|Margaret Plantation, Port Allen, LA|
|Maddy, FireFly, COOg, Lizzard (not pictured: Koko who got lost)|
My group of FitBirds quickly disbanded as some moved ahead and some dropped behind. I saw the first aid station at about 1.5 miles but elected to pass it as I didn't feel the need to drink and didn't want to risk stopping or slowing down. I was pleased as I hadn't had to resort to walking and wanted to maximize my run as much as possible. I plugged away and was challenged by some deep and finely textured dirt that my feet would sink into as I ran along the path. It was not coarse like a beach and the lack of traction made it hard to gain much of a push when I would progress my legs forward.
My run technique is bad and I am highly aware of it. I strike with my heels, my hips are weak, and I have a short stride. I took the time to think about my technique and tried to correct some of the glaring mistakes. As my legs became fatigued and my muscles felt heavier, my technique would return to what it knew best.
I stopped to walk at the last aide station so I could rinse some of the dust out of my throat, but then I resumed my pace to the finish. I had been leap-frogging with a lady that I have seen on some of the Forge Trail races, and refused to allow myself to come in behind her, so I managed to put in some speed at the end to cross the finish just ahead of her. It wasn't impressive, but it gave me some self-satisfaction.
I am thrilled to have been able to run with some of my buddies. It is always nice to have people at the finish cheering me in and encouraging me during the process. We received a finish line award of freshly cut cane to suck on, Greek food, jambalaya, and cake balls and a symphony of live Cajun music.
Lizzard explaining the nuances of "bagasse" in relation to both racing and sugarcane
It is nice to start to feel some of my motivation and "mojo" returning. Mixing it up and cross-training has been a good choice for me. It helps to have people in my life that inspire me: Linda "Freebird" Adams who just demolished her very first full Ironman distance race, clenching a first place in her age group and Susan Hayden who is competing in the Xterra World Championships in Maui as I am writing this. Both of these women are mentors and give me the hope that one day I can compete in these kinds of races if I just keep persevering.
So for now I will continue to plug away at the smaller scale. Next week's adventure is yet to be confirmed, but I am considering the Voodoo Duathlon so I can get some more trail running and mountain biking experience under my belt and do it in a race situation that may motivate me to push a bit harder than I would on my own.
To be continued...