As I alluded weeks ago, I went back down to Key West with the rest of Team Amazing Day to defend our title as lady olympic relay champs. Since I’m almost a month late to the party, I don’t think I’m spoiling anything by telling you that we did exactly that!
And the ever-impressive Amy even managed to take second in her age group, an arguably bigger feat, given how many people she had to beat.
For our part, we relayers only had to best 4 other teams–2 of which were the dreaded Team Drink and Tri…who actually turned out to be really nice once we talked to them.
But you want to hear about the run? Well, there’s a lot less to talk about there. While Beth went upstairs to shower, I waited in transition for Katie to come in from the bike. The wind was whipping (as I tried to warn her!), and everyone’s cyclist was posting slow-for-them times. But I’m pretty sure Katie was still the first female relay cyclist back into transition, so I grabbed her chip and headed out into that same headwind she’d just been battling.
I tried to run comfortably hard, my standard race starting pace, and I tried to keep an eye out for Wes on the bike. Amy passed and called out to me, and Wes came by not long behind her, looking pretty good for someone who’d only ridden 25 miles once before in his life. (I tried to warn him about the wind too, for the record.)
As I passed the first mile marker I was devastated to see an 8:36 on my watch. My effort level felt like a 7:36! But I still had 5 more of those awful miles to get through, so I tried not to worry about it. Or to spend too much time worrying that there would be an even-worse headwind on the way back. (That’s how Key West rolls.)
Luckily, I reached the turnaround to find that the wind disappeared. I didn’t feel a tail wind though, and now I could feel just how hot the sun was. At one point I told myself to pay attention to where I was running. The water and foliage were gorgeous, and I wanted to enjoy myself. But I had no idea where the competition was!
So I just kept going and going until I finally reached the beach. Yes, the last .2 were on the sand, which was a little cruel. Katie and Beth jumped in with me and immediately started to sprint ahead. “Come on!” they yelled as the caught up with the dude in front of me. “Urrrrggllleee,” I responded without speeding up. But finally we stepped onto some carpet, and I was able to chick the hell out of that guy. (Related: all day I wanted to apologize to everyone I passed, because I had it so much easier. At one point some lady did call after me to make sure I was a relay runner.)
Afterward we stuck around for the awards, got a little drunkenly salty when they held the relay results until after ALL the other results and then forgot to drink beers out of our victory glasses.
Then we all went out and had a drink with Chris McCormack.