Ok, Bigun said to get my booty on the bike and keep it there, so I obliged. I consulted with him about this duathlon I had coming up, and we agreed that I could ride to the event (17 miles), participate (2.5m run/18.6m bike/2.5m run), and then ride home, adding on enough extra miles to get me somewhere around 80 total on the bike. So here's how it went:
Actually, let's back up to Friday first, because that's important. I like to run long on Friday mornings, so I met up with Holly, Tim, Rosalind, Tammy and Katrina at the rec center at 4:15. I warned them that I would go the distance with them (around 10 miles is what I was hoping for), but that I wouldn't be doing any sub 8 min miles, or anything close. Tim feeling the same way, since he was racing the next day too. So we took off, and I felt fairly comfortable for the entire 100 miles. I didn't have my Garmin on (left it at work), and I had no idea of the pace. I just ran by how I felt, and boy did it work great. I finished the run 1:25, and 8:30 pace, didn't feel sore or smoked, and had effectively manufactured Excuse #1, as to why I would take a public stomping at the duathlon the next day.
The sad part about this whole thing is that Holly-Jane has been training her butt off for this event, and a few days ago she got taken out by a dog while riding her bike. A BIG, MEAN dog, and one that was just allowed to run loose and harass bikers and runners. She went over the handle bars and ended up with a terrible case of road rash, but thankfully no broken bones. Unfortunately, she wasn't ready to saddle back up by Saturday, so she came out and took pictures and cheered instead. But we all better be looking out for her next year...
So, I met Michele in town bright and early Saturday morning and we rode our bikes to the race, about 17 miles for me and 20 for her, giving us Excuse #2, as to why we would take a public stomping at this duathlon. I couldn't believe I was doing that. I just kept thinking...what if I get beat by like a few seconds or something, or what if my legs are already tired during the first run?! I knew that it had to serve as a long training day, and leave it at that, but there's still the fact that results will be posted...and you know how I feel about that. Let training be training, and let racing be all out, bttw, fight, scrape and claw your way to the beat everyone you possibly can. So I just made peace that I would ride easy to the race, race in the manner I described above, and then ride the last 40 with whatever lactic acid, spunk, 'fear of Coach Bigun' I might could turn into fuel, if that's even possible.
So we got there, I got body marked and set up transition, chatted with my peeps, was successful in the potty-a-potty, listened to the prerace instructions, which included penalties for littering, and I was off in the 2nd wave. My legs felt surprisingly well, and I ran the first 2.5 mile leg in 19:25.
T-1 went okay, although I felt somewhat slow and clumsy getting out of there. I still made it out in 59 seconds.
Now the bike. I love this bike course. It is deceptively challenging, but it is loads of fun. It's flat for the few miles, then a long downhill, and then rollers all the way to the turnaround...and there's usually a wind at your back all the way there. I hammered the flats, hammered the downhill, and hammered the rollers, trying to pass as many people as I could, and I managed to reel in quite a few. My Dad was out there on his motorcycle, and Holly was riding with him snapping pics and yelling for us. About a mile from the turnaround, I decided it was time for a Hammer Gel - the chocolate one in my back pocket. It was difficult to open, but I finally got the top ripped back enough, even though it looked like a mess. So I'm hammering along, trying not to slow down too much as I take in this gel, still aero, and I lower my mouth down to the gel and squeeze.
Nothing. Nope. Nada.
Uh...Houston, we have a problem.
I just successfully squeezed this open, chocolate, turd-brown Hammer Gel at my face and there is nothing in my mouth. So I look down and find out why - both legs look like I have tried to run a marathon after eating at Krystal for the pre-race meal. Brown gu running the down the sides of both of them. Nice. So I raise my hand up and wipe it across my cheek and find out where the rest of the brown gu is. My first thought is to sling this gel packet as far as I can sling it and try to get this mess off of me without losing too much time. My second thought is that of the officials warning that if you litter on the course and get caught, you will penalized. I look over my shoulder. No official. Therefore, my third and final thought is to sling the *&%$! gel immediately, and I acted, with no remorse as I continued to find brown, sticky gu all over myself and my bike. I got over it, finally, and hammered back to transition as hard as I could go. Bike Time: 53:01. That's over 2 minutes faster than my last year's bike time (Hooray!!!), but still slower than Tim's (51:49) and Chris C.'s (52:35) smoking fast bike times (Boooo!!!). Those guys have become serious forces to be reckoned with!! I still averaged 21.05, though, so I am pleased.
T-2 was just a complete cluster. I successfully got my feet out of my shoes on the final stretch, but for some reason I failed to throw my leg over as I stopped my bike. So I did the ol' "clip out, straddle the bike and feel like your gonna fall, then hike the leg over and try not to scream Owwwww!" as you push the bike to it's rack. I heard Leslie yell to me that I was the first woman in, and I got a little bit excited! I got out of there in 35 seconds, and I knew right away that my legs felt better than they did last year at this race.
I took little steps, high cadence, and let my heart rate settle in for the run. I went out for the first little loopty-loop and saw Tim kicking butt. I high-fived Holly, and kept going towards the out and back on the runway. My legs were getting tired, and I was pushing as hard as I could push. Then I heard footsteps. I looked over my shoulder, and knew immediately who it was. The foot steps got louder and closer, and I couldn't seem to pull away from them. So I yelled, "I hear you back there!!!" and in a matter of seconds Chris C. was effortlessly running by me. The thought did cross my mind to try and hang on, but he was like Jack Handy's keys dropped into a river of molten lava - "let'em go, cause man, they're gone." And Chris was gone. I didn't let anyone else pass me, though, and enjoyed watching the race to the finish between Chris C. and Charles P., with Charles digging deep to fight him off at the end. I finished the second run in 20:35.
Fun times! And you know what's even funner? My final time of 1:34:34 won 1st place overall female!!! And what's even funner than that is that there were more of my peeps at this race than any - including Lee, who won 1st place in his age group at his very first multisport event and only the 4th time he'd ridden his bike! And Eric, who did awesome, too, in his first multisport event! And Tim The Machine, who smoked the course and got 1st place in his AG, and wasn't far from an overall award! And Chris C. was just a few seconds behind him in 2nd AG. And Michele - who also biked to and from the race and was right behind me for 2nd place overall female! And there was Tracy - who almost made herself sick on the course and took away 1st place Female Masters! Tony took away 4th place AG!Charles claimed 3rd place Male Masters! Joe made a brave, last minute decision and decided to race the event on little to no training, and did great! David S. from the running club took away 1st AG, and Rebecca M. did the same in her AG.
I met Roger B. in person for the first time (he did a relay team), and chatted with lots of other running/tri peeps and their spouses and kids.
Mike was volunteering...
After helping out with the clean up some, I got back on my bike and took off for 40 more miles - out the race course to 41-A, then onto Rutlege Falls and into Manchester. Michele had already left to go home, but my Dad decided to be my riding partner on his HD. He rode the whole way with me, and the ride flew by. I ended up with 75 miles biking and 5 miles running, and a first place overall award. That's a step in the right direction.
5 years ago