I did a race. It was the second duathlon (which has been confusing people because it’s running and biking, 2 sports, but really you run twice and bike once which makes it pretty much a triathlon since even Piper will tell you 2+1 = 3) of the season for me.
#1 No concussions because I’m not allowed to have any more this year (I used my allocation in the last race where I looked like this after 1 lap).
#2 Top 3 bike split. Why? Well, let’s explain my training: I only ride my bike. So seriously, I should be able to ride ok.
Actually, this isn’t true. I help coach 70 elementary school kids from grades 3-5 every friday run 1.5 miles. After the first mile, you get to play on the playground. It doesn’t seem to really feel like running but mostly it’s actively telling kids that they aren’t at the mall and they should keep running. So there, I run 1.5 miles every friday at a blistering pace of maybe 12-15 min miles. Maybe.
But my bike training is this:
Tues: max sprints up a hill. Do that a bunch. Then Tuesday evening do a time trial about mercer island 2x. It’s really just sitting on behind someone much faster than me but since he’s a cat 1 cyclist and is the size of a schoolgirl, the draft is negligible.
Wed: and I quote from my coach ‘ride as #%*#$ hard as you can for an hour’.
Thurs: race a crit at seward park
Sat: 2-3 hours of something awful
Sun: not as awful but 2 hours
So this is good for racing crits and bikes but not ideal for duathlon or triathlon. I digress….
So the run was 1.7 miles (ish) then 15 mile bike, then another 3.7 miles of running (ish).
I set my bike up the day before, a pair of Zipp 808’s because there’s a nasty hill which isn’t awesome for a disc wheel (heavy). I even found a pair of sneakers to run in. I even rode the bike to make sure it shifted and the brakes worked (I have done races where my bike did neither very well). Then I woke up Sunday AM and both tires were flat and sad. So after about 15 mins of panicked pumping and trouble shooting I grabbed another set of wheels and threw it all into the car.
I did a quick shakedown on the bike (aka warm-up) with a disc wheel and an 808 front which was happier once it spent some time in the car warming up to 70 degrees. This point is important because the bike course isn’t that tricky but there are 2 key turns but it wasn’t like figuring out a special spell with Hermionie or Ronald Weasley. I put in some low tempo with a few ‘efforts’ getting my HR up to race tempo. See below – no lies and thank you Strava for highlighting no achievements. Jerks.
Then I rode into transition where an amazing USAT official decided they didn’t like where my transition stuff was (it was a small towel with 1 pair of sneakers) so they MOVED IT. They thought too many bikes were on one side, so they moved my stuff. THEY MOVED MY STUFF!
I’m not sure this is in their job description but in Seattle, it isn’t viewed as odd to just move people’s things in transition or wave when you merge into traffic or comment on how you should be doing something. If you’re not a triathlete this might sound like a big ‘who cares’ but it would be like someone re-parking your car at the mall or grocery store because there are too many SUV’s in a row and someone can’t open their door fully.
I lined up and started running. And wowzers, people were running fast. Well for me. I saw the 3 times I looked at my Garmin that I was running very low 6 min miles. Then I was soon back at transition only to see people running through it and my hope that 1.7 miles were behind me and I realized I had to do 2 laps. Which was a lot to ask because I’m motivated by frosted cookies and cheerleaders and my family.
Then that number I was running was still in the 6’s but not 6:05. More like 6:15 and then it got bigger (the number to the right of the 6:nn ). But thankfully not before someone’s nana passed me and I’m not KIDDING. Nana. Passed. Me. Throwing down 6s.
Then once 50% of my pride evaporated it was onto the best part – changing clothes and stuff and getting on/off the bike! I passed a bunch of people doing that even though I think I didn’t even bother to try. The nana thing was still hurting. Plus it wasn’t a goal and I’m goal oriented.
Then I got on my bike and followed the course. I had a gel, took about 32 minutes getting my shoes on and a sip of water. I didn’t have a speedometer or anything that told me how fast I was going but my HR said 180 and I’m pretty sure that was enough. Then a redneck passed me and ran a truck off the road coming in the other direction. That was the highlight of the whole thing.
I rode ok but NEVER saw ANYONE. Not in 15 miles. No one. I did hear chickens at one point. There was an awful hill and people were clapping just after the worst part ever and I wanted to get off my bike and watch Spongebob with my kids. The hill was terrible going up and down. It was cold and wet and windy and my bike was blowing all over the place and once you go over 30mph and you bike is threatening to ruin your 1st goal (No concussions!) you slow down, well I did. So I did and at that point my #2 goal was all but a piece of decroded crap too.
So I got off the bike wicked fast and I heard an oooh and some clapping and I felt good about that. Then I started running but couldn’t feel my feet and I was not running fast. Like 7:40 pace. Kill me.
It didn’t get better. And that gel that I had on the bike was knocking on my upper GI looking for an exit. Nay. Gel. Nay.
I wasn’t having any fun. I started running from one telephone pole to the next one. I couldn’t feel my feet and around mile 2 I got passed by the only person I saw the whole race. Somehow I didn’t slow down worse than (according to my wrist) 7:45 pace but it felt like hell. I saw the finish and that was that. I forgot to mention I got moo’d at by a handful of cows. That too hurt. I’m sure they were thinking “LOOSE COW!”.
THEN SUDDENLY some guys runs up to me and says ‘did you do the full bike course?’ and I was like ‘yeah’ and he tells me I’m actually 3rd. See, proof below. Apparently 8 guys just somehow didn’t notice the BRIGHT ORANGE CONE AND SIGN THAT SAID ‘RIGHT TURN BIKE’, not to mention there’s a map of the course and then still not mentioning that some near 300 people behind them were able to figure it out (I should actually mention there wasn’t a sign that said ‘right turn’ it was an arrow pointing right). So they ended up DQ’ing a pile o fellas who are not strong map readers or good planners which gives me 3rd place over all and 1st place in my age group.
SO that’s that. I’m also going to start running now. I’m pretty sure adding 20 miles a week to my training might actually keep me out of the hurt locker in the race and will allow me to throw down on nana in my next race. And I had the #2 bike split. I think.