Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Fast & Furious Duathlon

So my race season got started a little later than I originally planned.  My first race was planned for February 20th, but I just wasn't feeling up to it as the race got closer.  The "off season" got me and I hadn't been putting in the miles like I should have so I passed on the TMS Duathlon.  I was really bummed too because I knew there was going to be some good competition out there since it was the State Championship race.  We had a really strange winter here in Dallas so I had to do a lot of work on the treadmill and spinner bike, with some weight training sprinkled in here and there.  I was feeling pretty strong and probably at the best shape I've been in my entire life, but I was really nervous about this race.  I'm not sure why, and even as I write this I am still unable to put my finger on what was causing my doubt.  

I was really hoping to have my new bike for the start of the season and I had a number of things, including my old bike, up for sale on craigslist.  Slowly, the items started to sell and my bike fund was building up.  Finally, 2 weeks before the race, I sold my Allez.  It was sad to see her go, but I was super stoked about my new bike.  I'd had my eye on the Felt s22 since May or June and it would finally be mine.  It's nothing really special either, aluminum frame with carbon fork, decent component set, and some super heavy wheels, but there was always something about it that I couldn't get away from and it was about to be mine.  

Now we get to the race...

My parents made the long trip from Nederland to Dallas to show their support.  We were up at 5 to get everything packed up before heading down to Lynn Creek Park which is about 40 minutes away.  It was kinda chilly, 60º or so, and SUPER windy.  During the pre-race meeting Jack said the winds were gusting at 40mph!  I had already scouted the course a few days earlier and knew that crossing the dam was already pretty sketchy.  Now I have to add gale force winds?!?!  This ought to be interesting...

I setup everything in transition and hung out with Holly and my parents until the race was about to start.  A few minutes before 8:00 we started to line up at the start.  I tried to position myself close to the front but a couple of girls weasled their way in front of me.  We get the horn from Jack and the race is on!  A few strides into the run I feel something bouncing in my jersey pocket.  I was having trouble reaching into the pocket because my race belt was blocking it.  It took a few more strides until I was able to get the object in my phone!  What?!?!  I thought I put it in my transition bag?  What am I going to do with it?  Luckily after rounding the first loop I saw Holly and was able to toss it over to her.  I was feeling really strong and keeping a good pace.  I hope I can keep it up.  I tried to monitor my pace on my Garmin during the run so I could make sure I didn't overdo it too quickly.  Now comes transition, which I still haven't trained for.  I setup everything so I could access it really quickly and I had counted which rack I was on after the pre-race meeting so I wouldn't have to worry about looking at the signs.  T1 went pretty quickly at 0:55 and before I knew it I was on my way out on the bike.  

The bike leg was going to be interesting because this would be the first time I would really put any miles on my new bike.  I rode about 2 miles on the dam a few days prior so I could see what it was going to be like but that was all I had ridden on it.  It's SO windy and I'm not even on the dam yet.  I had to take it easy on the way back in because the winds were gusting so hard from the left.  It was pretty sketchy because at some parts of the road the guardrails were missing!  When I got back into transition and tried to rack my bike a huge gust of wind caught my bike and sent the front wheel straight into the rack.  Needless to say the rack fell over.  Luckily there weren't any other bikes there.  I wasted about 30 seconds trying to put the rack back together.  I ended up just laying my bike down and throwing my running shoes on and heading out of T2.  I told one of the volunteers as I was on my way out that the rack fell and they put it back up and racked my bike for me.

I knew the last run would be brutal.  My legs were already feeling it and I was just 0.10 mi into the leg.  A guy from another age group came along side me and we shared a few words about the wind on the dam.  Once he got a few strides in front of me I used him as my "rabbit" to pace me the rest of the way in.  I crossed the line at 1:06:27.   

Final results:

Overall: 20 out of 47 men
AG result: 5 out of 7  (The 4 guys that beat me all had top 10 finishes)

Run 1:  15:24 - (7:42/mi pace)
T1:  0:55
Bike:  31:47 - (20.8 mph)
T2:  1:17
Run 2:  17:03 - (8:32/mi pace)

Next Race:  June 4 - DRC Bloomin' 4 Mile run with Holly

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