I always find April to be awfully early to perform at a National Championship worthy level, but that’s when they have it. All I can do is go do what I can with what fitness I’ve scrounged up so far and try and pick up another national title (if the stars align).
After a series of high profile duathlons in Richmond with a wide variety of gross weather (snow, pouring rain, steaming heat), Mother Nature finally delivered a comfortably cool, overcast day.
About the course:
The Runs. Well, it’s not flat and we don’t finish downhill. The final trip up that nasty hill was cruel indeed.
The Bike. It’s not a fast course, but it’s a fun one with lots of twists, turns, ups and downs. We cross a couple of bridges about 1,000 times each of the three laps, so it seemed like we were crossing bridges almost all of the time.
About the race:
There was one very serious runner who took off very fast down the first super steep hill. From there, she extended her lead while I tried to not overrun the first 5k and still keep her in sight. By about a quarter mile in, I was alone, which felt strange. I maintained about a 30 second gap between myself and the fast runner, then switched to bike gear with one of the fastest transitions of the day. Actually, I tied with Kristin Villopoto for fastest T1 of the day. Score!
I felt pretty good on the bike. Well, I didn’t feel bad. Not powerful like I will later in the season, but that’s April racing for you. I passed the faster runner about a mile into the bike, which gave me a lot of confidence that I could pull off the age group win so long as I didn’t run into any bad luck, like so many of those I saw on the side of the road with flats.
Here’s my Garmin output (I didn’t stop timer for a while after, so that’s why it looks funny).
The only bad luck I had was trouble getting my left foot into my cycling shoe at the beginning of the bike. The heel portion had folded over and I crammed my finger in to try and fix it. No dice. I do have a nice, purple sprained finger to show for that move though. Rocket genius, I know. Best of all, I finally just leave it and it works itself out on its own.
Transition #2 isn’t quite so impressive, but not terrible. I run fine the second 5k, although I felt a little low on calories the final mile when I only got passed by one guy from the 35-39 men who started 15 minutes after us. He was flying at 5ish pace, on his way to 2nd overall. I still made it to the finish, although I wanted to puke finishing hard up that last, long hill. I didn’t though. I’m not talented like that. Maybe I’m just not intense enough.
So, yeah, I’m psyched to win the age group! I was also 5th female overall and 2nd masters female. Ann Davidson from Oregon, 47, blew the doors off, but hey, I live near the duathlon legend Kristin Villopoto, so it’s not like I’m not used to getting beat by a faster, older thoroughbred racer like that.
National Championship number one for 2010– Check! Two more to go LATER in the season.