Well, the Unofficial Houston Running Bloggers Multi-Sport Debut at the Webster Duathlon this morning was a bust, with forces conspiring to keep everyone away except for Jill and me. I can’t complain too much, however, because I had a great race. I am starting to see all my crazy training pay off, which is a very cool feeling.
This was my first duathlon — that’s run-bike-run — and I was a little worried about how I’d fare. One of the women in my training group had done them before, and said that duathlons are actually harder than triathlons, because your legs are already tired when you get on the bike! I found that to be true.
The 2-mile run was a simple out-and-back course past a pond and some smelly horses. I knew I was keeping up a good pace, and actually wasn’t that surprised to see ~9:35 when I reached the turnaround. I wasn’t sure I could keep it up, and had a passing thought that it might hurt me on the bike, but I decided not to worry and just kept pushing. I finish the run in 19:22. Yes, that’s two sub-10:00 miles — in July heat and humidity!! The training is definitely paying off.
I took 1:19 to change shoes, put on my helmet, and walk my bike out of the transition area and then hit the pavement. The bike course, unfortunately, was pretty boring — two loops on the feeder road next to the interstate. There was a bit of a tailwind going south, which was nice, but of course meant that there was a bit of a headwind going north, which was not nice. My legs were tired from the run, but not too bad, and I was pleased with my ride. I passed 6 or 7 people, and only one passed me. I finished the 11.6-mile bike in 40:11, or 17.3 mph.
From there it was back off the bike, walk awkwardly into transition in my biking shoes, change back to the running shoes, and get rid of the helmet. After 1:10, I was heading back out to do the run course one more time. Of course at this point I had no illusions of doing sub-10:00 miles since my legs felt like concrete and it was getting hotter, but I was determined to do my best. I made it to the turnaround with one walking break and checked my watch to see ~11:00. I stopped again for a quick sip from the water station and began the last mile. I heard a girl coming up behind me, which motivated me to push a little harder. Though she beat me in the end, she was great motivation and I covered the second mile (and fourth in the race) in ~10:00 to finish the second run in 21:05.
My total time was 1:23:08. This race draws a pretty hardcore crowd, and there weren’t more than 20 or 25 people finishing behind me. Nevertheless, I am very happy with how well my race went.
Turns out training does make you faster.