Monday, June 29, 2009

Contact Duathlon, Auckland: Race Report- The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

The Good:

The first run: "5k" in 21:03- technically netted myself a sweeeeet PB, but before you get excited, I promise that this course was hella short. About 100m per lap, and by the time you do five of them.....? Actual pace for the first run was about 4:38/k, which translates to around a 23:15 5k (my last 5k, just after Rotorua was 23:18, and I had quite a lot of slackarse time after that). I'm still pretty bloody happy with it! I've been a bit nervous about running fast after so very many 6:30 kms in training, but I think I can stop being a doubting Thomas now. And now when I tell you to SLOOOOOW doooooown in training, maybe you'll believe me???

The second run: "2.5k" in 11:14 (actual pace about 4:53/k). Not quite so chuffed with this, but it still counts as "good". In my head at the end of the first run I set myself a goal of sub-11 for this one, but never really looked at my splits. I like to think I could have taken those 14 seconds off if I'd focussed a little more. Basically- I need to get faster on the bike to get my run more competitive- if I can run 4:53/k with no-one around me but little old ladies, I think I could pick it up a bit if only I could get off the bike with people more my pace.

The race: Well organised, and cancelling prize-giving was a supremely awesome decision, even if it did mean dudes with umbrellas walkeing into me during my second run. Also, mad props on the sweet tunes- and double props for playing Thriller, even if it wasn't in deliberate commemoration of the late-great MJ.

The Husband: Out in the rain with the camera, running around the course to cheer me on from a different place each time.

Riding to the course: Made me feel gloriously hardcore- I've always wanted to do this, but it's too hard for tris (until someone gives me a sweet tri bag!), and we've mostly been a bit far away. Riding home in the pouring rain (it got worse and worse) was less fun, but had that adventurous feeling.

The Bad:

The conditions: If I'd wanted to race a technical course in howling winds and torrential rain? I'd have stayed in bloody Wellington! After we'd been standing around freezing for an hour or so,I it cleared a bit, and started off OK, but the roads were slick and wet and full of puddles. Sometime on the bike, I think, the rain started again in earnest, and just gradually got worse until I got off. I took my gloves off during the second run, squeezed them out a couple of times, and they were still drenched, and by the time I finished, I was just an utter drowned rat!

The bike (20k in about 44 minutes?): It was just arse. I just can't RACE on the bike, and I don't quite know why. I started off OK, but every time I got some speed I'd hit the headwind, get to a corner, or get passed by some speedster with beautiful Zipps. I noticed partway through that my average cadence was bizarrely high for me (97), and figured that I probably wasn't pushing big enough gears, but every time I got myself into a decent gear, I'd be changing down again. I'd expected to be close to or over 40 minutes, especially with the rain, but I hadn't anticipated being quite so rubbish. The only people I passed were on hybrids (yes, I think I was lapping those ones). The last loop was a bit better, because the fasties were all done, and I could ride without worrying I'd hold someone up at a corner.

The Ugly:

The bike (equipment): Poor old Eric had a tough time.

- Soon after riding out of transition I realised he'd been knocked, and my computer's sensor was hitting the spoke with every pedal stroke. That's roughly 4180 irritating clicks over the course of the race- and even though I knew it was just the sensor, the sound made me a little antsy!

- There were some deceptively deep puddles towards the left coming back down Brigham Street. Because I was slow, I was generally reasonably far left. On my first loop, I rode through a puddle, went BUMP, and felt the nose of my saddle shift ever so slightly up. B*gger! It happened again on lap 4, I think. Lap 5 I was smart enough to avoid the puddle :) It was actually quite noticeable when I got off the bike- turns out the poor seatpost is frigged from Eric's crash into the carpark (yes, thank you Bike Barn for picking that up...)

The competition: Sorry to whine, but this is just stinky. 4:38/k and I'm 17th out of 25 women (on the run...)? When I was just a runner, this was called "ok" to "good", not "pretty bloody rubbish". I'm going to find me a nice old ladies tri or du!

All in all, a good race and a good day. Looking forward to the rest of the season!


TRI-mummy said...

Hi Kate,

For my standard (a complete beginner) you done awesomely. Well done. I wanted to take part on this one but have a commitment this Sunday on Tough Guy and Gal Challenge he gutted I didn't see Contact Duathlon was one earlier as it will be my first choice. I wish I can run as fast as you and do 20km under 1 hour! Keep up the good work. Maybe once I can use both clip on shoes on the bike, I will get faster as I am freaking out on those! Well done again!

Britt said...

God girl! For a 4:38/km I'd be jumping for joy! That's FAST! I think you did awesome, and you were out there racing despite the rain. Well done!

Mike said...

You probably know what I am going to ask :) ..... So where are all the pictures hubby took??? :)haha ...

Pip said...

Yeah, if I managed that kind of run pace off the bike I'd be shouting it from the rooftops! Oh, and I've done the race-with-the-computer-sensor-hitting-the-wheel thing as well. I always check it now, along with the brakes (because I've also raced with the front brake pads rubbing up against the wheel).

Anyway, good job! Any suggestions for a good 22km running route round Auckland? I'm going to be out in Papatoetoe this weekend but I figure I'll head into town for the run on Sunday, because my friends live near some slightly dodgy areas!

Kate said...

Pip- you could be boring and do the second half of the marathon course (V-park to St Heliers and back, I think), or make it a loop kinda like this one

or start it a little further on, and take in some of Glendowie?

A town/Westhaven/Herne Bay/Westmere/Western Springs course could be quite fun too.

Oh- I do so love planning out long runs!

Tri Saint said...

Good on you for riding there & back. Well done on the race. Yes the Tank Farm is a little boring to race around.

The long run. I'd be doing your last option. Didn't know there were slightly dodgy AREAS in Akl. I thought that was the Bombay's north. He He.