Monday, July 2, 2007

Willoughby Hills Duathlon

The race was at 8:30am on Sunday, but it started for me at about 9:00pm Saturday night.

After finishing up the Ohio City 5k and grabbing my new PR and a cold beer I hurried to LongHorn to grab some food and get home to jump in another cold bath in hopes it would help my recovery for Sunday's race. I easily fell asleep and woke up way too early.

I arrived very early as the sponsors of the race were still setting up the registration and transition areas and only 2-3 other participants were there. As a result I got a sweet parking spot. The Walrus showed up shortly thereafter and so did the headmaster. We checked our gear and then Lisa and I went for a 15 minute warm-up as he was doing the 5K.

I saw another coach from my other job had showed up along with some of our clients. We talked for a few minutes at the starting line and wished each other luck.

Now most people had opted for the Biathlon (5k run, 13.4m bike), about 20 were doing the 5k run only and 52 did the Duathlon (5k run 13.4m bike, 5k), but you did not know who was in what because we all started together.

The first 5k I went out at an easy pace in hopes of having enough for a stong finish. The miles were not marked and somewhere between 1-2 we hit all sun and no shade. Also, I did not wear my headphones and I could hear this guy pounding the ground so hard it could only annoy me! The last mile was down the lake though and it was beautiful, but that is where the first problem happened.

There is a cone with a sign that says "Race" with an arrow pointing into a little trail in the woods. I had run this loop to warm-up so I knew to turn, but about 3-4 people ran by. I have learned the value of sportsmanship and I love winning, but only if it is fair, so I yelled "Wait, turn around, you are going the wrong way!!!" They looked back and realized I was talking to them. The ran back and yelled thank you's to me. I finished the last quarter mile and hit transition in 26:58. Not too bad for the first 5K, but I am feeling a little bit more tired than I had hoped.

The Walrus had left me a power gel with my bike. Gotta love him. I did not go quite as slow as the Clay's Park Tri. I hit the road within 2 minutes or so and was on my way. I had previously biked the course so I knew this section was where all the speed would be. I moved my hands to the drop bars and settled in for 2 hard laps. I could see people ahead of me and knew today I was going to use my cycling to catch as many as I could. I attacked the 2 hills at the end of the loop and as I was coming to the start of the 2nd loop I got cramps in both my cavs. Uuuhh Ohhh!! What am I going to do?? I have another loop and a 5K run yet!!! I wasn't going to quit and the cramps were manageable so I changed my pedaling a bit to try and stretch the muscles as best I could and continued on. I went around for my second loop still chasing other riders. I got about 8 people and was coming back when I saw the Walrus running. I of course started yelling at him to run. He looked back and he was not happy. His face was contorted and he was running with everything he had. I passed by and went into transition again. Bike time 45:27. I was very happy with that.

Lisa was in transition telling me good job and keep going. I told him I had cramps and I my legs were shaking and twitching. I was spent my legs were exhausted. I went out for my 2nd 5k telling myself I would make it. I was running very very slowly and not in my normal economy. The cramps were still manageable as I got to the first turn. It looked like I was going to make it. I saw 1 girl quit and another guy hobbled over trying to stretch. I told him not to give up. He smiled and said he would not. I staggered down in the unshaded 2nd mile baking like a potato. As I came out to the last mile that guy with the cramps caught me and so did another girl. She passed me!!! In the past I always ran my own race, but I knew as tired as I was I could run faster. I decided right then and there I was going to stay with her, so I ran right behind her to the trail that leads out to the park and more importantly to the finish. We both picked it up a little for the last quarter mile, but then instead of making the turn to the finish she ran straight to transition. Once again, my sportsmanship reared its head and I yelled no that's not the way turn right to the finish and run come on run. She yelled thank you and made the turn in front of me. I couldn't win unfairly. I was hurting, but somewhere in my heart I told myself to run harder and get her and I DID!!! I ran her down and won by 3 seconds. 5k number to 30:11. Not good, but I did my first Duathlon. Time was 1:45:36 and I was 5/6 women and 48/52 overall. This means there is nowhere to go but up!

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