(1K Run / 20.6K Bike / 5K Run)
May 11, 2013
Age Group: F30-34, 3/4
Run1: 5:21 Pace: 8:55 A: 3/4 G: 6/14 O: 22/37
T1: 1:21 AG: 3/4 Gender: 7/14 Overall: 17/37
Bike: 56:28 Pace: 13.6 AG: 4/4 Gender: 13/14 Overall: 35/37
T2: 1:17 AG: 2/4 Gender: 6/14 Overall: 14/37
Run2: 29:18 Pace: 9:27 AG: 3/4 Gender: 5/14 Overall: 16/37
I was really excited for my first duathlon until I woke up the morning of and realized it was 44 degrees outside. Seriously mother nature?! It’s mid May and it feels like winter. It really put a damper on my day. Thank goodness I didn’t sign up for the triathlon. I couldn’t imagine getting into the water let alone not having a wetsuit. My attitude shifted from excited to I wish I was sleeping instead. Bryan wasn’t even excited about his Olympic triathlon. The drive up to Muncie was quiet. We both wished we had skipped out on this race.
We wanted to get there early to pick up our packets, however, we were behind schedule and didn’t arrive until 15 minutes before it closed. But the line was packed! It looked like everyone was running a little late this morning. Must have been the cold. It was absolutely freezing standing in line. I had on a tank top, long sleeved nike dri-fit shirt, long sleeved north face pullover, a sweatshirt, crops, rocky sweatpants, ear wamers, and gloves. With all those layers I was still shivering. With the air temp of 44 degrees and the water temp at 61 degrees, people were switching over from the triathlon to the duathlon even though they had wetsuits. One couple in front of us ditched out all together and went home.
Due to the cold, the race start was delayed by 30 minutes. So I took this time to set up my bike. I found my spot and checked out the other bikes. My little hybrid was the lone hybrid in my area. I did spot one or two other hybrids on another rack, but the bulk of the bikes were road and tri bikes. Duathlons/Triathlons are foreign to me, so I really had no idea what to do. Bryan was busy setting up his transition areas and getting in his wetsuit so it was up to me by observation to figure out what to do. When the time came my friend Sam and I lined up at the run start for our sprint duathlon. I was so cold and miserable that I didn’t even take the time to stretch or warm-up. When the cannon went off I just took off running at a leisurely pace. The 1K run was over within a few minutes. Now time for the bike portion.
I ran over to my bike and took if off the rack with ease, however, my hands were so frozen that it took me three tries to fasten my helmet. Here I go, zipping away on my hybrid! The bike course was very hilly and riding made the air that much cooler. My bike computer wouldn’t work and I had no music. It was going to be a long and lonely ride. I stayed to the right because I kept getting passed by other racers. They looked as if they were passing me with ease, hardly pedaling. And I was pedaling as hard and fast as I could and felt like I was barely moving. Very frustrating. It finally became humorous because I was getting passed so much. I wish Bryan had not taken my bell off my bike so I could ring my bell every time someone passed. I knew I had no chance of competing with me on my hybrid and everyone else on their road and tri bikes. So I decided to cheer on people I knew and also strangers that passed me. It also gave me the opportunity to check out other bikes to see which styles I liked. I also enjoyed the whooshing sound of the Zipp wheels. Even if I didn’t see the bike yet, I could hear it approaching by the sound of the wheels.
Nearly an hour later, I was finally approaching the transition area. I cheered on our friends while they were already on the run. I put up my bike and I’ve never been happier to get off my Trek. Time for the 5K run. Where do I go? I had no idea where to exit the transition area to start my run. I stood there frozen watching for other people to start their run as well. Finally, a person leaving, I creepily followed them.
As I started running, I realized I couldn’t feel my toes or even my feet! My feet were frozen from the bike ride. I felt like I was running on stumps. It was the weirdest feeling. Naturally, I pictured my toes as gangrene and wondered if they would have to be cut off. I looked at the other runners and no one else seemed to be running on stumps. Maybe it’s just my imagination. While running, Bryan passed me going the other direction on his bike and I gave him a loud cheer. At the halfway mark I started to get some feeling in my right foot. Oh hello feet. Then shortly after my left foot came back to life. I finally could start running at a normal pace and then the hills started. Yuck! Come on Melissa, it’s only a 5K, you obviously aren’t trying to win so just finish and think of this as an early morning workout in the cold that you drove an hour away to do. With that in mind, I kicked it in gear for the finish. And this time, I was the one passing people.
It wasn’t much of a finish. I was hoping to finish sub 1:30, but was a few minutes short. Oh well. It just made me realize even more that I need to get a tri bike…soon. I knew I wouldn’t be able to compete with the other racers due to my bike and I told myself I was just doing it for fun, but my competitive nature hated getting passed on the bike course and I found myself frustrated that I couldn’t fully give it 100%. I vowed not to participate in another duathlon or triathlon until I get my new bike. Then I realized that I’m already registered for a sprint triathlon in August. Well….even if I’m slow, at least it will allow me to get the transitions down and get familiar with triathlons.
I immediately put on my sweatshirt and sweatpants over my running gear. I looked like Rocky Balboa. Then got free pizza and beer and chatted with our friends while waiting for Bryan and the other members of Tri-Loco to finish. Bryan finished his Olympic triathlon an hour later. I was frozen solid sitting on a bench trying to cheer him in. He wasn’t thrilled about his finish either. He struggled with the swim. The water was freezing and he didn’t do a warm up swim. So by the time he got to the bike, he was an icicle. However, he killed the run with a 6:30 min/mile pace. But overall, he wasn’t pleased with his performance. To erase the memory, he also got pizza and beer and we cheered on our fellow tri-loco teammates while they received overall and age group awards. I checked the results sheet and suprisingly I placed 3rd in my age group….out of 4 haha. At least I beat that one person! Although, I did notice that my normal age group of 25-29 was now 30-34. Did I go so slow on the bike that I aged during my ride?! I asked the results people and they said that according to USAT rules because I turn 30 this year, it bumps me up to the 30-34 age group….lame.
Despite the cold and riding my Trek hybrid, the sprint duathlon was still a good experience. It just made me realize how much sooner I want to get my tri bike and that I need to incorporate a lot more biking into my training program for my next duathlon/triathlon. And at the end of the day, “If you can’t laugh at yourself, life is going to seem a whole lot longer than you’d like.” (Garden State)