Monday, January 23, 2012

Chilly Cheeks Duathlon #2 - Race Report

PSA: anytime you are thinking to yourself the week before a race, "hey, I'll do a heavy weight workout AND a heavy bike workout 2 days before a race.  Surely, I'll be recovered enough and I'll be fine".  Don't do it.  Just don't.

This was the second race in a three race series.  Its the winter "snow or sun" duathlon series.  If you sign up for all three, you get sweat pants.  I'm a sucker for sweat pants.  I just wish they said "Chilly Cheeks" on the ass.  Instead, the text is down the leg.  Ass placement would have been much cooler. 

Anyways, I did NOT attend the first of the series because of this.  For the second race, the weather gods decided to be kind.  No snow all week and highs in the 50s and 60s.  No snow on the course (ok, there was a tiny bit of crusty ice) and no freezing temperatures.  Woot!

This race format is really funky.  1.6 mile run, 3.6 mile bike, 2.5 mile run, and a 7.2 mile bike.  THEN a 50 yard sprint to the finish.  Strange.  So strange, that I really couldn't take it too seriously.  And honestly, how serious can you be when the only time you've ran in the past 3 months was during races.  Seriously, my total running mileage since October has been 10 miles. 

This race was pretty awesome because it didn't start until 10 AM.  That meant I could sleep in!  I left the house at 8:30, got there by 9.  Had to pay admission to the state park ($9! boo!).  Parking was easy, racking was easy.  I decided to wear layers.  My Sony tri shorts under my light running tights (I don't know how people do the reverse - cycling with those running tights seams sounds awful!), my favorite light weight longsleeve tech shirt, my Sony jacket, and my long cycling gloves.  I got everything set up and then hung out eavesdropping until the race started.  It was a bit funny, as people were taking this thing WAY seriously.  Disc wheels and aero helmets seriously.  ok!

The race had ~300 participants and was broken into 3 waves.  For the first time ever (!!) I was in the first wave.

Run 1
I was freezing, so I just kept my jacket on.  I figured I could tolerate being warm for the short run.  We gathered at the start as a group and took off.  Immediately I was left in the dust... only I was running a 9:15 pace, which is WAY fast for me.  Holy crap, people are fast.  Damn.  A whole herd of people ran away, off into the distance.  I had about 6 people behind me.  I passed a few people and then I was by myself (and I really tried to slow down a bit so I didn't die later).  I loosened up about halfway through the run and felt really, really good. 

Run 1 time: 13:52 / 9:54 pace.  good!

Sooo many people did the first run with their cycling gear on.  Very serious stuff.
Way too much time was spent trying to put on my VERY tight long fingered cycling gloves.  PSA: its a good idea to put your helmet on BEFORE you put on your gloves.  Seriously, my T1 time was ridiculous.

T1 time - 1:51

Bike 1
I hopped on my bike.  I was smart enough to remember to set my pedals to the correct position for easy clipping in.  I got on my bike, being completely unfamiliar with the course.  First up was a big hill.  Remember my PSA about lifting weights?  Yeah..... my quads were VERY ANGRY at me during that climb (and pretty much for the rest of the race).  And my heart rate was crazy high... really, way too high for what I was doing.

The hill wasn't that bad, really.  I will admit that I'm a bit cranky that I wasn't stronger going up it, with all my weight training and heavy bike intervals.  Boo.  The rest of the course wasn't that hard.  There was a sweet downhill where I easily hit 30 mph on.  Nothing to exciting, except the ride was really over before I got started.

I wish I could find a picture of Serious Racers.  Tons of people (with their fancy wheels and aero helmets) were riding with their running shoes.  I guess the 15 seconds it takes to swap shoes is too much when you're on your bike for 8 minutes.... Instead, I found a pic of a guy with an aero helmet, aerobars, and a mountain bike....

Bike 1 time: 11:49, 18.3 mph

I nearly forgot how to get off my bike, its been that long (September).  One poor lady next to me hit her brakes too hard trying to avoid someone and toppled over.  I went to my rack, ditched my cycling stuff, and my gloves and jacket and took off running.

T2 time: 1:45

Run 2
Oh wow.  Unhappy legs and heart rate.  This run was a different course than the first one.  It was on dirt and paved trails with a bunch of roller hills.  My heart rate was screaming.  Legs weren't awful compared to the heart rate.  For a whole 2.5 mile segment, I had to walk twice.  My heart rate limit is ~176 to 180.  Definitely 180.  If I see that, I start walking until its down to 160.  That happened 3 times.  Boo.  Maybe I should run more often than once a month, during races!

Run 2 time: 28 even, 11:12 pace (not horrible for walking so much)

Decided to skip the jacket and gloves and hit the road. 
T3 time - 1:34

Bike 2
Decided to skip the jacket and gloves and hit the road.  Pretty uneventful as this was a repeat of the previous bike, only it was for 2 loops.  A bit windy, but nothing crazy.

Bike 2 time: 24:21, 17.7 mph

Sprint (!!) to the finish
Some people changed into their running shoes.  Really?  For a 50 yard sprint across a parking lot?  I kept my helmet on, took my cycling shoes off, and just ran across the parking lot.  Probably looked like a dork.  Fortunately, there aren't any professional race photographs of this.

Sprint time - 52 seconds (which included time to rack my bike and take my shoes off)

Total time: 1:24:01
24/33 in my age group (W30-39)
157/200 overall

Colorado people are fast.  I am not (yet).

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