(Pic from first Club Du)
Saturday morning before the du, I awoke before my alarm clock as the gorgeous sunshine peered in through the window. I let the dog outside and realized that it is pretty darn cold outside as I could see my breath. To self, "Why in the world did I think I would be wearing shorts?" Darn Northeast Ohio 30 degree temperature changes in the spring. So after some thought I decided on bike shorts & tri tank top over full under armor, and my wicking coat. I went with my under armor running gloves and my dirt bike gloves (now my bicycle gloves!) and two pairs of socks. If you recall, I am just not at all into being cold!
Ate my normal maple syrup and brown sugar oatmeal packet, loaded up the car with all my stuff and made it out to the area with plenty of time to spare. As I set up my transition area, I was still a little unsure of my attire and if I would be too hot, but figured I would rather wear a little extra as that is a long time to be on the bike and be cold. It was somewhere around 45 degrees outside by about this time.
Eighteen racers from the Cleveland tri club came out to participate in the event in which they were planning to hold a long (4M Run, 26M Bike, 4 M Run) and short course (2M Run, 13M Bike, 2M Run). Prior to the race I chatted with another new Cleveland Tri member named Betty and I was happy to hear she was also planning to do the long course du. As it turned out there were only three of us planning to do the long course, the two of us females and another guy, Dave.
With the start I was off on my run. As normal, excitement sets in a bit and I go out a little fast. The run course was a mile out on the towpath to the cone and back, twice for us long course folk. At the first mile turn I was in third overall. I ease off a bit as I remind myself that this is the longest race I have done in this format by quite a bit.
To self, "I am really hot and sweaty...this coat has got to go" A few people start to pass me between mile 1 and 2. At 2 mile checkpoint my time is 16:20. I try to keep in mind that they are heading to the bike after mile 2 and I still have another 2 before my bike.
"16:20? Darn, it felt faster, I hope this is not a bad sign". I make the turn for my second loop and enjoy seeing all the other racers heading back. I settle in for the third mile taking in some scenery and my second loop at the corner to head back to mile 4. Dave, the other guy doing the long course, passed me between miles 3 and 4. So at least I knew I was not alone even though the course had become much emptier the last half. 33:56 4 mile run split time. I felt very hot and was zipping my coat off as I reached the transition, not at all worried about being cold.
(After the race, I learned that they moved the cone after my 4 mile run. It had actually been out 1.25 miles instead of one…so now I don’t feel bad about my run time!)
The bike course was 4 loops, approximately 6.5 miles each. The transition was not super fast but not horrible and I was off on the bike, just behind Dave. He really took off. I saw him around the first turn and the second and then he disappeared in front of me. And then it was just me. I felt pretty good on my bike and used the hills as a chance to stretch out my back & neck and just kept pedaling. My boredom had already started on the run and it really started by the second lap of my bike. I really was missing my Ipod and so I just started singing my own little version of No Particular Place to Go, which went as so......
"Riding along on my bicycle
The demon inside me at the wheel
I stole a stretch at the turn of a mile
my little pedals spinning wild
singing and wishing I had a radio
with no particular place to go"
Wind seemed to be coming out of the Northwest pretty good and by the third lap it seemed as though it had really picked up. OK, another mistake I had was that I have never drank while on my bicycle before this du. I figured it being a long course that I would make sure I remembered something to drink since I would probably be thirsty today given the amount of time I was putting in. However, my new bottle of Propel with its sports cap would not let me get anything out of it. Crap, I give up as I put it away before I lose more time fighting with it. (Later I learned there is a tab you must pull first, whoops!)
I noticed between laps 3 and 4 that most of the other racers had already finished their short course and were leaving. Yet, I just kept going and really actually felt pretty good through all 26 miles. As I pulled into transition, I slowed to drink half a glass of Gatorade by Brooks, who had volunteered. And let me tell you that Gatorade tasted good as I was so thirsty!!!!!!!
Out for my last run and I don't feel as bad as the last short course du I completed. Maybe it was that slower transition or the Gatorade, but my legs were not quite as heavy even though I could tell they were tired. I was happy to see Dave at about a 1/2 mile in and wondered what lap he was on. I saw a couple other club members out on the trail who cheered me on...which really lifted my spirits! Heading back by mile 2, saw Dave again and then Betty and knew we were all almost done. I made the turn at the 2 mile point and went back out. I am still really missing my Ipod and think these people that I keep passing on the towpath must wonder what is up with this sweaty girl going in circles. I was tired but really did not feel too bad and even had a little left at the end for my finish. Total time 2:48. Finished 2nd of the 3 of us!
What I learned...
1. I can do it.
2. Test that liquids work before putting them on bicycle.
3. Still falling behind on the bike and want to train more on it, especially because I am enjoying it...perhaps start attending the club's Wednesday night bike sessions.
3. I am ready for next Sunday’s Silver Springs Duathlon in Stow (3 Mile Run-10 Mile Bike, 3 Mile Run)!!
Items pondering after race...
Many of the other people doing the short course used the power gels. Should I be taking in more on races of this distance? I felt fine and I did sweat a lot, but it was not hot. After the race I drank another glass of Gatorade and my entire Propel shortly after the finish.
Afterwards I celebrated Seis de Mayo with my old man with a jumbo Strawberry Daiquiri and Fajitas at Bachos Restaurant. Now that is one tasty reward. Then it was back to the real world of cleaning house....
P.S.-Skipped my 5 K race on Sunday as I just did not feel like being gone all morning at a race on the other side of town. My legs felt fine so I went for an 8 mile run by my place. Heck it was 5 miles more than I had planned on...I will get my Hermes Road Race points next time!