Sunday May 18th, Greg, me, Paula (who came down to do the Pig) and Daryl woke up at 5:00 a.m. for a windy drive down to Coney Island to do the Tri for Joe race. There was both a triathlon and duathlon event. Paula was doing the tri while Greg and I were doing the du.
This was my 3rd duathlon (1st in 2 years) and Greg's first! While it was my third, it was going to be my slowest– but I already knew that. I was only looking at it as a long workout, not a race, and a hopefully fun season kick-start. Greg and I both weren't prepared, but I knew Greg would do well. For those who aren't familiar with the sports, a duathlon is a run - bike - run format and a triathlon is a swim - bike - run format. The transition area is what you visit to transition between the different parts. This particular du of ours was a 5K (3.1 miles) run - 18 mile bike - 5K run. Yay! Daryl was kind enough to take pictures of all of us. I can't wait to see how awful I look!
Thankfully the rain stopped before we were to the race, but it was a chilly morning! Paula had a 64º pool to look forward to... sans wetsuit! We picked up our packets, sat in the warm car while we sorted through everything, then got out and took our bikes to the transition area to rack.
Greg and I were on the same rack. I laid out my towel and goodies, thinking through the order of everything. It was a "do it in this order" stacking of equipment for when I returned from the first run: Clif Bloks to eat while I did everything else, shoes, bike helmet, sunglasses, grab bike and go! I already had my gloves on, hoping to save a little time there. While I wasn't racing this race, I did want to see if I could work on getting faster in the transition area– as with all other things with me, my transition times are s- l- o- w.
After some milling around, it was time, and Greg and I left Daryl and Paula to toe the line for the 5K. There were NOT many people there, so I figured I'd be running alone. A gun went off and I started jogging. Probably about a 10th of a mile into it, I was already last. :) It's OK! This is just a workout!! I watched Greg bopping along way in front of me until the curves of the path prevented me from seeing views of the people in front. The course winds through Coney Island, a little carnival-esque "amusement" park. For the rest of the run, I felt OK and just kept going on my slow 10 minute per mile pace. I grabbed some NASTY energy drink by mistake at one of the water stops. The course is an out-and-back so I got to slap hands with Greg on his way back.
Coming into the transition area, I was indeed already tired and sweaty. My bike hung waiting for me all alone, since I was now second from last (I passed a very old dude). Being last makes it easy to find your bike!
I wiped my face off with my towel and stuffed some Clif Bloks in my mouth. Then I put on my bike shoes, helmet, ate more bloks, sunglasses and grabbed my bike. Turns out my T-1 time was 2:27...13 seconds faster than when i did it 2 years ago. My only "PR" for the day.
I was still munching on bloks when I began biking. Finished off the pack, chugged some water, then I was ready to get serious. I saw Greg and Paula on this little part of the first 5 miles that has a turn-around. Never saw Greg again, but saw Paula one more time.
The bike was pretty normal. I didn't recall the course being so hilly, but enjoyed the downhills best I could. I passed people on mountain bikes, and I was passed by many of the triathletes who had come out of their swim waves. The course went down Kellogg Avenue, turned into Lunken Airfield onto the bike path loop (including the worst part of the course- a bumpy gravelly section near the end of the loop), back onto Kellogg where you turn around and then head back. Nothing exciting really. It felt a little long. My pace was all over the place. I was hoping for an average of 15 mph.
When I got back to the transition area and got off my bike, I couldn't feel my feet. My legs also felt like they weren't of my body. I woggled (walk-hobbled-jogged) into the t-area with my bike and put on my running shoes. I laughed at a girl who started running with her helmet on. She caught her mistake within a few steps.
The last 5K was by far the ugliest of my life. I seriously felt like the lower half of my body was somewhere still on Kellogg, or perhaps had gone back to the car to relax (not a bad idea!). Nothing was bending or moving properly. But, me and my two stubs for legs kept going, as I hoped it would just take a bit to loosen up.
Nothing loosened up. I gave up the hopes of not stopping and made a plan to walk through the water stops hoping that would help. I got to the half way water stop and took a long walk. At this point I wasn't even out of breath anymore since I was going so slowly. Now I just wanted it over and hated that it was being drawn out. I ran then walked then ran then walked the entire way back. My legs just said nope, we're done.
I saved up enough energy to "sprint" the last bit to the finish line. And by "sprint" I mean that I was probably psuedo-running at this point. To me, it felt like I was on my way to break a record, but in reality I know I must of looked like I was acting out a slow motion scene from Chariots of Fire. I finished with a smile for whatever that was worth.
I had some chocolate milk (yum!) and an orange. Then I was done with the food for awhile as my body went through it's typical post endurance race nausea. Nothing major. We checked awards and Paula got 2nd in her division! ...out of 4 ;) Greg and I both placed last! There's only up to go from here!
So here are the awful details, of which I'm ONLY sharing because later this year I will have MUCH better times and I can look back at this and laugh!
5K 31:38 (10:07 pace)
T1 2:27 (ooooh! a 13 second PR!)
Bike 1:08:54 (16.2 mph...better than I thought, and the same speed as when I did this race 2 years ago)
T2 1:40 (a 16 second PR...I did at least do better in my transition times)
5K 38:27 (oh the horror. 12:28 pace)
a wopping 84th place out of 90! But not last! :)
Greg (who hopped on the bike ONCE before the race) did really well. 1:58:00. He's a natural!
Next up, Caesar's Creek in July. Various 5Ks in between. Let the games begin!