I have internet and cable re-stored in my apartment (that is another story!) and can finally write my post-race write up! Last Sunday, I competed in my first multisport race of the 2013 year: Du the Polar Bear. The race consisted of a 2-15-2 format. Duathlons are always painful and really anything that has to do with running straight off the bat is just plain tough. There is really no way around it unless you want to wimp out.
The weather was really pretty crappy leading up to the race and we were kind of unsure if we would be able to bike because of rain. Luckily, when I woke up race morning it was 70 degrees (not so Polar-bearish) and the front was definitely on its way but it was going to hold off so we could race.
I warmed up and tried to get back into my normal pre-race routines. I just moved in my new apartment that weekend and my sleep schedule was really thrown off. I had my normal breakfast (just a wee bit too early), so I decided to take a 2nd Surge gel about 20 minutes before the race. Ive actually never taken a gel before a race, but I figured it was a "C" race so I could test the waters.
The gun went off at 8:05 am, 5 minutes behind the men, and we were off. Little Welsch Sister was out in front for the first half mile (shes 12 and super fast!). After the first 1/2 mile I finally settled into my pace and before you know it we were rounding the corner to head back into transition. 11:40 was my first 2 mile run. 5:50 pace! Woo! Not bad considering it was 100% humidity. I was feeling good. Could we just run forever??
Out on the bike, Michelle (my coach!) took the early lead. I knew this would happen and to be honest I dont really mind when someone who is stronger than me is beating me. There is nothing wrong with getting "beat" by someone very talented. The course was a 3 lap course, so unfortunately alot of passing was going on, alot of people were on the course, and it was very technical which is something I am NOT good at it. The grounds were a little wet so I tried to take every turn very lightly. I pushed hard on the bike and my legs were definitely burning. Michelle ended up crashing on the 3rd lap so I regained the lead. I backed down a little knowing that I was going to have the win.
I dismounted quickly, and actually started to run out of T2 with my helmet on. HA! This is why its good to race early in the season before your big races; get all the kinks out and test the waters! My legs on the 2nd run actually felt normal.My training has consisted of pretty much making all my runs, brick-runs, and so my muscle memory knew exactlly what was going on. I ran the 2nd run in a more comfortable 12:20 since I was alone, but still trying to push the pace. Actually, The thing that was really hurting was a little prickly ball got stuck in my shoe!! Every step I took I got a nice piercing pain stab into my foot. I ended up with a bruise on the bottom on my foot :( Anyways, I finished and was relived to take my shoe off. 2nd Race of the year, 2nd Win of the year. It was also SO awesome, as usual, racing in your home town with all your teammates/coaches/clients. We truly have a great community!
Something I realized I was missing towards the end of the season last year was the ability to "push". This sport is actually so much more mental then it is physical. Its so easy to back down when you start to feel pain. I realized that last year I was a little burnt out and anytime I felt pain, I didnt want to make myself suffer so I would back down. These last couple months of training I found my mental "push". I have been talking to myself through almost every workout and can actually battle my mind to get to that next level. Sometimes you just need a little break. If you are struggling with trying to find your training legs, maybe you just need a few days off to mentally get back with it.
P.S. Did you see that new Kiwami suit I got? Thanks Kiwami, Awesome job!