Saturday, May 8, 2010

Conyers Duathlon

After having some mild sick symptoms all week, and still having good workouts, I figured I was good enough for an off-road Duathlon at Conyers. It was the second of a four race series being put on by Dirty Spokes. The worst part would be the 5:30 am wake up call on Saturday morning.

The morning went smoothly and we got the car packed and Jayden ready to go and actually left right on time. I felt great on Thursday night and probably pushed it a bit too much on my run, as when I did my warm up my legs weren't feeling as snappy. Oh, tired hip flexors! I wasn't terribly worried, as I knew even a tired run would get the job done, it would just mean I'd suffer more. And suffer I did...having to keep up a 6:30 mile trail run pace with a bunch of dudes ranks right up there with going to the dentist for me. The run course this time was especially mind-numbing, as there was a lot of wide, flat gravel and a lot of grass field that just made it seem like you were moving really slow. After about 17 minutes of mild torture, it was onto the bike...whoo hoo!

The bike course was two 5 mile laps and it was much more exciting. It had a good mix of everything...climbs, techy sections, swoopies, fast easy double track, creeks, rocks, roots, etc... I was in the top 10-12 people coming off the first run and my first victims on the bike were guys who were very obviously runners and not bikers. I slowly picked off a few more as they would bobble on technical sections. I was pretty taxed on the first lap, after coming off the run, but I was still making good time and no one was catching me from behind. I was staying with the gearies on the flats and wide open downhills, so I was happy with my bike/gear choice. The second lap I picked off two more guys and had a mostly open trail. My HR was lower and I was feeling good. Rockin' and rollin' on my haaa! There was one short section I had to run as it was a steep uphill with a momentum killing turn and creek right before it. I managed to whack my calf really hard with my pedal, which surprised me, as I usually am not so clumsy.

The last run was not as bad as the first since it was a bit slower, but it was even more mind-numbing since it was slower, and there was no one around me. By the end of the lap, a guy on a relay team had caught me. He was a muscular, shirtless runner looking type and at first I was just going to let him pass me. Then I decided..oh hell, were almost done, lets have some fun with this guy. So I kept the pace up enough that he didn't feel the need to challenge me...and of course it would have looked really lame if he tried to sprint a girl to the finish. Its not like you get bragging rights for beating a girl, right?

So in the end, I finished 6th overall and was the first woman by an even larger margin than last race - probably due to the much more technically demanding trail. I scored some sweet tortoise shell Tifosi's that may even make me appear stylish, and Jayden and Chris seemed to have a good time. Jay kept an eye on my transition stuff and picked honeysuckle flowers.

Now we're at home, chillin' on the back deck. I put the pack and play out in the shade so Jay could get some good ol' fresh air. She's been entertaining herself for close to an hour, so it must be working!

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