Monday, April 25, 2016

Doing a Duathlon

I've had a few fitness goals for this year:

  • March: 5k run (completed in really awful weather)
  • April: 62-mile bike ride in Salem (an hour south of Portland)
  • May: 55-mile bike ride to the coast
  • August: summit South Sister in the Bend area
I was supposed to do the 62-mile ride yesterday. It hasn't been a great training season so far - I haven't had a ton of motivation, and my training partner has really been off for a few years now, but hasn't fully admitted it. I think it's a combination of something medical going on, and also not being in the same place mentally she used to be. We've done some training together but everything is a struggle and she's exhausted after not a ton of effort - and I'm not motivated enough to do more on my own! 

So, she got a bad head cold before this event, and her longest ride for the season was only 25 miles (at which point she was exhausted). I'd ridden longer, a couple whopping 36-mile rides, but wasn't exactly chomping at the bit to do more. So when she got sick I was actually kind of glad - the weather was looking horrible anyway, and I didn't want to drive 2 hours and bike for 6 hours in crap weather... or at all, to be honest. 

BUT THEN I remembered that another friend was doing a duathlon this weekend! So I joined her. We had to run 5km, bike 15 miles, and run another 5km. I hadn't even been running in a couple of weeks and have been struggling with discomfort, so I wasn't sure how it was going to go at all! 

The weather was actually not bad at all, so that was the first good news. We got there early to set up our bikes and gear in the transition area - every athlete stages their biking shoes, helmet, gear near their bike so they can change from running mode to biking mode and then back again. Some people had their stuff in buckets which was pretty smart - gives them a place to sit to change their shoes! I just piled my stuff on the ground and then draped a trash bag around the shoes & helmet in case of rain. 

The first 5k went reasonably well - I ran (...trotted) the whole thing which was a pleasant surprise. I got to the bike and felt a little bit tired/unsteady, but once I was geared up and got to pedal, it felt nice to use my legs that way. It took me an hour to do the 15 miles, which is a pretty good pace for me! We had to go east, then west, then east again along a flat and open stretch of road, and the westward part had a fair bit of headwind, so it was nice to finish with the tailwind pushing me along. 

I got back to the transition area and hung up my bike...and couldn't believe I had to do MORE...putting on my shoes I was kind of in a daze and really not sure how I was going to do anything else. I knew there were only about 10-15 people behind me in the event, but at least I wasn't in last place! 

Somehow I managed to trot almost the whole first half of the final 5k, and on the turnaround I alternated walking and jogging as much as possible. I ran across the finish line and only got rained on a little bit! I knew that my friend was behind me so I hung out about ten minutes so I could see her cross the finish line and walk back to our gear together. 

I never ever ever would have expected to do a duathlon. I honestly don't know if I'd do it again, but at least I know (at the moment) that I can do it if I want to! Talk about unexpected places in life! 

1 comment:

  1. It's interesting to read your experience. I've wanted to do something like this (or a sprint tri) for years and then always talked myself out of doing it. A duathlon sound like a fun event!