So this would be my first real Duathlon, it is a 3 race series and the first race only had Run and Bike, this one had Run Bike Run. The first race I finished firmly in 2nd place (for females), 90 seconds behind the leader. I led on the run, but had noodles for legs on the bike. When I was passed (with ease) I just had nothing in my legs to respond, and really suffered through the rest of the bike, my only consolation the race was finished after the bike.
However, I had this crazy thought I could win the next one. To really give it my all I have to believe that there is a chance I can win, then I can dig deep. If I dont win its usually pretty easy to brush off (unless its my A race...thats a little tougher), there is always another race and as long as I've given it my all I'm satisfied. I'm in the middle of Base training with lots of zone 2 miles, so playing with threshold is a shock to the system and requires some digging deep.
I mentioned it in one of my previous entries Learning to Race instead of Time Trial
It was my most tactical race ever but it worked beautifully!
The series leader went out hard on the first run. I hedged my bets that the pace was too fast, and stayed back keeping her in sight. I know how my
The mud had decided it needed my shoe more than I did....sucked it right off and I had to come to a sliding stop a quarter mile from transition. Now in my race addled brain I thought for a moment maybe I should just leave it behind...and I would have but then I thought about the second run, I may need it...as good as the mud felt between my toes :p
A few words that my mom would scold me for saying were expressed as I shoved the shoe back on and booked it to transition. Last time in transition my oxygen deprived brain made me shaky and getting my feet clipped in took a couple (or 5) tries. I came into transition and having practised it was in and out in seconds, fast enough to bring me to the front of the race.
Got on the bike, started drinking right away and took it way easier than I had last time, giving my legs time to adjust and HR to come down. About 10 minutes into the race, the series leader passed me and my race plan was just try to hang on, and see what I could pull off in the run if we came into transition at the same time. And hang on I did...this time my legs were ready to respond when she zipped past.
I felt amazing on the bike, of course there were points where the lungs burned especially in the miles uphill, but it was never my legs really burning and as soon as the crest of the hill came I had lots more power to put out. I couldn't believe it. I questioned if I should pass at a few points, but the plan was to stay with the leader until the last run, and then have faith in my run. Who knows how the harder bike would affect the second run. Although...at that point the assumption was that I would be having a hard time keeping up ;)
I knew the last few miles were a maze of 90 degree turns in town, and my handling skills would probably open a gap. So I surged past just before town, securing entering transition first because there was just no good straight to pass me back.
In and out of transition quickly, the loose shoes that let the mud suck them off last time helped speed me through transition slipping on just as easily.
Now the big question...how will my legs feel for the last run?
AWESOME! Seriously. I felt like they were just locked in, practically on rails. I was being pulled forward by my feet, just along for the ride. My breathing was the only limiting factor, I felt like I was breathing a lot harder than my HR reflected, or how my legs felt. This was it though, the deciding factor, would my legs keep propelling me forward, or was this a too good to be true sprint that would leave me crushed for the last mile. I didn't have much of a lead, but I was in front and at this point I wasn't going to give that up.
I may have played with it a little bit, and surged forward just to say I have something left and I can hold this pace all day. Really I was maxed out and holding on by my fingernails the last mile, but no one else needs to know that. Oddly enough though it wasn't my legs trying to slow me down, I only started feeling some fatigue the last mile, but not the burning that I usually associate with racing, and nothing bad enough to slow me down.
I was excited, and shocked to have won. I stuck to the plan and it worked, instead of running scared off the front I executed the race and felt like I controlled it, played it to my strengths.
But there is a lingering question...could I have done more? The beast of multisport, my legs weren't burning, so I felt like I could push the bike more. Although would I have felt as good running after that?
There is one more race in the series and combined time determines the winner. Because I was beaten so decisively the first race, I'm still down from the leader by about 30 seconds. I cant wait.