Whew…It’s been a loooong couple of months. Too long since I last blogged apparently. What have I been up to? Mostly training, raising kids, spending time with friends and family, working…you know, the usual. First things first, let’s talk about the first race of the season.
1st Multisport Race of the Season – Sartell Apple Duathlon!
Last Saturday, I raced the first multisport race of my season. I had originally planned to race the Oakdale Spring Classic Duathlon the weekend before but family commitments got in the way. I was lucky that the Apple Duathlon was being held the following weekend and it worked with my schedule. So I signed up and started to prep. By prep, I mean, work on getting rid of the cold I was coming down with Zicam and lots of fluids.
I raced the Apple Du 2 years ago and really loved the race. I would not say Duathlons are my fav, as I would rather not run twice, but something about this race in particular I love.
The morning of the race was pretty low key. The hubs and I decided not to drive up the night before and just get up early to make the trek. After a night of fitful, restless sleep, the alarm buzzed at 4:15am. I woke up bit tired but so happy as it seemed like my cold symptoms had surprisingly subsided. A quick breakfast of steel cut oats and hot coffee, prepping a banana and peanut butter toast, double checking my bags and gear, loading the bike and we were on our way…almost.
5 minutes down the road, I remembered that I forgot my sunglasses and asked that we turn back to get them. It’s a silly thing, but when I have something as part of my race plan in my head, it throws me for a loop if I don’t have it. I try to control everything that is in my control. Ok, with sunglasses in hand, we were finally on our way.
I love that anxious feeling of pulling into the race venue on race morning. I love all of the energy that is in the air. The Apple Du was full of it. Many smiling faces and people getting their gear out of their cars and ready for the race. It’s fun to see familiar faces and meet new friends too. After checking in and getting my race packet, I unpacked my bike and set everything up in transition. It was the easiest race morning ever. The weather was a bit on the chilly and windy side but it was pretty manageable.
Race kicked off by sending wave 1 (Elite and over 55) out on the course and I was slated to start 3 minutes later in wave 2. I got lined up in the start corral and before I knew it, the gun went off and we were running. I noticed that a number of people took off very fast. I was tempted to go with them but knew that I needed to stick to a pace that I could hold for the first 5K run. I really wanted to make sure I kept something in the tank for the last 5K run. I kept glancing down at my watch and seeing somewhere between 7:20-7:45 pace which I was thrilled about. I am not a fast runner so it was encouraging to see those splits.
After coming into T1, I threw off my sunglasses (yep, I absolutely used them), changed my shoes and threw on my helmet, grabbed the bike and headed out for 33K on the bike. The initial first few miles I got settled in and pushed a bit, passing a few folks that were faster runners than me and put some distance. After the first turn, I was hit with the cross wind and had to hold on for dear life. I wanted to stay in aero and did so as much as I could. I knew that I would have to take advantage of the wind anytime it was at my back and did so as much as I could. I also was very aware that there was a USAT official out on the course and didn’t want to get a draft penalty so I worked hard to keep enough distance and pass in the appropriate amount of time. I didn’t have too many athletes passing me and I passed a few so I figured I was doing okay. As I ticked down the last few miles of the bike, I started to mentally prep for the run. A final 5K and I really wanted to be fast.
Hoping off the bike and heading out on the run (with a wave to Jerry), I started up “the hill”. Let’s paint a picture. As you get out of transition, you are immediately met with a steep, fairly looong climb up hill. You legs already feel like jello and that climb just seems to take forever. Anyway, I joked with a fellow athlete about the hill and then as he pulled slightly away from me, I made it my mission to stay on his heels. He ended up pulling away at the very last few meters but I think I successfully kept up. (He did say that I was keeping him on his toes because he could feel me pushing from behind). 🙂
Overall, a really solid performance, one that I am happy to start the season with. A 1:30 PR and a faster run split on both the 1st and 2nd run. 1st AG and 8th overall women. Awesome race, really well done and super fun. I’ll be back!
Let’s talk training! The past few months have been going pretty well. Knees have been pain free for about 3 months…hooray. I am not sure if it was the PT or just them adjusting to the training load, but there has been no pain. Big sigh of relief. I have been doing A LOT of swimming. I think I finally hit the point where I don’t dread the swimming. I get into the water, relax, and do my workout. My swim times have leveled out a bit but they certainly are faster than I have ever experienced before. I have to admit, it’s fun to swim fast. I like being in the pool next to another swimmer and cruising past them. During many of the podcasts I listen to they talk about swimming with a group (a master swim program or a teammate) to help drive the pace, keep it competitive and keep pushing you. I don’t have the opportunity to be part of a group at the moment, so I just use the other swimmers to help keep me accountable.
I have had my bike outside only 3 times this year so far. REALLY, REALLY SAD FACE! It’s almost June people! The weather has not cooperated in Minnesota this spring. But I keep chugging along on the trainer in the basement until we have a streak of solid nice weather.
This spring I did do a running block to train for a half marathon. It was more intense than I ever thought it would be. Many Saturday’s were spent logging 10-14 miles…and that was before the half marathon even happened. I was supposed to run the Lake Minnetonka Half Marathon but as luck would have it, my daughter had a soccer tournament that weekend so I couldn’t commit to the actual race but did go out and run the distance later that afternoon on my own. I recognize that I probably would have run a bit faster during the organized run but I accept that. I got it done and that was what mattered in my book.
This weekend will be the Buffalo Triathlon. Hopefully the water will warm up enough to have a swim. At the time of this blog, it’s still 56 degrees…..brrr! Check back for a race report next week.