Race Recap: Tortoise & Hare 5K, and my upcoming 70.3 debut!

After years of hearing about the Tortoise and Hare 5K, I finally got to check it out. I always hear such good things about it but I’m usually either running somewhere else, recovering from a race, or (God forbid) recovering from an injury. It was only a week after the Sugarloaf Marathon so I signed up but wasn’t sure I would actually go. If I did, I was certainly not racing it. My legs felt somewhat decent, so I lined up at the start last Monday with no expectations. Just to get in a nice faster paced run, evaluate how the marathon recovery was going, and hang out with some friends. I hadn’t done any sort of taper and had some pretty solid workouts in the two days prior. The race had a late start – 9:00am – and the temperatures were warming up quickly.

It was a little hillier than the last 5K I ran. This course had long, gradual climbs starting with the first .8 of a mile. I ended up finishing as the 3rd overall female and got 1st in my age group with a 19:51. It was a hot day, and I ran it on somewhat tired legs and ended up only 6 seconds off of my PR. Not a bad way to kick off the summer!

Unfortunately, rest of last week was kind of a wash. Following the race, I went for a 55 mile ride with Emily, and it was ROUGH. The pace was completely reasonable and should have been more than comfortable, but it felt like no matter how hard I peddled I wasn’t moving. It was windy, and I got really frustrated (there might have been a few tears at one point). I wasn’t surprised that evening when I felt a sore throat coming on, and felt a lot better about how terrible I felt on the ride. I still don’t know if it’s a summer cold or seasonal allergies, but I felt pretty badly this week and it’s still lingering today. Hopefully, a week of tapering and reduced training efforts will be just the rest I need to get me feeling fresh for Sunday.

I still have two significant races in my imminent future, with Eagleman 70.3 on June 8th. My first crack at a half-Ironman. I’ve put in the work on the swim and the run, but my bike…well, I’ve been riding, but not nearly as much as I should have. I’m not upset about it, and I’m not making any excuses. When I had to pick, marathon training took precedent over triathlon training. And don’t get me wrong: I’m still going to bring whatever I have that day and do whatever I’m capable of. My only real goal I had in mind when I took on this new challenge has already been met. It was meant to force me to cross train through the winter. It was about not letting myself slack off when the weather was poor (and WOW, was it rough!) and do something other than running to hopefully keep injuries at bay in the spring season. It’s already been a win for me. I’m headed to Cambridge with a bunch of really talented people that have conquered this distance before, so it should be really cool to spend the weekend with some seasoned triathletes and watch them throw down.

I’m not sure if I’ll ever do another half-Ironman (HIM). I know what it’s like to do a triathlon since I’ve done a several shorter distance tris. There is no question that they are exciting and rewarding events. For me, the challenge was fitting in the biking and swimming around marathon training without overdoing it (which I often did, probably why I’m not able to kick this little cold right now). My mistake in taking on this new distance was signing up for a SPRING race, rather than wait until the fall. Not that it would be completely impossible to train for this distance during the school year (most people train and work full time), but I was also really working on my marathon time. If I really wanted to be able to focus on my marathon time AND train for a HIM, I probably would have been better off picking a fall race so I could spend my summer preparing for it. So as of right now, Eagleman is it for me for this distance. I like the Olympic distance events and plan to continue signing up for those until I get the urge to take another crack at the 70.3 distance.

At this point, I’m a little tired, very sick of bananas, and I have a mountain of laundry to fold that could quite possibly take the entire summer to conquer. With trying to fit workouts in around my work/life schedule, I practically lived out of my car since October and can’t wait to clean it out. Thankfully, the race is three days away from the end of the school year, and I plan to kick my summer break off by relaxing and recovering pool side. I’m stoked to check “Half-Ironman” off my list for many reasons, but one of them is so I can finally restore some sense of normalcy in my life!

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