I competed in the Seafair Duathlon this morning. I survived, which is the main thing, but I’m definitely feeling a little worse for the wear.
The bike was 20 miles, with 750 ft of elevation gain according to RideWithGPS. Basically, it was not hilly, but not what you’d call pancake flat either. I figured 20 miles isn’t that bad; I rode 40 last weekend, right?
The race start was a little weird, as they started two people at a time. Naturally, I couldn’t get one of my feet clipped in. (I’d love to know why I have so much trouble clipping in my shoes. Lack of coordination? Some problem with the way they’re set up? Or with the shoes or pedals? Or lack of practice??) Once I got going, I just concentrated on keeping the pedals spinning and keeping a constant level of effort. I thought I must be going terribly fast, but at the end, my average speed was only 15.7 mph. I am getting faster – I think that’s my fastest average speed for a ride. But . . . I’m still not really very competitive. If there’s anything I’ve learned from doing endurance sports for 25 years, though, it’s that the body does respond to training, so hopefully if I stick with it, I’ll improve.
When I hit the run, I was just totally demoralized at the though of running 10Ks. I did something to my right leg on the bike, and the top of my hamstring was hurting, as well as the back of my knee. I honestly wasn’t sure if I’d be able to complete it. I was really not in a great mental place for the first three miles. I knew there was a hill we’d need to climb twice, and sure enough, it was brutal. However, once I got up to the top of it the first time, at 2.0 miles, I started feeling better. The second 3 miles was painful, but better mentally. I felt like I was going terribly slowly, but I finished the 10K in 52:05, or 8:23 per mile. If I did that on a regular run, I’d feel like I was seriously pushing it, but there’s something about the adrenaline of a race situation that helps me go faster. It probably also helps that the race was overall much flatter than my neighborhood.
In any case, I’m glad it’s over. Right now, I’m not sure I ever want to do another duathlon. All told, it took me more than 2 hours to complete. That’s a long race. You wouldn’t catch me running a half marathon at the moment, and yet I’m doing two hour multisport races. It’s not quite the same as two hours of running, but it’s no walk in the park.