Sunday morning I was up bright and early. Feeling pretty groggy as I headed south to my first duathlon. I wasn't sure how the race would go. It's been almost two years since my last multisport event (Steelhead Half Ironman). I don't know how but somehow I managed to go through all of 2007 without doing a triathlon. Guess I have just been really focused on the running. I knew this race was small but Solar and Daisy were going to be there so it would be competitive. I did the race because it is part of the CTC Beast series which I signed up for. I was in the lead going into this race with Daisy and Solar in close second and third. I didn't anticipate beating either of them in a Du but my hope was to run well enough to come close behind and not fall too far behind on points.
Got to the race early and got scolded by B Bop. Some crack about what the heck was I doing there, didn't I know there was a bike ride involved with this race. We joked around and tried to decide on what layers we would wear. This was my first race as a part of the Vertical Runner race team so I was sporting my VR tank and a throw over/warm up top. It was chilly but I knew I would be hot on the run and cold on the bike. I opted for my tri shorts with my Boston fitted Capri's over top. On top I had my tank and I left my throw over in transition for the bike ride. Decided to run with my bike gloves on so that I wouldn't waste time in transition putting them on.
Did a quick warm up with the girls and then we were at the start listening to our instructions. And before we knew it we were off heading up hill. I just tried to go out at a reasonable pace. I wanted to do well on the run and if all went well get a good gap before hopping on the bike. First mile passed in 6:35 just as I was thinking that I felt like I was going about 10k pace effort and that it was probably a good plan of attack. I had hopes of running between 6:20-6:45 pace the first 5k and 6:45-7:15 pace the second 5k. I just felt great and coming into the 2nd mile grabbed a water and had another 6:35. I got excited and realized I could possibly break 20 if I picked it up a bit. Cruised into transition with the clock reading 19:37. I was so happy I really didn't care how the rest of the race went.
I was first gal into transition and I raced over to my bike and without thinking stripped my shoes and threw them at my bag realizing a second later duh I need those again! Grabbed those and put them back by my bike. Not my fastest transition ever closing in on 2 minutes. As I ran my bike to the mount area I heard Solar scream "I'm going to get you." Headed out onto the course and downed a gel and some water. I probably didn't eat enough for breakfast as I was super hungry.
Got through the first loop with no issues in about 19 minutes. Just trying to get comfortable on the bike and go as fast as I could. Starting to to get even hungrier so I cracked open a pure fuel energy bar and start snacking away. Shortly into the second loop Solar finally caught me. Thankfully she didn't blow by me like she did at Steelhead and I did my best to stay as close to her as I could.
Coming into the 3rd loop my pure fuel energy bar was kicking in and I was ready to hammer a bit and try to come in as close to Solar as I could. Unfortunately in my excitement I went straight at the first turn where I was supposed to go right. Oops. Almost a half mile later I realize that no one is in front of me and realize my mistake (the next turn had runners go right and cyclists go straight, I had just mixed up the turns) so I turned around and hammered as hard as I could the rest of the loop.
As I was coming to the turn into the park I could see Solar headed out onto the run. Chances of catching her were pretty slim. As I headed into the dismount area I saw Daisy and another girl heading out onto the run. Screamed for Daisy and then dismounted and rushed through transition as best as I could. One problem. I couldn't feel my feet! What a strange feeling. (My toes seem to always get numb on the bike if I am on for more than 30 minutes, I thought I did a good job of bringing them back to life the last few miles of the bike but apparently I thought wrong!) I stripped my shoes so that I wouldn't have to run the entire transition length in those, but it didn't seem to help, it felt like I was running on stubs. Managed to get the bike racked and my running shoes on quickly (had put on those little squeeze zip things so I wouldn't have to deal with tying, I was paying attention in all those TNT tri workshops!) and then it was out onto the run.
I ran as fast as my feet would carry me. Energy wise I felt great (Could it be the pure fuel bar?). But I literally felt like at any given moment the ground was going to come out from underneath me. Thankfully it didn't though and I quickly passed the girl who came out of T2 with Daisy. I was pretty sure that meant I was 3rd and I was just going to push as hard as I could to close the gap on Daisy and Solar. First mile was a surprising 6:48. I'm always amazed at how quick my legs can move off the bike despite feeling so strange. I was excited that my legs were moving quickly once again off the bike on this day.
Coming up after mile one I caught Daisy. Her Taco Bell was talking to her so I pulled ahead and just tried to get to the finish as fast as I could. Confirmed that we were in second before pushing forward. Hit mile two in 13:26 and realized I was holding pace. Passed a few guys as I headed down the gravel trail towards the finish. I could see Solar ahead but it would take a PR pace for me to catch her and that wasn't happening. I just ran as fast as my legs would carry and screamed for her as she turned towards the finish and I headed for the bridge that would take me to the finish. Picked up the pace and looked for Daisy behind me. Couldn't see her and I hammered as hard as I could into the park finishing my 2nd 5k in 19:58. I was absolutely stunned. I was so ecstatic to break 20 twice in one morning seeing as I had only done it once in my entire life.
Congratulated Solar and then we hooted and hollered Daisy on in to her 3rd place finish. How fun to sweep the podium with your two best friends! If I am going to get beat I want it to be by these girls that's for sure.
Very happy with my effort and what this means for my running in 2008. Can't believe I did so well on the bike, I actually thought it would be difficult to do the bike in 60 minutes without taking an almost mile detour so I am really excited that my run fitness has apparently kept me in decent cycling shape.
I'm not convinced the 5k course was legit so the 5k times definitely come with an asterisk but considering that they were two 5ks over the course of a duathlon I take those times to mean that I am in great shape to PR a certified 5k this weekend. I was also ecstatic that I ran both 5ks consistently with the first 2 miles of both 5ks being even pace, and I was even more excited that my second 5k was only 20 seconds slower than the first. It was really fun to dominate the women's race as far as running went. It felt good to be the "runner" on the course Sunday. I am just really ecstatic to be feeling so strong so quickly after Boston. I guess all that high mileage is paying off with a quick recovery!