Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Du the Polar Bear Duathlon Race Report

Sunday, February 26, 2012

I wrote this post, lost it (which if you have a blog you know is sooo frustrating!) ... well, it miracualously re-appeared in my drafts!  So, pretend that this was actually posted in February. :)

In the spirit of trying new things and working on speed, on a whim, I signed up for the Du the Polar Bear Duathlon. The race was sponsored by my local bike shop, Bicycle World and Fitness and it was conveniently 5 minutes from my house, which made for a laid back race morning.

The race was a 2 mile run, followed by a 15 mile bike, ending with a 2 mile run. The race started at 8 am and transition closed around 7:40, so I was able to accidentally oversleep and still make it to transition with time to spare. It was a cool and crisp morning so I went back and forth on what to wear. I hate being cold on the bike so I erred on the side of staying warm, which was ultimately too much.

I have been doing a lot of running training so I was planning on pushing the run pretty hard, with a goal of keeping the average pace sub 7:00 min miles (fast and hard for me). I have NOT been on my bike, but I was still planning to push the bike as hard as I could and I was counting on my base fitness to get me through it.

The race started at 8:00 AM with the men and the women started five minutes later. I took off behind the lead pack and occassionally glanced at my Garmin to make sure my pace was sub 7:00 min. I was definitely in the red zone, but I focused on passing one person at a time and maintaining my breathing and pace. Plus, two miles is my favorite distance to push hard and I regularly run a 2 mile loop through my neighborhood, so I have a good feel for the distance and pacing.

Run 1 - 2 mile time - 13:43, average pace - 6:52, AG place 4/17

I kept my run pace up into transition and was breathing heavily as I got to my bike. I was wearing gloves and I had a hard time putting on my shoes and it took me way too long to buckle my helmet. I was about a minute long in transition and I hated to see all the people I passed on the run starting the bike ride with me. I am a big believer that races can be won or lost in transition and my pitiful time almost cost me hardware at this race!

T1 - 1:36, AG place 12/17

It took me too long to clip in on the bike - damn toe covers - but once I finally got clipped I hit it hard and also started hydrating. I felt pretty strong for the first 5 miles and I was passing people the entire first lap. The second lap I started to feel the burn in my legs and it became immediately clear to me that I was paying for all the time I spent away from the bike. The third lap I could feel myself fading and I fought to maintain some speed on the bike. My average pace for 15 miles was 19.3 mph versus 18.7 mph average pace for 112 miles at IMTX. Clearly, I need to spend some time on my bike, especially working on shorter, harder sets.

15 Mile Bike- 46:42.8 - 19.3 MPH - AG Place 5/17

I was much happier with my T2. Very efficient, just how I like it!

T2 - 0:49.2 - AG Place 3/17

I knew the last 2 miles were going to hurt and I decided to take the first mile at a 7:00 minute pace and let myself kick the last mile. I was pushing hard and passing one person at a time. With a half mile to go I really wanted to ease up, but I fought back that urge by channeling two of my Rev3 teammates - Kacie, who had just before completed a DOUBLE Ironman, and Laura, who came in 3rd in her AG at IMAZ, missing a Kona spot by less than a minute. I will never forget her Tweet the next day "Can't sleep- nightmares of watching my kona slot BLAZE by 800m from finish after I had it for 20mi & beat me by 59sec #truestory #racing" (I know she will ger her spot in 2012!).  So I ran my heart out and I just focused on passing one person at a time in that last half mile, including someone in my age group!

Run 2 - 2 mile time - 13:19.8 average pace - 6:40, AG place 2/17

AG Overall Place - 3 /17!

Overall, the race was great and I was happy with my performance, especially for a last minute decision to race with not a lot of training.  The race had great support (thanks Bicycle World and Fitness!) and good food and schwag afterwards.  My only complaint was in the timing.  Somehow the computer picked up my timing as well as the person who came in 1st in my AG, but our results were not showing up on the print out (and they didn't write us in).  Ultimately, they announced the awards correctly, but I felt terrible for the two athletes that saw their names in podium spots only to be totally surprised at the awards presentation.  I understand that these things happen though, and I will definitely do this race and Du the Bear in the Fall in the future. 

Lessons learned from this race:  always double check your timing chip, don't give up a lot of time in transition and push hard until the end - I came in third by a whopping 23 seconds!


Chloe said...

Great race report! I hate losing time in transition and it's always a 'race' to see how fast I can get out.

Mark said...

Nice race homeslice. But, does February in Texas really constitute as a Polar anything? I am far closer to the Arctic Circle here in Western NY than you are.

Will I see you at CP this summer?

Carla said...

Hello, my name is Derek and i am a student of your mother. I am a ironman in training I have done numerous sprints and two olympics so far. I have been doing them for a little over a year now. I was just curious if you could give me a few pointers on how to become an ironman.
(transition tips, how fast on bike, head wind, etc.