Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Splash and Dash

I'd heard about the Splash and Dash last year, but didn't get around to doing one. It's a series of mini races, the third Tuesday of each month from April to September. It's a 750 m swim in Quarry Lake and then a 3k- three loops of the 1 km trail around the lake. Sounds like fun, right? I had done my long run on Monday night- incorporating it into the hill workout. It was a long slow run, probably wound up being less than 6.5 miles, instead of the 7, because of the hills around Wilke. But done in 1:46 and that's plenty of running for one night. And I was having all sorts of odd pains- feet, left hamstring, GI issues, etc.

So I was planning on a nice little training exercise for the Splash and Dash. Short, but sweet, get some open water swimming in, and then a little jog. Man I was wrong! As it turns out, there is a huge rivalry about who is the fastest in this series, and this is no training run. This is an all out sprint! And I was so not ready for it. The swim was solid- started way at the back of the pack and was passing people steadily throughout. Still thinking too much about technique and not speed, but that's okay for now.

And then out of the water, the fast people were continuously passing me because it was a 3 lap course. And the trail is pretty narrow and has overhanging trees and shrubs all the way around. So lap 1 was pretty busy, and lap 2 was thinning out as people finished. Lap 3 was the worst, because I knew I was going to be last as the other slow runner past me. And all the finishers were walking back on the trail back to the picnic area. Did I mention how narrow this trail was? It angers me to no end how discourteous some athletes can be. "I finished and therefore the race is over." Um, no it's not, and I paid my entry fee just like you did, now get out of my fucking way! I stared down a bunch of them and held my ground going past them- if you don't move I will run you over, asshole! There were a number of them off to the side, cheering, and encouraging me to finish, and that was nice, but really, if they would all just clear the path, that's more than enough.

And I know there is some legitimate anger at inconsiderate people, but really, the anger is at me for being last. This is the third race I've been DFL- a 5k in College Station, the Longhorn Aquabike, and now this. And portions of the Hottest Half, but we did not finish last as we passed some people in the last miles. It sucks, even when I know someone has to be last, just as someone has to be first. But the bottom line is I want to perform better- I know I can run and swim faster, and I am making progress, it's just not as quick as I want it to be.

And on the other hand, I really enjoyed the bike ride in Selma- it was non- competitive- you biked, you rested, you finished. It was a lot more fun than this race, and that's something to remember. And I think in longer races, and in races with wave starts, it's less noticeable who is last, and I like that a whole lot better. But unless I get faster, I may DFL again. And I have to be okay with that. And remember that it is true: DFL>DNF>DNS.

1 comment:

F said...

It took me a minute to figure out the acronyms (spell?) but I am a DNS and DFL is Way better. I do hate rudeness and selfishness. You are doing it and there will come a point (probably very soon) where you will make it happen and you won't be DFL. Promise. You are DOING it. that is about the coolest thing I know. Seriously.