Ohh… this is bad… That was REEEEEEEEEAAAALLLLLY fun… Daddy’s gonna need a second job to support his habit…*sigh*
Shakespeare’s Max Trax Duathlon
Short course: 1.5 mile run/7.5 mile ride/1.5 mile run
I’ve never done a multisport race report before so I guess I’ll just start with my thoughts and then progress through the event.
I got to the race site early at about 5:45 am to help finish the setup. After putting up a few banners and adding a few more bike racks, I switched hats to racer and began obsessing pondering all of the new things I needed to consider for this race. I picked up my timing chip, got inked, grabbed my bike and bag out of the car and walked into the transition area as an athlete for the first time. I was excited, but not nervous. I immediately got confused about the “gazintas and kumzatas” of the transition area and almost set my bike up as far away from where I wanted as possible. A kindly reminder from one of the seasoned veterans helped me get in the right place. Once again, our Columbia Multisport Club guys and gals were there, helpful as always. I racked my bike, set out my shoes and then began to fuss about what to wear.
At this point in the day, the sun was not even up yet. The temperature was about 33 degrees and there was frost on everything. I decided to defer my final wardrobe selection until closer to the starting gun, as I was pretty sure it would warm up, which it did.
The racks started to fill up and I found some friends and fellow first timers to mingle with. Met a biology professor from Missouri State Tech in Rolla and we exchanged information so that we might meet at some point for a run or ride. It’s always good to have contacts in other cities, even if it is to get a suggested route. Nice to meet you Anne!
As game time approached, the sun came up and began to melt the frost and warm my bones a bit, but it still took me up until they chased me out of the transition area before I could decide what to wear. I decided to go a little cold at the start with my singlet, a long sleeved light biking jacket and my tri-shorts. I ran with my gloves on, but not to keep my hands warm on the run. I just didn’t want to fumble with them on the bike or in transition. Race time temps had warmed into the 40s and I knew I would be fine once the gun went off.
We split up into the long course and short course groups and headed to the starting line. This course, after a hairy hundred yards or so down a slick, wet, grassy embankment, was pretty much all on concrete walking path and a bit of packed gravel. It rolled through a really pretty park and frisbee golf course so after the first 1/4 mile or so we were in the trees. There was a slight breeze, but it was insignificant. Since we were on a bit narrower of a path, I decided to play stalker with my running buddy, Sarah (eventual overall women’s winner! WOOT!) and run behind her. As the horn sounded we took off gingerly down the hill and the race was on!
I settled in pretty quick and felt fast but Sarah was running faster so I let her go a bit. I was surprisingly close to the front and kept the leaders in sight until we all disappeared into the meandering path in the woods. I sat on Sarah’s heels for most of the first run and I couldn’t really get a gauge for how fast I was running. Since I wasn’t sure where the mile markers were, I just ran by feel. The course ends on an uphill into the transition/finish area and I felt like I had good energy coming up to transition. We finished pretty close together and I was stunned later when I checked my time and realized that I had run my fastest race time ever at a 6:55 average pace! I could have just stopped right there!!
Transitions are still an enigma to me. I feel clumsy and like I don’t have a plan… even though I do. I guess it gets easier as you get comfortable with it. I put on my helmet, bike shoes, grabbed my bike and waddled gingerly out of transition (I hate running in bike shoes).
Have I mentioned how much I SUCK at bicycling? I’m REALLY slow. I need to spend the next two years straight just biking. Anyway, that’s another blog post…
The bike route took us through neighborhoods and then up north of town on some OK roads and then back into the neighborhoods for the finish. It was a single loop for the short course and two loops for the long course. The loops were about 7.5 miles. You start out on a downhill and then go up a steep, but short hill into a neighborhood before beginning a rolling ride with a few longer hills, but nothing major. I was comfortable on the bike but very disappointed that I hadn’t checked the bike more thoroughly before I started! When I put my front wheel back on, I got it slightly crooked in the forks, so the front wheel rubbed on the brakes the entire ride. In hindsight, I should have just stopped for a second and straightened it out. Maybe it would have taken me 10 seconds to do. Maybe I lost 10-20 seconds due to the wheel rub. Who knows. It was the only real frustration of the day, besides being slow on the bike in general. I had pretty decent energy on the bike and didn’t feel tired at the end, but I know I’m not strong yet. My aero bars felt comfortable and the bike did well in spite of me. My average was 16.3 mph. By far the slowest of the top 20 riders. The winner was somewhere over 22mph.
As I came in to the transition area I took off my gloves and stuffed them into my back pocket. I decided to try to step out of my shoes and run barefoot to the rack. It was a little awkward but functional. My time was a bit slower because I was running on my bike legs. But I definitely like this more than running with my bike shoes on. My lid came off quick and I was in my shoes and running before I really knew I was done.
My running legs were slow to return but I pushed through it and forced myself to run faster. My time at the practice duathlon had been a dismal 8:34 pace and I wanted to make sure I bettered that this time. I passed one of the guys that got me on the course and then settled in to run very much alone, save for the odd volunteer or spectator along the way. Part of the course is an out and back so I gauged how far the guy in front of me was and vowed to track him down. There was nobody within a minute of me in arears so I didn’t have to worry about being hunted, just hunting. I was strong on the flats and downs but my legs were not happy with the whole “up” thing so I slowed a bit on the few hills in the course. I tracked down the guy in front of me but just ran out of gas at the finish line and ended up about 3 seconds behind him. Good enough for me. My final average for run 2 was 7:24. Over a minute a mile faster than the first one. While this is not great (I would like to be more consistent), it’s still a good result and is encouraging when I apply it to next month’s triathlon. I think I will do OK on the run.
I ended up 19th overall, 18th by gender and 3rd in my age group (actually 4th, but the overall winner was also in my age group, nice job Brad!) so I even got to bring home a bottle of wine for my efforts! Too bad I stopped drinking… *sigh*. All in all, I’m very pleased. I know I have things to work on but they are pretty clear and now I’m really looking forward to the triathlon. But I’m not looking forward to the next month of bike training. My legs are NOT going to be happy with me!
Congrats to Nicole, Lynette and Nancy (I think I missed somebody…?) for great performances in their first multisport events as well. They are a part of the newbie group I’m training with and they did themselves proud!
I’m off for the rest of today and then back at the pool tomorrow. Less than a month to Trizou!!!