This year I decided (along with other members of my run group) to participate in this duathlon. I've never done a duathlon or anything like this (exception: the mini indoor triathlon last year) so really didn't know what to expect. I just knew people told me it was fun, family friendly, and not super competitive. Sounded good to me!
The duathlon consisted of a 2 mile run, 11 mile bike, 2 mile run. My boyfriend Derek decided to sign up as well along with his friend Dale. Coming closer to race day, Derek told me he didn't want to race it and just wanted to do it with me. Well, I was skeptical and asked him 12,000 times (including race morning), if he wanted to change his mind, I would be ok with that. Although, I did want to do it with him since we don't really run races together as we are always "competing" against ourselves and him against me (Men!). It seemed like a fun idea.
Race morning, Dale met Derek and I at Derek's house and we headed to the race. The race starts at the train station in my neighborhood. Love local races! I practiced clipping my helmet on and off since I've never actually worn it before. Yeah, I know...
|FNRC (F'N Runenrs)|
The race was set in 4 waves: Men under 40, Men 40 and over, women under 40, women 40 and over. Dale told Derek that he wanted to do it with us. I was a little surprised as, even though I don't know Dale very well, he seems to be super competitive and likes to try to run fast. Derek and I were assured at packet pickup that we could start in any wave together as long as we just start near the back so as not to get in the way of those racing the event. Derek told me we can just start with the women under 40 wave. Dale, Derek and I lined up in the back of the Women under 40. A race worker announced loudly on a megaphone "This is for women under 40!"...right next to where we were. We chuckled and I looked at Derek. And we were off...
I thought maybe I could push those first two miles, but when the race began, it had gotten hot and sunny (since the race started at 8:00 a.m.). I gave those first two miles all I had but Derek and Dale seemed to be running easy and I was sweating and breathing heavily. I didn't have my watch set up to give me my pace (WTF?) so I really didn't know exactly how fast I was going. I just couldn't wait to get to the bikes and I figured it would be cooler and easier on there.
|Dale (in the Black shirt), Me (Yellow shirt), Derek (Grey shirt)|
Thanks to my friends for taking these photos!!
Heading into the transition for the bikes, I walked over and got my bike off the rack and started to put my helmet on...or at least I was trying. The buckle wasn't buckling, I was panicking. I calmed down and took my helmet off to look at the buckle and tried again. Got it on! Phew! Dale and Derek were already walking toward the end of the transition gate and I started running with my bike (isn't that what you are supposed to do??). I got to Derek and Dale and yelled out, "COME ON GUYS! MOVE IT!" lol. Oops...We all started running and then it was on to the cycling portion.
I was glad when I looked at the course map that there weren't too many turns. I'm not a great cyclist yet and tend to slow up coming too fast down hills or on turns for fear of crashing! Dale doesn't really ride long distance and hasn't ridden his bike much at all. I would say Derek is the strongest of the 3 of us cycling with me in the second position. We peddled and peddled...tried to stay with each other. It's hard to keep checking and I think we just did the best we could. We did mostly stay together. 11 miles on the bike is a long time actually! Our road bikes are cheap and not as efficient as some of the more expensive bikes. But I was glad to have it because riding my mountain bike is much tougher!
After a while, I checked my watch and only saw we had biked about 4 miles! I felt like I had been on the bike forever! At some point, Dale asked me how far we went...and I asked him if he really wanted to know. I told him we were about 5.5 miles into the bike, so about half way.
There was a huge headwind for a good portion of the ride! People afterwards kept saying how much slower their biking portion was this year compared to last due to the wind and how tough it was. I know at some point, I told Derek my legs were really tired and I wasn't looking forward to the last 2 mile run after this. Finally, we came back into the transition and put our bikes up. Actually, I got my bike to the rack and said, "Derek can you help me?" I'm so weak! lol. I didn't have energy to do anything. Derek just mounted my bike up and off we went to start our run.
|First time doing a cycling event|
I started the run and just felt like I was going nowhere. It was so much harder than I expected it to be. Not the run necessarily, just the whole thing! Our F'N Runner friends that were not competing where cheering us on and taking photos. The run course is out and back and I was seeing many friends (FNRC & Yankee Runners) and they were cheer me on as they ran the other direction.
Had I not been with Derek and Dale, I know I would have walked many times during that last 2 mile run. But I ran on, no matter how slow. I got water at the 1 mile mark and just said I wanted to walk for a minute. I walked and then Dale got me running again. On the second mile, I noticed we were losing Derek a bit. He had been having some calf issues during the running portions that day and I think that plus the heat just got to him. About 1/2 mile left, I told Dale I was going to walk and wait for Derek to catch up. After all, we started together and we were going to finish together, right?
I felt like I was running 11:00-12:00 min miles. My legs were heavy. I felt like I was slouching. It was rough. Coming to the finish line, I heard all my friends cheering and I kicked it into high gear! Um...I guess I had more energy than I thought. It was clearly ALL MENTAL that I was running slowly, complaining, etc. The 3 of us ran in together. We started together and we finished together.
I was concerned about being the weak link in the group of us. But what happened was, we all waited at various points for each other. I might have been slower on the first run, Dale might have been slower on the bike, Derek might have had a little trouble on the last run. I think it worked out well, we all kept each other going and we all encouraged each other to keep going. I definitely enjoyed doing it with them and I hope they feel the same way. I'm also glad I did this so that I can get a taste of the transitions and the bike to run part for my upcoming triathlon!
My official times:
Run 1: 2 miles in 18:20 (9:10 pace)
Transition 1: 1:23
Bike: 11 miles in 44:13 (14.9 mph)
Transition 2: 1:27
Run 2: 2 miles in 19:49 (9:55 pace)
Total Time: 1:25:13
This may not be the fastest time (of course) but I'm pretty pleased with our results.
P.S. later that day I kept saying... That was so much fun!! And was delirious to the fact that I did all that complaining during the last two miles! I really have to stop all the negativity that is going though my head lately. Training runs, races, anything that is physically uncomfortable, I'm complaining about it. When did I become such a baby?? "It's hot!" or "I'm tired!" or "I can't!" How do you guys push through? And how did this happen to me?
P.S.S. In other news...I won a giveaway for the Chicago Half Marathon on September 8th! Yay!! I love winning half marathons! My race calendar was starting to look a little bare (as I don't sign up for many things when training for a marathon. I won't really be racing this half however. It's the week after my 20 miler and a couple weeks before my marathon. It does fit in perfectly with my training calendar though as I'm scheduled to do 12 miles and this is 13.1!