Friday, June 12, 2015

Duathlon 1: Shearwater Navy Duathlon

So wow, I'm a little late posting about this race (as the next race is almost upon us). I was waiting at first for some photos, but alas, I found there were none to be had of this race (at least for me).

So we were back at Shearwater, which was the first duathlon of the year for 2015. The good classic 5/20/3 km Sprint distance duathlon is always a fun one. And it is always one that comes with some crazy weather.  This year was no different.

We arrived to find warm sun hidden behind cold wind, and heavy wind at that! We knew that the runway, where the majority of the bike portion is held, would be crazy windy and that it was going to be an interesting race.

After sign in and some warming up, I opted for a last minute addition of a long sleeved compression top.  It was just too cold for me after hanging around outside.

The race briefing was quick and to the point and we soon lined up for the start. Off we went!

I quickly took the lead and hoped that I could grab a good lead heading into T1 by pushing hard on the first 5km run. But the last few weeks I have not been able to do much if any training and it quickly showed. My uber fast starting pace quickly slowed down to a more tempo esque pace for me. I kept the lead but not nearly as much as I had hoped for. I hit T1 in 18:55 for a 3:45min/km pace. Not bad, but considering how much it took out of me, not great.

A quick change into some bike gear and away I went.  We start with a huge climb to the runway plus some twisty turny bits. I hit the runway in the lead but Adam was not far behind. Soon I heard his disc wheel as he over took me. I dropped in behind and followed at the legal distance.

We were flying down the runway and over the bumps and ruts of the tarmac before we changed direction and headed back the other way to finish lap 1 of 3. Then the headwind hit. Wow. We dropped from high 40's km/hr to high 20's in no time. I found that my distance to Adam wasn't changing so I overtook him and tried to use my strength in the wind to pull a gap. At this time Kevin C caught up to us as well.

Kevin overtook me at the finish of lap 1. As I dropped back Adam surged ahead. So I tucked back in. Again, though, as we hit the head wind I surged passed Adam and worked harder to really open the gap up. I stayed ahead for the remainder of the bike portion. But I could catch back up to Kevin, who is a demon on the bike. I knew I needed to be within a minute to really be able to catch him on the short final run.

Coming into T2 I just about caught up with a truck bringing in a BBQ for the event.  Then at the last second it turned off. Whew.  I hit the dismount line with an average speed of 31.5 km/hr and a time of 41:09. Not as fast as I would have liked, but I'll take it with the wind and lack of bike training I managed not only the past few weeks but frankly all winter long.

So Kevin was gone at this point. I switched into my running gear as quick as I could and took off. Sadly, I only started to catch him by the turn around point, and was not nearly close enough to mount a real challenge at the end. My endurance on the run wasn't there. I did take about 1 minute out of his lead on the run, but his bike had been just too good for me. I ran a 11:19 3K for a 3:58min/km pace to end things off.

I am okay with my second place finish, but not satisfied. I had worked quite hard but things derailed me this past month. Nothing one can do about life challenges, but I am glad to see that the hard work I put into my running meant that my fitness loss over the last few weeks wasn't as bad as it could have been. My heart was strong, my lungs were strong and I was able to push. So I am looking forward to the next race.

My finishing time was 1:11:23.

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