Last Saturday morning was the 1st, in a series of 3 summer duathlons in the area. They span from late April to late July and I decided this would be a good one to tackle before the heat and humidity made a trip to the medic tent inevitable.
AquaDoc agreed to race even though there was no water involved. I have no idea WHY the man hates to run because he’s damn fast. He’s now 6 weeks post op (meniscus removal). Despite the limited running he’s done (3 miles maybe once) he put up an average pace of 7:45 for the hilly 5k portion. The man will be lethal once he gets healthy. I hate him. 🙂
To backtrack a bit….
The race was out in the sticks, BFE…no man’s land. It’s a somewhat hilly course on old country roads. It’s also not a sanctioned event. It’s put on by the local running club so transition is somewhat jacked. This was our 1st time participating so we had not clue we needed to be a bit more self-sufficient. I didn’t really effect the race, but it made transition a bit tricky.
We started the 5k loop going down a delightful hill. My pace was brisk and I felt awesome until some jackass next to me reminded us we would have to run UP that same hill at the end. Gee thanks for the reminder!
Mother nature was kind so the weather was on the cooler side and the course was shady. This all helped keep my body temperature in check as much as possible. I was running at about an 8:30/mi pace and was still at the rear of the pack. This was another lesson in pacing myself and racing MY own race. I know I’m stronger on the bike and I would catch up if I could stay at mid to high 8’s and not slip too far back.
So that’s what I did. And that hill that we all flew down to start…..well, it was a bitch to climb up at the end. I looked down and charged up and passed the clock in 27 minutes and change. I was pleased with the body of work as my 5k PR is 26:32 and that was on a flat, out and back course.
The hard part was done. Now it was time for the fun!
I was riding solo, ie.. no bike computer. It’s been broken for a few weeks and I’ve been debating a replacement. I was riding with my garmin running watch. It gives me min/mi splits and I can extrapolate the data a bit in my head as I go. I knew 3:15 min/miles or less would be great. If I could hit 3:00’s or below I would be really rocking it. But I was going to have to just peddle my ass off, make up as much time as possible, and see how things turned out. AquaDoc had a 2-3 minute lead and I knew if I could catch him, I would have caught the bulk of the women who were running in the mid 7’s.
Did I mention it was a bit windy? 15-25 mph sustained headwinds with stronger gusts. If it wasn’t a headwind, it was a crosswind. When they blew, it took every bit of skill I had to maintain my course and sometimes I flat-out didn’t.
This was my 1st race with the aero bars and I rode them the entire way. I felt like I was moving fast and making up time. My garmin was chirping every time a clicked off another mile and I’d check my watch for the pace: 3:05, 3:15, 2:45 (OMG), 3:20, 2:33(holy crap!)…and so it went. and I repassed 2 later on. I was doing a fairly good job of catching those speedy runners whose legs were just too tired to fight the hills and the wind.
I passed Aquadoc with about 5 miles to go and at that point, I figured I’d probably caught up with most of the 7 minute milers. I had made up 90 secs and had 5 miles to do the rest. There was just 1 problem…..
As we made the final right turn out onto Hwy 67 (4 lanes of traffic that had not been detoured thank you) we hit a hill and head winds that were blowing close to 30 mph! I looked up and swore people were walking their bikes. Later I figured it was just the oxygen deprivation to my brain playing tricks on my eyes. It was insane! I just kept reminding myself that everyone else was battling the same conditions.
I shifted to a higher gear and figured since I only had 2 miles to go I could burn my legs out at this point, I just wanted the hell off this road. I saw a few women that looked like they may be about my age (always thinking 😉 ) so I just hammered on, passed them and finally crossed the finish line. I ended with an average pace of 20.6 mph.
Woolmarket Duathlon (5k run, jacked up transition area, 11 mile bike) : 1:04:57
Good enough for 2nd in the 35-39 age group.
78/168 total and 12/45 overall females.
Not a bad way to spend a Saturday morning.
There is a definite advantage to getting older.
And living in a small, rural community.
I’ll take it any day and love every single minute!
Ride Happy, My Friends!