Race Roundup: Grosse Ile Duathlon

I realize I have been pretty lax on writing.  Maybe it was due to the fact that I recently bought a house and everything that goes on with it.  Perhaps because I have been traveling quite a bit for my job with InterVarsity Christian Fellowship over the past month and a half (I have spent most of a week outside of San Diego, two weeks in northern Michigan and the better part of a week in Pittsburgh…all fabulous, but they’ve kept me busy!).  Or perhaps at other times it’s because I just plain forget to when I have the time (but you know we always remember when we are running around and don’t have a spare second!).

My fitness movement (aka…exercise, working out, running, etc) has been pretty limited as of late.  The past five or six weeks I’ve been having some health issues (aka chest pain) that we haven’t figure out yet…maybe more on that later!  I see a specialist tomorrow so hopefully we can figure this out and I can get back to doing what I like to do.

In the meantime I did do a duathlon – early on in the whole health fiasco.  I almost didn’t do it, but my rational was this: 1. I paid $60 for it and I’m too cheap to let it go 2. I’ve been talking smack with a workout partner for a good 6 months and we’ve been running the numbers to see who would win…to not compete would mean a forfeit and an automatic win for him and 3. I knew there would be EMS on site and if I dropped (as morbid as that sounds) at least they would be there to revive me!  So down to Grosse Ile I went.

This I know for sure, I like duathlons MUCH more than triathlons.  If you’ve read my triathlon post you’d know that I’m not a huge fan of the water.  Not. At. All.  The duathlon is much more my speed, AND I can be competitive in it…not saying I’m throwing in the towel on tri’s at all…I simply like du’s more and might stick to them this season due to my lack of time in the water.  I don’t know that I’ve been in the water (outside of dipping into a lake on a HOT Memorial Day) since last June.

So a duathlon (for those of you reading this and thinking a duath…what??) consists of a run, then a bike, then a run.  This particular duathlon happened to consist of a 5k (3.1 mile) run a 20k (12.4 mile) bike and another 5k run.  I hadn’t done much in the three weeks leading up to the duathlon because of my traveling, but outside of the chest problems was feeling alright approaching it.

3 Disciplines, an organization that runs triathlons and duathlons around my neck of the woods, puts on well organized events…I’d recommend any of their events to anyone.  And they always have good post-race food!

First 5k: I felt pretty strong for the kind of training I put it (which was pathetically too little) and came through about 8 minute pace.  The course, although it was supposed to be a certified 5k was .1 miles to long…we were all pretty sure of that – after all, I’m not that bad a pacing myself and dropping from an 8ish minute mile to a 9ish minute mile the last mile was just not possible. I appreciated that most of the run was gravel/dirt.

Bike: I felt good on the bike – I wished I could have put in a little extra time in the saddle leading up to the race, but did fine all things considering.  I knew that if my training partner didn’t catch me before the 6th mile I had this race in the bag.  Mile number 6 came and went, then 7, then 8 and so on until I hit the transition area once again.  He never caught me.  I was a bit worried, maybe he crashed, maybe he got a flat, but off on the run I went.

Second 5k: I felt a bit funky on the last run.  Maybe I was being hyper sensitive, but I ran it much more conservatively, running a bit slower than 9 minute pace.  I finished the race feeling like I needed to throw up, not a normal feeling for me since I didn’t tap out my energy sources…but I headed to the food table to get something in my stomach.  After eating something I felt better and began looking for my training partner.

About seventeen minutes after me he crossed the finish line.  No flat tires, no crashes.  His run just wasn’t strong enough to put him in a position to catch me on the bike.  I think he was slightly surprised.  I can’t say that I was. 😉  I ended up winning my age group – there were five of us.  I felt pretty good about that.

And now I have a heavy glass that says first place to put in my cupboard to remind me that I love duathlons!

Race number 4?  I’m behind.  I’ll work on that.

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