Monday, October 3, 2016

Riverport Duathlon 2016

Another week and another trip down the south shore of Nova Scotia. This time to Riverport for the season ending duathlon. I do love this race, rain or shine, though shine is so much nicer. This day was, rain though. And a cold rain it was.

I arrived early and got myself setup. I knew that my knee was feeling much better from the weekend before, but I doubted it was up to a full on challenge this day. I figured I could get a decent first run and probably get through the bike ride no problem but it would be the second run that would likely get me.

Due to the weather I opted to dress warmly, and due to the knee I thought I might as well wear the heavier shoes with a little more support in them. I doubted this would make a huge difference, but still, any little extra bit might help.

After the race briefing we were lined up and then we were off on the first 4 km run. 

This run is really flat, which would help my knee. I quickly secured myself a spot in the top 3, though the top 2 runners went out much faster than I would be able to sustain. Still I was happy when I cross the first kilometer at 3:21 minutes. My knee felt fine and I was able to hold the pace. But as the first stint wore on, my overall lack of fitness was obvious. Not having done any real training in the last 5 weeks was starting to take it toll. With 1 kilometer to go I was passed and fell to fourth. Still I was happy to finish in 14 minutes heading into transition 1. Then it was a quick change of shoes, don the helmet and off on the bike. 


Again, no biking except for some easy rides in 5 weeks and I knew I would be sunk here. I pushed hard but was soon passed by a few riders. This is a 28 kilometer course with loads of hills, and the deep puddles were hiding some mean pot holes. So it was a bit of  a fun ride. The rain was cold and my feet were feeling it, I should have covered the vents in my shoes.  By the end of the ride I had fallen to 12th, then to add insult to injury (ha ha) I got stuck behind a slow moving car coming into town. I dismounted and headed to transition 2. The bike took me 49 minutes.


This was it make or break time. Normally I could count on at least a burst of run speed to help me claw back a few positions at this point. My feet were frozen and soaked, but that usually isn't an issue on such a short run. But then at the 200m mark, my knee seized up. I started slowing down. My normally nice gait became a hobble and I was passed by a few more runners. I didn't give up as I knew this was not a permanent type issue that was being made worse. 


I made it to the finish line still holding onto 16th place overall, and still managed an 18:20 final run for 1:23 time overall. As I finished and stopped my leg decided it didn't want to hold me up any longer, but I managed to get inside to get it rested before the drive home. Luckily I brought warm dry clothes, and the Riverport Duathlon committee did a great job of providing some hot food for us.

I hated to not be able to give this race my best as it is one of my favorites and it is the last of the year.  What has been a season of highs and lows continued and with one race left in two weeks, I am totally excited about having a rest and getting my full strength back.  For now, back to physio.
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