And they’re off!
The race season has officially begun!
Morning, cold, wet, windy. After loading the vehicle with 4 bikes and loads of gear I quickly decided the day called for long sleeves. As I pull open the drawer to my semi cold weather clothing I move my wool gloves in order to retrieve my long sleeved t-shirt. This is an important moment since it will dictate most of my race.
The Evangeline Oaks Duatlon, my first of the duathlon sorts. A duathlon is a race that incorporates a run, a bike, and a run. Different from the triathlons I have been doing which are swim, bike, and runs. Today was a short 2mi run, 10 mi bike and 2 mile run. I was prepared as well as I could be and looking forward to the day.
Nice short ride to St. Martinsville located a few miles from Lafayette, which is approximately 55 miles from Baton Rouge. Nice ride with Matt, Corey, and Todd while Mark, a new member to Br-tri, was following in his jeep. We talked about the upcoming year and races we were planning to compete in and shred with Todd some of the things to look forward to in the sport. Todd is a friend of mine who is just beginning the sport of triathlon, welcome Todd.
We unload, check in and rack up our bikes. It is slowly sinking in that the day is going to be very cold and even more windy. About now I am thinking to myself, you know I had to actually move, yes move my wool gloves out of the way to get to my t-shirt.
Mistake number one.
We line up at the start. Corey makes a statement that we should get in the back and not up here in the front of the pack. I pointed out, in response, that if we began in the rear, that is at a minimum an additional twenty or so paces and I was not willing to risk losing that much energy!!!! We laughed and the director started the race.
The run was an out and back. I am not so found of out and back runs and bikes since I get to see how far behind EVERYONE I am. As I reached the half mile mark of the run the first runner flew by coming the opposite direction, I cheered him on and continued to sludge forward.
This year is like beginning over for me. I think it will take a few more races before people know I am not a running heart attack. As I was coming in off of the run, I was feeling GREAT. My cardio was kicking butt. I felt like I could run all day. I was implementing the fundamentals I had learned at my recent Multisport.com camp and I was on a roll.
However, I was getting the look. The one that expresses great joy and extreme fear for me all at the same time. The nice gentleman that was running the transition area seemed to be really worried about me. He offered to walk my bike to the mounting point, he continued to ask me if I was ok, etc. I guess he plenty of reason when I began to run off with my bike and he reminded me that I still had on my running shoes and not my cycling shoes. Oooops.
Here is where the whole gloves still in the drawer thing really began to sit badly with me. The bike was cold. The wind was in your face the entire way out on the ride. I was watching people fly down the road towards me with smiles and legs pumping! I was MISERABLE!!!!!
What is worse about the wind is being me, in the wind. I am basically a mast. Mast are a good thing when you have the “wind to you back” however, when you don’t it’s . . . Not good.
After the turn around the wind let up and then on the last leg home the wind WAS to my back, to bad I spent most of my energy trying to get through the wind. However, I did realize why everyone was smiling when they passed me earlier.
Back into the transition area, running shoes on, cramps beginning a little and I was off. My friends Corey, Matt, and Todd decided to join me on my run, since they were all finished. I was very happy about this. Les, another Br-tri member, also joined in.
God love them, because I do. They are each super awesome guys. Yes, there is a but, coming.
It was a little demoralizing that I was doing my “run” part while they were walking beside me, chatting it up. I will get better. I will become faster. I will make them jog next time!!! HA!!!
My finish was awesome. The guys ran ahead and began to cheer me in as did the rest of the race participants. I would say that was one of the first times I had a cheering squad that large. It makes it so worth while. I know they are cheering for a guy that they are happy for as well as a bit astonished by. It means so much to me.
I finished in 01:56:21 which was 11 minutes more than my goal, but it was windy.
Race season 2006!
I feel good now and I am looking forward to my next race.
Thanks to everyone.