Yesterday I completed my first *big* race of the season and my first duathlon – the Maryland Sprint Duathlon.
I think I can say that it’s official, I’m in love with endurance sports.
Saturday we went up to Western Regional Park out in Howard County to get my race packet and get a lay of the land. I had no idea what the course had in store for me, and no idea what to expect in regards to the race. We got there shortly before the race chat, so I sat in on it which was incredibly helpful. While I’ve done a couple of triathlons before, I’ve never listened to the prerace talks so my familiarity with the USAT rules is minimal at best. I also found that listening to the course description gave me an idea what to expect – also helpful.
Sunday, we got up stupid early to head out. I was worried about race traffic since not anticipating race traffic has burned me before. Also i wanted to have time to get set up in transition and not be rushed. We got there around 6:15/6:20 – no traffic, no backups, not parking hassle. Incredible!
Run 1 and T1
The first run was a bit downhill going through the park, onto a trail and then down a road with a short out and back turn around then up a hill back to transition. I picked up new sneaks from Charm City Run the other day and while I know you’re not supposed to run a race in new sneaks, it was really nice having only minimal calf pain and having a better understanding on what’s going on with my legs (it all makes sense to me now…consider my beloved Newton’s retired for the most part 🙁 More on that later!). The weather was perfect, and it was super nice having the chance for water/gatorade at 3 spots.
Saw hubs and little man as I ran into transition and grabbed another cup o’ gatorade.
My transitions are not fast, and I really need to work on them
Run time: 21:36
Transition 1: 3:30 (!!!!)
Bike and T2
I’m still not super confident on my bike. That’s just a fact. Downhills make me anxious (i’m afraid of crashing) and I’m not at all used to clipping in and out yet. BUT! I am getting better.
I got my tires pumped up before I headed into transition (good thing since I was apparently flat!!) and had the bike dude check out my pedals – I have a clip that’s bent because i got my cleats stuck when i was working out on the trainer earlier this spring. It should be an easy fix, but I need to bring them to a bike shop to get fixed but I can still get half clipped in and fully clipped in on the other foot. I need to get this fixed ASAP since I noticed I had some pain in my right foot that I think is related (as in did not have on the other foot that was properly clipped in).
The bike was awesome. A bit hilly but some awesome downhills. I passed a bunch of people and didn’t finish DFL so I felt really good about that. I only dropped my chain once, but I fixed it and it remedied this annoying clanking sound that I was having. I should have sipped more of my fuel but I kept forgetting and by mile 10 I was a little crampy likely from dehydration. Note to self: practice drinking while on the bike.
I should probably read up more on bikes and/or go to some clinics so I learn the basics… how to change a tire. How to know your tires are flat. You know…the basics.
Again, transition took me a couple of minutes – so I need to find a way to be more efficient – especially as I change my shoes.
The second run sucked. While the first run was largely downhill, when that course gets reversed that means a large part of the run is up hill. Thankfully – it was only two miles. A slow and hot 2 miles but only two miles so the suck time was only 2/3 of your average tri.
Run 2: 24:48
Chip time: 1:53:54.3
What I liked about this race
Open course but no traffic so it felt closed
Not a crowded race
Awesome medal/race shirt
outstanding support – each time I stopped on the bike someone pulled up to ask if I was okay.
What I didn’t like about this race
Early race at 40 minutes away from me = earlier morning.
ALL OF THE HILLZ.
Would I race again? Abso-effing-lutely – Sign me up for 2016 for sure! Many thanks to the fine folks at Rip It Events for putting on an amazing well organized and overall fantastic event!