Sunday, 22 November 2009

Chilly Duathlon; my first du (note lingo use)

on the outskirts of Bristol, on a cold rainy english winter day, i entered the world of duathlon. the event comprised almost entirely of university folk, so the field was stupidly competitive.

overall 1hr 12 mins. i was 32/45 in my Category
so what happened? disaster! here's the story;

RUN (2 miles) - 16.47 mins (35/42)

i'd seen the results from last event, so i knew exactly where to place myself for the run; right at the back. so i did, and it was a good move. the run started fast Swoooosh and they were gone; i was still at the starting line (not really, but you know what i mean)

i'm trying a new technique of running out faster and trying to hold my own for as long as possible, and this worked a treat. my time for this came in at 16.47 - which was great for me, and what i was hoping for. from my dodgy maths, this equates to a 51min 10k - yipppeee! i felt like in my last 10k i went out hard and held my own for a few kms, but without a garmin (fancy gps watch which husband is buying for xmas; thanks babe - see how my life will change?!) i had no proof. NOW it seems like i could actually achieve a 51min 10k, if i could maintain my speed for longer than 3.2k! something to work on!

here's me running into T1; photo taken courtesy of my very first internet stalker (joy!) @
pushpiker is part of the tri (+du?) tweeting crew and saw me at the event. i even asked his wife for directions out of T2 without realising i was coming face to face with my stalker. brilliant, thanks for the pics guys!

(p.s. if you click on pic, it makes it bigger, note this is my first running pic where my feet aren't touching the ground! this is a moment of runners joy described frequently by steve stenzel;

BIKE (10 miles) 38.10 mins (28/42)

hideous hideous cycle. never in one thousand years did i ever think i would hate the cycle leg of a duathlon, but there i was. it all went horribly wrong, and here's why:

training a few days ago, i embark on a 80k cycle. 15ks in, i get a flat. hey, that's cool, i can change it. and i did. ten minutes later, however, down she went again (yes, i checked the inside of the tyre before replacing tube!) a trip to the bike shop later revealed i should also be investing in some new tyres anyway, so i induldge. sweet!

this morning, day of the race, i put the wheels back on my bike. i cycle approx 15 metres to check all is in order. this was my BIG mistake. 15 metres?! what was i THINKING?!?

fast forward to me starting the bike leg. i hear a noise. it's not a good noise. i look down and damnit, my sensor is rubbing against the spokes of my wheel - i hadn't checked this!! i jump off, a quick fix and i'm hoping she does the job, off i go again. then pring pring pring pring - what noooow???

i look down and the cable tie is now hitting my spokes. that's it, i jump off my bike, and declare my competitive spirit lost. when i finally fix it, i've lost my sensor, and now am cycling blind, without any data feeding up into my cycle computer. then i get half way around the circuit and hit the most horrible headwind i've ever encountered. that's IT, seriously, IT. i spend the rest of the cycle begging to get off my bike. for the first time in the history of my short life; i actually wanted to run. good lord.

i finish with a rubbishly average time of 38.10 mins. by the end my breathing wasn't strained in the slighest, and i didn't really care. i've learnt a lesson, now onto the run and get this thing wrapped up!

RUN (2 miles) 18.37 (33/42)

by the time i'm running my enthusiasm is at an all time low, but i think; how can i turn this around into a learning experience? so i figure, why not run these 2 miles as though i've got a whole marathon to undertake (more on this later), and find a comfy pace which settles my bad cycle mood. then something totally brilliant happens.

i notice in the distance there's a girl which i was cycle battling with for the last few laps. she and i overtook eachother for quite some time, and it was nice to see her running off into the distance as expected - or so i thought! suddenly i realise; she's actually getting closer... and closer... and closer... and for the second time in my racing experience of cycle battling with someone - i OVERTOOK her! i know, incredible, amazing, brilliant! she was the only person i did overtake on that run, but damn it felt good.

looking at my times/rank; interestingly i only lost 3 places by running at a slower speed in the second run, even though i was a whole 2 minutes slower. 3 places isn't that much for a whole lot of effort...

so i get the finish line, breathing not laboured, and wonder; am i ever going to do this again?


> taking my strength (swimming) out of a race really sucks. taking my second strength (cycling) out of the race because of my stupid inability to replace a wheel correctly really really sucks.

> training peeps paul + deniz came through well, with good times (11 min 2 miler!!) deniz started strong but unfortunately had a rubbish race in the end, as he accidentally cycled 6 laps instead of 5!

> at the end of the day, this is great brick practise. race pace bricks while tucking race experience under your belt; that's worth the effort :)


Big Daddy Diesel said...


Steve Stenzel said...

Wow! Nice work on your first du! All those issues in the bike had to have SUCKED!! Nice job getting through it all and finishing the race STRONG!! AND for passing that chick!! Yay!!

One thing you'll notice in dus is that the second run is usually slower for everyone. So it's not surprising that you ran slower but only lost a few spots.

So... whens the next one?!?! ;)

Nice work!!

Beth said...

I really like your race reports. I'm sorry you had technical difficulties on the bike, but you did a great job sticking with it. Both of your runs were awesome! Congrats, you should be proud of your race. Hey, it's a PR! :)

Anonymous said...

the only data feedback i get on the bike is the feeling of my breakfast regurgitating as i chew on my stem wondering where i hid that other bit of power in my legs that for some reason has gone into hiding .....
computers just add weight

tri_al said...

really; no computer? am v. shocked. i've found my cycling is so much more focused since i've had an average speed to maintain... and surely you could offset the weight by wearing no socks/undies/combo? :)

tri_al said...

thanks BDD, Steve + Beth --> and i'm not booking into my next one (yet!!!) ahahaha. need a breather i think!