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Du the Bear Duathlon - Duathlon

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Houston, Texas
United States
60F / 16C
Total Time = 1h 07m 45s
Overall Rank = 50/~450
Age Group = M50-54
Age Group Rank = 1/14
Pre-race routine:

Woke at 0300 and couldn't sleep, laid there for 2 hours before finally getting up. Felt rested, so I guess it was OK. Always hate loosing those last hours of sleep.

Drove an hour to the race site while eating my standard race breakfast (Clif bar & protein bar) and arrived plenty early.

It was still very dark when I walked into transition and inadvertantly stepped right into a big depression full of water from previous rains. Crap! Got my shoes and socks wet before the race even started. Racked the bike and spent 5-10 minutes drying out my shoes, socks, and feet.

Got my chip and with everything set-up, it's easy when all you have is shoes and a helmet; I was good for go.
Event warmup:

By now it was starting to lightly mist, but it was nothing.

Had quite a bit of time to kill. Light jog down the run course and back for about a mile total. Stretched out some. Hit the portacan one more time. (Unlike a tri, there's no lake to pee in.)

15 minutes before the start, a short but steady drizzle was enough to fully wet the roads. Rut-roh, this is going to be fun.
  • 13m 41s
  • 2 miles
  • 06m 50s  min/mile

Got to the start line for the men's mass start and seeded myself about 3 rows back. I wanted to go out fast, but I'm not rude enough to claim a front row when I know I'm not a 6-minute runner.

The gun fires and we're off.

The first 100 yards is across a grass field with pot holes and swampy parts and it's a matter of guessing where to run and step to avoid the worst of it. Half-way across I step into a hole and almost go down. The ankle rolls some, but I recovered quickly. Wow, that was too close. It would suck to DNF with an injury 20 seconds into a race.

Get onto the road and get into a good stride and breathing rhythm and the skies open up for the serious rain; it's really pouring now. Nothing to do but run of course. Pass up a bunch of guys who had no business being in the front rows. After 3/4 of a mile, the field has strung out and everyone has found their pace and place.

It's only 2 miles, so I push hard aiming for 7-minute miles. Because it's an out and back, I'm looking for any older guys who have already turned around to see who my competition might be. I see a couple of candidates, but looks can be deceiving and I can't read their legs.

No big deal, just kept running fast and soon enough we're back at T1. Glance at my watch and I'm sub-14. Awesome.

The rain continues to fall.
What would you do differently?:

Ran as fast as I could. It's only 2 miles. It is a "sprint". No pacing allowed.
Transition 1
  • 00m 58s

It took a few seconds to get the running shoes off, so that was a bit different. By now the rain had soaked everything, so there was no worries or attempts at keeping dry. I don't wear glasses, so that was one less thing to deal with.

What would you do differently?:

Went through pretty quickly: 1/14 in AG.
  • 37m 23s
  • 12 miles
  • 19.26 mile/hr

Mounted OK and was off to see bad it was going to be. The rain was coming down hard and it was actually kind of fun to be part of something this different. I was a little nervous about the corners and the painted stripes; I had never raced in rain like this before. Time to embrace the suck.

Got up to speed, but then I was passed by a couple of younger guys whom I'd outrun. Looked at the computer and I was only going 21; time to step it up a gear and don't worry about the water. Passed one of the guys back up.

Got to the rough road and you had to be careful to miss the holes. I heard a loud pop & hiss and a rider about 40 yards ahead had hit a hole and had a pinch-flat no doubt. There was already another rider beside the road fixing a flat. Tough day for those guys.

Turn another corner and into the head-wind; had to really work hard here to maintain 19-20mph. Pass by transition to start loop #2. I was getting comfortable in the rain and it was time to make up for the slow first loop. By now, the women were out on the course and us faster guys were lapping the slower guys. All of this made for some crowded lanes. I never saw anybody go down, but I know there were at least a couple.

Put the hammer down once we turned into the tail-wind and another go at the rough section. Saw two more guys walking their bikes back to transition. In the end, the ride was somewhat uneventful, but you really had to focus.

Got out of the shoes about a quarter mile out and dismounted cleanly. Had I known how bad transition was I probably would have left my shoes on so the cleats could provide traction in the mud.

Oh well, too late; run in the mud in socks. Great fun.
What would you do differently?:

Maybe ride faster through the corners, but I was being super-careful and it showed on the reduced average.
Transition 2
  • 00m 40s

Oh man, what a mess. By now, transition was a big mud pit and it was just a matter of pushing the bike through the mud and pushing the muddy feet into the wet shoes. (It's funny now, that I spent 5 minutes before the race drying my feet after the water puddle incident.)

Running out of T2 was a bit tricky because of the slippery mud. Big strides and sharp turns were out of the question; too easy to pull a muscle, or slip and fall.
What would you do differently?:

Went through pretty quickly, despite the muddy mess: 1/14 in AG.
  • 15m 1s
  • 2 miles
  • 07m 31s  min/mile

Had to run out of T2 pretty gingerly due to all the mud and the first 100 yards of grassy field wasn't much better; just took it sure and steady until I reached the park road.

All of the cold, the water, the pushing hard on the pedals had made my feet numb and I could hardly feel them. I felt like I was running on stubs of wood. I was almost afraid that I would step wrong and twist an ankle or go down. It was just matter of hardening up and trying to keep the pace going.

After the first mile, the feet started getting life in them and I was picking up speed. At the turnaround I saw one older guy (turns out that he was in the 55-59 AG), so I knew I was doing pretty well.

Now it's just a matter of bringing it in strong. I got burned in my last race when I cruised in and a guy nipped me right at the line. That won't happen again.
What would you do differently?:

Nothing, ran as hard as I could given how my feet felt.
Post race
Warm down:

Walked around and tried to stay warm. Put on my 2 dry shirts that I had in a plastic bag, but my long tights were soaked. I wrung them out and I put them on anyway; I was freezing.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Lack of training in my "take it easy season".

I felt good about this performance because I went into it with the goal of winning my AG. I suck at swimming, but I'm a pretty good cyclist and runner and this validates it.

Event comments:

This was an OK race. No one can control the weather, but it is what it is: a sprint distance du and it was a fun morning. I knew I had placed so I waited for my award and it took forever for them to finalize the times and hand out the awards. In the meantime, we were all standing around getting colder by the minute.

In addition to my plaque, I received a really nice tire pump, so that was cool.

Last updated: 2009-10-06 12:00 AM
00:13:41 | 02 miles | 06m 50s  min/mile
Age Group: 1/14
Overall: 0/~450
Performance: Good
Course: Out and back on park roads. About 100 yards of swampy grass field between the start line and the road and again when returning to transition.
Keeping cool Good Drinking
Time: 00:58
Overall: Good
Run with bike? Good
Jump on bike? Average
Getting up to speed and into shoes: Good
00:37:23 | 12 miles | 19.26 mile/hr
Age Group: 3/14
Overall: 0/~450
Performance: Good
Wind: Strong
Course: A squarish 6-mile loop with 2 sides being major roadways with traffic and 2 sides being park road with no traffic. One 2 mile section of the park road was very rough; full of cracks and potholes. Tailwind while going south, headwind while going north. Water in all directions.
Road: Rough Wet Cadence: 92
Turns: Good Cornering: Good
Gear changes: Good Hills:
Race pace: Hard Drinks: Just right
Time: 00:40
Overall: Good
Riding w/ feet on shoes Good
Jumping off bike Good
Running with bike Good
Racking bike Good
Shoe and helmet removal Good
00:15:01 | 02 miles | 07m 31s  min/mile
Age Group: 1/14
Overall: 0/~450
Performance: Good
Course: A repeat of the same course as run #1.
Keeping cool Good Drinking
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 5
Physical exertion [1-5] 5
Good race? Yes
Course challenge Too easy
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Below average
Race evaluation [1-5] 3

2009-10-15 10:20 PM

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Waller County, TX
Subject: Du the Bear Duathlon
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