Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Twinsburg Duathlon 2014

I can't say enough about the races or the race director of Northcoast Multisports, but I love his events and always make the effort to participate and volunteer as much as possible for their events.  My family even gets a little endurance bug and will jump in a race or two with me.  This year would be no different.  My little brother (who has never ridden a road bike in his life) was going to "Man Up" and do the du!! 

I had done this race one time solo a few years back in nursing school and 2 years ago as a relay with my mom.  This year I would be going solo again with my only excuse for being slow that I'm old (haha).  I had put the Joker (Quintana Roo CD0.1) back together after using parts for EPIC bike ride from Pittsburgh to Washington D.C. the weekend before.  I also changed out the pedals on Flo' Rida (LiteSpeed C1) for my brother to ride.  I would have rather ridden my road bike, but no way I was going to put my brother on that homicidal tri bike of mine.

I was so stoked to see my brother race.  He tried to act calm cool and collected but I could tell he was nervous.  I helped him get set-up in transition and walked him in and out of the entrance/exit and showed him the mount/dismount line.  All the little helpful details I gave him and his reply "You f^ck%ng triathletes are crazy!"  I had to laugh.  I was hanging on to my multisport background by a hair.  I was pretty much just a roadie now (and yep, I had to agree triathletes were crazy). 

Team Bicycle Hub was in full effect this weekend with some of us racing Mohican yesterday and some of us  (E-speed, DM and me) doing the Du today.  We snapped a few pics before the race.  I tried to talk my brother into a warm-up "jog."  He adamantly refused asking me to explain the route for the run and bike.  I foolishly agreed and bypassed my warm-up.

We lined up in the middle of the field and I tried to coax my brother closer to the front.  He said "no, but you can go."  The competitor in me knew I should get up closer to the front, but I love my brother like no other and he won.  I started back with him. 

The horn sounded and we took off balls out!!  I was sucking wind after 1/4 mile.  Ugghh, old age, no warm-up, this was gonna hurt the whole we go.  I saw a lot more women than I would have liked (maybe 10 or so) up in front of me.  I knew my run was weak only averaging 5 miles per week, but even on tired legs I was gonna try and rip the bike. 
About 3/4 of a mile into the run people started coming back to me.  I started to settle in and make my way to mile 1 -- 6:52.  Oh boy, no wonder I felt bad.  I hadn't see the south side of 7 minutes for a few years.  I made my way up the hill and into T1.  The run is a tad over 2 miles apparently.  Time 14:54 (7:06/mile)

Transition is easy in a du, no fighting with the wetsuit, just grab and go.  I was in and out in less than :45 seconds.

I always coming screaming out of T1 on the bike and this was no different.  I started passing people one after another.  I knew I had taken off fast because no one was moving even remotely as fast as me.  Not having any water or gels I focused on trying to settle myself down on the bike and ride this like a time trial.  I stayed on my aero bars unless I was making a turn.  A few times I caught myself not pedaling through the corners and backing off on my pedal stroke like I do when crit racing or pace lining.  I had to remind myself this was steady state and to keep up the intensity.  My legs were tight.  They would not loosen up.  There was a tiny headwind going south and I felt like I was going 14 mph at some points.  I started thinking about why I do this to myself.  I love riding.  I don't even follow any training plans anymore.  I just ride and have fun.  This was not fun, this was hurting, and then my Garmin beeped for the first 5 miles -- 14:21.  Damn, I thought this is why I do this to put it down and see what I am made of.  I knew my second run was going to be rough no matter what time I put up for the bike, so right then and there I made the decision to at least try and put up the fastest female bike split on the date.  I could see more people up ahead and I reeled them in one at a time.  The only mistake I made was not passing a friend sooner on Glenwood, up the hill.  I didn't draft but I let him pace me up for a minute or so, matching his pedal stroke before telling myself to stop being a sissy and get up the climb.  I went around him finally and yelled at him to pick it up.  I could see one more person in the distance and I was set on trying to get them before T2.  The course was all downhill from that point and I just kept pushing.  I closed on the cyclist before T2 and lo' and behold it was my teammate, e-speed.  I yelled some words of encouragement at her and pulled my feet out of my shoes, before successfully completing a flying dismount.  Time 28:48 (avg. 20.8mph). 

Ran into T2, dropped my stuff and out I went in :40 seconds.  As I passed transition on the run I saw my parents cheering and yelling.  I threw up my fist and yelled "I ripped that sh%t!!!"  I could tell my parents were excited.  My dad ALWAYS teases me about how slow I am, but I know he's super pumped and proud of me.  My mom was smiling and cheering, she's watched me race so many times, if I didn't do this she'd be worried, haha. 

I checked my watch.  I was ahead of my projected time.  I was at 45 minutes out.  I knew I couldn't break an hour, but definitely the 1:05 I had put in.  My body was pooped and running was so foreign now.  Two miles might as well be a marathon!  I did my best to run and hold my form. I knew if it got bad or I had any pain, I would have to walk per physical therapy recommendations.  My foot has been so much better, but it's still not completely healed.  My teammate passed me back in less than a 1/4 of a mile from T2 and would go on to crush me on the run.  I thought about my little brother and hoped he was having a good race and I pushed a little harder.  I wanted to finish and go back for him.  A few guys passed me on the 2nd run, but there wasn't a female in sight.  I was shocked.  I knew I was sitting in the top 10, maybe even top 5.  I rounded the corner and saw the finish line about 200 meters up.  "Less than 1 minute, if you move your ass" I told myself.  I picked it up and finished in 1:01:28.  Second run 16:20 (7:47/mile).  And you know what -- I pulled off the fastest female bike split on the day, just like I swore I would!!  Whoooo Hooooo!!!!

I took a minute to congratulate my teammate on being 2nd Female Overall (Way to Go E-speed, her ubby, DM pulled off a 4th in an insanely fast AG!!), made sure I wasn't going to vomit, grabbed my water bottle and headed back out to look for my brother.  I found him with less than a mile to go.  I ran along side him encouraging him and cheering for him.  I think I annoyed him more than helped him --haha. 
My sister-in-law, niece and nephew had also made it out and when he picked it up to finish they were all cheering for him with my parents.  I couldn't have been prouder.  He completed his first Du!! 

My family congratulated us and I could tell everyone was so proud of my brother, even my niece agreed "daddy is fast."  I was amped and excited, our makeshift family morning had gone so well.  I proceeded to torture my 4 year old niece post race by tickling and shaking her to which we both were laughing hyserically.  I love it when she sees me for the first time.  She always gets this huge grin and yells "Aunt Beth!!!"  like she just knows there is going to be some ridiculousness and lots of laughing to come.  LOVE.THAT.LITTLE.GIRL. 
My nephew he smiles at me when he sees me, but as always he is looking for food and trying to get into trouble, haha (of course, he is only 2). 

We rounded out the morning by hitting up Bob Evans and taking some selfies.
I'm so lucky to have the family I have and some days like these it all comes together perfectly and I thank God this is my life, even when it hurts a little, haha. 

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