How did I get to this point after starting to run 2 years ago for the first time? Well I bought a bike back in January (a Cannondale CAADX) and I'm on the fsseries.com mailing list. See, they have many multi-discipline events. I found one close to home and signed up. I figured I had 4 months to to get okay at riding a bike.
What did my training consist of you may ask? Well I had the running down, I run anywhere from 12 to 20 miles a week, I just had to get the bike thing down. I really didn't work all that hard on the bike but I did put in focused time. I started with a ride a week, usually 15 to 20 miles but I wasn't going all that fast, say 12-13mph. After about a month I got a Kinetic Trainer so I could spin in the house. This worked good as it came with Spinervals 27.0 Suffer and Threshold. This pushed me a bit and seems to of improved my cycling quite a bit.
Packet pickup time as its race weekend, I get to go to IOS Cary, that place always intimidates me but they were very helpful and answered my newbie questions. Here is a pic of my socks, bib, and shirt.
Well onto race day, I know attention spans can be short. April 7, 2012 I woke up, dragged the lady out of bed, after all she was my pit crew/cheering section for the day. Once we arrived, I set my bike up in transition area, knowing nothing about this I chose the worst spot. I was wondering why the cats with super expensive aero bikes were looking around like they stole something as they put their bike into the rack at the other end. Oh well, this is my first Duathlon and I was just soaking it in and learning. Per my research I laid my stuff out on a towel, had my water, a gel (never used it) my sunglasses, and my helmet. My transition was laid out, now time to use the porto a few times (race nerves) and watch the people, Stephanie enjoyed the people watch a little to much.
Putting the finishing touches on my transition zone
What in the heck caught my eye
My bike all set with everyone else in out rack
Oh, the pre-race excitement
Now to the race itself. It started with a pre-race meeting, where the mic died and all the racers basically had a pre-race group hug. The first to go off was the long course group, they said 15 minutes and then we would start, it was only 12, the leader in the long course had already run his 2.5 mile loop and had started his second. So we were off and I settled into a comfortable pace. Since I was a Clydesdale entrant (200lbs+) I scouted the larger people in hopes of putting some hurt in them early. I thought I did a number on one of them as I passed him on the little hill at mile 1.75 and prolly hit transition 30-45 seconds before he did. My run time was 21.27, 8.35 min/m. Now off to transition.
Transition is where you switch disciplines. I don't use clip pedals, as I'm a newbie, so all I had to do was put on my helmet and glasses and drink some water. Well being my first time I gave a race report and took a few pictures and was on my way to the bike. My transition time was 2 minutes. Now time to test my bike training.
Me just relaxing while all those people in the background are frantic
Before actual pedaling you must push your bike to the mount zone and then take off. I knew from what I read, have your bike in an easy gear, so I pedaled away with ease. I later learned from Stephanie many people didn't do this and struggled with their early pedal strokes. Anyway, back to my ride. I wanted my own data so I fiddled with my phone but could not get the app to track my cycling data to start, oh well at least I have a speedometer on my bike. Early on the person I wanted to put hurt in passed me, he was on one of those multi-thousand dollar aero bikes, those things sorta make a whirl sound as they go by. Once I settled into a pace I started picking people off pretty good. After about 8 miles I was on a hill and tried to get water, not I good idea and I about fell over. Also, this hill zapped my energy but I still was going around 20mph when I was on the flats. At this point, it seemed the only people that passed me so far were the ones on the expensive bikes. At about mile 10 I out thought myself and took a wrong turn, just meant I had to re pass people but I was tired and needed to chill for a few anyway so I took my time. About a half mile later (Lake Jordan all around) a truck pulling a large boat and oncoming traffic played chicken, I thought this was the end and I slowed a bit to play defense. Now we are past Lake Jordan and fighting a head wind for the last 5 or so miles. I'm still trying to rest and just follow people I know I can pass. Eventually, I just picked it up and passed the people around me and caught up to another group. About 2 miles out I made a move and passed the one other person I had a chance to pass and put some time on them. All to waste, I had to stop for an ambulance about a 1/4 mile from transition back to run. The person I had passed had better timing and rode pass me as I was starting to get going again. When I got back to transition some cat had fallen and was being placed on a board and being hauled away by that ambulance. My bike time was 1:02:59, 16.8mph.
Transition number two. I unmounted from my bike and re-racked my bike. What do I see, a used gel, I didn't see my gel and was like SOB. My towel had flipped up and covered mine, funny. I took my helmet and glasses off and took a few pictures and was out of transition in 1 minute 49, wow a 11 second improvement, I'm on a roll.
Me rolling into the dismount/transition, the emergency vehicles in the background and the muscle girl that timed it right
The last run, well if you want to call it that. See I didn't really practice bricks and knew from my one practice the weekend before this run was going to be very hard. After about a 1/4 mile my jello legs turned to lead. I was getting tired fast, just no rhythm at all. I made it a mile in, the water stand and started a brief walk. They gave me some weird liquid but I drank it, sure hope it picks me up. I keep chugging away and pass this older cat (age 62 per his leg markings) but as the hill climbs to the next water stand I walk again. Still walking after the water stand the old guy taps me and says its all downhill now, sure it is I think but stay within a few seconds of him till we cross the finish line. What do you know, as I get close to the finish line I get my run legs. I'm done my first Duathlon and I feel pretty darn good about myself. My second run 24.21, 9.41 min/m and my overall finish time was 1:52:40.
Me charging to the line
All I can say about my first Duathlon is sign me up for another as I had a blast. I know several ways I can shave significant time and hope next time I will see a nice improvement.