>> Wednesday, April 22, 2015
I've officially got two races on the books. I'm registered for these:
The OAKDALE DUATHLON is in just over 2 weeks on May 9th. I've done this twice in the past with brother-in-law Matt as a relay (in 2010 and 2011), but I've never done it myself. It's a 3 mile run, a 14 mile bike, and a 2.5 mile run. I'll be racing with my youngest sister-in-law Annie and her boyfriend (also named Matt). They are both also racing Duathlon Nationals, so we're using this race as a "tune up" race.
Then in early June, we'll be racing the DUATHLON NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS here in St. Paul. I decided to try their short course because I tend to be better at the shorter races. It's only a 1.55 mile run, a 14 mile bike, and a 1.55 mile run. The "official" duathlon National Championship race is the long course race, which is a 5K, 21 mile, and 5K. (I had to really give consideration to the long course because it has a better run-to-bike ratio, and that's my strength. But it came down to the amount of time I felt comfortable devoting to bike training - I can put in time to feel good about training for a 14 mile bike, but I don't have the training time to feel great about a 21 mile bike.)
Before I signed up for this race, I thought I *might* be able to do well here. First of all, the true "National Championship" race is the long course, so I figured most of the "fast" people would be in that. Secondly, where there are 2 distances, the farther distance tends to draw the faster athletes anyway. Finally, my training has been decent so far this spring. Without even looking at last year's results, I figured I could shoot for a top-10 finish. My-oh-my was I ever wrong. When I finally looked up 2014 results (also here in St. Paul - they have a 2-year contract with each location, so we knew a few years ago that the Duathlon Nationals would be here in 2014 and 2015), I glanced at the running splits. There were a lot of people who were running 4:xx pace. Yeah, really. Sub-5. I thought maybe the results had an improper distance put in - you see that sometimes where they maybe really ran 4K, but the pace is calculated based on them running a 5K for example. But then I saw local speedy master athlete (and Gear West Bike and Tri owner) Kevin O'Connor as 3rd place with a relatively SLOW run split (as compared with others finishing around him in the top-10) of 5:20 pace. Kevin is a better runner than me, and he can out-bike me in his sleep. And he was 3rd. Surrounded by run splits that I could only dream of. Yep, I'm NOT shooting for top-10.
But it still should be a good race where I can take advantage of my short-distance speed. This is my "A-race" for the summer. I've known since about Christmas that I wanted to get myself in shape for this one, so we'll see how good I can do. I would love to TRY to place in my age group, but last year, the 2 guys who placed 1st and 2nd overall were in my age group. Dang. Third in the 30-34 AG was 17th overall. That's a hefty goal, but it's something for me to shoot for. I'm aware it might not be practical, but a girl can dream...
p.s. In 10 days, I'm THINKING about doing the "Cinco DU Mayo Duathlon," which is a week before Oakdale. That's the small race that I won back in 2013. The short course race there is a 2 mile run, a 10+ mile (HILLY) bike, and a 2 mile run. I haven't signed up for this, but it's still on my radar as another possible race to add in. We'll see! Stay tuned!