Tri Season 2010 started today with the Frost Yer Fanny duathlon (3 mile run / 15 mile bike / 3 mile run). Given how much my brick last Sunday hurt (my first in I can't remember how long), I was just hoping for survival! Coach Angie told me to go out moderate-fast for the first run, go hard on the bike, and go hard on the last 3 miles. Mkay, we'll see what happens.
Best thing about this race is that its a whopping 15 minutes from my house AND a start that was 30 minutes later than most races. Normally I have to get up at 4:XX and drive ~45 minutes. I forgot that this race was so close and got there ungodly early. I hung out in my truck (with the heat on) and finished up my traditional pre-race meal of a Coke Zero and protein bar. I finally decided to get out of my warm truck and get ready. Started pumping my tires up, and the valve stuck on the rear tire. So I yanked it off, managed to smash my thumb in my tire spoke and slice it right above the cuticle. Its not a race unless there's bodily harm (usually at my own doing). At least this time I know what I did to earn the injury. After a hunt for napkins to mop up my thumb (yay Starbucks!) and gloves to keep my hands warm (left over from field work last week), both tires were pumped, drinks were on the bike, bag was packed, and I was ready to go.
I walked over to transition (normally I ride... this time I was too lazy to put my helmet on) and since it was so cold (37 degrees!), they were super cool with body marking. I managed to get my number on ONLY my right hand and my age on my left calf. Woo! I'm second in racking for my group and I go and get things set up. My friend A shows up and we mull around, basically freezing the whole time. I saw a ton of people I knew, which was fun. Last year, I maybe recognized 1-2 people. This race, between HRTC'ers, MAC swim team people, and OUL teammates, I knew a good 10 people. They finally closed transition at 7:15, and I stripped off my coverups and tried not to freeze in my tri shorts, dri-fit shirt, and cycling sleeves. Brrr!
My wave starts - the run is an out and back through the park, and you're in trees for most of the time. I kept my pace at 10:20 - 10:30 min/mile for the whole time and only stopped at each water station for a 0.05 mile walk. I'm so used to the 5 min run / 1 min walk from half marathon training, and I'm trying to break myself of that habit. At mile 2, I realize that I didn't hit the bathroom a final time before the start and there's no way I'm going to enjoy the 45 min (ish) bike ride with a full bladder. So at transition, I hit the bathroom (quick!) then went and grabbed my bike. Normally, for tri's I'm in the top 10% for the swim, so I'm used to being to the racks early. Today was pretty sad, as my bike was the 2nd to last one on the rack. *sniff*
The bike was a 3-loop 5-mile course, which basically turned into short track speed skating on bikes. There were newbies going slow, me going average, huge guys zooming around, and course officials on motorcycles. Add multiple turns, gravel and potholes in a few spots, and it was fairly tricky. I tried to maintain 18 mph on the bike, but I'm thinking the wind kicked up towards the end, because I could only hold 17 mph for the last lap. My friend thought it was windy too, so that's what I'm sticking with. Cycling sleeves were perfect for the run and bike, but it was getting warm so I ditched them at transition. I love my sleeves - they're perfect for when its a bit cold at the start but you know it will get warm mid-way through the race.
Run #2's goal was to try and hold a 10:00 pace and just do a tiny bit of walking. I liked the run course because it was in the trees, but it wound around a bit, so you could see things (like water stations) through the trees to keep you motivated. Again, I walked at the two water stations (just long enough to eat a powergel chew and drink a bit) and then it was back to running. At the turnaround, Helen (my KatyFit running coach) passed me, so that gave me motivation to push things. I was actually holding a 9:45 pace for a good bit of the run. The final half mile, I pushed it even more, to sub 9:30. It really helped that I could see the finish line well before I got near it, as that kept me motivated. As I hit the final turn to the finish, this guy corners with me and says "come on, you can't let this old grandpa beat you - get moving!" And that was awesome motivation. He still beat me, but I was actually running at at 6:35 sprint at the end - I don't think I've ever finished that fast. And I very nearly puked - even looked around for a strategic place. That's always the sign of a successful finish. Fortunately, after a few minutes, I was fine.
Post race I just grabbed some grapes, said hi to some friends, waited for A's time to post (she was close to placing), and introduced myself to my coach (we've talked on the phone, never met in person). Then after the results were posted, A and I went to a post-race breakfast of belgian waffles, bacon and eggs.
14 of 26 in Age Group, 278 of 418 Overall
11:02 Run Pace, 17.8 Bike, 10:17 Run Pace
1:57 finish time