Saturday, May 7, 2011

Green Lakes Duathlon

Another nice day for racing, low 50's, mix of sun and clouds, relatively light winds. I found this race on the Score This website. Only a week off of a heavy weekend, I was slightly skeptical of how I'd manage, but when did that ever hold me back?

A nice turn out for this race, we were started in waves. I was in the 20-39 Men wave. As I looked around, I thought, "Geez, these guys look fitter and stronger than I do. They must have been doing this for years." As our wave started 10 or so immediately broke away and headed out single file out on to the trails. The run loop was largely contested over the trail system in Green Lakes State Park. There was one short, steep climb and other section of little "bumps". The trail was a bit rough in spots due to the crazy amounts of rain we've received this year, but generally passable. My goal here was to shoot for a 6:45/mile pace. I finished the first run leg (3.05miles) in 20:50 a 6:48/mile pace, 24 overall/4 in age group. Ok.

Last week, my transitions were less than stellar, due largely to the length of the transition area and the fact that I had to run the majority of the distance in my bike shoes. Today was much different. With a smaller field (142 solos, 12 relay teams) the transition area was much more accessible. I also set my bike on the rack by the handle rather than the seat. I found last week that when I hang my bike by the seat, I have to lean the bike to the right or left to clear the bar (not desirable for speed). I was out of the first transition in :45, 29 overall, 4 in age group.

I always feel the strongest during the bike leg. The feeling of picking off people ahead, one at a time only adds to the motivation. This two loop course with a twist at the end, allowed me to pass even more people (those I was actually lapping) which gave me a bunch of "rabbits" to chase. At the entrance back into the park, we took a pretty tough 2 mile climb, followed by an awesomely enjoyable 2 mile run back down. The climb was brutal towards the end, my legs on fire, but the down slope was super, maxing out at 39.6 mph. I could have pushed this even more, but I erred on the side of caution as it was a bit bumpy in places. 19.57 miles, 56:20, 20.8mph, 18 overall, 2 in age group.

Transition 2 was even faster as I had another competitor right in front of me that I was chasing. :34, 16 overall, 1 in age group.

Run 2: Always my nemesis, but less so today. Legs feeling like jelly, I had a rabbit to chase. I actually kept pace with him right on his heels for the first .75 miles or so. We were both caught and overtaken at the same nasty little climb by a runner behind us. After that, both of those guys began to build the gap and by mile 1.5 they were out of sight and I was by myself. I did get a bit of my legs back in the last mile and managed a 7:18, negative splits! Still, it is obvious that my run is still very weak. Finished the 2nd run (3.08) in 23:18/7:33, 33 overall, 4 in age group.

Overall: 1:41:50, 17th out of 142, 3rd out of 9 in my age group.

For perspective 2nd in my age group finished 1:10 ahead of me. He beat me by :18 in the first run, I had him :25 in the bike, :03 difference in transitions in my favor, but RUN 2......he smoked me by 1:19. There's the glaring weakness!!!

Still, overall pleased with my efforts, including finishing 6 minutes faster than last week on a similar distance.

More work to do...starting Monday.

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