Tuesday, July 23, 2013

My First Duathlon!

Those who have been following my progress know that ever since I got hired by Amtrak that my running/training has been cut by over 66%. I have felt this in all my few runs with slower speeds and higher heart rates. Distance running has gone from happy 8 milers to hard 4 milers. But, I love my job and I heard that once my student status ends, and summer vacations are over, my hours will be much fewer and I will have more time for training again. Just hanging in there for now.

I went into the GIRLFRIENDS and DUDES DUATHLON knowing that I was not fit and I told myself it would be okay if I had to walk some of the route. Yet, I can proudly say - I wasn't fast, but I finished without walking.

Here is a quick summary of the race:


It was a cold overcast morning which couldn't have pleased me any more than it did. I LOVE cold dry overcast days for races. It is my FAVORITE weather to run in.

The parking was adequate at the time I arrived. I took my bike and followed the crowds to the bike pen. There the volunteers were SO helpful and SO friendly. They helped me figure out everything I needed to know and did so with smiles.

Here is a photo of my bike after I set up my station.

Here are some other bikes.

The volunteers wrote my race number on the back of my left calve and my age on the right. I started watching right calves during the bike segment when that competitive mode kicked in. ;)

THE FIRST RUN - "2" MILES - 19:02 official time:  

We got a late start. So late, I hadn't noticed my Garmin shut down and lost it's satellite reception. It was when I our small group of just 29 competitors began moving and I passed over the start mats that I realized it and started it all over again. It found reception faster than I thought it would, and it didn't seem to take too long, but I have no idea how much I 'really' missed distance wise.

  • My watch showed I ran 1.75 miles in 18:46 minutes with an average pace of 10:42 which is FAST for me at this time. I was running much faster 6 months ago. It will come back.
  • The official race info says I ran 2.0 miles in 19:02 minutes with an average pace of 9:31. NEVER have I even run two miles at 9:31. Not even at my fittest last year so I am guessing the race distance was off a bit.
  • Combining the info of my watch with the time recorded, the first leg was only 1.77 miles long
Note - These people ran FAST! I had imagined the participants were going to be similar to those in your local 5k and 10k runs. They were NOT. These people were fit and fierce. Even though I ran my fastest in a long time, I was 4th from last place in this leg. Not used to being so close to the bottom.

Here they all are pulling away from me! 

TRANSITION ONE - 1 minute 56 seconds: I ran in and found my bike easily. I took my time and drank some water, put on my helmet, then walked my bike out to the area for mounting.  

BIKE RIDE OF "18.5" MILES - 49 minutes and 2 seconds:  

This was my favorite part of the race and it was with all the Duathlon AND Triathlon participants simultaneously. The adjustments I made to my seat helped SO much. Other thoughts:

  • Garmin says this was 18.3 miles - pace = 15.05 miles per hour
  • There was a headwind for the longest straight part of the ride. 
  • I couldn't get my water bottle to work with one hand so I went without fluids for that entire 49 minutes.
  • At one point I realized I wasn't wearing my bike gloves and remembered I had stuffed them under my seat. I had to stop, step off my bike and (fortunately!) found them. 
  • I DID notice I was passing people up. THAT was interesting. Yes, I was being passed by a lot of people but I was actually passing people. I went from being the bottom 14% in the running leg, to the bottom 27% in the bike leg.  One younger woman who I had followed out and passed the last 5 miles told me I was "really strong" on my bike. I let her know she was "really strong" when she ran passed me later. lol
  • OH!!! I have to mention how AWESOME the participants were. I can't believe how many people were smiling at each other and encouraging others as we passed on our out-n-backs. Impressive! I of course gave out as many smiles and kudos as I could, too.
This is me coming at the camera. 
I noticed most others got angle shots. I hope I didn't scare him.

My proudest part of this leg was that other than when I stopped to look under my seat, my legs kept pumping hard the entire time. I didn't know I had that in me.

TRANSITION TWO - 2 minutes 13 seconds : When I stepped off my bike it felt like a muscle of tendon in my left butt cheek got pulled pretty hard and I cried out. Immediately an attendant rushed and asked if I was okay. I said yes, I was just really tight and would walk it off. The next attendant to see me asked if I was okay - coloring bad. Explained really thirsty (as I was downing my potassium drink). I took my time. No rush. Put my bike up. Took off the helmet. Ate some banana chips. Grabbed my water and WALKED to the start pads....took a deep breath and said, "Let's do it!" and ran out.

FINAL RUN - "3.1" MILES - 35:24 :  

My legs felt like lead and my feet felt like they were sinking into quicksand. People began passing me again. How on earth do they SPRINT after a ride like that? Then I looked at my watch and I was still running faster than my normal speeds. HOW?! Where did THAT come from?  Official leg pace: 11:23 

No headphones or ear buds were allowed....I had my player in my arm band speaker side up playing loud enough to hear it. It really helped. But....why was there so many others with ear buds???? Hmmmm.

I felt exhausted and like this 5K would never ever end. When I got to a water table I had hoped it was the turn around. Nope. Grabbed a Gu and kept going. I was tempted to walk (like so many in front of me) but I got into a zone where I wanted to go until I couldn't. So I slowed a bit instead.

My heart rate was getting too high coming up the last hill/curve to the finish line. A young woman yelled, "This is it! Push! PUSH!!" so I sprinted.

Can you tell I was really happy to be going through that arch?

My heart rate got to 183 for a few moments but dropped like a rock after and I didn't feel ill or dizzy. I felt pretty good considering.


2 mile Run results = at the 14% line of all 29 persons in the two mile run.
Bike results = at the 27% line of all 178 females for the bike leg.
5K results = at the 22% line of all 178 females for the 5K leg.

This is me immediately after finishing.

This is me as soon as I got home, posing with my bike in a dry hat. 
My running visor above was SOAKED

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