After thinking about it all week, on Thursday afternoon I finally signed up for the Sylvan Beach Duathlon. I was thinking about the tri, but I haven’t been swimming lately and a 1000m open water swim didn’t sound like the most fun thing to do — but I wanted to race, so du it was. I’m pretty sure this is only the second duathlon I’ve ever done!
My goals were to finish the first run at 10:00 pace, the bike in under an hour, and the second run at 11:00 pace, which would put me at the finish line in just under 2:20. I met my goals for 3 of 4 so overall it was a great race!
2-mile run: 19:49
30k bike: 58:41
8k run: 57:01
The du began with a 2-mile run. The weather was humid without a cloud in the sky (I am starting to doubt that it will ever rain again) but it was still cool enough at 7:00 that the run wasn’t too uncomfortable. I haven’t replaced my Garmin that died at Silverlake, so I just had on my Timex watch. I could track my time, but not my distance so I had no idea what pace I was running. But I hit the 1-mile turnaround in 9:33 which made me pretty happy! My second mile was slower, but I still finished the 2-mile run in 19:49 for a just-under-10:00 average pace. Off to a good start!
I had a pretty quick transition and headed out onto the bike course. It was listed at 30k and although it may have been a couple tenths short based on my online mapping, it was pretty close. To meet my goal of finishing the bike in under 1:00, I’d have to average close to 19 mph and while I thought I could do that, without my Garmin I had no way to monitor how I was doing. Fortunately, the wind wasn’t really a factor yesterday and I was able to push hard and feel good for the first 2/3 of the bike, but started to tire in the last few miles. (I accidentally hit a pothole somewhere around mile 15 that hurt like all get out and after that, I was mentally ready to be done.) By the time I crossed 146 back into LaPorte, I knew I’d make it and sure enough, I finished in 58:41. That’s a 19 mph average so I’m pretty pleased!
As I started the second run, my legs felt TOTALLY dead. Although I’d ridden pretty hard on the bike, I had consciously held back just a bit from my usual level of effort, so I was surprised at how bad my legs felt! The only thing I can figure is that at almost 20 miles, the bike was longer than the sprint races I’m used to doing. Whatever the cause, for the first mile I was seriously wondering how I would ever get to the finish line!
Thankfully, things did improve slightly as I continued. I was able to maintain somewhere between 11:30-12:00/mile pace so I was well off the goal I’d set pre-race but at that point it was just about finishing. As my legs started to loosen up and feel better, the heat started to get to me. All I could hear was my own breathing and the deafening sound of cicadas screeching in the heat. I dumped a cold cup of water on my head at each water stop which felt great — but only lasted for a couple minutes. I was very happy to see the finishing line (slowly) coming into view. I crossed in 2:17:32, so I did at least beat my goal of finishing under 2:20! And all in all, it wasn’t a bad run — I averaged around 11:40 pace, which for a 5-miler in summer is perfectly fine for me. But I thought I’d be able to do better.
Despite the second run, it was a great race and fun to do another duathlon. It felt strange to pack my race bag without any swim gear and to set up my transition area without a towel, but it was fun to do something a little different. Next up is the Y Freedom Tri in two weeks!