Monday, June 7, 2010

Cyclesmith Duathlon 2010

Well another weekend another Duathlon. This time the venerable Cyclesmith Du held at Lawrencetown Beach. I must say it was looking like shades of last week, at least weather wise. Buckets of rain, cool temps and fog were all being forecast, not to mention heavy wind. Yipee! Of course unlike last weekend, the weather took a turn for the good. The rain stopped before the race started, the fog lifted enough to make the course visible enough and the wind died down. Wow. The pavement even dried up.

So there I was, once again hoping my knee would survive the onslaught of what is the most grueling Duathlon in Nova Scotia. A 5K road run to start with a decent hill, followed by a 34K bike ride on rolling roads (with a few mini climbs) and finally a 6K trail run. But I was prepared with my new Brooks Dyads which I had fitted the day before at Aerobics First. Yeah, I know, never wear a new pair of shoes right before the big race. But alas, my "new" shoes I bought before Christmas were actually far too small for me and probably a good reason my knee went wonky in the first place. So I figured better go with shoes the right size rather than the devil I knew.

The "go" was sounded and off we went. I hung the the lead group for the first 1.5K then started to ease my pace to something slightly more comfortable. In the end I finished the first 5K in 20:43 for a 4:09 pace. I was pretty darn happy with that seeing as it was 3 minutes faster than last year. Then on to the bike.

As usual my bike goal is to ride as hard and darn fast as possible, kill the legs and go for broke. I know, there is still one more run, but the run is my weak point so I like to make up my time here. With my new Devinci CX I managed a great time of 1:00:53 for an average pace of 33.5 km per hour (the 15th fastest time and on a non-time trial bike and including T1). I came barreling into Transition 2 very excited and well away from most of the riders behind me (all of whom were much faster runners).

A quick switch to my new Dyads and off I went. Now normally at this point my legs turn to jelly, thick knotted jelly. But darn if they didn't hold together for that first kilometer. Wow. I kept my pace easy but my stride long, as this seems to be best for my knee. Well, eventually 3K in to the run a few people started to catch up to me. I couldn't risk pushing my pace but kept going as best I could. Eventually the finish line was in sight and one last runner was catching me. I heard yells and cheering, alas not so much for me but for the runners on my heels (at least the yells I could hear). I picked up my pace to keep the other runner (happened to end up being Heather Doucette) at my side, then with a few hundred meters of race left I sprinted with all my might (see above photo) and took 20th place by 4 seconds. My final 6K run time was 31:43 for a 5:18 pace (including T2).

Now I am nursing my worn and tired knee but pretty darn happy. Last year I was 42nd, this year 20th and with little to no practice. And my running is actually not bad but I can't wait to see how much better it can become. Now one more Du this Spring before a big rest and the final one, the Riverport Du in October. So next up, the Greenwood Du. But first, time for a rest.
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