Sunday, June 5, 2016

The Worcester TriFest Duathlon...its just like...getting back on a bike

Because duathlon setups are so easy!
Because nothing says welcome back to your first week of solid a a race (insert eye roll here)! I honestly am just not that smart some days...well, most days. The Worcester TriFest Duathlon was today. Since I haven't put rubber on pavement in a year and it was pouring rain I opted to go with my Cervelo S5 over my Cervelo P2. The thought was it would give me better control and be a lot more responsive on bad road conditions.

I had a lot of internal agitation about racing. I haven't been training with any frequency (tons of contributing factors ranging from health to work to personal lack of motivation) and didn't know how bad the race was gonna be. I'm also accustomed to doing well at races and the thought of coming in dead last was not an appealing one...partly because I never want to be that person and partly because of the toll on my psyche. But I signed up for this race 3 months ago (honestly thinking I'd be in tip top shape by now) and couldn't stomach a DNS more than being DFL.
I honestly spent a day ripping my apartment apart just trying to get all my multisport gear together! I figured if nothing else I'd just go into it as a training event rather than a "race". Better to use a real race as training session to get back into the habit of multisport racing with transitions and such. Ya, it would become quickly evident I'm not practiced with this later on.

1 mile run - 6:55, 6:55min/mi pace
The run started on the beach (joint start for the event, triathletes one way and duathletes the other) and I thought I'd just jog the first mile...but then I realized it was a race...and needed to get in front of people. Coming into T1 after that effort, I was a little gassed. I mean duh, I haven't turned a sub 7 mile at a race in any shape form or fashion in a while.

T1 - 1:39
After that effort from the run I decided to just catch my breath and get my cycling gear on. Speaking of, remember the "I tore my house apart to find gear"? Well, I thought that since the weather was going to be bad and I haven't been on my tri bike yet, that my Cervelo S5 would be the better choice. Only problem is I changed pedals on my S5 and the cleats required is not the same as my tri bike. So, my easy on-off tri shoes wouldn't work so I had to grab my road shoes. They work fine but were a lot harder to get on in transition.

10.5 mile bike - 39:33, 16mph
So it was pouring rain and the course was hilly. My only plan was to to attack the uphills, use the downhills (which I guess I did well because at one point I hit 43 mph going by several people on tri bikes) and see how it goes. The plan was to use the course to shake out the bike and train...until I got passed..and then I got passed again. Ya, that was no fun at all.

T2 - 1:37
As a testament to the fact that I haven't done a multisport race in a while, this should've been a 30 second transition but just the mechanics off getting cycling gear off (those aforementioned road shoes kicked my butt) and run gear on proved to be a challenge.

3.1 mi run - 27:15, 8:47
Around the first 1.5 miles of the run was uphill...including 4 sets of stairs (come on, that's just mean) that I knew was coming, but I was nowhere near prepared for. All I kept telling myself was "get to the top and catch your breath", which sounded great in my head but in practical application...not so much.

Ya, remember my getting passed on the bike? That happened to me time and time again on the run. I know I shouldn't be upset since this was the first multisport race in a year...and I haven't been training with any frequency in as long, but it stung nonetheless. Once I got to the "flat" leading to the finish I just tried to give it all I had to cross the line, which was also on a bit of an uphill (that's just mean) and finish the day.

Although the initial plan was o use the race as a "training event", it quickly turned into just another race day filled with max effort and dissatisfaction. Due to the bad weather and a small field my 1:17:00 was good enough for first in my age group. I battle with the thought of "that's not too bad considering you haven't been training and racing" and "how are you in this kind of shape and this point in the year". Well, I spent most of the day red-lined and it hurt like a motherf'er but it did feel really good to be back racing. Now to make sure its not a year before my next one. 

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