Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Mountaineer Duathlon

Completed my first duathlon! The Mountaineer Triathlon/Duathlon had three distances, Mini, Olympic and the one I did, the Sprint. The Sprint Duathlon is a 5K (3.1 miles), 20K Bike Ride (12.4 miles), and another 5K.  I'm so so glad I didn't do the swim! The week before the race it rained everyday and the day before the race looked like this:

And this is packet pickup by the way. There was no one there! Granted I went late in the day, but I guess this was a sign that this isn't exactly a huge race. I did some pre-race prep the day before. On my way back home it poured rain on my bike, so I dried it off as soon as I could. I tried to dry off the brakes, derailleur, and chain as best I could. Then I took some lube to it and hoped for the best. Then I laid everything out that I would wear, including a change of clothes just in case. I packed my bag with my bike glasses, a towel (in case it rained again), and some Gatorade gel. 

Anyway, on Sunday I woke up at 5:15 5:40am. I had most of everything laid out already, so I had some breakfast of english muffin, egg, and canadian bacon with some water and a bit of tea. My stomach had been out of sorts lately (hmm, perhaps from my horrid food choices?? naaaah), so I was a little wary of how my stomach was going to do! But I went on and pumped up my bike tires. Got everything in my car and made it up to the race without any snags a little after 7am. Even got some free parking, score!

First thing I saw when I walked my bike to the transition area were two expert looking racers with lots of Ironman gear. All I could think was queue the insecurities! Here I am with my hybrid bike, without clipless pedals and just my old race shirt instead of official looking jerseys! But as always, I kept on going, and just concentrated on my race. It's all you can do! So I set my stuff down with my bike at a ground level rack and went to get my numbers marked on my arm and leg and get my timer band that goes around your ankle.

As I was walking back to my bike I recognized a girl from the Transition Workshop. It was her first triathlon and we of course talked about how nervous we were. Unfortunately, she ended up forgetting her running shoes and her helmet!! But luckily her boyfriend was nice enough to go get them for her (twice, when she realized she had forgotten her helmet!) and got there in plenty of time. I admire how calm about it she was. I would have been Freaking out! This is about the time I realized I had put my bike the wrong direction, haha. But I just acted like I didn't have everything ready yet and turned it around and set my water and gel out.

All the duathletes were supposed to start at 8:15 after the mini distance triathletes went. There was a mishap though with the safety boat not being there yet, so the duathletes went first. There weren't very many of us. To start out, we had to go up a ramp and a hill. This was tough! I hate starting out going up steep because the rest of the time I feel like I'm just trying to catch my breath. I felt like it took a while for my legs to get relaxed. I thought the run felt like it was taking forever and all I could think about was that I had to do it all over again after the bike. Ugh! I finally started picking the pace up and the second half felt much better than the first.

One nice note though is that a woman names Suzanne quickly chatted with me while we were waiting for the start. She asked my name and said she would cheer for me. I thought that was nice of her, but kind of forgot about it once we started running. Well when I was kind of close to the 1.5 mile turn around she went by me and yelled out my name and told me to keep up the good work! It was really fun to hear my name and get that encouragement. And from a stranger! She ended up doing this the whole race and I wish she knew how much it really helped me. I tried to find her to say thank you, but didn't see her afterwards.

5K Time: 30.08
Transition 1: 1.09

This is my second fastest 5K time, can't complain about that! Only reason it took a little while in the transition is that I took the time to down my Gatorade gel. I'm not that concerned about time that I feel the need to try to down it while I'm on the bike.

Mounted my bike without falling, yay! 

After I got into the groove in the bike I was feeling pretty good. One girl passed me (she had clipless shoes though!), but then I passed a girl, so I didn't feel so bad! Haha. After a couple of miles of going on the very flat paved trail I knew we had to head to the main street. What I didn't know was that to do that we had to head up a short but slightly steep hill. It was around a corner, so I wasn't in the right gear to go up it. I had to push harder than I normally would have and even told a spectator he might have to push me in a minute, but I made it up without incident! Then it was on to the road. For the main road and bridge, they had the lane blocked off for us. Then we went onto a different road where the lane wasn't blocked off. This was my first experience cycling with cars whizzing by me! Okay most of them slowed down, but some went pretty darn fast. The road was a little bumpy too, I didn't feel it much, but my bike kept rattling. After the race, I realized it was my water bottle holder. (It is now securely screwed in). The whole ride all I could think about were the hills that I was currently going down, I would have to come back up and I was afraid that I wouldn't make it. Worst fear: having to walk my bike during a race! But it actually wasn't that bad. It was a lot less steep than it seemed on the way down. I felt like I did the road portion pretty well, but I may have slowed down some on the returning trail part.

Funny enough, the whole time on the trail, I kept thinking how weird it was that I wasn't seeing any of the triathletes heading towards me on the bike. Turns out that during the first wave for the mini distance, several people had to be pulled out of the river and all of them struggled due to the current. So for the rest of the racers, they changed the course to make it a point to point course (instead of a big square type of course) so that they just had to head downriver and not against the current.

Overall though I felt strong and I know I will have a faster time once I get clipless pedals so that half of my effort isn't a waste.

Bike Time: 47.28
Transition 2: .37

And I could feel that bike ride on the run! It definitely took at least a half mile before my legs felt loose again. But I kept on going. The other participants can make or break a race, seriously. People that encourage you as they pass you or you pass them is so uplifting. I don't know how many times I repeated "just keep moving" because a guy said that as we crossed paths. And someone who smiles at you, automatically makes me smile. Another guy, I saw him in all three legs, had a big smile on his face each time. Loved it!

Run Time: 31.07

Total Time: 1:50.31

 At the race, they posted your overall time. Which, by the way, I could have sworn said 1:40 which made me extra excited, oh well though. But I got a surprise when I saw that I was the first in my age group for females! Woot! And I received this: 
My first plaque for a win!!!

 I may have found out later that I was the only one in my category, but don't tell anyone that. It makes it much less fun!

We were also supposed to get medals, but due to the flooding in Colorado, they were late getting here. So they have to mail them to everyone. No biggie.

Hopefully this race will happen again next year. I heard that Wells Fargo is pulling out as the host/main sponsor. Someone should pick it up, it was a lot of fun!

Unfortunately I went to the race by myself, so I don't have any photos. The race is supposed to have some I think, so I'll try to post them if they did take some.