>> Monday, May 06, 2013
Or, "Please Stop Raining!"
Or, "Can I Hold This Guy Off For My FIRST DUATHLON WIN?!?!?"
Saturday was the Cinco "Du" Mayo Duathlon. I did this race last year, and fell it love with it. The short course (2 mile run, 10 mile bike, 2 mile run) is just my distance! And this year, Pharmie tagged along to race the long course (5K, 20 mile, 5K).
You've seen me complaining for months: it's been a long, cold, wet, snowy Spring here in Minnesota. On Saturday morning, it was raining and 35 degrees with moderate winds. Not fun for biking. It had JUST stopped raining when we got to the race site, and we found this woman in galoshes and snowboard goggles:
Pharmie doing final bike prep.
It's NOT a good sign when I'm wearing my warmest winter coat at a DUATHLON!!
I decided I needed to put on my wind-proof briefs under my "Pinky and the Brain" shorts.
So I took this photo nude from the waist down as I was about to put on the briefs (to the right).
Awkward but cute. Just like us. :)
Pharmie has only 1 of the 2 pairs of bare legs in this photo. What a BAMF.
... matching strides...
... matching strides. (With Jason [the race director] showing them the way.)
You and I would get along just fine, good sir.
What a bad ass.
Nervous pre-race cheesy smile.
We lined up, and soon we were off!!
As we came to the turn-around, I looked back to see we were building a little gap. We hit the turn-around in 5:49. "Just a BIT slower than last year, I think..." I purposefully didn't look at last year's splits before this race. Last year was a BEAUTIFUL race morning, and this year was 35 degrees, wet, with slightly more wind - it'd be a very different race.
I tried making the pass for the lead around the 1.25 mile mark, but he kept up the pace along side of me. So I actually dropped back in behind him again. Finally, around the 1.5 mile mark (with 0.5 miles left in the run), I passed him and held onto that lead. I hit T2 just a few seconds ahead of 2nd place:
Awkward photo of me running, but you can see the small gap with 2nd just 8 seconds behind me.
With my love of porta potties, it's pretty great that Lisa was able to frame this photo of me in T1 this way:
2nd place still just behind me.
Ten miles isn't far. But on the rolling hills around Square Lake, it gets brutal! Talking with friends after last year's race, we all kept saying "My God... THOSE HILLS!!" I was ready to suffer.
Mile 1 came and went. Mile 2 came and went. MILE 3 CAME AND WENT!!! MILE 4 CAME AND WENT!!!! No one was catching me!!! That's when I started changing my thinking from "hold off the bikers" to "what do you need to do to win this?" "So if / when someone catches me, do I try to stay with them? Do I just keep them in sight but ease up a BIT so I have some legs left to catch them on the run?" This was new territory for me!! I didn't know what to do! So I just rode HARD.
I was THRILLED to see my first 5 mile split on my Garmin was 14:30. I wasn't looking at my speed, but I knew that 15:00 over 5 miles would be 20 mph, so I was really happy to see that I was holding 20+ mph on those hills!!
Rolling back to transition.
• SECOND TRANSITION:
I came down the hill to the park looking trashed:
As I ran out of T2 just before that last photo was taken, I saw the guy in black and red who did the first run with me entering T2 on the other side!! IT WAS GOING TO BE CLOSE!! He was just 40 seconds behind me! I had to run like hell out there and hold him off!!
• 2 MILE RUN:
Yes, making up 40 seconds over just 2 miles would take some work, but I didn't know this guy. Did he leave "too much in the tank" for the final run? Were my legs too shredded from the bike to hold a solid pace? I was pretty scared. I TASTED the win, but I had some work to do before getting too happy.
Running out of the park.
My I felt like I was really moving slow. I was getting scared. My Garmin confirmed that I was over 7 mins / mile pace. I had to move. I just wrote that he was 40 seconds behind me, but I didn't know that for sure - that's what the results told me. For all I knew, he could have had a 10 second T2 and been just on my heels.
Nearing the turn-around, I saw Brian Sames (the leader from the long course) running towards me past the turn-around. I thought it could be a great finish if he catches me right around the finish and both the long and short course winners finish at the same time! I hit the turn-around in 6:19 and was scared I'd be caught. That was 30 seconds slower than my first mile on the first run!
Just after turning around, there were 2 guys running side-by-side, and one of them was the man I ran with during the first run - the man in black and red. I gave a nod as we met, and then quick looked at my watch. It had been over 30 seconds since the turn-around. "OK, if he's running the same pace as me, it'll take him over 30 seconds to get to the turn-around, and then over 30 seconds to get back to this point. So I have a 1:05 - 1:10 lead right now. He can't make up that much time over 1 mile... can he?..."
I turned onto Square Lake Trail and checked over my shoulder with only a few blocks to go. Brian (the long course leader) was right behind me, but no one else was in sight!! The race was mine! Brian passed me just as we entered the park with a block left.
Brian and me, about to win the long course and short course races.
Directing Brian to the finish.
2 sweaty, hard-breathing men with horrible hair just after both winning their races!!
Steve Stenzel, #480, 32, M, St Paul
• 2 mile run: 11:38 (1st overall)
• T1: 0:46 (11th fastest)
• 10 mile bike: 30:55, 19.4 mph ave (2nd overall) [10.25 garmin, 19.9 mph ave]
• T2: 0:43 (T-12th fastest)
• 2 mile run: 12:04 (1st overall)
1st out of 101 overall
1st out of 17 in the 30-39 age group
• Wait... 2nd fastest bike?!? Apparently, I bike fast when I'm biking scared!! The fastest biker was the guy who finished 2nd behind me, and he was only 1 second faster!
• I was 58 seconds slower overall this year, but I see it as a pretty comparable finish. It was 35 degrees this year, and it's hard to breathe HARD when it gets near freezing. (Can anybody find any scientific data that backs that up? I feel like it's very true.) It's easy to run at a moderate pace at lower temps, but once you start breathing really hard, it gets difficult quick.
• My bike showed the greatest improvement from last year. It was only 2 seconds, but I consider it to be noticeably better. (My first run was 7 seconds slower this year, my bike was 2 seconds faster this year, and my final run was 28 seconds slower this year. And both transitions were slower this year mainly due to being racked in the far back rack and not in the first rack like I was last year.) But last year was calm, warmer, and dry, so biking FASTER when it's slightly breezy, cold, and (especially) wet is a decent improvement. I'm still not GREAT at biking, but I like where I'm headed.
• This experience makes a good excuse for "don't pay attention to others - race your OWN race." I knew that Erich (the guy who won this race last year when I came in 2nd) wasn't going to be there. And once I was at the race, I learned that Pete (who finished just behind me last year) was doing the relay this year because he was injured and couldn't run. I wasn't really thinking "Sweet, I can win." Instead, I was thinking "Crap, how will I know how fast I'm going? I have no pacers!" I should just be racing closer to "all out" all the time.
Back with more photos from the end of Pharmie's race tomorrow! Click here for more photos from an Examiner article about the race, and click here to enter the Moji Massager giveaway.