This is a difficult race report to write since I still don't know my actual results. I feel like I need numbers to back myself up. But I really think I did well and am completely happy with how I did. So, numbers or not, that is what matters. I'll post the results when I know them.
Greg and I left bright barely light and early at 5:45 to get to Coney Island. Thanks for coming to watch, Greg! And for taking most of the pictures so this blog might be a little more interesting! We pulled in the parking lot and parked, and then it was time to set up.
The entrance and slides as we drove in.
I picked up my race packet and timing chip, pumped up my bike tires, and then started setting up my bike and everything else in the transition area. I laid out my bike shoes, GUs, helmet, towels and had to think for a moment about if everything was in the right order. It's been a couple years since I've done this.
Pumping up the tires.
Setting up in transition.
The mess that is transition.
Greg thought it was funny that my bike just hung on the transition rack and had to snap a photo. The front wheel didn't touch the ground. I am short so my bike is little! I quickly found another bike that was a women's specific Trek hanging the same way, proving I wasn't the only short person there. ;)
We stood around, did the national anthem, then I got in the lineup for the start of the duathlon.
Here's the group. Not too many people.
1st 5K Run
I settled into a nice pace as we wove our way through the park. It was comfortably hard. My first mile was 8:40 - perfect! I think the turnaround was somewhere around 13 minutes. And I think I checked again at the 2 mile marker, but I don't remember anymore about times. I was running well - very smooth and my legs felt strong. My knees had stopped aching, and any soreness I might have still had from the week wasn't a factor. The course winds through the park, back out into a big parking lot, then back into the park a little bit to the turn-around. Running past the motionless, carnival-like rides is somewhat eerie.
I surprised Greg with my arrival time near the end of the first 5K, but he managed to snap a photo of me anyway.
I'm thinking the T-time was probably pretty slow, but I tried to hurry. I put my shoes and helmet on, sucked on part of a GU, grabbed my bike and jogged out to mount.
Probably ripping open a GU here.
I quickly got situated on my bike and saw Greg before heading out onto Kellogg Road.
Greg had installed a new battery on my bike computer and had entered in the correct tire information, but it wasn't really clear if it was set up right. So I wasn't sure if my speeds were going to show accurately. When I started out, I looked down and saw 17 - 18 mph so I figured it was wrong. It was right in the beginning, and I just didn't think I was going those speeds yet.
Race photo, not sure where this is.
The bike was pretty uneventful. I was still breathing hard from the run, so it took some time to settle into a comfortable pace. I passed people left and right, and also got passed by some serious people with tri-bikes like I was standing still! :) There was a big downhill that was fun, though I realized I would have to come back up this hill on the way back. I noticed a big "10 MILE" painted on the road. I looked down at my computer and saw 9.9. What?!?! So this is accurate!! I've been going 18 - 19 mph!!! I was ecstatic. I think I had been maintaining some pretty decent bike speeds, so now I had to keep it up. I pushed those last 2 miles, hoping to make the bike average even better. The slowing down for the two turnarounds and hill could lower it pretty good though. We'll see whenever I know the results.
I hopped off my bike and clomped through the transition area in my bike shoes. I changed shoes, grabbed my hat and started out for the second run.
My legs had the familiar "what the hell are you doing to me?!" reaction as I started running. I felt like I was going so slow. I was also stiff. After the first mile, which was 9:40, I loosened up. This run was more exciting since all of the triathletes were running too. There were people running everywhere. Watching the efforts of the people on their way back was inspiring and took my mind off my own pain. I love out and back races for that reason!
Around mile 1.75
I was afraid I was going to overheat, so I dumped water on my head and hat every chance I could. My breathing was maxed out. The last mile was a welcome relief mentally - I was glad I was almost done and hoped to still be able to finish strong. Within the last half mile, I caught up to a guy whose family was teasing him because he had just taken a walk break. After we were past them, he started laughing about it and commenting on things to me. I couldn't talk. I grunted laughs and smiled instead. As we came out onto the last stretch of asphalt outside of the park nearing the finish, he said, "You're not going to let an old fat guy beat you are you?" (neither of which he was.) This was funny because I had already made up my mind that I was going to race him. I breathlessly said, "We'll see." It was great having him there because my pace got stronger and I really did feel like I could kick it a little in the end. I felt kind of bad not reciprocating his cheerfulness so I said, "I suppose it is a race" between gasps for air. He didn't understand me and I had to repeat it - doh! He laughed and went on to explain how yes, perhaps for some, but he was just trying to finish, thought he was going to drown in the swim, yadda yadda yadda. I was clearly working way harder than him and that's when I left him. :)
Me and Chatty Cathy.
And the final stretch...I think my face says it all.
I felt great!! I got my medal and found Greg, who thought I did very well. I do think this is the best duathlon I've ever done. I can't wait to learn the results!!!