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Monday, September 23, 2013

that time i completed a DUATHLON // a full race recap!

happy monday, everybody! 
so, this weekend, it happened! after 4+ months of training ; i finished the 2013 treadman duathlon!!!
i have done 10ks, a half marathon, an inline marathon {26.2 miles on rollerblades} and i even biked 460 miles across the state of iowa last summer ; but this was my first multi-sport event.
and honestly, this was the most fun! 

i noticed a huge difference this time around.
i had fun! 
seriously ; i enjoyed my training, i took care of my body and i never allowed negative self-talk to destroy me.
{confession : i have been that runner // rider in the past. i have talked myself down & brought myself to tears ; bullying myself for not being thin // fast // good enough to do anything}
i hate that. i hate that we allow ourselves to get into that mental state.

the awesome thing this time around : it never happened.
i am not a strong runner {biking comes way easier for me} ; but during the training AND the race ; i focused on the music & my form and continued to remind myself that i can do this. small steps are better than no steps at all. and i am so very lucky to have a body that allows me to run! 

how about a small race recap?! ;)
the race was last saturday in pine island, mn. it took about 90 minutes to get there ; so we left at 530am.
i drank a tiny bit of smoothie {maybe half a cup?} on the road ; but was starting to feel pretty nervous.
it was 44* when we got out of the car. i signed in, pinned on my bib & they marked up my legs {your bib number went on the back of your left calf & your age went on the right} and got my bike set up in the corral. {your bike, helmet, shoes, hydration pack &/or any other gear you need for your ride goes in a bike area}{when you are coming in from the run, you pick up your gear and WALK out of the bike corral ; then you can mount & take off} 
about 25 minutes before the gun went off, i took 30 energy bits tablets {im giving some away tomorrow!!}, a bit of water & had an energy bar from the people at ninja kitchen {they gave them out at the healthy living summit!}

i headed towards the back of the pack for the start of the 3.3mile run {seriously, not a fast runner} & *bang* ; gun went off, people started running! we started on a nature trail & went on gravel, past some farm houses, back onto pavement & into downtown.
my time after the run was 34min {pretty good for me!} and i was feeling great. good energy, great mindset, finally warming up & ready to nail the bike ride.

my transition from run to bike was 55 seconds ; in that time, i slipped on my hydration pack {filled with dark chocolate zico coconut water} & my helmet and ran out of the transition area.
when i read the race course description ; it said the ride was pretty flat, so i assumed i would be able to ride 17-19mph, pass a ton of folks & gain back a bunch of time. {the bike portion was 21.6 miles} 
WRONG! the first 8 miles were super flat, so i tucked in & rode hard {probably close to 18-20mph} ; but then we turned and the wind and the hills started! there were probably 15-20 hills ; some were rolling and pretty easy, and others were more intense. 
right around the halfway point {mile 12} ; there was a MONSTER hill! i mean it ; straight up and looked like it was going on for DAYS! i was in the lowest gear possible & got 1/4 way up the hill and my heart rate was 191 {also known as a heart attack!} ; so i got off and walked.
when i was doing the hill, there were 25-30 other folks on the hill and there were 3 people that rode all the way up ; everybody else was walking. it was seriously a beast! 

my goal time for the entire race was 2:19 ; but when i had 5 miles left of the ride, i noticed i had 25 minutes left until i missed my goal {and i still had another run...}
i didnt plan for the hills, but man, i was so proud of myself. i have really trained hard on how to use my gears and the best way to shift ; plus, my legs have gotten so much stronger. i would say that biking up the hills were my strongest suit for the entire race. i was so proud of how strong my legs have gotten.

coming in from the ride, i had no idea how fatigued my legs would be. i parked my bike in the corral, grabbed a handful of gummy bears from my pack & headed out for the last 3.3 mile run! i still felt pretty good, but i knew that this run would be a bit longer than the first. i told myself that i could walk when i needed to & i would run when i was ready. every few minutes, i would walk 15-30 seconds & then just keep truckin' along.
when i was on the bike, i probably passed about 30-45 folks ; many of which passed me once we were on the second run.. the second run was the same route as the first, but in reverse.

as i was getting closer to the finish line, i picked up my pace & crossed the finish line in 2:40:58 ; not bad for my first race! 

when i was planning for the race, i wanted to finish anywhere between 2:19 & 2:45 ; so i did just that.
i felt really great after the race. i hung out by the finish line & cheered for others that crossed and even high-fived a few of the racers that i recognized from the ride. i stayed for the awards ceremony, as well. i knew i wouldnt place in my age division ; but its so inspiring to see folks older than me crush times & records.

as i was picking up my bike, an older lady came up to me & said 'you passed me on the bike & i just wanted to say that you did a really awesome job!' awwww ; you guys, i felt so great. im sure it was easy to recognize me because i was dressed like a highlighter ; but she made me feel so great! 

this race was great! i had a lot of fun & felt really amazing. most of the folks in the race finished before me {the first guy finished in almost HALF my time} ; but i really felt so proud of myself.

4 years ago, i got on a bike for the very first time {as an adult}. i went from commuting on a 20+ pound steel-framed commuter bike to starting {and finishing!} an actual race. last summer, i biked across iowa and hated it. i cried every day & thought it was so hard and SO miserable ; but this weekend, i nailed every hill and felt so confident in my abilities. 
every race // ride i have ever done ; i have never trained properly & certainly never listened to my body. i have been injured {mostly IT band stuff} before // during most races i have ever done.
the fact that i trained, started AND finished this race with a smile, confidence AND without injury ; that makes me a winner. it totally sounds cheesy, but im super proud of my time!

also, i will definitely do another duathlon in the spring // summer, so if you are in the area {or want to come here!} i would love a training buddy!

finally, just a shout out to everybody that has been following my training, left comments, sent emails, tweets and good vibes ; i really appreciate it!