Let me cut to the chase. This race was brutal. I am incredibly glad it is over.
Let me also say that the race organizers at Gear West did a great job with this duathlon. There was nothing about their efforts that led to me having a bad race. They were well organized, the course was well-marked, they had a great video of the course on their web site so I knew what I was getting myself into.
There are many reasons for this being brutal, but I’ll give you the main points.
- I was under -trained. Though I’m not sure I would change that 10 days off of training for my awesome trip to Spain!
- It rained. 95% of the time I was racing, it was raining.
- It was windy. The bike course was really quite beautiful, but I had no good words for it as I was riding. Hills, headwind and rain are not a happy combination.
- The run course was tougher than I’m used to. Most of the route was in grass, gravel, or wood chips. I knew this going in, but didn’t think it would be a big deal. Oops.
- My heart wasn’t in it.
The last point might be the most relevant. I just could not get excited for this race. I’m not sure what my deal is, but I do know that if you’re not excited and ready to give it your all and have fun, you won’t and you will not.
I had friends running the race which was definitely the bright spot. In addition to my darling hubby, our pals Scottie and Henriet also toed the line. I failed at snapping a photo of Scottie – sorry buddy!
This race consisted of a 5K run, 17 mile bike and a 4k run.
The run route was the same on either end, with the exception of a stretch of road that we didn’t have to go down the second time around. As I mentioned, it was very much a trail run. There were lots of mini out and backs, loops into the woods, and a run around a dirt track. I’ve never done anything like that.
I felt pretty good on the first run and in true Jen fashion, started out fast (for me). My mile splits were 9:22, 9:52 and 10-something. My watch went on the fritz at this point so I’m not sure of my other splits.
Between the conditions, my attitude and how my legs felt, this did not go as well as I had anticipated. My legs just didn’t have their normal gas and the wind was kicking my ass. According to the official timing report, my average pace was 15.2. For me in a race, that is not something to be happy about. However, considering my bullet points above, maybe it wasn’t so bad.
As I mentioned, the route itself was pretty nice. It was on nice roads and included lots of rolling hills and some really pretty stretches of scenery. That is, when I could actually see past the rain drops on my sunglasses.
The second run felt harder – as it should. I definitely ran slower but toughed out every inch including up a ridiculously step uphill. Seriously, softball cleats would have been helpful on that one!
As I came up to do the final lap around the track before the finish, I saw my fans. The nice thing about being the slowest in your group of friends is that after they finish, they have to cheer you to the finish. Bonus!
In addition to my fellow racers, our friend Dave (and little Kaler) and Scottie’s wife Mel, were there to cheer. At that point, I could smile since the finish was so close. Thanks guys!
My official time was 2:07:13. Since this is a different distance from any other duathlon I’ve done, I’ll call it a PR. I know I can do better.
My fellow athletes did great! Brette kicked butt as usual. My husband just keeps getting faster. He’s amazing. Scottie and Henriet also had excellent races.
The best part was our post-race brunch. Nothing like a little omelet and potato action. Oh, and the bloody. That was good too.
What’s next? Getting out of my funk and starting to actually train. Wahoo!