Thursday, July 6, 2017

A Duathlon? Sounds great!

Every 4th of July, my triathlon team hosts an informal triathlon/duathlon for our members. Two years ago I did the triathlon and last year the duathlon. This year I again tackled the duathlon, and it would be only my second duathlon I've ever done.

I came into this year feeling much better about working hard in the heat, so I felt like I could do a decent job "racing." I wasn't so concerned with racing my teammates so much as racing my time from last year. I wanted to see that my fitness had improved and with the weather this year being so similar to last year, it would be a good gauge of improvement.

Armed with my lovely new multisport watch, I was ready to go race morning. We had a big turnout, way more than usual. Nineteen members total raced so it was going to be a very fun morning. Lake Georgetown looked beautiful at 7:30 in the morning and I was almost a bit envious at those who were doing the triathlon. The lake was calm and looked so refreshing. Perhaps it's time I got my butt back into the water?

The first run of the duathlon was about 1.1 miles just around the picnic area at the lake. We shortened the first run this year so it better coincided with when the swimmers would be coming out of the water and we'd all be on the bike course about the same time. For this first run, I wanted to be "comfortably uncomfortable" with my pace, so I figured right around 9 min or just under would be great and then hopefully I'd be able to push it harder on the second run. I was feeling pretty decent and got down to about 8:30 pace within the first few minutes. I kept that up and finished the that loop at 8:33 pace.

A quick transition and I was on my bike. The course for the bike is actually not all that easy. It's short...9.55 miles...but it starts out uphill. My heartrate spiked right away, hitting 160 within 3 minutes of ride time. But I stayed with it, knowing I'd get a good downhill in a couple miles. Every opportunity I got on a downhill I shifted into a tougher gear and tried to make up some time speed lost on the uphills. I want to be better with shifting, so this was good practice. By the time we got to about 7 miles I knew I was riding much better than last year. I felt a lot more comfortable and my heartrate was staying more in control overall. I ended up riding 1.1 mph faster than last year, coming in at 16.7 mph. A win in my book. It probably helped that at the turnaround on the dam at about 8 miles into the ride, I saw my friend Esther right on my butt, probably only about 30 seconds behind me. Although I didn't want to view this as competition, seeing her that close to me definitely got me moving my butt a little bit faster.

Another quick transition (where I thoroughly messed up the lapping on my watch and accidentally hit the button too many times. I had to look back on the data to estimate my transition time versus my actual run time, but I think I got it figured out based on the elapsed time of the workout. Both my transitions came in at about 40-45 seconds. Not bad for being so out of practice!

I knew I could get the second run done in under 15 minutes if I pushed myself and remembered it was a very short distance, only about 1.7 miles. I glanced at my watch to see that it was right at 44 minutes total for the workout. I remembered last year's time was 1:11:xx so even with a shortened Run 1, I was definitely doing better this year. I just felt so much stronger! I kept thinking Esther was going to blow by me right before the finish so I sped up to about 8 min pace for the last half mile. It got hard but I knew it was almost over. I ended up coming in at about 14:48 (if I estimated correctly from my watch mishap).

I finished in about 59:50 total for the 2.8 miles of running and 9.55 miles of cycling. Last year I ran 3.4 miles and cycled 9.45 miles in 1:11:33, so it was a definite improvement. I had so much fun! My entire team did a really great job out there, with speedy times for everyone. They're all very worthy competitors and they keep me on my toes day in and day out.

Informal team races like this are a great way to get into that competitive spirit, gauge where you're at in training and fitness, without the expense or nerves from an actual organized race. Teammate Amanda even made up medals for the fastest of us out there so that's a very fun keepsake.

Looking forward to the next one!

Team pre-race

The medal winners, although every single person out there killed it!

No comments:

Post a Comment