OC Duathlon

See, I’m writing again! I have to now that I saw more than 2 people are reading 😉

Well last weekend was the OC Duathlon, my first du. Originally my first was going to be in DisneyLand in a week, but then this one came up, and so Mike and I grabbed an Exceeding Expectations kid and headed out. I was secretly glad since I didn’t want my first one to be without my favorite boy waiting for me at the finish!

Packing the night before, I kept freaking out, “OMG I almost forgot to pack goggles!!” and a second later, “oh right… duathlon” (so run bike run, and no swim involved). But a bit later “Mike! Did you remember goggles???” and then to remember again… Eventually though, I realized I didn’t need goggles, and was convinced I had my things packed, and went to bed. But yes, nervous — and I packed my regular run shoes and regular bike helmet, along with my race ones, as for some reason I really felt I needed them with me.

Got to the race bright and early since the site warned that picking up race numbers on the day of the race can get really busy and be a long line. We were the only people there while we got our things, though. And then down to the transition area. It was along a paved bike path, which we’d be using for both runs, as well as the first and last couple miles on the bike. But the organization had done a great job of making sure the ground was flat, and although it was a dirt lot, there weren’t thorns and so I wasn’t concerned. It was definitely a June gloom damp and gray morning, and some people with speedplay pedals were worried, since the dirt was pretty sticky and they didn’t want their bike shoes to get the cleats gunked up and not work. Mike, who uses speedplays, was glad he leaves them on the bike. And I was glad to have Look pedals and not have to worry about springs in my cleats.I was also impressed with the USAT refs that were at the race, checking each bike as it went into transition, but quickly and effectivly. It’s one of the first races I’ve done where there were checks and still no backups.

As we were setting up, Mike turned to me. “I know who is going to win. That’s Luke Bell.” The strong pro triathlete was setting up right behind us. We headed out on a warm up run, and on our way back into transition (for my so-not-Canadian-when-it-comes-to-temperature boy to grab arm warmers) I turned and told Mike I knew who would win the women’s race, as we had just walked past one of my personal favorite triathletes, Michellie Jones.

It was time to toe the line, and we headed out. As always, I gave Mike a kiss right before leaving him on the front line, and I moved back a bit so that I wouldn’t be trampled in the start. The gun went off almost right after we were there, and it was time to hurt! I pushed a bit on the run, but kept in mind the nice hilly bike course, which started with a 4 or 5 mile climb. And it wasn’t an easy run course, either — a slight downhill the first half, and the last 2.5k were a slight uphill. Mike passed on his way back, in a group of 3 within a couple people of the leader, and I cheered for him (yes, I even talk when I’m racing). Soon I was on my own way back, into transition. Helmet on, shoes off and cycling shoes on, and sunglasses in my mouth I grabbed my bike and headed out.

Out the narrow transition opening, and onto the bike. A nice steady grind up for a while. But I knew it would end, so I went a bit harder than I thought I should. I figured it was not that long of a race (40k bike) and that I should leave my comfort zone and see how well I could run after that. So there was some back and forth with one guy, as I’d pass him on climbs and he’d go by on the downhills. One one pass, he laughed and said it would be a cat and mouse day. And all I could think until the next time I saw him was how dumb the mouse would have to be to chase. So I said that as I went by. And I encouraged people, and enjoyed the June gloom weather — misty and damp, but not too cold. Just enough moisture that your glasses were a bit hard to see out of, and there was enough road gunk that you didn’t want to take them off.

The bike course was a lot of fun — a route that I had done numerous times having lived near it before, and actually the location of the first organized ride I ever did (the one that had me trade in a borrowed hybrid bike for a tri bike of my own on the way home!). Never anything flat, but nothing crazy steep either. Just lots of rolling, with a couple decent climbs because of their length. It was a lot easier than I had remembered, and I thanked Marky in my head. Near the turn around, I started slacking a bit, and told myself how Scott can ride faster and for a whole Ironman with a single pedal, and that I should start pedaling harder, so I did.

Now, I have done reverse order triathlons, where you run, bike, and then swim. And I have done tris, with swim, bike, and then run. So I had ran and then biked, and I had biked and then ran. But never ran, biked, and then ran again. So I wasn’t sure what to expect. And on the final 4ish miles of descent, I tried to stretch a bit and relax, but every time I stopped pedalling, my legs shook and shook. So I kept a light pedaling going, but with the narrow bike path I slowed a bit once I was in that section. Back to transition, off the bike, helmet off, shoes off and runners back on, grabbed the visor again, and headed out still setting the Garmin for another run.

And the run was much like the first 😉 although more painful, and more stubborn since there was a light at the end of that run-tunnel. Only one difference in this run than the first one, and that was an added climb in the last half mile to the finish line up in the parking lot of the hosting church. It hurt — I went hard-comfortable on the way down, and then from the turn around back I tried to pick it up in effort. I ran hard on the little steep downhills to get under overpasses, and drilled my way up on the other side. Finally to the turn to the final climb, and found it to have another of those little down-up parts, so pushed and pushed and up what seemed like a boat ramp and into the parking lot and then all you could see was a serpentine — zigging and zagging, although really it wasn’t that long. And I knew the finish had to be at the end of it, so I went. About 200-300 feet from the finish I got that tight, almost asthma feeling in my chest, and knew I had given what I had for that run. Finished strong, and proud of my work.

Across the line, many people came up to me. I was told I should get the spirit award for the day, since I had encouraged so many of them! And others thanked me for cheering for them, and supporting them. And I was glad my chatter, which helps me stay relaxed and enjoying the day, had helped other people as well 🙂

Back to transition, packed up, rised road grime off with a towel and water bottle at the car, and then we hung out for awards. Mike was second amature, and 5th overall! I was 3rd in my age group! The race was a regional duathlon championship race, so there was a strong field, and I was proud. I am also proud that my run and bike strength is getting more even (I was 3rd in my age group in each run and on the bike, and no one in front of me ever passed me after the start). Also, in a duathlon Mike said one goal is to be able to run the same times in both runs, and I was pretty dang close (more so than most people). So the official numbers?

1st 5km run: 23:28

40km bike + transitions: 1:15:04

2nd 5km run: 23:45

for a total of 2:02:17, 3/12 in age group, 23/91 women, and 119/321 overall.

Next time I’ll go under 2 hours 🙂

My legs were definitely sore after that effort! It was such a satisfying sore though. At least I say that now, after Super-Masseuse Suzy fixed them 🙂 It was really a fun race. Way more painful than a tri I think, but mostly just different. And I enjoyed it. I’m looking forward to the Disney Du next weekend! Running throuhg DisneyLand and then California Adventure will  be very different scenary, but I’m excited!

Oh, and on the winners? We were both right. Congrats Luke and Michellie! 🙂

3 thoughts on “OC Duathlon

Sounds like a great du……..go Kylie!! I couldn’t sleep so thought I would check on my favourite California family!

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