safety of cyclists on the road. But I digress.
My friend Karen Williams took first Athena. I took second. I don't know if I'll do it again. If I do, it will be as a personal measure to see what kind of progress I've made. but one interesting thing: Rio Rancho is getting an aquatic center, and the race director, Mark Miko, said he plans to turn this into a triathlon! that I would definitely do, because the one thought that kept running around in my mind was, "boy, I'd sure like a swim right about now!"
First run split, I think about 11:40 per mile.
Bike split, average speed about 13 mph.
Second run split, average 14 minute per mile.
Results, 2nd place, Athena division.


  1. Great Job honey! I'm very proud of you!

  2. Congrats!!!! Sounds like a brutal race, and you kicked it's be-hind! Way to go :)

  3. Running in sand is a b****, but you did it!! Great job!

  4. Wow - a mile in sand?! You're amazing! I said the f-word the other day on the trail when I jogged through just a few feet of sandy gravel.


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 I'm no longer involved in multisport or endurance sports. I've started my own business, a psychotherapist specializing in anxiety d...