I've decided to start posting about my races. This is pretty off-topic, so sometime soon I'll split them off into a separate RSS feed, so my drupal and critical theory readers don't have to read about me sweating.
Anyway. For those who aren't aware, I decided -- after volunteering at last year's event -- to run the 2008 Nation's Triathlon, here in DC, on September 14th. To help me along with my training, I joined the DC Tri Club, and then joined their New Triathlete Program, or NTP. NTP has a goal of its own, the New Jersey State Tri, on July 27th, so I'll be racing there as well. I've been taking it really easy so far, though, so that I can finish up my coursework, so the NJ race will be more of a practice run than a real goal race.
For both races, I'll be doing the Olympic distance, which is a 1.5k swim (0.93 mi), 40k bike (24.8 mi), and a 10k run (6.2 mi).
So far, despite my expected difficulties in the pool, my training is going very well. The cross-training is fantastic, because I get all the physical benefits of (nearly) daily training, but without all of the high impact running that has caused injury problems for me in the past. I've really been enjoying it so far, and I feel great -- and, surprisingly, I feel the best just after a good swim.
Anyway. I'm now far enough along that I've started running races. I'll try to find some bike, swim or multisport events as well.
My first race was the Scope It Out 5k last weekend, which raised money and awareness for a colon cancer group. The race was actually started by an alumnus of my graduate program at Georgetown, so a number of my peers were running or volunteering, but I somehow missed all of them.
It was a beautiful day and a beautiful race. The course ran from the Lincoln Memorial, through East Potomac Park towards and nearly to Hains Point, and to the memorial.
It had been so long since my last race (the last one I remember was Bloomsday, 2002) that I had no idea how my body would respond to speed, but I was pleasantly surprised. My training pace has been floating around 8:15 per mile, which is fine for my current goals but dramatically slower than the pace I was accustomed to in my youth. So I went in hoping to run at about a 7:30 pace, and was delighted to finish in 20:46, a 6:41 pace.
I started a ways back, between the 8:00 and 9:00 pace flags, so I was passing people steadily throughout the race. I got outkicked at the finish by a high schooler, but other than that I felt fantastic.
And the anecdotal highlight of the race... a large group of runners in red shirts - of all ages and speeds - lined up at the front and got to start first. As runners overtook them, they saw the text on the back of their shirts: "Catch the polyps".