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 RunI 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 BikeThe 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.
Finish - 2 mile RunIn 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.