I’m resurrecting my blog mainly to have somewhere to store race reports when I bother writing them.  I make no commitment to posting with any regularity. 🙂


Sylvan Beach Duathlon

I came into this race already feeling somewhat let down.  I really wanted to be doing the tri but I knew that my swimming was nowhere near where it needed to be to survive the OWS in the bay.  Kat and I had already scoped out the swim course a few weeks earlier and I knew the water would be too rough for me to stay calm and make it through the course.  So I had “settled” for doing the du.  Previous years’ results show the field to be fairly small for the du so there was an equally good chance that I would come in either dead last or place in my AG.

My goals for this race:

First run (2 miles) – Keep my pace under control and my HR on the lower end to avoid starting the bike worn out.

Bike (15 miles) – Average 17 mph and just enjoy it.  Keep an eye on my cadence.

Second run (3 miles) – Sub 10:00 pace.

Race morning found me bolting out of bed convinced I had overslept.  Hello, 4 a.m.  There was no chance I was going back to sleep so I had some coffee, played some Candy Crush and ate a bagel with almond butter.  I got dressed and as I was loading the car the rest of the house was up and about since they were coming out to watch (along with Duke, our 6 month old Chesapeake Bay Retriever).  After a small moment of panic over not being able to find my sun glasses I was headed to the race.  I love that it was a 15 minute drive.

Parking, body marking and setting up transition were uneventful.  Troy and the kids arrived and we walked down to the beach.  I took one look at the water and knew that the du was the best decision.  Here’s where I should have done a warm up but I didn’t.  I took a gu and lined up with the (very small) crowd of other duathletes at the start line.  I tried to get an idea of how many ladies seemed to be in my age group but I just couldn’t tell.  I chatted with a lady beside me about her Garmin 910XT for a few seconds and then it was time for the National Anthem.  The gun sounded and we were off!

I started at a 9:00 pace and decided that felt a little too fast.  I reined it in a bit and settled at 9:15ish.  Then I started wishing I had warmed up.  Warm up runs suck and since this first two miles WAS my warm up, well it sucked.  But it was over quickly enough and into transition.  Not much to say about that.  Change the shoes, reset the Garmin, and throw on the helmet and sunglasses.

I ran part of the bike course last year at the La Porte by the Bay Half Marathon so I knew there were a couple of dips and then a couple of overpasses to contend with.  This wasn’t TriGirl, where I was passing people left and right.  These are “real” cyclists, many on tri bikes.  I passed a few people and got passed by more than a few.  But I wasn’t passed by anyone who wasn’t on a tri bike or, more importantly, by anyone in my age group.  I tried to keep my cadence around 80 and just ride without thinking too much about it.  The last 4 miles there was a headwind and the steeper of the two overpasses but I still felt pretty strong.  Maybe too strong and I should have pushed a little harder.  Then we were back in the park and off the bike.  T2 wasn’t quite as uneventful.  I almost forgot to remove my helmet and ended up throwing back toward where my bike was racked.  Luckily it landed just where it needed too and I didn’t even have to slow down.

The second run was HOT, but not any hotter than I expected.  My legs felt okay and my pace was 9:50 for the first mile.  Doing good and under my goal pace.  During the second mile it was so hard not to walk.  I was slowing down a little and at each aid station I dumped cold water on myself.  Thank heavens there was a little shade on the course as well.  The shade ended at the end of the second mile though and after a while I started run/walk intervals.  I was pushing the pace on the run portion and allowing myself 10 second walk breaks.  With a quarter mile left I put everything I had into it.  I finished feeling great, which means I could have given a little more.

After the race I grabbed my icy, wet towel (best idea ever) some water and a banana.  I met up with the family and we waited around for transition to open.  At this point I wanted to see my results and the kids (and puppy) were hot and wanted to go home.  I couldn’t blame them for that!  They headed out and I hung around waiting for results.  When they finally appeared I was SECOND in my AG….  Out of two.  Whomp, whomp.  A little while later more ladies in my AG finished and I ended up being 2nd out of four.  I collect my plaque and headed home.

Final results compared to my goals.

Run 1 – Avg pace 9:16. Must warm up next time!  But I didn’t go out too fast, which was my goal so I’m calling it a win.

T1 – 1:27.  Doh!  Not sure what took me so freaking long.  Luck of the draw had my bike facing away from the transition exit, so it had to be turned around, and switching sport modes on my Garmin takes a few seconds.  Maybe I need one of those nifty 910XT’s.

Bike – Avg speed 17.6, avg cadence 79.  Both in line with my goals.  Bike speed is something I am working on but I don’t feel bad about these results as someone who has only been cycling a couple of months.

T2 – 1:03.  The helmet mishap didn’t slow me down much.

Run 2 – Avg pace 10:05. Not far off my goal.  I’m still happy with this considering my hatred for running in the heat.

Overall, I feel that I did well.  Although I’m frustrated that I missed out on 1st in my AG by 17.7 seconds.  She was faster in the first run and on the bike, but not by much.  I was two minutes faster on the second run and would have passed her if my T1 time hadn’t been so awful.  So that gives me something to work on!

Also, I was shocked and saddened to hear a few officers who were directing traffic on the bike course cursing up a storm and complaining LOUDLY about the road closures and being out there.  I try to always thank and acknowledge the volunteers and support staff and this was disheartening to witness.