On Saturday morning, I did a practice race put on by DC Tri. Just an easy duathlon. Or so I was led to believe. Let’s be honest, racing is never easy. Doesn’t matter if it’s a small time practice or a big time race.
But this one was especially tough because I felt like I was in my head the whole time.
The race was a 1.5 mile run, a 14 or 21 mile bike (2 or 3 loops) and a 5k run. It was a cold, gloomy day, though probably the only day in a string of many where it wasn’t raining in the morning. I was glad it was a du and not a tri, that’s for sure. I didn’t count, but I’d say there were about 20 people participating, and what I didn’t realize was just how few were actually doing the longer distance.
The run set off and I was quickly left in the dust. I’m a slow runner. It’s how I roll. I know that and I accept it. (And my run wasn’t that slow – a 12:10 mile pace, which for me is flying.) So I was on the bike long after everyone else. My goal was to pick off cyclists.
And I did. I’m not fast on the bike, but I’m working on it. And what helps me is that I’m a decent climber. Again, not fast, but I’m not likely to drop my chain or have to weave back and forth to get up the hill. And this loop sure had hills. Of course, it’s a loop, so what goes up must come down. There was a significant downhill that freaked me out each time I rode it. My Garmin data says that I hit almost 40mph on it, which explains why I never made it down in full aero. By the last bit, I had to get out of aero to get my body more stabilized because I was freaked out by the speed. 40mph is stupidly fast. Fun, but terrifying.
Unfortunately, all but one of the people I passed on my bike were only doing the 14 miles, so I was way behind by the time I got to the run and thought I was actually last. Turns out one other girl was doing the 21, but I didn’t see her til I was halfway through the run.
I was definitely frustrated with myself on the run and instead of focusing on how well I was doing, I just kept thinking about how poorly I felt about my performance, which is not the way to go. But I just kept pushing and finished the 5k at a 13:04 pace. Not so bad after all. And the other girl caught me and we ran it in together at the end, which felt pretty awesome. Technically one of us was last, but I don’t care to look at the scoring to see which one of us it was. It was really a photo finish for sure.
By the end, I felt a bit better about myself. And I found a sweet new cycling route. That was a good workout and I want to go back to the park for workouts. It’s nice to not be dealing with stoplights and stop signs.