I was dreading today. Really really dreading it. Why you ask? I was going to be racing. Doing a race that I hadn't done much training for. Granted it was a duathlon and it was a shorter distance race but still, it was a race. Shorter distance means you have to go hard. You have to have that extra gear. Right now, I have one gear and that is slow. At least I thought it was slow but apparently, it's not as slow as I thought. After all my trepidation about today, I actually did alright.
It was muggy and I had on a cycling jersey--not the best call but I figured I'd survive. I started in the 4th wave, which meant I could watch my sister start since she was in the first wave. Gary started in the wave behind me which meant he'd catch me on the run for sure. I just wasn't sure when. The gun went off and I took off. I had started towards the back of the pack, not sure of my pace capabilities, however I quickly realized that I should have started a little further up. I hit the first km in 4:27, which TOTALLY shocked me. Wow. I didn't think I was capable of that anymore! I kept pressing on, totally stoked. The run course was new this year and took us onto some trails. It was here that I slowed down as the ground was really uneven. I still felt like I was keeping a decent pace, although I did feel like I was going to vomit. I saw Gary just before I hit the trails and thought crap, he's going to catch me. 2km and still no Gary! 3km and the turn around and there he is, 200 meters behind me. I am hurting at this point. He passes me at the 3.5 km mark. Not bad. Better than I expected. He was looking strong as usual. I finally get into transition and promptly become disoriented. I find my bike and am so tired that I can't focus on getting my stuff off / on. I finally get my self sorted and head out on the bike.
It was really windy on our way in to the race and the wind didn't subside at all on the course. Some parts were sheltered but half the race you were riding into the wind. I hate the wind. It is my nemesis. Give me hills over wind anyday. So, needless to say, I stayed in my small chain ring and tried to spin my legs rather than push a big gear and totally burn myself out. I passed a few people and then got blocked in by slow people in front of me and faster riders passing me. ARG! I finally got around the slower riders and motored on. As soon as I turned out of the wind, I flipped into my big chain ring and started hauling ass. There were 2 women in my age group that had passed me earlier and were just infront of me. I passed them both. I motored back--the tailwind helped immensely. Once again, my transition was a nightmare. I decided I couldn't wear a hat on the last run so I had to put my hair into a higher ponytail. Lots of fiddling. I have to learn to move it in transition. Off to the second run.
This was hell. Oh my god. My legs did not want to move forward. My body was going through the motions of running but it didn't seem like I was running. Good god. I hit the first 1km and finally started to come around. My legs started to feel somewhat normal. My head however, felt like it was going to explode. I saw my sister and cheered her on. She wasn't too far infront of me. She was hurting too. I finally caught her at about 2.5km. I ran with her for a bit--she had a bad stitch--I tried to help her work through it. She was struggling so she told me to go ahead. Off I went. I hadn't been passed by anyone in my age group and I wanted to keep it that way. I chugged along, saw my parents and my aunt and uncle. They cheered me on. Right around the corner was the finish line. Wahoo! I looked down at my watch: 1:26:14. Sub 1:30! Yippee! My first run was 18:46, T1 1:29, 43:34 (30.7km/hr?!?!) T2: 1:24 Run #2" 21:02. Wow. I was shocked. To top if all off, I was 9th out of 37 women in my age group!!! Top 10 and I hardly trained. This bodes well for Ironman. Definitely.