A couple weeks ago I kicked off my multisport season with the Brands Duathlon. You may recall I did the exact same race last October and it was not pretty!! Cold and rainy, it was an experience that I will never forget. You can read more about it HERE. So this race is also very close to home, so I got to get up maybe a couple hours b4 the race started, showered, grabbed a bite, and was out the door.
The weather was actually perfect. I can’t remember the exact temperature , but the cycling jacket I was prepared to wear I didn’t need to because it was just that nice outside. Yes I do love me some red! You can catch a glimpse of Ruby (my bike) behind me with the red helmet hanging off the bars.
I have to say Race Awesome did an amazing job with the set up and organization of this race. If you look very closely you can see a white sticker on the bike rack. That sticker had my full name and bib number on it. I haven’t done that many multisport races, but this is the first time that I’ve seen this and it made for a very non-complicated transition area, so kudos to you Race Awesome for making it easier on your athletes.
Preparing to mount b4 the bike leg
This Duathlon was Run 1.2 miles, Bike 11 miles, Run 1.2 miles, so fairly short distance wise, but for a newbie a challenge nonetheless. I felt really good on the run and managed to squeak out a 8:55 mile pace which is pretty good considering I’m running in the mid 9’s right now.
On to the bike. The bike is my least favorite of the three disciplines. I would have never thought that biking would be so difficult, but I am still learning and progressing with every ride. Now I’ve been riding a trainer indoors since February and have been clipping in so I’ve gotten pretty comfy on the bike, but a couple weeks before this race (maybe a week) was the first time I took my tri bike out on the road, and it was not pretty at all! In fact it was so ugly that I bust my a$$ trying to clip my left foot in. The fall was so bad a woman came running up to me asking if I was ok. I was laughing at myself because I fell but I let her know I was fine and got back up and started my ride. When I got home and took off my tights I realized my knee was busted up a bit and bleeding. I’m told I have 2 more falls to go until I am a real cyclists!
I go into this story because this fall happened at the exact same park that this Duathlon took place so I was being very cautious as to not wipe out in front of a crowd full of people while mounting my bike! The mount went well with no falls. This bike course is fairly easy except for the fact that about a minute or 2 into it you have to climb a small hill. This means you have to climb this hill on the way back because it is a looped course. The only thing that I did not like about the bike course was the u turn that has to be made. The turn is fairly tight, and turns into a one lane turn which can get a bit tricky if the person in front of you basically comes to a complete stop to make the turn. On my 2nd loop this happened and I had to steer into the dirt which apparently is a big no no on my bike. I felt like I was about to fall and had to quickly clip out my left foot just in case. I actually ended up steering into the oncoming bikes which turned out to not be so bad because there were only a few people coming. I got back in the right lane and shouted out “sorry guys” and someone yelled “well at least you didn’t fall” and I said “thank goodness” laughed and kept going. That was my only mishap on the bike other than not going into aero (ugh). I managed to finish the bike in about 44.77.
My feet felt like bricks of course as I prepared to start the last leg. It takes me a long time, like the first full mile to get my legs back which was not good because that was all I had! Coming off the bike I was in 3rd place in my division, but finished in 5th so I have much work to do on my run leg. This run leg was at a 09:51 pace, so almost a full minute slower than the opening mile. Now when I think about the mini tri where they wrote our ages on our calfs I am wishing we had that in the Du so I could have seen those 30-34 yr olds running by me! I’ll catch them next time!
Overall another good race in the books. I wasn’t lying in bed afterwards so my conditioning was pretty good, and all those early morning training sessions feel like they are paying off. The countdown to Ironman Eagleman continues!
Today I had the pleasure and pain of completing the Brands Cycle Duathlon. Pleasure because it was an awesome race, pain because it was chilly and pouring rain the entire time. Going in I knew it would be raining, but when I woke up I crossed my fingers and hoped the sky would be clear, but that didn’t happen!! I’ve never biked in the rain….I’m still a beginner so biking in the elements is totally off my radar and I have only run in the rain if I got caught in it, so this was definitely a new experience for me. Luckily yesterday I had the smarts to go and buy a rain coat because I didn’t have one in my closet, and you know I love a good deal, and I was able to pick one up on sale at Dick’s Sporting Goods yesterday….and so happy that I did! That rain coat saved my britches this morning.
Freezing and wet but smiling b4 the start
The race started promptly at 8:30. Now going in you know when you see the fancy schmancy bikes there are going to be some heavy hitters in the race and there were. During the bike there was a lot of “on your left” being yelled so they could fly right by you. Now this was a smaller event. I think there were like 200 people registered, and I heard about 50 didn’t show up…..probably because of the rain. The first leg was the run which was 1.2 miles. So at the start I don’t know how I managed to be up front but I was and started off way too fast. I’m running like hey all the guys are up here, then I’m like hey I’m going really fast, then I look down at my watch and my pace is 7:30 and I’m like hey pump your brakes there shorty. So I slowed down tremendously to a 10-11 minute pace which is my comfort zone. The first leg was pretty easy, and then comes transition. Transition is the point where you switch from one element to another, so this transition was run to bike.
My bike on the rack. Coack Jax told us about the bag on the saddle trick, my saddle was still drenched!
The bike leg was 11 miles. Now ordinarily 11 miles would be a nice ride for me, but throw in the freezing rain pelting you everywhere and it turns into a challenge. Some how some way I am going to improve my biking. I know it is going to take some time, but I have the will and I’ll get it done. The bike was flat for the most part. There were 2 hilly areas. One leading up to a turn, and then on the reverse trip we had to climb the hill in the opposite direction. I have very little concept of gear switching, so hills are hard for me. I kind of felt I would go faster if I got off the bike and pushed it up the hill!!! Hopefully I’ll improve and I’ll be singing a different song next year. At the bike turn around standing there waving a caution flag was none other than Coach Jackie!! I was like hey Jackie, she is like your doing great nice and easy on the turn, and I’m like I think I may fall, and she says no you won’t! She is so encouraging, and it was nice to see a friendly face. We had to do 4 loops on the bike to make the 11 miles. By the 4th loop I was totally over it. I was wet everywhere. My shoes were shooshing, my glasses were all wet, I was just a mess. Fast forward to T2 (2nd transition) bike to run. I went through this pretty quickly 1:16. Now when I started the last run which was another 1.2 miles I now completely understand the term brick workout. My feet literally felt like I was running on bricks. Talk about super heavy! I think it was a feeling I’ve never felt before. I don’t think I truly got comfortable until the very end of the run, so I guess in a longer race it would be better because I’ll have more time to get into my stride.
Overall despite the horrible weather Race Awesome really put on an awesome race. It was well organized, the staff and volunteers were great, and the overall atmosphere was great. If you compete in races you know sometimes there is very little or no support regarding nutrition, but here that was not the case. Fairway was one of the sponsors. They had watermelon, bananas, apples, oranges, and bagels with peanut butter and chocolate spread. There was also an abundance of coconut water from Purity. Now I’ve come to the realization that coconut water is an acquired taste because I haven’t met one that I like. This one however is tolerable. I put it in my smoothie when I got home instead of using water and I have to say it was pretty tasty.
Thank you for the haul Purity! They were super generous.
There was also plenty of coffee and tea which was a godsend in this type of weather.
End of race obligatory bling shot!Some views of the finishlineMe & Simone before the rain kicked our butts!Simone finishing strong! & she one a Giant road bike in the raffleAnd a special thanks to Super D…Dionne for volunteering. Every time I did a lap there she was cheering me on, and she recorded this awesome video…thx DD![youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zLyE4q7Yltk&w=560&h=315]
Next stop Staten Island Half Marathon tomorrow….yes I’m crazy!!