August 31, 2010

H2C... driving

I was originally cast to run in a Hood to Coast team - one of the larger relay races and a rather unique event in Portland. The relay consists of 12 people broken into 2 teams (or for the professional teams, commonly 6 runners who kick some major running butt) who have to run from Mt Hood to the Oregon Coast. The two teams leapfrog each other and start on a Friday afternoon, arriving in Seaside sometime on Saturday.

I wasn't feeling confident in my ability to pull my weight on the team. My injury is still persistent with any longer runs and even with smaller runs, I wasn't sure my hip would last running three legs of 4-6 miles each. So I gave up my spot and volunteered to drive the van instead.

It was an interesting experience driving the van. I desperately wanted to get out and run. Just seeing my friends run, getting pumped up, and celebrating a leg's finish made the running itch come out bad. I have decided it sucks to be the driver to an event that I would otherwise have been participating in. It's like being invited to a party and not being able to have any cake.

At one of the major exchanges. I must admit, it's hard to not be excited for everyone else... but still. I hate being a bystander!

August 24, 2010

Gotta give it a Tri

I simply LOVED participating in the Portland Triathlon! My two friends - Rebecca who is a superb runner and Rachel who can swim like a fish convinced me to do the cycling portion of a marathon triathlon (40km). I've been biking but nothing hardcore... so I wasn't sure how I'd fair in the race. All I knew is that I had to give it my all and that it'd be over with in just over an hour. I researched times from past relay teams and figured that if I could complete 40km in 2 hours, I'd be doing well since the results for the female relay bike portion ranged from 1:23 to 1:54.

We had a bit of a hiccup when Rachel couldn't find me coming out from the water (I later found out she had puked en route)... so our transition time lacked; however, I felt strong taking off and was confident we could make that up. The route itself is interesting - a slight uphill for 1/2 with a steep incline right before a long descent. The rain held off but I was well aware of any man-holes (= slippery surfaces) going around turns. We then had to loop back to the start and take off again on the same circular route. For the marathon, I had to go 3 times around. By the 3rd loop, that steep incline felt like it was ripping every muscle fiber I had in my quads. Oh the relief to finally hit the descent!!

When I finished, I frantically looked around for Becca - the runner. I later learned that the rest of the team had gone to breakfast as I cycled thinking it would take me well over 2 hours. They were shocked to see me pulling into the exchange corral and Becca had to run frantically behind me to catch up! She undressed as quickly as she could considering the circumstances and then took off for her run. I was amazed to discover that I had finished 40km in 1:21:41:022!! This time was 2 minutes UNDER the first placing team in 2009. Maybe it was all the running I had done this summer or maybe it was the break from running in the last couple of weeks that gave my legs a refreshing break - but I have to admit, I'm quite pleased with myself!

We ended up finishing 2nd for female relay... super happy and pleased with our superb efforts!

August 8, 2010

no running = fewer posts :(

So the pain is still there. I've talked to tons of people in the sports / massage / chiropractic world and I think it's a sprain. The only answer I got in terms of recovery is to stop running for the time being and hope it heals fast. The disappointing punch to all this is that I had just rounded off the middle of my training. And now I can't run.

So in the meantime, I've filled my time with other things - volleyball, tennis, cycling, hiking. I have a relay triathlon coming up to which I've been assigned the biking portion. Since I haven't really been training for that (besides my daily competitive commute with unsuspecting bikers heading home from work), I figure I can focus a bit more on strengthing my legs for that.

Otherwise, I did attempt to climb McNeil Point 3 times so far. This photo is the winning hike where we actually found the top - only to discover it was completely fogged over!