Monday, May 16, 2011

Race 2: 2011 Du It For Shelter

Well here we go. Second race of the season is done. First Duathlon, and a proper good one at that. The Du It For Shelter, is a 4K run, 24K bike ride, 4K run, and since it is generally flat (as flat as bike ride get around here in Nova Scotia), it is an all out hammer fest (well for me anyway).

The weather held up, it was cool with a light breeze, but no rain (for once this month). We lined up for the stat at 9AM, and I was happy not to have a painful knee this year (thanks to ART - look into you people with aches). Look for me in the picture above, I swear I am there.

My plan, as usual was to stick as close to the leaders as possible on the first run, push through the bike, and hang on for dear life in the second run. Well it turns out my half marathon training this year has really helped my short distance speed and endurance. Last year I ran about a 16:38 or so in the first run which was slightly shorter than this years run. This year I ran a 15:23 with some life left in me. I passed quite a few guys who last year could easily outpaced me. This was the 7th fastest time of the first run out of 58 people and only 50 seconds slower than the fastest run (good job Matthew White).

Coming into T1 I had a decent cushion but there was no time for rest. I knew that a few fast riders were behind me.

Transition this year was new and all on paved surfaces. It was quite a long run to the mount line as well. Definitely more suited to those that leave their shoes clipped to the bike and not to me (see me running in my Look cleats - ouch). T1 took me about 1:30 or so (it wasn't timed but I had a rough guess from my watch).

But off I took, starting my Gatorade nourishment from the start. I decided for this short of a race the little bit of fluid and food I needed would come in the sugary form of my favorite sports beverage.

I forgot my bike computer, sadly, so I just decided to ride by feeling. I kept a decent cadence, probably around 85 or so. It took Kurt Stevenson probably about 10 minutes or so to catch and pass me. Then I was passed by a few other rides (darn those speedy Tri bikes). Still I decided not to push things too crazy as I had to get back and keep a decent run time. On the way back I could afford to push slightly harder, even with the slight headwind. I was passed by 2 riders. I eventually took one back and kept fairly close to the other (not in a drafting kind of way though)

As you can see the other rider was pretty much on me by the time we got back to the line

Coming into T2, my legs were wobbly, but I figured I could get the feeling back easily enough.

Here I motion to Stacy to keep my medal warm for my return

Coming out of T2 my time for the bike portion was 42:19, which was about where I figured I would be at fitness wise (take that first T1 time off to get the actual bike ride time). Here I passed the 2 guys that had been close to me on the bike. One of them (I assume Alex Russell?) caught shortly into the run, but no one else did.

My usual cramps seemed to be held back. Sure there were some aches, some pains, some tired, but it was all good. I was easily able to keep a decent stride and cadence on the run.
Coming back to the finish I started to pick up the pace. It was hard to hear if anyone was behind me, and I didn't dare look back, and I was not going to get passed at this point. And as usual there is always room for a flashy sprint across the line to get my Popsicle stick. And I was proud to see it say #11 on it (though as I later found out it does not count as a double win). This was up from my 17th place finish last year and far better times. My final run including T2 time was 17:59. Now this was actually slightly slower than last years final run time, but with transition moved, it meant a much great distance. According to my watch this was close to a 2 minute T2, so I was in fact far faster than last year overall.

Next up for me is the Bluenose Half Marathon. Then back to the world of Duathlons. A racing season, it is so nice to be back.
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