>> Sunday, May 25, 2008
Or, “Yet ANOTHER windy duathlon”
Or, “Breaking the curse of 1:54”
Yesterday was the Apple Duathlon. My alarm went off at 4:45 am, Matt showed up an hour later, and we were headed off to Sartell. The Apple Duathlon is a 5K run, 33K bike, and 5K run (in miles: 3.1, 20.5, 3.1). It was going to be another windy duathlon. At least this one was warmer.
We pulled into the lot around 7:15 with plenty of time to set up. Last year, I woke up at 3:30 am and couldn’t sleep, so I was out to this duathlon SUPER early. Here was my bike set up in transition last year:
Big Rhonda all alone in transition in 2007
We sat and stretched a little. I put on my homemade achilles warmer:
I also ran in to blogger CY. We introduced ourselves. Our cars were actually parked nose-to-nose in the lot. She WON the Gear West Duathlon last weekend, with a time that was just a minute and a half slower than Matt’s and my team time!! Way to kick ass, CY! I asked her if she could do the same today, and she wasn’t as sure - there was a lot of competition at Apple.
Well, time to race.
I had a goal to work for this year. This was my third consecutive year racing this duathlon. I finished in 1:54:30 two years ago, and 1:54:36 last year. This year, I had to break 1:54. My biking skill is worse this year, but my running game is much better. Time to see what I could do.
- 5K Run:
The announcer shouted GO, and off we went. Matt and I wished each other good luck. I took it easy for the first part of the run. A few blocks in, at the top of a hill, I counted that I was in about 12th place in our wave. At the first mile marker, my watch read 5:51. That was pretty fast. I slowed up (a little). Mile 2 was 6:20. That was better. I finished the 5K 8 seconds FASTER than the 5K last weekend where I was teamed up with Matt and running it nearly all-out - the course last week was off-road and tough to run. I caught a few more from our wave and came into transition in about 6th place in our wave.
Nothing fancy here. I grabbed my bike gear. I noticed that Matt’s Hammer Gel had fallen off his aero bars, so I picked it up and placed it back on his bike. Time to ride.
- 33K Bike:
I was planning on pushing myself on the bike again. I pushed harder than I was used to 4 weeks ago at the Winter Begone Du, and that went well - I realized that I could push pretty hard and still be able to run the last run. My first 5 miles were done in 15:29, and my next 5 were done in 14:00. I was averaging 20 mph at the half way mark, which is good for me.
There was some good news and some bad news at this point. The good news is that we had gone through the worst of the hills on the course. The bad news was that with about 8-9 miles left, we turned into the NASTY ASS wind. That wind was in our face for the entire ride back into Sartell. It wasn’t fun. I battled through it as I watched my average drop.
About a mile or so from Sartell, Matt came up on me and passed me. I knew he was having a decent day. I was hoping he was going to catch me on the bike. (Matt told me after the race that he was up to a 22.5 mph average at the half-way point, and his average speed dropped to 20.5 by the end.) I rolled into T2 about 2 blocks behind Matt.
Matt was still in T2 when I ran my bike in. We exchanged some curse words about the wind. He took off, and I was just a few seconds behind him. At this point, I realized that I could waltz my way to an Apple PR (breaking 1:54). And I also figured that if I pushed hard and banged out a decent 5K, I could break 1:50. So off I went.
- 5K Run:
I caught up to Matt as we turned out of the parking lot. I said, “Ya feel that? That feels GOOD!” Matt didn’t agree. Again, we wished each other luck, and I ran off.
The first mile of the second run is historically my fastest mile of a duathlon. My legs feel heavy and I feel like I’m not moving, so I push even harder. This duathlon was no different. I didn’t know how fast I was running until I hit mile 1 in 5:44. Sweet. And, I didn’t even feel my achilles until half way through the second run. That was good news too. The only bad news was that my lower butt / upper hamstring was getting pretty tight. I worked through it, and it wasn’t a real problem. I ran hard to the finish.
Yesterday, I earned a couple of Personal Records on this course for this duathlon, and 1 Personal Worst:
5K Run: 18:47, 6:03 pace, Apple PR
33K Bike: 1:08:03, 18.1 mph ave, Apple PW
5K Run: 19:34, 6:18 pace, Apple PR
Total: 1:48:25, Apple PR by over 6 minutes!
6th Place in my Age Group
My bike time was just a few seconds slower than it was last year, but my 2 runs were both a couple of minutes faster. I hung around at the finish for Matt, and he came in under 9 minutes later, with a finish time of 1:57:07 for his second official duathlon (much longer than the short course that he did at Winter Begone). Way to go, Matt!!
Nothing left to do but eat:
We stuck around for the awards (none of which we won) and the prize drawings (none of which we won). I said goodbye to CY and congratulated her on a 3rd place finish in a time of 1:36 (if I’m remembering correctly). Matt and I hit the road back to St. Paul.
After a few miles, I said, “Oh, look who’s coming up on our tail!” It was David Thompson and Hannah Sullivan (is it creepy that I know what they drive?). David is a FREAKIN’ ROCKSTAR of multi-sport events in Minnesota. He’s won Lord knows how many events, and was recently featured in Triathlete Magazine (the one that had pros and semi-pros posing with their equipment and talking about the gear they like). And his wife Hannah is great at these events too - I could use her speedy bike legs!!
Anyway, as they were passing us, I looked over and waved. Hannah waved back with that “I’m being friendly and waving back but I don’t really think I know you” wave. Matt and I got to talking about those 2. It’s a little lewd, so I’ll whisper it, and you can stop listening if you’d like to. Here it goes:
Their sex life must be AMAZING! I mean, those two could both go forever! They could go for hours! No, days! No...weeks! They could have sex for longer than the Olympics are on TV. In fact, if “mixed doubles sex” were an Olympic sport, they’d be bringing home gold for the US. If “singles sex” were an Olympic sport, I’d rock it, but that’s a different story...
OK, enough whispering about that. But, come on, you know what I’m talking about! And as a side note, David is a good, very courteous driver: he used his blinker and drove in the right lane except when passing. Nice guy. Good fella. Sweet couple, I’m sure.
On the way home, I figured that it’d be smart to take a little ice bath once we were back. So I picked up 10 pounds of ice, poured a cold bath, jumped in, dumped the ice on top, and turned into a woman for 10 minutes (you know what I mean...don’t make me spell it out):
p.s. I feel creepy when I said I know what David and Hannah drive. I only know that because they parked near us last weekend at the Gear West Duathlon, and we briefly talked as we were all unloading our cars. I’m not a super creep. Really.