Du @ The Dam

Last fall I did my first duathlon and loved it despite the terrible experience with the hilly bike course. A new race was planned close to our house and on the trails I bike regularly, so why not. My plan was to have fun and enjoy the race and work on transitions since my running has slowed and I really haven't biked much this year and wasn't expecting anything great. I did look at the registration list the night before the race and saw only 4 women in my age group and knew they were giving 3 places in each, now if I could just beat one of these women.

Being that it was a close race, I got to sleep in and wasn't rushed to get there. Matt and I got to the park and were able to park near transition. We grabbed our packets, got marked and set up transition. We now had 1 hour until start, so we walked a little as a warm up. During the pre-race announcements the RD talked about the bike course and how it was not that great, so just enjoy the ride and have fun. The course was on paved trails through a park (out and back) and wide enough to fit 1bike going each direction.

Run 1 (3 miles): Lined up at the start and Matt pointed out a certain woman, now it was my goal to beat her if nothing else. The run course was great, through wooded areas and next to the river, it was well shaded and mostly flat. I ran about 2.5 miles with Matt and then took advantage of the final downhill stretch and went ahead. Grabbed water at the stop and headed into transition. 24:36 (8:12 pace)

T1: Had everything laid out, changed shoes, helmet and sunglasses on and I was off. Drank some as I pushed bike out. 0:57 Much better then nearly 2 min last year.

Bike: I am not a great biker and was just going to enjoy the ride once I stopped freaking out about having to cross the dam, not once, but twice. At mile 2 I crossed slowly for the first time and since there was little wind and no one standing around it wasn't too bad. I soon caught up with Matt and ended up passing him at about 6 miles, he was shocked. He ended up ahead of me again on the hill (bridge overpass) and stayed ahead. The turnaround was tight, so I unclipped to not fall, but sure enough couldn't make the tight turn and was riding on the grass and ended up on my side. I was riding super slow, but of course fell to the side that was still clipped. A little scrape on my leg from hitting the pedal, but not much, falling at a slow speed in the grass isn't all the bad. I was feeling pretty good during the ride and was just enjoying the trails, then came the 2nd dam crossing, this time was a little slower since now people were taking up space. 1 mile to transition after the dam. 48:58 (16.5 mph)

T2: Luckily I didn't throw things around at T1 and quickly changed shoes grabbed my hat and belt and was off. 0:49 (this one felt much longer then the first).

Run 2: Same course as the first time. I grabbed water coming out of transition and just went slow to get my legs back. Then I started passing people, I love the run. At about 1.5 miles I saw Matt ahead and could tell I was closing in. I finally caught him and passed at 2.5 miles. This was where the downhill came so I just kept going and kept up what felt like my easy pace. There was the finish line.. 24:09 (8:03)

1:39:27, Wow I was expecting closer to 1:45-1:50 since I hadn't been paying attention to pace/time I had no clue where I was.
2nd AG, 9th Woman, 29th OA (Matt was right behind me in 30th at 1:40:01)

The food afterwards, was simple but perfect. Trail mix, Chex Mix, Ghardettos's and fruit snacks all in snack bags. The race was great and I love my new attitude to do races for fun and not push myself. I feel so much better afterwards and get such a different experience then when racing. I still love Du's (much more then tris). I'll be back at this race next year, the RD already talked about changing the bike course to be on the road to decrease congestion.


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