Apparently they blew the tornado sirens last night. We didn’t hear them, but the very close lightning strikes kept waking us up. Plus, we’re dog-sitting another greyhound, so the two of them were skittish last night, which made it hard to sleep.
The alarm went off (way too early) and we were on the road to another race bright and early. Luckily it was a local race, so we didn’t have to drive too much.
Which turned out to be a good thing.
We got to packet pickup and they wanted picture ID. At that point I realized that I had left my wallet at home. So Goddess drove like the devil and got us back to the house. We made it back to the race site with 15 minutes to spare.
Wouldn’t you know it – they didn’t ask for ID this time.
Anyway, we were there for the inaugural Clarksville Duathlon – 2 mi run/13 mi bike/2 mi run.
A last minute addition to the race schedule. After the Country Music Marathon expo, we stopped by our local running store so I could pick up a few more pair of Injinji (did I mention that I love those socks?). They handed us the flier to the duathlon, which I posted on the fridge, mostly as a gee-whiz.
On Tuesday, three days after the marathon, I hopped on my Softride for a spin to work out the legs. It was the first time I threw my leg over it since my IM-distance race last September. That turned out to be a good ride. I was surprised how good it felt. So I punted and entered the race.
Then talked Goddess into doing it too.
I’m a bastard.
Fast forward to today. You already know about the storms and ID snafu. We hoped that would be the last (but it wasn’t).
The race started about 20 minutes late, but that’s fine. It turned out the RD had to be pulled away for some reason. Besides, the race was held at one of our favorite locations in town, the Beachaven Winery. The stand-in RD mentioned that we were lucky to have been able to start due to the weather. She stated that a tornado had gone through the south side of town (unverified, since it’s not on the National Weather Service storm report page).
Anyway, a few words and then the start horn went off. My intent was to go as hard as I could, pushing it through the whole course. I told Goddess that I hoped to be choking back bile when I finished. But I also knew that I had to pace myself.
The two mile run went well, averaging 7:08 miles. Not too hard, but hard enough, setting me up for the bike.
A quick transition and we were out on the road. Again, knowing I needed to pace myself, I pushed, but not too hard. Lots of folks went flying by, but I knew I’d see them again. Two miles in and I started reeling them back, averaging 21mph. Those that started too hard were already starting to fall back.
At just past three miles, the clusterf*ck began. Apparently the RD decided to throw in a hard right turn, but didn’t station anyone there. There might have been a mark on the road, but there are so many rides through that area year round that you couldn’t tell. So at least half of the field flew right past it. The realization came a couple of miles later when we approached the transition area.
One of the course workers was quite apologetic and redirected us. No big deal, it was just going to add a couple of miles to the ride. But the lead female was in the group and understandably upset. So we followed the directions that the worker gave us. Wouldn’t you know it, they were wrong. A few miles later we ended up back at the transition area, having made another loop.
At that point, the group decided that they were just going to go out and make it a training ride. I decided to run. So I got 9.1 miles out of the scheduled 13 miles on the bike.
The last run leg was a bit slower. I pushed it hard, but ended up averaging 7:44 miles.
As I finished my run, the rest of the group that was lost ended up rolling back in. Some ran, some didn’t. I watched as a couple of other riders came from the opposite direction, apparently having missed another turn somewhere and ended up riding towards downtown. Some just bagged the run after their fiasco of a ride.
I was worried about Goddess, but it turns out she managed to find her way around the entire course. Turns out that they had phoned the guy at the turn before the right-hander that we missed and he told her to make sure she turned at the next intersection. Information that would have been good to know for the rest of us!
I joined Goddess on the run, pacing her from light post to light post. She’s a good egg. She came in dead last overall, smiling the whole way and still grabbed a third place AG medal. My Goddess had a podium finish!
So although the bike course was poorly marked and poorly controlled, we still had a good time. The best part was that the race fees went to the local YMCA.
I did manage to achieve my goal, which was to push as hard as I could (although I didn’t have to choke back the bile). Of the 1:02:22 I raced, I was deep into Zone 5 for 51 minutes. Minus the three minutes total that I spent in T1 and T2, that meant that I wasn’t in Zone 5 for only 8 minutes.
It was good to get back on the bike. I was impressed that I was able to put as much power as I did to the pedals considering I hadn’t ridden in seven months. Too bad it’ll be another seven months before I have a chance to ride it again.
That was my first du ever. And it was a lot of fun. I’ll look to do more in the future.