Look a different kind of ink!!!
So I should have written this report yesterday when I was all hyped up on the post race high instead of waiting, 'cause today is a nasty looking gloomy kinda day that's affecting my mood :-(. Oh yeah, my load also cancelled out so I'm laid over in lower middle Tennessee waiting overnight, grrrr.
My race packet included absolutely no info on where to place all the different stickers, placards, bibs, etc so I did a bit of freaking out on Saturday & put out a call for help on facebook & twitter. My desperate pleas were very promptly & patiently answered by a twitter friend in the UK (@CleoPompom) and a real life friend from the Cabot Cruisers (David). Whew, thanks again you two!!!!
Sunday finds me a bit short-tempered and nervous because I haven't done any duathlons (can't swim very well so no triathlons for me) since last May........Hell, I haven't even done a proper brick workout this year....just one short one that was on the bike trainer. Can we say unprepared????? Oh, I also got in trouble right off the bat at the race sight--didn't put on my helmet to check out the shifting/brakes/etc on the bike in the parking lot, OOPS!!!!!!!!! Evidently that's a huge no-no if the number's on the bike already. Now I know but I wasn't the only one unaware of that fact. Hey race directors--please include a copy of the rules in the race pack for us noobs please.
Awesome Cruiser turnout--me, David, Vicki, Lisa Fo, Tammie & her hub. I think I'm forgetting somebody though, grrrr. It calmed me quite a bit having Lisa there because she was able to explain a lot of other stuff to me.
Gettting marked up is quite cool--getting it off later, well that's quite an adventure too (but another story). So quick warmup, ran Elsie around the parking lot a bit, talked to some of the volunteers. The volunteers were FANTASTIC!!!!!!!!!! Very enthusiastic & seemed genuinely glad to be out there working the race. Loved the guy on the run portion who was directing the racers where to turn, he had something encouragingly funny to say to everybody.....
So the race itself is small, duathlons don't get quite the turnout that triathlons do. Pity that because I think there are quite a few people who have the same issue I do with lack of swimming ability & claustrophobia. I think there would be more participants if dus got the same amount of publicity that the tris do.
Lineup. For some reason nobody wants to be in the front line, LOL!!! Anyways we're off & it's uphill almost from the start. Course description says that first 1.25 miles of the 2.5 run route is uphill and boy is it ever. At least they've changed it from last year where you had an almost vertical run for the first 1/2, whew. I was dreading running up that mountain. Do I need to write that I jackrabbited? I think not, lol. First leg was 2.5 miles in 20:08.1 (8:03 pace).
Bike--make it to the transition area where James hollers that I was 3rd female. I already knew this because I was keeping track but it's nice to have confirmation. Change shoes, get the helmet, quick sip of water, fiddle with the gloves for a moment before I decide I was too sweaty to get 'em on quickly and run out the bike area. The cycling route does take you up the mountain so I'd already put it in the little ring up front in preparation for the immediate hard climb (I have a compact double by the way). I'd mentioned to James that I felt the bike was shifting a little clunky on my test spin and this became very apparent on the ascents. Evidently the derailleur had gotten bumped slightly in transit the day before.
Everything is going ok though until I hit the 3rd hard climb, tried to shift back into the little ring and I didn't catch it just right. Chain hung up on me & almost fell off. Get off the bike, to try & fix it. Thought I had, got back on & it hung up AGAIN!!! This time I can't unclip & topple over, S L O W L Y.....with an audience of course. A couple of the guys that I'd passed earlier, passed me back along with about 4 others. This cost me a couple of minutes & major momentum, grrrrr. A couple of the guys did ask if I was ok which was nice, since it's a race you're not expected to do so..... Fortunately no women passed me although I was gaining on the 2nd place female prior to my fuckup & this put her so far ahead of me that there was no chance in hades of me catching her from that point on. Doesn't mean that I didn't try like the dickens though. Managed to pass a couple of the guys back though :-))))). One of the hills I hit over 44 mph on the descent, woo-hoo!!!
Make it back to transition area, yell at James what happened with my chain & that I went down. Throw off helmet, change shoes and off & running again. At least I think I was running.......felt like I was moving in slow motion through jello. Ah well, both feet were off the ground so I wasn't walking, lol. It has heated up a bit & I'm wearing black.......yep, that's not fun. Great thing about cycling jerseys is that they have a nice little zipper that you can you to allow some air to circulate :-)))). I'm dreading the 1.25 miles up the hill & gasping for air but so are all the guys around me. If you've never done a brick workout I recommend you go out & try it. IMMEDIATELY! I don't wanna keep all this fun to myself, bwahahaha!
My goal was to not walk the run portion & try to get my legs feeling somewhat close to normal, Yeah, right, like that's gonna happen......So gasped like a fish flopping around out of water, passed 2 guys, joked with the volunteer at turn spot (but not the turnaround) who told me "I'll see you in just a moment!" Hit the turnaround, declining the water, passed a couple of more guys, had the volunteer tell me "See, I told you I'd see you shortly & it's all downhill now!" Oh was I ever looking forward to that downhill--that's the point where I just leaned forward & allowed momentum to carry me down. Also finally felt like my legs had quit quivering & the gasping for air eased, ahhhh, almost bliss :-).
The finish line was almost anti-climatic after that.......but glad to see it nonetheless, lol!!!!!
Run 1, 2.5 miles--20:08.1 (8.03 pace)
Bike 13.5 miles--47:35.4 (17 mph average)
Run 2, 2.5 miles--21:18.4 (8:31 pace)
My cycle time should have been closer to 45 minutes.....stupid operator (me) error cost me quite a bit there, grrrr. I still finished up 3rd female overall (and yes there were more than 3 of us) but they only gave awards to the first male & female overall winners so I ended up with 1st in my age group. I will probably never get that close to a top 3 finish again :-(.
Next duathlon is the Du for the Parks in Hot Springs on Memorial Day. Hoping to beat last year's time and maybe if I get out & actually do some bricks I can do so, lol!!! Still not too shabby of a performance this weekend considering my lack of preparation and that I'd ran a 5k the day before. Check out the race course pdf's of the climbs.
Saturday is the Toad Suck 10k and the Tour de Toad. I think I'm going to do the 48 mile option if it doesn't get rained out again.