Sunday, June 10, 2012

South Shore Rock 'N Ride Duathlon Recap

My first foray into multisport racing began Saturday morning with the traditional packet pick up - the only thing new to me there was: a)I received an envelope containing body marking tattoos along with my race number and t-shirt and b)the race director was there, introducing himself to the athletes, showing them maps of the course, and answering any questions they might have.  Meeting the race director was a definite first for me - and what a great guy.  He asked if this was my first du and when I said it was, he gave me a big smile, shook my hand, and said "Welcome to the World of Multisport!"  With a welcome like that, how could I not be excited to do this race?

Saturday night was spent obsessing over the weather (I seem to be cursed with extremely hot race day weather this year) and making sure I had everything I needed ready to go since I'm not exactly clear-headed at 5:30 A.M.   Oh - and The Husband and I had to get creative and figure out how to cram my Trek into a Toyota.  (Note: We are so getting a bike rack)!

As always, the alarm came too early and I stumbled into the shower and then into my race clothes.  After I finished stuffing myself into an obscene amount of spandex, The Husband applied the body marking tattoos to the outside of my left arm and on the back of my right calf.  I topped off my semi-frozen water bottle, loaded my bike into the car, and we were off to the race!

Once we arrived at the race site, we reattached my front wheel and went in search of the transition area so I could rack my bike.  If you'll recall, one of my huge worries going into this race was 'How the heck do I rack a bike?'  As it turns out, it was easy - and, by luck of my race number, scored one of the coveted end spots on a rack!

All racked up and ready to go!
After that, I picked up my timing chip, headed to the starting area, and bumped into my mom! She had mentioned something about maybe coming to watch (since I rarely race close enough to home for either of my parents to spectate), but with the expected heat, I wouldn't have blamed her if she stayed home in the air conditioning!

Before I knew it, the first wave of super-fast racers was called to the start (including Walter & Spot's veterinarian who claimed she 'wasn't a very good runner'. Hah!), so I said goodbye to Mom and The Husband and made my way toward the rest of my wave (Wave 4).  A few cracks of the starter's pistol later and it was my turn to go!  I took off with the rest of my wave and quickly settled into a comfortable run pace.  The first mile, while brutally sunny, was also mercifully flat and I finished it in 9:21.  After that, the course headed into a nice, shady park and down a really steep bluff.  At the bottom of the hill was a turnaround point (and a lovely view of Lake Michigan) and then came the climb back up the hill!  Holy crap - that was wicked.  It was like running up a ski hill!  My pace shot up as I power-walked to the top (along with just about everyone else).  Fortunately, I was able to start running again as soon as I got to the top of the hill, so I didn't totally lose the gains I'd made in Mile 1. Official time for Run #1: 19:33 (Avg. Pace: 9:46).

I yanked off my hat as I ran into transition and stuffed it into one of the pockets on the back of my jersey. Once I got to my bike, I took a quick gulp of water, strapped on my helmet, and ran my bike out to the mount line. T1 Time: 1:06. 

I had no trouble getting my feet into the toe clips this morning, so that gave me a good confidence boost as I headed out on the bike course.  Almost immediately I spotted Mom and The Husband, so I waved and tossed my hat to them (it was digging into my back). 

The first 2 miles of the bike course were great. It was ever so slightly downhill, so I focused on passing as many people as I could.  After the turnaround just past Mile 2, it became a series of hills.  It seemed to be 2 miles uphill followed by 2 miles downhill, and so on.  Official Bike Time: 39:27 (Avg. Speed: 15.5mph).

 Just before I turned into the transition area, I saw Walter and Spot's vet in the homestretch of the final run leg.  Dr. B went on to take 50th place overall (5th place female/1st place in her age group) in a scorching time of 1:03:12!

As soon as I hit the dismount line I attempted to jog my bike back to the rack.  This was not a good idea since my legs felt like they were made of overcooked spaghetti.  Once my bike was back on the rack, I pulled off my helmet, gulped down a little more water, and headed out on the final run leg.  T2 Time: 1:01.

The second run leg was the same course as the first run leg, but run in the opposite direction - meaning that the evil hill came up very early on. Brutal. I was hot, tired, and had a massive case of Jello Legs. Most of Mile 1 was spent run/walking and trying to get the lead out.  After the evil hill, I felt a little better and managed to run more than I walked, but was a fight. I think the only reason that I ran as much of Mile 2 as I did was because the two women behind me were wearing obnoxiously bright pink shirts and I didn't want to spend the end of the race staring at those shirts, (Don't ask me why those shirts irritated me so much - it was completely irrational.) so whenever I would start walking and hear their footfalls behind me, I'd pick up the pace and start running again. 

Finally I was in the home stretch. Not only could I see the finish line, I could hear it from several blocks away.  I waved to Mom & The Husband as ran by them to my first duathlon finish!

Official Finishing Time: 1:22:55

As soon as I crossed the finish line, one volunteer high-fived me while another removed the timing chip from my ankle.  Then I was greeted by the race director with a handshake and a hug!  I thanked him for putting on such an awesome race and making my first multisport event such a great one.

I made my way through the food line (bagel, pretzels/cheese dip, animal crackers, and CANDY), located Mom and The Husband, grabbed my bike from transition and hauled my booty home! 

Overall, it was an awesome event. The race director clearly cares a lot about this race and I think his enthusiasm trickled down to the volunteers because every single one of them was absolutely wonderful. There wasn't any bling to be had at the end of this race, but I got something far more important: a desire to keep doing multisport events and hopefully get better at them!


April said...

Congrats too you! This is quite an accomplishment. Such an inspiration to us couch runners living vicariously through your blog.

Mary said...

Thank you! I'm blushing here!

Elizabeth said...

Awesome! Way to go, Mary!

Megan said...

I wanted to ask you about this when I saw you! But it clearly wasn't on my mind at the time! Congratulations on the duathalon! So when's the next one? LOL

Delyth Edwards said...

Belated congratulations hun! Awesome achievement again and that was so funny about the women in the pink shirts! lmao So pleased your mam came to see you, that was so sweet and I bet a huge incentive to finish the race so you could see her and talk to her :)

Mary said...

For some reason those pink shirts irritated the crap out of me - usually it's running skirts that cause the irrational rage.

Having my mom there was nice. I talk about what I'm up to a lot, but she rarely gets to see it.