So Sunday we woke up at the crack of dawn (actually before dawn!) to go to our first duathlon. We left the house at 6:45 am after grabbing some breakfast on our way to Camarillo. We arrived around 7:25 for our race which was due to start at 8:20. Why get there so early? Because the roads would be closed off around 7:30 so we just scraped in under the wire 😉 When we parked up we got the bikes off the truck and set them up at the transition area…. this is where we discovered we were part of the 2% not riding road bikes for this race.
At 8am the olympic distance competitors started their first run and we could see the huge range of fitness types. The first guy was coming back to turnaround around in under 7 minutes!!! His 3 mile run was 15 minutes!!! Yeah I’ll let that sink for a while!!! These people mean BUSINESS! When the sprint (us!) racers started we could see our competition and there were some athletes there, real TEAM USA athletes!
The first 1 1/2 mile run was ok but it was evident that this bunch was split into two: the elite and the rest of us, lol. Think about it, the elite olympic duathlon started 20 minutes ago and some were ALREADY back and out on their bikes!!! Anyway the first run went ok. Then it was back to the transition area to switch shoes, grab my helmet and gloves and get my bike out. I had a little trouble getting my bike off the rack. They are too close together and unlike road bikes ours actually weigh more than my helmet 😉 With some help from Bob I got my bike out and off I went. Bob was right behind me too!!!
The bike ride was 11 1/2 miles and initially I thought it was going to be good, but then we turned into the wind… man that was brutal. I think I have 1/2 of the Camarillo dirt in my lungs still!!! My arms were cramping up a little as I was trying to change position to help offset the wind but in the end just pushing through and getting to the end was the only option. One rule I’ve learned for race pics is, no matter how you feel inside ALWAYS look like you LOVE what you are doing right now. I was struggling so hard at this point but slapped a smile on for the photographer 😉
Bob was right behind me too. Once we got out the head wind it was better, I felt more comfortable but then we turned again and this time side wind. Bob was behind me once more…
The people in the background soon passed us!
He looks happy enough right? I’m sure he was as miserable as I was during this bit. It was tough, lungs just killing from the dust, and sinus headache from the winds… not fun! On the way back up the road I had to wait for a train at the level crossing too! 🙁
Back to the transition area, switch shoes, grab my water bottle as I was pretty dehydrated from the bike ride, and mostly the winds, and out to run another 1 1/2 miles to the finish! I’d done brick workouts before so I was prepared for the dead legs. For me though it was 1/2 mile in that I started to fade. I was pissed off with the weather, pissed off with my legs not wanting to run, and ready to drink a gallon of water. Bob had taken his hydration back pack (camelbak) and in hindsight I wish I had. I’m not great at getting my water bottle out the holder on the bike so this would have made things easier. Good to know for next time 😉
I managed to push through and RAN the whole last leg, despite wanting to stop! I knew if I stopped I wouldn’t run again 😉 I saw one gal walking the last 1/2 mile and I just knew that would be me if I stopped now. So I ran. I ran through that finish line totally ecstatic.
My total time was 1 hour 20 minutes and 31 seconds. By the timing I was the 9th female overall out of 25 so I think for my first duathlon that’s pretty good! Especially as we weren’t on the road bikes 😉 Here’s my breakdown...
- Run 1 – 12:25
- T1 – 1:35
- Bike – 51:21
- T2 – 1:19
- Run 2 – 13:49
After finishing I grabbed a drink, bananas and a medal and then waited for Bob to cross the finish line
Bob finished with a total time of 1 hour 24 minutes 32 seconds! I gave him his medal and a hug and we scoffed some food, stretched and took some photos!
All in all I was happy with the race. The winds were an unexpected challenge but hey first races you just go to FINISH and we both did!!! We have the medals to prove it!
This event was held 5 times this year and I’m sure it won’t be long till the 2014 dates are scheduled and we will probably be doing at least a couple of those next year. It was a fun event and something we definitely see ourselves doing again in the future. We will be better prepared next time! For me the big difference has to be the cycling and the transitions. Wasted too much time trying to get the bike off the rack, gonna get there earlier and grab good spots. We were talking about the bikes too, ours aren’t set up right for us. Need to get the seat higher so I can extend my leg more to pull up on the pedals and this will enable us to lean forward more.
Next up: Hard Rock Cafe 5k!