Sunday, September 24, 2006

My First Endurance Duathlon

Report on Black Diamond Endurance Duathlon

Friday, September 22, 2006
I went to the race site and racked my bike. Picked up race packet and then drove part of the bike course -- the big hill portion... 2.1 miles HUGE grade. Went and picked up some sushi and then sat in traffic. Got home hung with the girls, packed my stuff, then went to bed around 9:30. Robb snored like a bear all night long so I didn't sleep well.

Saturday, September 23, 2006 - Race Day
Woke up at 4 and I thought about going down to the couch but never did as I thought I'd miss the alarm. So... about 5:30 I made Robb go sleep on the couch. However, that meant I only got 30 min of light rest until the alarm went off. Got up at 6 and was out the door by 6:30. Drove 1:15 min to the race site and it was COLD! 44 degrees. Once I got to the transition area I realized I'd forgotten my "throw away" bottle I'd need to switch out at aid stations. I didn't have time to get back to my car so I made a decision to just not stop at any of the stations and take my "just in case" bottle of ultima I'd packed for the run. So, I had both my good bottles on my bike... large 24 oz with watered down gatorade then the smaller one with the ultima. I'd also packed one gel and two PBJ sandwiches for the bike course. I decided to wear a long sleeved shirt over my bike jersey because it was a tank. Met up with Tamara from work and then went to listen to the race director. I'm listening to him describe the swim, then then bike "this course is just short of 62 miles" he said... Huh, race website says 61. Oh, well... what's a mile, or just under, right? LOL -- Then he starts talking about the run and says just after mile 1 there is about 2 miles of dirt road/trail with big puddles of water and large rocks.'s an out an back so you get to do that twice.

The 9AM men's wave went off for the swim. We couldn't start the du until the first swimmer was out of the water and off on his bike. They guestimated 9:30ish. I was standing with Tamara at the start and then starting having second thoughts about the long sleeves. Yeah, it was cold NOW, but we'd be out there a long time so I thought I'd get hot and have a hard time stripping it off. I decided to quickly take it off and left it with Tamara's Fleet Feet friends. Glad I did because after the first 30 min I was really warm and it ended up being in the low 70s. Pretty perfect weather. The first 1/2 IM biker left and the let us go two at a time. Tamara started just in front of me with a nice fellow and then I was off about 30 seconds later. I passed her right as we left the park... maybe 1/8 of a mile. I got off on the bike and heard a clicking sound and realized my Cat Eye computer thingie -- the piece that sits on my fork had somehow been tweaked and it was hitting the spokes. So, I reached down and got it moved around but the computer never would start. Not sure what's up with it. That made me freak a bit becuse how in the world would I know how fast or how far I'd gone. I had NOTHING to tell me where I was or how much farther I had to go. I just had to look at my watch and guestimate by my exertion. I headed down the road... got passed by two freakishly fast girls in my AG right off the bat... but just kept going. I made myself eat one PBJ sandwich around mile 20 and I started on the bottle of gatorade. I decided to leave the ultima for closer to the run so I wouldn't have any tummy upset. The course had some good hills. Hills you had to stand and crank up for a bit. Definitely not a flat course. Hit the big hill, and I heard someone say we were half way done when we got to the top so it must have been around mile 28. IT SUCKED! I realized something out there. My bike is no tri-bike. There were only a handful of people.... maybe 4 that I saw -- in all 300 contestants that were on road bikes. I also realized my gearing wasn't really up to par. I mean I think I do well on hills but people were buzzing past me like I was standing still. I was in my lowest gear and just barely getting the pedals around and they are spinning past me like nothing. I got passed by another girl in my AG on this hill. Bummer. I NEED to get new gearing for my bike... ALSO, aero bars... I think I was the only one without them. Let me tell you being in the low road position, or whatever you want to call it for 62 miles really kills your lower back. So, I don't think my equipment was quite up to par but it was okay. Oh, I never got the second PBJ down -- just was too busy trying to pass people on the flats (I was good there) so I was focusing my energy on the race and not nutrition. About an hour before I finished the bike I did one e-gel so that was it on the bike... I finished the bike in 3:33:30 -- 17.5 MPH which was exactally what my goal was so that went well... could have been better though if I had better stuff on my bike.

Transition was LONG. You had quite a way to run with the bike before you got to your stuff. The shortest transition time I saw was 1:44. Anyway, mine was 2:37 -- not sure the seconds. I had three e-gels in my shoes. picked up the shoes, took the gels out, put on the shoes and forgot the gels.

So, I'm heading out on my 13.1 with nothing. Run was tough. The first mile was just getting used to being on the legs again and then you hit the gravel, large holes w/standing water, big rocks -- not really fun. Lots of stuff to dodge. Hit the first aid station after the nightmare gravel at mile 3 and took a cliff shot. Nasty but I knew I needed it. I then just alternated gatorade and water the rest of the time. No more gels were offered and I'm not sure I could have gotten another cliff shot down. They are way too thick for me. There were some really hillacious hills on this course too. I couldn't believe it. They just kept coming. LOL. Also, the last 1.7 miles were all on single track trail around the lake. My pace really slowed down there. Just too many rocks, roots, stuff like that. I tripped really bad and almost landed on my face. It was one of those catch the toe things where your upper body bends totally in half forward, arms flailing wildly in front to brace you in case you fall and your legs are doing the splits forward to catch the body.... felt like I tweaked my stomach muscle a bit wtih a twisting movement that happened. Luckily I didn't fall. Came in with a time of 2:13:30 which isn't as well as I'd hoped to do but considering the hills and the trails I guess I'll have to take it.

Mile splits were:
9:38 -- gravel
9:54 -- gravel
10:03 - had to wait for a dude to get me water -- they were goofing off and I needed it
11:13 -- HUGE hill and yes, I walked some of it quads were shot!
9:10 -- coming down huge hill
10:21 -- gravel
10:37 -- gravel
11:31 -- single track trail
11:23 -- single track trail (.33 miles -- Garmin finished at 13.33 -- that's what you get when you don't run the tangents and have to dodge things.... a longer run!)

Finish time was 5:49 and I forget the seconds. Crossed the finish and was really glad to be off those trails. The medals they gave out were really pretty neat too. My friend Tamara came in at 6:40 and decided her want to do a 1/2 IM or full was cured today. She hated it and said she wanted to quit at mile 2 of the run. Said the only thing that kept her going is that she knew I was there and I'd know she quit. So, I'm glad my presence helped push her to finish. She took 3rd in her AG and got a neat medal so that was also good. All in all I had a great time. In retrospect I'm glad the bike computer went out so I couldn't Type-A myself to death if my speed wasn't what I was aiming for. The average was just fine. I do need to upgrade my bike for sure... just not on the same "playing" field with this group. Freakishly fast woman in my AG won with a time of 4:47, believe 2nd place was in my AG too. I had a really good experience overall... just need to tweak my bike, get some aero bars and Robb said if I keep doing these I can get a tri bike... maybe next year.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Nerves, oh nerves

I've been training for an endurance duathlon and am really frazzled at the moment. It's on Saturday. Can I do this? I have no idea. My stomach has cramped every time I've done a longer brick workout when I try to switch shoes. I've having nightmares about getting flats or going over on the bike. I'm worried I won't be able to run. I think it's just in my nature to worry. Man, it's something hard to get over. I'm sure once I'm out there I'll be fine. I'm riding the bike one final time today. It was raining this morning so I've postponed the ride until it clears up a bit.