Duathlon Nationals

Yesterday I raced my second duathlon race ever. First one was in 1991 or 1992, and I vividly recall it being an awfull experience. I think that it was partially a XC race.

Well, yesterday was done on flat road which is a decent surface for "serious" biking. My preparations for this race included a disasterous Bike-Run x 4 workout couple of weeks ago. For instance, after that workout my running has mostly been a pain in the ass. And nothing else.

Then on last Wednesday morning I sneaked out for a early morning tempo ride (20km in 33:40 = 35.6km/h) during which I used aerobars (which I got to borrow from Ile) for the first time in my life. Based on this base training I dared to face 44km bike ride with 10k "warm-up" and 5k "cool down".

As fun as it was, the race itself was a pretty long (2:11:44) performance which included 3.5 minutes of sad examples of bad transitions both from run to bike and bike to run. But I took them as a hands-on learning experience. On the other hand, they might have prevent me for achieving higher podium spots than the AG bronze which I earned.

Next up... recovery.


Running with spikes hurts

I think that last time I wore spikes was in 2008 when I participated XC race in the US (Derwood, MD) or then it was in 2009 at Run Through the Grapevine (Mt. Airy, MD).

Anyway, on Sunday wearing spikes sounded a reasonable choice since we were going to run mostly on grass. But now I have to restate that choice: it was an horrible idea. Now both of my heels are peeled and torn. I can't even fit my running shoes on. Damn it.

Otherwise that XC race was a nice experience. I recall vividly that a moment before (30 sec) the start, at the starting line, I began to reason my presence in that race. Since I'm sort of a shade of what I used to be, my expectations for the race were minimal - not to finish last. What kind of goal is that? Another point of reality was that right after the gun will go off, I will just watch all the runners vanish into the horizon. Well, both of these ideas came true... But even if I was slow a crap (there was a moment when I was ashamed to on that XC track), I finished.

Next up... Duathlon Nationals. I just hope that I can fit my racing flats on next Sunday.


No patience

Stupid me with no patience whatsoever. Even if last Sunday's XC race was going to be a tough nut with decent preparation, I just had to kill my tiny changes by not being patient enough.

On Wednesday I ran with JK an excellent hill workout followed by a steady run. Nice. This workout felt great and I started to feel opportunistic about Sunday. But then on Thursday I had a change to join sweetie and the group of the triathlon warriors in their bike-run -workout. And that was a clearly a bad bad mistake. Of course I didn't see that before the workout...

Workout comprised 6k fast bike followed by 1k fast run (and this was repeated four times). Beforehand I promised to run at easy pace (6.20s), but no, it just didn't happen. Bike legs were around 23 mph, and running pace varied from 5.35 to 5.15. And this combination just broke my legs. Totally. On the following Friday I could barely walk and on Saturday my easy run was just an awful experience.

Accordingly, Sunday's XC race was miserable imitation of running. Already during the WU I noticed that my legs and my guts are far from providing any changes for pushing my limits. So, in race I broke down already before the 1st kilometer and the rest of the way I wasn't even sure if I will finish that race. I did, but with low success. The days after the race have been miserable, too. Legs are in pain and the left thigh is partially out-of-order. So, I hope that I will make to the starting line on Sunday.

So next up XC nationals and then week after that Duathlon Nationals (10k-40k-5k; I'm in AG 40-44).