Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Kailua Canoe Club Dash and Splash Biathlon Race Report- Family Relay Style!

Super Awesome Wife Leg
As with the last biathlon I did with Dirtbag, I was responsible for the Dash portion of the Dash and Splash.  And just like last time, my ‘Dash’ was more of a walk-so-fast-it-hurts shuffle more than it was a real dash.
This time was different though, since Baby Dirtbag was there to participate with us.  To keep things easy in the morning prep, we decided to leave him in his sleeper rather than change him into fresh clothes for the day.  When I was getting Baby Dirtbag ready Daddy Dirtbag found the tape and wrote our race number on it, and then put the tape onto Baby’s arm.  All three of us had the number 73 on our left arms.

The lady who marked me drew the skull, I swear!
We got to the start with half an hour to spare, perfect for me to sit off to the side and get some milk into the baby before strapping him in his stroller for our 2.8 mile walk.  When everyone starting filling the street to get started I tried to stay to the back of the pack, since I knew we’d be the slowest of the group.  Before we got started I mentally calculated my speed.  I figured since I haven’t been out walking like I used to, I could expect about a 17-minute mile.  That’s right around where I was when I stopped doing 2-3 mile walks when I was pregnant.
 One thing I didn’t anticipate was the rolling of the course.  I was expecting a flat course. (Dirtbag Edit- Totally my fault. I just did a race on this course the weekend before and should have warned her.)  Right away I saw there would be a little climb, but figured it was the only one, and it would be flat walking until the end of the loop when I had to make the climb again to finish.  I was wrong, but pushed as hard as I could.  And I could feel it.  It burned in my shins and my feet felt super cramped in my shoes.  Every event I’ve speed walked in the past my toes feel like they are cramping for the first couple of miles, and this was no different.  Well, maybe a little different.  I felt more cramped than normal.  Hard to say if it’s because pregnancy changed my feet or if it’s because I’ve only worn shoes a handful of times in the last year.
The rolling course didn’t slow me down too much though.  Baby Dirtbag was so content in his stroller that he even napped for a bit.  The course was a loop through a residential area.  When we got to the curve that meant half way through, I heard Baby Dirtbag fill his diaper.  Around the 2-mile mark I passed the only two people I managed to keep in my line of sight since the start of the race.  Throughout the walk I kept checking my watch for speed, and managed to stay between a 15:30 and 16:30 pace.  One funny thing that kept happening was the watch kept yelling at me.  Back when I was pregnant the midwife suggested I keep my heart rate under 160 while exercising.  I set the watch to let me know when I got that high.  Fast-forward to 5 months post-partum and the max heart rate doesn’t matter anymore.  But no one told my watch.  So at every little climb it would start beeping obnoxiously until I was back on the level and my heart rate was back in the ‘safe’ range.
At the finish line Daddy Dirtbag was waiting for us.  We posed for a quick family shot before Daddy was into the water and we continued walking to the finish line.  The volunteer nurse of the event walked with me, and we were slower than Daddy to the finish line.  To be fair though, she did make me drink a ton of water before we continued walking.  I was initially offered one cup, but when she found out I was nursing Baby Dirtbag she insisted I drink 5.
Family transition

Dirtbag Leg
The race was very informal, so there wasn’t really a transition area per say. There was a mat for the runners to cross on their way into the water, and everyone doing a relay milled around there.
I knew I would have a while to wait. Super Awesome Wife doesn’t run and I don’t expect her to. That isn’t why we do these events. I figured, after watching her take off, that she’d be last in the group and I had a while to hang out. I didn’t even prep my cap until she came into sight coming down the hill. Hell, I didn’t even take off my board shorts until then. I still had my earphones in rocking out to some Quicksand.
The race was put on by the Kailua Canoe Club and it was their first time, so nothing was very serious about it. I met some very nice women who love to talk to the dad doing a relay with his wife and son. It wasn't super organized, but it didn't have to be. It was fine, low key, and plenty fun. If I had one complaint it would be that they rolled up the timing mat for the run-to-swim transition before everyone (not just me) was across. There was no reason not to wait the extra fifteen minutes so everyone who paid got to *beep* on their way into the water. Kinda not cool, guys. But that's a small gripe overall.
At around the 40 minute mark they started asking me if I should be concerned she wasn’t back yet. Nope, I expected 45 minutes before I got in the water. I was hoping she’d come in close enough to the next person that I might have a chance to catch and pass but it was not to be. At around 42 minutes one of the cops working the course came over and told me the woman pushing the stroller had just passed two people and was on her way to the final hill. That’s when I started getting ready.
She came into transition, the little boy was asleep, I kissed them both and posed for a picture, then ran down the beach. Literally the last person in the water, since I think the people she passed didn’t really swim it. Special needs team. Also very cool. So I pumped hard, but not too hard. I’ve barely swum in a while, training is so scattered and terrible. But home is better so I’m putting priorities in the right place. There’s almost no way I’m not going to walk during the Honolulu Olympic’s 10k run, but whatever. My swim was fine. Lanikai is a pretty beach and going straight along the coast couldn’t be easier. Up, out of the water, and across the line at 1:00.11. Decent swim time.
We hung out for a while, talked to some people, and the little cannonball worked his adorable baby magic on the ladies, earning him a leftover race shirt, XL, that his mommy plans on turning into some kind of wrap through sewing magic. 

Sing for a prize!

He got a hat!

Baby stylin' in the new hat
 The best part of the day was taking him into the ocean. We hadn’t been to the beach with him yet because the sun isn’t good for young skin. But we were there, he was happy, and it was warm, so why not. I’ve been looking forward to getting in the ocean with him since before he was born. Good things love water and he needs to be exposed often. We stripped his diaper, because it’s not a trip to the beach without a naked baby, and did some wet sand first, slowly walking him into the waves. The first time a little wave went over his feet he didn’t know what to make of it. So cute. I picked him up and we waded in until I could get on my knees so he was chest deep. It was a little colder than I thought, so we didn’t stay in too long. I didn’t notice the temperature when it was just me swimming, but I’m more sensitive to things like light and sound and temperature and everything when he’s with me. I don’t think he has an opinion yet, but he didn’t scream. That’s good.
I'd be posting pictures but blogger has decided not to load any more today. So no baby beach pictures for you!
So happy we were able to do our first family biathlon! I think there are many more races in our future.

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