Tri-ing in the Holy Land

The ramblings of a struggling triathlete in Israel

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Location: Israel

I'm the mother of 3, a teacher and a couch potato turned triathlete.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Lehavim 3k - 22 November 2008

Our town's annual 3k and 10k took place today. I had pretty much decided not to run this year for a number of reasons. First of all, I have the Eilat Triathlon coming up on Friday and I didn't want to do a race six days before. Plus, my back is still not 100% and I didn't want to risk hurting it. Finally, they changed the race this year, taking much of the 10k route off of the road and onto a dirt path with a lot of small stones and I was really afraid of slipping and falling -- I wouldn't have minded taking the chance if I didn't have a race six days from now, but Eilat is the biggest race of the year and I didn't want to do anything that might prevent me from being able to race on Friday.

So I went out for a 40 km ride early this morning. The whole way back, I kept thinking about this race and how bad I felt about not signing up for even the 3k -- it's a very small race and I do it every year to support my town. As we rode back into town, I saw people getting ready to race and I started thinking that maybe I should see if I could still sign up. I went home, changed into running clothes, took some money and walked down to the race site. I got there at just after 8:30, which I was sure would be too late to sign up for the race, but I was wrong -- they were more than happy to take my money and let me run.

I decided to do the 3k very slowly. I knew this would be hard, because the 3k is generally a very fast race and I always get pulled out fast at the beginning by the people in front of me, but I was very determined to just run slowly and enjoy myself -- I wasn't racing, just participating. I met a guy who is a very slow runner and told him that I'd run with him. Then I saw one of my former private students, who had decided not to run. I suggested that maybe she wanted to do the 3k very slowly with me and she immediately agreed and went to change her clothes.

At 9:45, we were off. The first thing I noticed was that there was only one other woman. She started out a lot faster than I did -- I stayed in the back with Oded and Shir, running at a very easy pace, talking the entire way. At some point, I had to leave Oded behind -- the pace was just TOO slow. I asked him if he wanted me to wait and he said no, so Shir and I ran ahead. We never stopped our easy conversation for the entire 3k, even when we started running uphill. As we were running and talking, we passed the other woman, who remained just slightly behind us for the rest of the race. I picked up the pace slightly about 50 meters before the end, but apart from that, this was a really easy run and I even commented at some point that it was a good pace for a 10k at the end of a triathlon.

I was very surprised when I looked at the results and saw that I'd run at an average of 6:03/km. That's not a particularly slow pace for me, especially these days -- I've gained a little bit of weight in the past year and I've been running pretty slowly. If I had pushed myself even slightly, I would have easily gone under a 6:00/km pace -- I haven't run more than a kilometer at that pace in a while (sad, I know...). This was more of a point of interest than anything else, as I hadn't planned on pushing myself or running fast -- it was just a fun (short) recovery run after a Saturday morning ride. It was one of the most enjoyable runs that I'd done in a while (the beautiful weather contributed to that, as well as the conversation).

So by noon, I'd finished a nice ride, a nice run and I had a HUGE trophy (the smaller the race, the bigger the trophy?). When I walked in the door, my youngest son saw the trophy and looked at me with amazement in his face and said, "You won THAT?! Did you win first place?" I assured him that I had, but my older son shattered the fast-Mommy myth at lunch -- when the younger one mentioned that I'd won first place, the older one (who had volunteered at the race) replied, "Yeah, there were only two women!" LOL.

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