Grand Columbian: the rest of the story

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Geez, this thing is almost as long as my IM Canada race report! 🙂 So, I got off the bike and “ran” to the changing tent for the second transition. A nice volunteer handed me my bag and there was another one in the changing tent to help put all my stuff back in the bag. I changed as smoothly and quickly as I could and hit the road. To my great surprise and delight, I was able to run right away without any terrible side stitches or stomach cramps. I actually felt pretty decent all things considered. I focused on keeping a nice steady pace and not go out too hard.

The course goes over a bridge and then down a long hill to a dirt road that runs along the Columbia River. It’s largely the same course as the first year we did it, so I was familiar with it for the most part. I was cruising along and looked at my Garmin to see how far I’d gone. 2 miles in, not bad. And then I passed the 2 mile marker about five minutes later. What the what? I’d looked at my watch when I saw that mile marker, so I was not terribly pleased to see that the 3 mile marker was appox. 1.1 miles later. Sigh. TriFreaks strikes again, the run course is going to be long. Awesome.

Since there was nothing to be done about the long course, I just focused on running strong. I was feeling pretty good and only taking walk breaks at the aid stations so I could drink/eat. The aid stations were sporadically placed which actually wasn’t that big of a deal, since I had gels/food with me. (I do feel bad for the longer distance folks though, that would have sucked.) I was getting concerned that I hadn’t seen T yet and hoped that he was doing okay. Finally, at mile 6, I saw him and he was running and looking okay.

This guy was one of the highlights of the day for me. I gave him a high-five as I saw him on the course. Here he is hamming it up for M’s camera heading for the finish line:

And posing for a post-finish photo op with M. So rad!

The rest of the run was pretty uneventful. I was bummed that I was so far off of my goal time, but I was please by how much more running I’d been able to do than previous years, which meant my pacing/fueling were on point. While I was finishing up the run, here was T heading for the finish line. Between his Loverboy headband and the guy next to him’s short-shorts/tanlines, it’s like one of those Fashion Don’t spreads in Us Weekly…

I think these pictures sum T’s response to finishing nicely:

Then, a mere 19 minutes later, here I come!

(I’m apparently elbowing imaginary competitors out of the way… ) M heckled me into smiling, even though I was in a grumpy mood because of the long run course and general race mis-management:

And finally, I crossed the finish line and ended the madness. T and I in a triumphant post-race photo. Can you say “Never again?”:

Race results (ordinarily, I’d compare these to last year, but since the courses are so different, I opted not to.)

Me: Overall time: 7:46:01 Swim: 47:20 T1: 7:01 Bike: 3:56:50 T2: 3:54 Run: 2:50:58
The boy: Overall time: 7:27:16 Swim: 48:45 T1: 6:26 Bike: 3:47:06 T2: 4:14 Run: 2:40:48

After sitting on the grass for a little while and swapping war stories it was time to head back to the house. J made delicious pizza while the rest of us lounged around the living room. I was actually feeling better than T, who eventually laid on the floor with ice packs, his compression socks and the foam roller.

I also made him hydrate…

I think the boy was unpleasantly surprised by how hard it was to fall asleep after a long race. I’d sort of gotten used to it, but it does suck. For whatever reason, (probably the tons of caffeine and sugar you ingest over the course of the day) the brain just doesn’t want to shut off, even though the body is very tired.

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2 thoughts on “Grand Columbian: the rest of the story

  1. Heidi

    How could the mile markers be so off? How far did you actually run? I would imagine that the last thing you need when running a race is mismanagement. Still, it sounds like you made great personal progress–feeling pretty good at the end of a race day is an amazing accomplishment. You rock!

    • parentheticalstatement

      It ended up being 13.75 miles, according to my Garmin (so, off by .65 miles) I really feel sorry for the full-distance folks. If I’d had to run an extra mile and a half at the end of Canada, I’d have laid down in the gutter and cried. But I definitely feel proud of myself on this race. If I’d done this race last year, I definitely would have quit!

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