Friday, May 18, 2012

Infirmary Duathlon

Once again I am attempting to record my path to fitness or at least the pitfalls. In an effort to update my blog with more frequency, I'm aiming for more content and less substance. My apologies in advance. On to the race report.

On April 28, 2012 I participated in the Infirmary Duathlon. This was my first duathlon and I felt obligated to enter due to the fact the start was a quarter mile from my front door. The race starts with a 2 mile run, followed by 10 miles on the bike, finishing with another 2 mile run. I did not get a lot of specific training for this event, but I did managed 2 bike rides, one to recon the route. 2 miles has been my tempo run distance so I felt good with the distance, and the Warrior Dash the previous weekend rounded out my training. The race was a late afternoon start which is different from what I'm accustom. I had a pretty normal day with the family including some T-Ball (we lost). When it came time, I packed my running shoes in a small pack and rode to the start on my bike. One quick thing about equipment, I thought about not using my clip-less petals  on the bike. I figured with only a 10 mile bike I could do it in running shoes. I ended up not finding my toe clips so I stayed with my clip-less and that was the right call. I may have lost some time in transition but the time lost was made up on the bike. After arriving at the start, I found my way into the transition area. The racks were unassigned and I racked near the bike exit. This would mean a longer run in/out but a shorter bike out/in. I also noticed a lot of high end bikes in the same rack so I figured my strategy was in good company. I set up my transition, visited with some friends and then headed off for a little warm up. I always have a lot of anxiety before races. I didn't want to warm up too much but I figured it would help with the pre-race jitters.A little slow jog and some stretching later and I was ready for the start.

Start - 2 mile Run
I lined up towards the back of the field because I knew I was going out slow on the run and it's never fun to get passed by the field. At the start I kept it slow. When I felt winded I would say to myself, " find you heart rate" reminding myself to slow down and run comfortably. The course had some hills and I felt good going up and down. At the one mile turnaround I was 9:13 (not sure the distance was accurate) which well ahead of my goal. The return mile was much of the same, I would remind my self to find my heart rate and committed to no walk breaks. My second mile was slower than the first (10:05) and I felt tired going into transition.

10 mile Bike
The bike is my strength. I knew I would feel better on the bike and I could make up time lost on the run. There also seemed to be more serious runners than cyclists. The bike start was like a video game. I was passing people weaving through them like a mating salmon.
 I knew my slow run had put me behind but I was catching up on the bike. I pushed hard and on the second 5 mile loop, I felt a little gassed. I took a Gu gel, washed it down with Gu Roctane drink and buckled down for the rest of the bike. I wanted to make up as much time as possible to give me a cushion on the run.

 Finish - 2 mile Run
 In to the transition I dismounted flawlessly (if I may say so myself), put on the running shoes and I was off. At first I thought my left hamstring was going to seize up but after running about 200 yards it loosen up. I was trying to stay focused by keeping track of who I was passing and who was passing me. At the one mile turnaround I was about 30 seconds off my 10 minute per mile goal but at that point I wasn't concerned. I did walk through the water station and pushed through to the finish. I finished in 1:20:17, 171 overall (out of 266) and 16 in the 36-40 age group (out of 24), which was right inline with where I wanted to finish. I felt really good after the race. For the first time I put together an entire multi-discipline race. It is great to finish a new type of multi-discipline race because you really don't have any expectations. I knew I wanted to finish 1:20 but a finish is an accomplishment and to make my goal time was a great feeling. I enjoyed the duathlon format and definitely will do more. With a faster run I could even finish high up in my age group.

No comments: