Runner/Triathlete, Mother of 4, and EnduroPacks Ambassador Finishes on the Podium at the Seahorse Challenge

Distance runner, triathlete and mother of 4, Sara Randolph, enters a race last minute and finishes on the podium. She recently wrote about her race weekend on her blog www.runr3.blogspot.com . We've shared excerpts of her experience leading up to, during, and after last weekend's Seahorse Challenge Tri, here.

I made a last minute decision to enter the Seahorse Challenge (Olympic Distance Tri) last Monday --- they sent out a $20 race discount coupon to previous racers and with the nice weather predictions for Sunday....Ross (husband) told me to "go for it!". So, I did! The Seahorse Challenge is a nice, smaller tri near Kalamazoo and it's great for spectating. 

When I entered the race on Monday night, I didn't know that I would come down with a 1.5 day fever beginning on Wednesday afternoon - UGH! I wondered why my tempo run on Wednesday morning seemed a little off -- it was really warm and humid and I couldn't seem to maintain my 7:15 goal pace --- thought it was just the hilly course that I chose and the humidity but as the day went on, I felt progressively worse. Took my temperature just before dinner and sure enough - I was running a fever! Got the kids set with dinner, homework, and showers and then I went to bed. Took the day off completely on Thursday and even dropped the kids off at school and crawled right back into bed! THAT NEVER HAPPENS!!! :) Woke up feeling a little better, but told myself to take the day off from any Ironman training. The fever turned into a sore throat and runny nose - yay! Contemplated the race on Sunday, but you know me ---- I'm going to muscle through. Ross took the kids to the library on Saturday morning and I took off for a nice, slow hour run and then finished planting the garden with the kids. Got a babysitter for a couple hours and Ross and I went out for a bike ride --- my first ride on my 'new' spring-tuned up bike. Note the new pink tape on the handlebars ;)

Race Results:
3rd Female / 23
21st overall for both male and female
Swim: 28:55 (14th overall)
T1 2:49
Bike: 1:14:09 (33rd overall) 20.1 mph
T2 1:30
48:10 (7:25 pace) 12th overall
Overall time: 2:35:31 (a PR by 6 minutes!!!)
        
The water didn't seem as cold as last year - I think the temperature was 67. Definitely a wet-suit swim for me. I felt pretty good on the swim - kept telling myself to "keep kicking!". I can't seem to regulate my breathing in open water swims --- I do really good in the pool with breathing every other stroke but for some reason I feel like I need to breath every stroke in open water. I got out to a good start for the swim, ahead of most of the pack and that was nice --- no elbows in my face or feet kicking me in the face. Didn't take too long before I caught up to some of the slower Olympic Distance men swimmers. The swim course was a 2 loop course for the Olympic distance --- when standing on shore - it seemed like such a long way ... but my Garmin said exactly 1.02 miles. I felt like I did a pretty good job of sighting and staying on course (I've been known to wander a bit in my swimming) - I think getting out in front helped me stay on course too.

Got out to what I thought was a pretty good transition onto the bike --- there's still that feeling of disorientation when I get out of the water.... I think I read somewhere that it has to do with laying flat (in the swimming position) for an extended period of time and then suddenly trying to stand up. Tried to maintain at least 20 mph hour on my bike. Came around the first loop feeling pretty strong - then I was almost done with the 2nd loop when a girl passed me. She passed me like I was standing still - ugh! Got into the transition area and tried my best to hurry. Started carrying my fuel belt and running towards the run out area --- dropped one of my fuel belt bottles - ugh! picked it up, tried to put on the belt and then I dropped the OTHER fuel belt bottle - GRRRRR! so much for transition efficiency! I think I will strap the fuel belt on BEFORE I start running next time. I did have my race number on my fuel belt, so I didn't need to put that on. Got my visor stuck in the velcro of my fuel belt - next time, I'm going to tuck a headband in my fuel belt pouch and FORGET the visor! I have sunglasses on from biking anyway :)

Finally got out on the run and the legs felt pretty good - I was able to maintain a 6:30 pace while I was on the pavement. Then the pavement turned to trail.... which was actually ok. I knew a good portion of the run was going to be trail so I was mentally prepared. I actually found myself enjoying the trail portion of the run - as I ran to the top of one of the hills way back on the course - I thought "this is so peaceful" ---- could this road running girl be getting into these trail-type runs? ----- maybe the The Huff 50K trail run in December again :)

I kept pushing myself on the run, even though I was pretty tired - I kept trying to catch the person in front of me. My mantra this time was "Fight for it". I kept saying that phrase over and over in my head --- not sure where it came from but it seemed to work for me. I came around the corner to finish the last 0.5 miles and there was Graham waiting for me --- ready to run with me. He said "come on Mom, you can do this! Finish strong!" I was so happy to have him run with me for a little bit!

Great story, congratulations Sara, and best of luck to you as you get ready for the USAT Long course Nationals at Grand Rapids on June 8th.