Sunday, October 01, 2006

Scorching Duathlon "Dawn Breaker" Race Report

The last in the Scorching duathlon series was called the dawn breaker because daylight savings started today in NZ. After a restless night's sleep (P got home at about 1, I think, then I kept pre-empting my alarm for the next six hours!), I woke up, exhausted, to a foggy, damp and windy morning. None of the usual pre-race excitement I'm used to, and it was hard to force down my coffee and oatmeal. I was glad I had made the decision to treat the event as a practice race- not only not to worry about time, but to consciously pull back. To assist in achieving this goal, I'd done 5 miles of A's 22-miler with her yesterday, at about an 8:45 pace. An easy workout, yes, but it's been quite awhile since I ran for more than about 30 minutes!

Anyway, I finished my breakfast, woke up a reluctant P and we were off. Racked my bike (in the wrong place- the "short"/"medium"/"long" signs were at the other end of transition- shame!) and waited around for my start.

I started a bit fast on the run, but remebered to pull back, and finished the 2.5k in a little under 13:00.

Took my time drinking and changing shoes, and headed out on the bike. I had a little trouble clipping in (it took about 400m to get my left foot in) and felt quite stupid as people from the longer races started whizzing by on their tri-bikes, but eventually sorted myself and was off.

I should have pushed harder on the bike. I am a nervous passer and was terrified of accidentally drafting, so ended up missing out lots of opportunities to push ahead. Lessons learned. And better than getting myself into trouble! I also had issues with one woman who I was leapfrogging with. Kept getting stuck behind her on corners and roundabouts, then struggling to pass her on the straights. Again, I need to get more confident and become more assertive. It was OK not having a computer- I probably would have worked harder if I'd had numbers, but that wasn't the plan. I had some good moments (cruising down the hills and round the corners), and am definitely loving the clips and feeling far more confident on the bike! I repeated my mounting issues on the dismount, nearly taking out the race director as I struggled to deal with curb, unclipping and slowing down all at the same time. Fortunately I didn't get in the way of any of the speedsters doing the longer races! Total bike time was a bit less than 30 mins- between 24 and 28 somewhere!

T2 was a mess. Fumbled with both laces, twice. But eventually got out onto the second run, and legs weren't too jelly like (it was a short cycle!). Passed a few people who had passed me on the bike, and saw just how many people had snuck ahead of me without me knowing! Pressed on, keeping it easyish. My sisters passed me at the turn around, and I headed back to finish. I was planning to pass an overweight man in his mid-50s or so in the last 500m or so (the men started 5 or so minutes before us), but when he slowed to high-five his son just out of the finishing "shute", I decided to hold my pace for an easy finish. My right knee and ITB have been a little tender, and I wasn't about to risk anything just to steal this awesome guy's thunder! Second run- closer to 14...

Total time: 57:24. I'm OK with it. I need to remember to be OK with my "not racing" times (a 24:50 in a "not racing" 5k a few months ago almost had me in tears). It's hard to strike the balance- I was working hard, and my result seems slow for the effort. But I was trying not to race, and I always felt that my ideal racing effort level would have been a bit higher. I know what I did wrong, and I also know I could have chopped a fair bit off just by running properly and transitioning smoothly. However, the real, important lessons I learned are:

1- I want to go longer! I hated having to get off the bike soon, and hated my runs ending just as I got warmed up; and
2- I can't wait to add the swim!
3- Looking like a knob isn't that bad. You look like a dweeb for ten seconds if you can't clip in, or if you try to take out the RD, but then that ten seconds is over, and you're running again.
4- It's going to be a long time before I become part of the Wgtn tri-scene, and I really need some cool new gear!

I've decided to cut my time down to sub-50 by the end of next season (i.e. by next October). I'll do all (or most of) the 5 races over the winter season, and hopefully get some OK times on the medium and long courses too. P may even join in. I'm feeling so lucky to have had his support today, and I can't wait to see if he enjoys racing too!

Last of all- the best thing about "not-racing"? Guilt free Sunday Swimmin'! Can't wait...

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