A couple weeks ago a friend persuaded me to do the Share the Road Duathlon. In all honesty, it didn’t take a lot of persuasion. With my new bike and seeing some speed in my legs this season I signed up with the goal of making it on the podium. When I looked at 2016 results I was certain I could. Later I learned that the reason for “slower” bike times in 2016 was because it rained. On race morning my confidence was teetering.
When I arrived at the race site that morning it was a quick set up and that feeling of what-did-I-forget. Shorter distance endurance events always give me that feeling. Fortunately, I knew a great group of women who were there, so I could shake off uncertainty and converse with some acquaintances. Thank you ladies for showing up!
The duathlon was run 3 miles, bike 20, and run 2. Because every second counted for my goal, I ran the first 3 without my Garmin, leaving it ready to go on the bike. It feels insane running as fast as I can without a Garmin. I had no idea what pace I was going, all I had to go off was who I was passing and who was passing me. I had a speedy friend run up alongside of me, thankfully she’s in another age group. She gave me some encouragement and disappeared into the distance. With her losing me somewhere after mile 2 I knew I was doing okay. Coming into transition the clock read 23:XX. Whoa, I did more than okay!
On the bike my plan was to remain calm and not pedal in bat-shit-crazy mode for the first 5 miles. In the past when I get on the bike my heart rate is all wild and my legs feel like lead. Not this time. My remain-calm plan worked. I was zipping past quite a few others. It sure helped that there wasn’t any wind! The course was fun, mostly flat, a couple of hills, but nothing comparable to what I’m used to on the Ironman Wisconsin course. When the ride was over and I was in transition I noted how few bikes were there.
The second run was hot, hard, and forever. Longest two miles ever. When I left transition I was behind a girl in an Endurance House kit, she looked like she could be in my age group. I tried so hard to follow her, but she was just too strong. I thought to myself “Well if I lose podium to her, at least it’s by an Endurance House athlete”
I didn’t let that thought slow me down though, I kept pushing on. More of me thought that I have no idea who is ahead or behind, and if I lost an age group placement by seconds created by doubt I would be mad at myself.
The finish was anticlimactic, with it being a small race there were so few people there. I immediately went to the results table, as she printed the result receipt she read out loud “Sixth….” my heart sank, and she continued “overall, and third in your division”
SQUEEEE!! Boom. Pow. Bam!!!
I got a finisher medal and a third place medal. And then I finally got to check something off of my dream list; stand on a podium box!
Though they didn’t have an official awards ceremony for age group winners, they encouraged us to stand on the box for a picture. I was a touch bummed that it wasn’t with the first and second place, but I was ecstatic to finally have the right to stand up there!
Run 3: 8:14 average
Bike 20: 17.4 average (though Garmin read 20.75 miles with 18.2 mph)
Run 2: 8:21 average