Wrentham Duathlon 2016 Race Report

This is my third time racing the Wrentham Duathlon. Its a great early season race, good to get the cobwebs shaken off and see where you’re at. I spent the preceding days scoping my times from last year and seeing what the top of my age group looks like.  I was a bit surprised at my times from last year – they were around what I was estimating for this year.  I’d really have to step it up.

First, I want to throw a shout-out to Melissa. I met her last year at this race when we came up to me to tell me how much she loves Coeur Sports (I’m an ambassador). I saw her again this year, but after our short chat in the bathroom line, I didn’t see her again.  Hope you had a great race!

Thanks to a terrible New England spring, the temps were in the high 40s / low 50s and I wasn’t exactly sure how to dress. How I’d dress for running and biking in those temps were different. Figuring that the first run would warm me up for the bike, I opted for just my tri kit and arm warmers for the run and threw on my bike jersey and it worked out well. Didn’t need the three extra jackets I brought! Better to be over-prepared and under, I suppose.

First run – 3 miles

I feel like I’ve made some good progress with my running this winter. Last year, I wasn’t very happy with it – I was as slow as I ever have been in my life. Training for Ironman, there wasn’t much intensity or speed work, so I really didn’t get any faster last year coming off of a lower leg injury. I ran the fastest I have in years just a few weeks earlier at Ragnar Southern California, so I had high hopes for a decent performance.

While I was doing well for myself, so many people were passing me! What’s fast for me isn’t fast for everyone else, so I just tried to stay focused and not get too worried about that. I was definitely pulling up a bit towards the end of the run knowing I was going to have to bike.

Final time was 25:02, (26:54 last year).  Also very close to my 5k PR pace, very happy to see that.

T1

1:15 vs 1:00 last year. I didn’t have as good of a bike placement which might have accounted for this. Plus I had to put on a jacket. In any event, very important wasted time.

11 mile bike

Once I was out on the course, I immediately started passing people. It was especially satisfying to pass all of the people who just passed me on the run.

My goal for the bike was to just hammer away as hard as I could. And I did that. I passed tons of people at the beginning and then slowly started reeling in everyone else in front of me. There were a few times, maybe half way through, that I’d realize that I wasn’t going as hard as I could and had to pick-up the pace.

At about 9 miles or so, I started hearing a women behind me. Women are the only ones who thank the volunteers. With every “Thanks!” I threw out, I heard her’s just seconds behind me, getting closer and closer at every volunteer, until she finally passed me. And she was in my age group!  Noooo!!!

Now this is a race! I didn’t want her to get too far ahead, so I tried to stay on her heels. It worked for a while, until we turned onto a different road and she ever so slowly, kept increasing the distance. I figured if it took her this long to catch me, I likely could catch her on the run.  By the end, she was probably a minute or less in front.

Final time: 37:45 (last year 39:32)

T2

This isn’t the time you want to realize you didn’t put speed laces in your shoes. Rookie mistake. 1:15 (vs :56 last year).

Second Run – 2 miles

This is only two miles, make it hurt. I saw my nemesis ahead of me and just pushed and pushed. Until my shoe laces became untied.  Uggghhh.  Seriously.

My legs were not giving me what I wanted and I was not making up any space. I could see her the whole way but my body didn’t respond. I never did catch her.

Time: 16:50 (vs 18:20 last year).

Final time:  1:21:59  (1:26:44 last year)

Over a five minute improvement. Pretty good considering I lost a full :30 in transition, but I did cut time off of each leg.

After the race when I was checking my time, the machine told me second place. I found that really hard to believe, they were having major technical issues, but I stuck around just to see if it was true.

wrentham-du-podium

It was!  Second place age-group.  And the first place women beat me by 51 seconds.  51 seconds!!  I wasted 30 in transition. and the other 21 could have been made up anywhere in that race.  Soooo close.

I realized later that the only people to pass me on the bike were three older men (59 being the youngest) and the woman who beat me. So for a bulk of the bike, I was in first place. I had no idea.

I fully realize that a lot of fast people didn’t show up, and that this performance would not have been a podium spot with last year’s competition.  But, you can’t win if you don’t show up!

My new race philosophy:

Train as if you’re in last. Race as if you’re in first.

 

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