Cold. Wet. And not just your girlfriend. That was what we were faced with at the Trisports.com Desert Classic Duathlon on Sunday. The trails were a muddy, sloppy mess, as if mud makes any other type of mess. Judging from my kit it sure doesn’t make a clean mess. But damn it, it’s so much fun to run in the rain. Especially on trails dodging cactus and stomping in puddles. My high school and college xc skills are still there. My leg speed, um, well, not so much.
It wasn’t so bad on the bike, the weather that is, not my riding. My riding, now that was an awesome display of patheticness. With all the kit I had on the only cold part came with the 5k downhill that saw me cruising along at 29+ mph. Couple that with a chain that skipped unless I was applying some upward pressure to my shift lever and the fun factor wasn’t near an all time high. The front Zipp 1080 is a bit twitchy at times. Sort of felt like I was hydroplaning. Hydroplaning, twitchy and wet roads = some puckering here and there. The rubber stayed down and the Styrofoam stayed up is a decent summary on my biking. Other then I suck, which is the best assessment of it currently.
I accomplished my goal of a personal worst time on the course. 1:39:21. A PW by 4:31! F*ck yeah I rocked it! I was still 2nd in the Men’s 35-39 Age Group. The streak of never finishing out of the top 3 in my AG in this race continues. This is a very sad reflection on how pathetically weak this AG is in AZ. Next year I get to play with the big boys in AZ, the M40-44 AG. When did I get so old?
The run went somewhat well. I’ve never witnessed this race from so far back. I was 25th in my wave in the first minute. The gun went off and I just cruised out from the line. About 100m from the turn to get on the trail, just like when I’ve been up front, those in the back suddenly started to slow. Who knew? I moved up 5 or 6 places in the 25 meters before the turn. Ran past a few more and hit the first mile in 6:10. The first mile of this race is more or less downhill and flat. The real challenge on the first run is between miles 1 to just beyond 2. The course goes uphill the entire time. Hit the 2 mile mark in just under 12:40. Just beyond 2 miles, the course turns downhill again. The smart play is run the first mile within yourself and the second mile hard to make time on those behind and/or pull in those in front. The section from just beyond mile 2 to the end of the run takes care of itself…..if you’ve run smart up to that point. Hit 3 miles in just over 18:10 and continued to push. I got passed around mile 3 then just clung to the dude and let him pull me. When all was said and done, it worked out to about 6:02 per mile for a 21:06 3.5 mile opening leg. Last year I ran 19:30. sigh…..
You know triathlon/duathlon really isn’t that hard when you aren’t pushing the bike leg. I can’t say except for the steep pitches back into the park that I really rode hard. My 202 watt average power would confirm that. Like I said, I Suck.
Second run was fine, had to tie my shoe starting the run, which consisted of struggling to get my neoprene gloves off then tying my ghetto lacing system. I’ve got wide feet and hate my running shoes flopping around, what can you do?
Some dude sprinted past me near the finish. Crossed the line, walked for 2 min then went straight to the Trisports.com trailer where all my (dry) gear was. Got naked, dried off the best I could, put on my dry clothes and got back to the hotel for a hot shower. If you were running up the final 75 meters to the finish line and saw a skinny dude with a really white ass in the back of the trailer, that was me.
The nice thing about racing is it allows you to objectively assess where you are at. Running, I’m ok. A few long runs and some miles consistently and things will be good. Cycling…well I’m going to need a moped if I want to go fast.