This was the first Duathlon I have done, and I have to say that I LOVED IT! It was so much fun and just had a completely different feel to it than a triathlon. Don't get me wrong, I love triathlons, but it was soooo nice not to have to worry about the swim. I wanted to just have fun in this race, and it's pretty much exactly what I did! However, my competitive side did kick in a little bit, as you'll read below! :)
Since my race was in Boulder, which is roughly 45min. from Denver, I got up early, ate my bagel with PB and honey, and headed out. My family usually comes to watch me race, but because my in-laws are in town, we just decided it would be easier if I went by myself. The drive was pretty uneventful, and before I knew it I was at the Boulder Res. setting up my transition area.
I have to tell you that it was really STRANGE setting up my transition area without my swim stuff. The entire time I kept feeling like I was forgetting something. I guess when you're used to doing triathlons, anything different starts to feel a little unnatural! :)
|Julie and Me|
Before we knew it, is was time to leave the transition area. My race didn't start until 8:30, so I had 1 1/2hr. to kill after transition closed! Ugh! Luckily, I had some of my TriBella teammates that were volunteering there, so I hung out with them and cheered on the racers as they got out of the water.
Finally, it was time to get ready to race. Aside from the Sprint and Olympic Tris, they had a duathlon AND a 5k! The runners all started together. I thought it would be crazy, but there actually weren't that many people racing, so it was nice. I lined up to start and wasn't nervous at all! Usually I am a nervous wreck before a race, but I was out there to have fun and use it as a training day, so I was completely relaxed! IT WAS AWESOME!
5k RUN #1:
Time: 25:03 (8:05pace)
So, we started and right off the bat my pace was FAST! Sub 8:00 FAST! I thought, "Whoa...I better slow down." I haven't run that fast since before my IT band injury in January. But, something funny happened. I felt AWESOME! There was this mom doing the 5k with two of her boys who were probably 10 or 12 and the older one was right in front of me. He was amazing and wasn't slowing down anytime soon! I decided to stick with him and see how I felt. After all, I was doing this for fun. If I blew up on the bike, oh well!
There were a couple of slight "hills" on the run, but overall it's a pretty fast out and back course. The 12yr. old slowed down a couple of times where I was next to him and I would say, "You're doing great, keep going!" Then he would pick up the pace and lead again. It was awesome! This kid was AMAZING! We got to the end and he sprinted with all he had to finish the 5k, which he ended up getting 2nd overall!! I finished my run with a huge smile across my face and headed towards my bike.
By this time, all the athletes doing the Sprint and Olympic tris were out on their bikes, so the transition area was pretty empty. I slipped off my Bikilas, put on my bike shoes and helmet and headed out.
Time: 53.51 (19mph avg)
I started the bike course and immediately noticed that I was pretty much alone on the course. It was almost like I WAS just doing a training day. I would see some bikers ahead of me and eventually pass them just to find that they were not even racing, but just out there riding. I was having a blast on the course because 1) It's beautiful, and 2) it's just a fun course filled with a mix of hills, flats, and speedy downhills! I kept waiting to feel the effects of my 5k in my legs, but I never did. I felt great and was just having so much fun!
Then, I started wondering where all the duathletes were. I never saw anyone until around mile 12. As most of you know, I had to use my road bike because the aerobars on my tri bike broke. So, around mile 12, I got passed by some guy duathlete FLYING by me on his tri bike. Then, about a mile later, I got passed by a duathlete girl, in my AG, on her tri bike. Oh how I missed my tri bike at that time!!! Up until that point, I was just doing this for fun. But, when she passed me, my competitive side came out and I vowed not to let her out of my sight. And, even though I couldn't keep up with her, I could always see her up ahead. I kept telling myself, "I'll get her on the run, I"ll get her on the run!"
I got into transition, and immediately saw the girl that had passed me just heading out for the run. I put on my good ole' Brooks ST4 racers and headed out.
5k RUN #2:
Time: 24:25 (7:53pace)
I had NO idea how I would feel during this run. The longest brick I've done up to this point was a 45min. bike/15min. run. AND, that didn't include a 5k before it!! But, I started running and immediately I had my running legs back. Usually it takes me a good 5-10min. to find my legs, but I felt great! I saw the girl ahead of me and knew I had her. When I passed her I said, "Great job!" and she replied, "Go get em'!" It was awesome!
Then, I saw Julie headed towards finishing her sprint 5k and yelled, "Yay Julie!" THEN, I saw several of my TriBella teammates out on the run course and we all just cheered each other on. It was just awesome!!
The run course by this point was really crowded with racers doing the sprint, olympic, and duathlon, but strangely, I felt like I was racing by myself. I looked at my Garmin and again saw a sub 8:00 pace and decided right then and there that I wanted to see what I could do. I had NO idea if I could hold that pace, but I was going to try my hardest. Instead of a 12yr. old boy ahead of me this time, there was a guy about 5feet ahead of me and we were running about the same pace. I decided to use him as my "pacer" and just try to hold on! We got to the last 1/2M and he started to slow down a little bit and I ran up next to him. I could see him look over at me, then probably think to himself, "I'm not going to let her beat me" because he sped up. I got behind him and again tried to hold on! We came to the finisher shoot and both sprinted to the finish! We crossed the finish line, got some waters, a wonderful wet towel, and our medal. I went up to him and said, "Thanks for pushing me!" and he said, "You too!" It turns out he really didn't want me to pass him! Ha ha!
I saw Julie after I finished and we headed towards the tables to sit, cool down, and eat some food. Usually I'm not too hungry after a race, but today I was starving! They were serving burritos, which they had vegan and vegetarian ones (woohoo!), grapes, and lemonade. It was actually pretty good! We checked out the results board and Julie found out that she placed in her AG! Woohoo -Yay Julie!! Then, I checked my results and found out that I got 1st in my AG and 4th overall!! I was so excited!! They were passing out awards, so we decided to stick around. I thought they would go through the awards pretty quickly, but IT TOOK FOREVER! Julie stuck around with me, which was awesome! But, I felt so bad because the duathlon awards were last and by that time, hardly anyone was around! But, even though I had to wait forever, for me, it was worth it because I got to stand up on a podium (which I doubt I'll do again) and actually stand on the 1st place box! :)
|See how noone is around?? By this point, it was pretty empty! Thanks again Julie for sticking around with me! :)|