Monday, May 31, 2010

Duin' the Double Duty at the Navy Tri

Well this past weekend for me saw the next in the Duathlon series of races come up. this was the second of the year and my 3rd actual sporting event. Of course as I have mentioned numerous times my IT Band is going through some ITBFS (look it up, I swear it is real). This leads to a pain in my knee, generally just during running (and then for a day afterwards). But enough of that, I competed and did my best with what I had, so that`s that.

The day for me started at 5 AM. I had to get up, get dressed, eat and hit the road for a 7AM start time (this event was at Shearwater Airforce Base in Dartmouth, NS), and ideally you show up 1 hr before your event. I was there on time, but the weather was not cooperating for a smooth 7AM start time and we didn`t end up getting off until 730 AM. Still that was fine. It was starting to rain and the fog was thick. How thick? We'll I was about to find out.

We headed out on mass at the start (well all 14 of us in the Duathlon - most were doing the Triathlons also running that day). The first leg was a 3K run, mostly flat with a decent little hill at the midpoint of each lap (we did 2 laps). I manged to run this in 11:40 for a 3:54 pace which I was happy with landing me in 7th at the time. I switched to my bike and headed out for the 20km ride.

Well what a ride. The ground was soaked with huge puddles (not great for speed) and the ride up to the runway was quite technical. Then it was into the fog. It was so thick for us that to find the runway I had to ride from yellow cone to yellow cone, which were spaced maybe 10 feet apart at most? Then 4 laps on the runway and back down. I managed to catch the 6th place runner and put some real distance on him before the final run, which I figured I would need to make up for what I assumed might be a slowish final run). My time computer tells me I road at a 33.3 kph avg for little over 20km and kept my cadence at 91 avg. Thanks computer. The official results include the transition time from bike to running (which means a shoe change of course) and have me posted as 5th in speed overall with a total time of 36:52 and an avg pace of 32.5kph. Again, I'm pretty happy with this.

The final run started with a slow transition (resulting in a slower run time overall). This was mostly do to my inability to feel my fingers from the cold and wet and be able to put on my running shoes easily, but I managed and took off, for the 8th fastest final run time on the same 3K course for a 13:37 time and a 4:33 pace. But my cycling had put me in position to hold easily onto 6th place and finish in a time of 1:02:07.

I haven't been able to train all year for my events due to my leg/knee issue, so I am really happy to be able to be able to put up those numbers. I look forward to seeing what I can do with some proper training. And thanks to a chiropractor who was attending the race, hopefully this issue will be able to be taken care of sooner rather than later. I am looking forward to getting some rehab started.
But that brings me to "Duin' the Double." I finished the race strong but soaked and hungry. I had a bite from the snack table, then got changed into dry clothes and a rain coat and headed out to relieve one of the course workers so he could go and get ready to race. Yes, good old Ian decided to volunteer to stand in the rain and fog and show cyclists the right way to turn as they headed to the runway. I got soaked I must say, and paced the entire time to keep my legs from getting too stiff. But you know what, volunteering that these events is a good thing when possible. It makes it easy for the athletes to get their job done and helps keep the costs to run these things reasonable. And that means as an athlete I pay far less up front for most events. I like that and therefore am willing to stand around in the cold and wet for a few hours to help out. But I did get a great bagged lunch to keep me full and plenty to drink (though the bag did not weather the storm).
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