it's been a while since i've joined a relay team for the slo triathlon. it's been six years actually. i am hopeful we beat 1:28 and some change (that was my previous relay time).
heidi was supposed to be our swimmer, but due to an unfortunate minor injury, she had to pull out. thankfully, dan found a substitute swimmer from his work and we were complete. i was the default runner since running is about the only thing i can contribute to this team.
our start time was 8:00am. we were blessed with cloud cover throughout our race. the sun peeked out shortly after i finished. jennifer did an excellent job swimming. her fiancee was the lap counter, however due to the confusion (someone had a heart attack at the pool, and by the way, he was okay after not breathing for 4 minutes!) we were not sure exactly if the officials recorded our start time exactly at 8:00am. it may have been shortly thereafter. in my excitement to get going,after tagging dan, i forgot to press the start on my watch. i was already in the middle of the eucalyptus groves by the time i got a satellite signal on my garmin. i fumbled to start it, however I knew it would be off by at least 30 seconds. so i was dismayed but i let it go, i didn't look at the watch anymore and i just kept running. i passed about at least 7 people. it could have been 10 but it was a blur. i was very sorry i did, because obviously, the people i was passing were tired from doing all three events. there i was with my fresh legs flying by them. i wished i had a sign on my back that read: "sorry, don't mind me i'm on a relay team, and i'm only a third as good as you!" i know how it feels to be passed by someone with fresher legs. it is demoralizing. (in oakland marathon, they have "relay" stickers on the back of the relay teams--which is a nice touch. SFO should pay heed--they have two sets of halfers: one at the start and the other at the 13.1 mile. that was two times more demoraling to the full. sorry i digressed.)
i thought i was going to end the race with no one passing me! the second to the last turn i saw heidi cheering me one with her sign! i threw her my water bottle at her feet so i can push it, after i passed her spot, i heard her yell out, "go aileen!" then shortly there after she yelled out "go kevin!" my thought was, that better not be kevin cooper on my tail. if it was, i knew he's going to try and pass me. i was coming up on a downhill, so i put some more gas to create some gap. i passed a volunteer navigating traffic and shortly thereafter, i heard him yell out, "go kevin cooper!" rats! it is cooper! (background: kevin is one of those fast guys in our running club. he and his wife mary, would lap everyone else every wednesday night at the track. i don't mind getting lapped because i just accepted the fact that they're gifted and talented runners. very lovely couple, very humble and down to earth, i love the coopers.) but today not so much...kidding! i was almost home-free when he passed me just before entering the chute to the finish. and while he passed me: he talked some mad trash too! "i gotcha!" aargh! i didn't have an answer, as i poured everything on the downhill section. (not again, this was reminiscent of the july 4th 15k race in santa barbara when a girl beat me by 1 second). oh but it was all in good fun! that was exhilarating when you know you have someone gunning for you. i am so glad that i didn't race yesterday, otherwise i wouldn't be able to run as strong as i did today. i am very happy with my performance. i ran strong and only allowed one runner to pass me. if there's ever anybody who was going to pass me in the end, i would rather have it be someone like kevin who normally runs a sub 19:00 5K. looking at it from that perspective, i really had not chance. just kidding. seriously it makes me feel kinda special--like really? little ole' me? i'm worthy enough to be chased down? good job cooper!
|Jennifer after her swim..Dan was off for this ride..|
|Me waiting anxiously for Dan to come back so I can run...|
|Done! Our official time is still pending..|
|Team name: Heidi's Heroes!|