Sunday, August 18, 2013

Shoreline Duathlon

I was so excited to race the Shoreline Duathlon on Saturday morning for the silliest reason: I finally got to wear my team tri top! It almost made the 4:45 am wake up time seem bearable.

Going in, I had exactly zero expectations for the run course.  They changed it up a bit from last year and now the run legs are substantially longer and feature the series of switchbacks twice: once going down hill and again...going up hill. 

The gun went off and I hauled ass, knowing that most of the first mile was flat or down hill and the big hill was going to kill my pace.  I hit Mile 1 in 8:11!  The course followed the Shoreline for about 1/10th of a mile before it began the wicked climb back up the bluff.  I ran for as long as I could, before power walking the rest of it.
As predicted...the hill killed my pace.
Once we reached the top of the hill we ran through the woods on the cross country portion of the course. It was cool and shady which made it a lot easier to recover my pace.  Before long, I was back on concrete and running into T1.

Run 1: 20:21

I flew into T1, threw on my helmet and bike shoes, and jogged out to the mount line.

T1: 1:45

Once I was out on the bike course, I spun easy for a little bit as I pulled on my gloves, took a drink, and settled into my saddle.  Last year, my legs felt like lead for the entire ride and I loathed every minute of the rolling hills.  This year was a complete 180. It was possibly one of the most perfect rides I've ever had. I passed people, rarely got passed, and only really struggled on a couple of random miles (mostly because my booty was getting kind of sore). I was almost finished, when I took a turn at about Mile 20.5 a little too fast, hit some gravel, and lost control of my bike.  The next thing I knew, I was laying on my right side in the gravel with my bike resting on my helmet.  The good news is that I didn't break any bones, my bike (once I fixed the dropped chain) was rideable - although the left brake hood, brake lever, and shift lever were unusable since they were bent inward and I had to ride with my handle bars sideways since the stem got knocked 90 degrees in the crash, and I managed not to tear my new tri top!
The bad news: A girl saw me crash and tried to stop to see if I was okay. Unfortunately, she stopped too fast and ended up crashing (and damaging her bike) herself.  I felt awful and apologized profusely as we both picked ourselves up and remounted our bikes. I limped my bike into T2 and have never been happier to be off the bike.

Bike Time: 1 hour, 17 minutes
Avg. Speed: 17.1 mph

Can you tell where the crash occurred?
I jogged my bike back to the rack and switched back to my running shoes, while simultaneously waving off the medical volunteer who asked if I wanted to get the scrape on my elbow looked at.  I promised I'd stop at the med tent...after I finished the race! 

T2: 1:41

The second run course was identical to the first; only in reverse.  The cross-country portion wasn't too bad and I did more running than walking and running the long hill down the bluff was my favorite part of the whole course - just like it was last year. The view of Lake Michigan was absolutely magnificent and I had one of those "This is why I do these things" moments. Of course, hitting the bottom of the hill meant having to go back up...via those miserable switchbacks.  I won't lie. My arm was hurting pretty bad and my legs were absolutely toasted, so I walked most of them. I hit the top and dropped right back down to a respectable running pace, knowing it was almost over. 

I took the final turn and broke into a sprint.  I was almost to the finish line when I heard the announcer say, "And here comes #121 from Tri Wisconsin...and it looks like she's sporting a little road rash!".  I felt a little rush of pride, to be recognized as a member of Tri Wisconsin, and it put a smile on my face as I crossed the finish line...less than 2 minutes behind Mr. R&R (the closest I've ever come to catching him in a race).

Run 2: 23:03

Official Finishing Time: 2:04:11

I made my way through the finishing chute, locating Mr. R&R and saying hello to Dr. Beast (who kicked some serious usual), before the vultures from medical insisted on looking at my arm.  The hydrogen peroxide stung like hell and when the girl scrubbed out the gravel, I may have been biting on my knuckles.  Before long, I was sporting a nifty little elbow wrap, collecting my stuff from transition (after hugging it out with my fellow crash victim) and was on my way to Emery's to drop my bike off to be fixed. 

The owner, Brent, was outside when we walked up (still in race clothes) and he took the time to assess the damage himself instead of handing it off to one of his guys.  We browsed the store as I steeled myself to hear a huge number and a long wait time to get my bike back in working order.  It turns out that in addition to knocking my stem out of alignment and bending the brake hood/brakes/shifter, I also managed to screw up the rear derailleur, and knock both wheels out of true (which doesn't surprise me in the least) - and the grand total to fix my idiocy was a whopping $45...and he'd have it done later in the afternoon!  Wow.  I mean I've always had a really high opinion of Emery's, but this just raised the bar another notch.

All in all, it was a great I just have to hope my damned elbow heals fast!


April said...

Less than 2 minutes behind Mr. R&R? AND you crashed? DAAAAAYYYYUUUM! No crash and you might have beaten him!!!! Glad there's no major ($$$$$ or long time to repair) damage done to either you or the bike. And being recognized by the announcer? Tres cool! Congrats!!!!

Mary said...

Thank you!

Anonymous said...

Mr R&R better watch his 6!

Mary said...

I'm guessing he would have been stubborn enough to beat me even if I hadn't crashed, but it felt really good to come so close.