On Friday night, we got our bikes ready to go, water bottles filled and cooling in the refrigerator, and laid out all our gear.
|Multi-Sport events sure do require a lot of stuff!|
Once we arrived at Concordia, we racked our bikes, set up our transition areas, strapped our timing chips to our ankles, and met up with our friends, Miss Placed, Yada Yada, and Texas. After a little chit chat, it was race time! Usually race waves are done by age group or predicted finish time, but this time they were divided by last name, which put Mr. R&R and I in Wave 4. When the gun went off, I started running and immediately realized that I seemed to be in a wave full of speed demons! My pace for the first 1/4 mile was in the 7:30's. It didn't feel bad, but I knew there was no way I could keep that up for 2 miles - especially on a cross country course. I slowed to a more reasonable pace as we turned onto a wooded path. I had been a little nervous about the cross country portion of the race, but as soon as we entered the woods, I loved it! The trail wound through the woods and into an open field. Somewhere just past Mile 1 I felt Yada Yada tap me on the shoulder as he sped by. As I ran through the field, I saw some of the crazy fast racers from Wave 1 as they sped by on the bike. Another turn took us back into the woods, and then onto concrete and into T1.
Distance: 2.11 Miles
Avg. Pace: 9:29
I swapped my bike shoes for my running shoes, made sure my water bottle was in the 'open' position, jammed my helmet on, and hustled out to the mount line.
T1 Time: 2:13 (Gotta work on a faster transition.)
The first few miles of the bike course were really great. It was flat, the weather was good, I settled into a good cadence/speed, and even managed to pass a handful of people. After the first turn, that great feeling disappeared. The pavement got really rough, the course turned into a series of rolling hills, and my legs started to feel kind of heavy. Eventually the pavement improved, but the rolling hills continued. It was the strangest feeling. At some points, my legs felt so dead and I could barely turn the pedals. At others, my legs were like pistons and I felt fantastic. This pattern of highs and lows went on for the entire bike leg. Around Mile 19, I ate a GU, hoping it would kick in as I started the final run leg. Around Mile 20, Texas caught up to me and passed me. I was about 10 seconds behind her coming into T2 and I decided then and there that there was no way I was letting her beat me on the run.
Distance: 21.31 Miles
Avg. Speed: 16.0 mph
Avg. Cadence: 78 rpm
I jogged (on spaghetti legs) my bike back to the rack, yanked off my helmet, and changed back to my running shoes. My cycling gloves were yanked off with my teeth and stuffed into the back pocket of my jersey as I ran out of transition.
T2 Time: 1:38
I gulped down a little Gatorade at the aid station and headed out on the final run course. I actually felt pretty good at the beginning of the run. My legs were turning over pretty fast and they didn't seize up quite as bad as they did in my first duathlon. I ran up a hill and then out along the top of a bluff and I remember thinking that the view of Lake Michigan was really gorgeous. The second run course involved running down that bluff and then back up a series of switchbacks. The run down the hill was beautiful. The sun was sparkling on crystal clear water, there was a light breeze, and I felt pretty good. Then I hit the switchbacks. Each switchback wasn't terribly steep, but my legs hated them - a lot. I would run about half way along each one and then walk until the next one. It killed my pace, but it was better than walking the whole thing.
At long last, I reached the top of the bluff and knew it wasn't far to the finish line. It was ass haulin' time. I picked up the pace, ran down a small hill, took a hard left, and there it was!
Distance: 1.65 Miles
Avg. Pace: 10:12
Official Time: 2:00:45
The first person I saw after crossing the line was Walter & Spot's vet (aka Dr. Beast). She gave me a hug, told me that I looked really good coming in. She really does rock! (She was 29th overall, 4th place female, and she won her age group and the women's masters division).
I made my way through the post-race snack line (bagel pieces, pretzels, cookies) before locating Mr. R&R, Miss Placed and Yada Yada. About 5 minutes after I finished, Texas (Yada Yada's wife) crossed the finish line. We hung out through the awards ceremony (Miss Placed came in 4th in her age group) and took a few pictures before heading back to transition to collect our bikes, helmets, and other miscellaneous stuff. There was some talk of going out to brunch, but we all decided that we smelled too bad to subject anyone to sitting anywhere near us!
|The Du Crew|
Overall, it was a great event. The race director did a great job working around and compensating for the construction. The volunteers were great (and plentiful). The course was beautiful. This event is definitely on my short list of possibilities for the 2013 season.