Monday, April 20, 2009

All things DU!

This past weekend kicked off race season for me (that's right, I am completely ignoring that indoor tri....) with the April Duathlon. I managed to convince the running buddy to race with me in his first ever multisport event, the weather was beautiful, what more could I ask for?

Right, and then the race started. So this event was small and super informal. I think it was spread purely word of mouth, and most of the participants were friends of the race organizer. And these participants, for being at this informal unofficial event, were out to prove something! Like woah. The majority of the racers were male age groupers in the late 20's/early 30's who were out for bragging rights. This is not a crowd, ps, I can hang with. Intimidation was high, but I was out to have fun. Or so I was telling myself until the race started.

To give you a brief overview, the event was a 2m trail run, a 12.5m bike, and a 2m trail run. Part of the agreement for getting the running buddy to do the race was that we would do the race together. So while I can usually eek out a little lead on running, and he can TOTALLY smoke me on a bike, we were in it together. This turns out to be pretty clutch later on.

Anyways, the cowbell rings and its go time!

(There we are towards the back...I'm doing some sort of strange deformed arm flail I can't explain)

We headed out on the first of the 2m trail runs. This is where I have to admit right off the bat that I forgot how hard trail running was. I knew it was more challenging than pavement, but really, this was hard and it had just started! To start there was a little hill scramble (which at for the first 2 loops I was all about running) followed by a lot of grass and dirt running and some little ups and downs. Now to clarify, this run was nothing super technical and there were no monster hills, but it was WAY different than I am use to running. Mental note, must do more cross training.

First 2m trail run, done. Into transition. This being a chill sort of race, and the running buddy's first transitioning experience, there was no rush. Out on the bike.

Ok, I realize here in the Midwest that we do not have mountains. I als
o acknowledge that I am a terrible hill climber and that I whine a lot about it, but woah! I had no idea there where hills quite like this on the course. Yuck, double yuck. To be honest, the way out on the course wasn't too bad, but I knew that the way back wasn't going to be pretty. Oh and my new bike, built by a fancy schmancy shop here in town, had a defunct front derailleur. Again. WTF?! Always a little ray of sunshine, the running buddy took the time to point out that it could be worse, at least my bike was stuck in the granny gear. I cannot contest this point, but things not working like they should drives me CRAZY!! Anywho, ride out, check. Ride back, ugh. I won't get into too many self deprecating details here, but I will fully admit to throwing a mini-tantrum on one of the hills. It wasn't even the biggest hill either, it was the one after that. The tantrum including getting off the bike, being tempted to throw the bikes, LOTS of colorful language, walking a handful of feet, and getting back on the bike. I must MUST must improve my hill climbing skills STAT. That's all there is to it.

Bike done, slow transition, thoughts of calling it a day and skipping the second run, back on the trail, and go....ish. I mentioned before that I hit the little hill scramble with all the gusto I could the first two laps, with the 3rd and 4th laps, this was not the case. I was completely content to walk that little guy. The second trail run was about just getting it over with. It was done even slower than the first, and was really more of a trudge than a run, but it was done all the same. It wasn't fast, or pretty, but we did it (and there were actually a few people who finished it after us....).

I have to get mad props to the running buddy. Its safe to put it out here in cyberspace as I know he doesn't actually read my blog. He was an absolute rockstar. For being the unwilling participant, and the multipsort virgin of the duo, he was awesome. He kept a great attitude even when I was at my worst, he never quit and wouldn't let me, and he wore tri shorts (that's right, I just put that fact out there for EVERYONE to read). I heart my running buddy!

(Here we are pre-race. Yes, I am wearing arm warmers, and yes he is totally faking that smile. If the post race pics turn up I'll be sure to post the one where I am fairly certain you can see the spit crusted on the side of my face....thanks for telling me AFTER the picture was taken btw!)

Times need not be posted, nor do any other unflattering spandex clad pictures. But yes, more evidence does exist that the running buddy was there. And I'm not afraid to use it for blackmail purposes....

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