Sunday, April 13, 2014

32.6 Challenge

In keeping with the spirit of the season, this was definitely a "why not" kind of racing weekend. Saturday was the Heel & Crank Duathlon, while Sunday was the inaugural Bridge Street Half Marathon. I had committed to the Heel & Crank a couple of months before the half was announced, so when I heard about it, I didnt really think twice about racing it. Duathlons are hard, after all, and two hard 3 mile runs on Saturday would be enough hard running for the weekend. Additionally, the risk of injuring myself with that much hard running, and missing out on quality bike training time would have, in the past, been unthinkable. However, this is 2014, so when it was announced that anyone doing both would be eligible for a commemorative pint glass, well then I just had to sign up for the half as well! 

Saturday morning, then, started off with a trip to the pool, because what good triathlete wouldnt swim before a duathlon? 

At the race, I was my usual mix of worried but confident. Worried I wouldnt win, but confident in my abilities. Heading off for the first run, I felt pretty good and it seemed no one wanted to run with me, so I did my own thing. Plus, I wanted to make sure I had some time on the stronger cyclists in the field. At the turnaround of the first run, it looked like I had about a 30s lead - decent but not great. Finished run #1 in 16:07.

Out on the bike, I felt surprisingly good. I didnt have a computer, but felt like I was moving pretty quickly. The thought was to just make it to 20min, or 8mi, without being caught. That is over halfway, and if I got caught and lost time, I shouldve be able to make it up in run #2. Luckily, I never got caught and rolled into T2 in first.
That set up a nice cruise for the second 3 mile run of 16:23.

All in all really pleased with the race, as I was faster in all three segments this year (20s faster in run 1, 1min faster on the bike, and 15s faster on the 2nd run). Some of that I think had to do with the weather, as it was pretty cold last year, but still, I'll take it! It was definitely a surprise in the right direction. Full results here. 

Sunday, however, was a different story. Of course I'd be sore, but I wasnt totally sure how my body would respond. At the start another local runner, Eric Debolt, said he was going for sub 1:15. So, I figured I'd try to stick with him for as long as possible and see what happened. That lasted about two miles before I started feeling a lot worse than I shouldve two miles into a half, so I had to back off the pace. Eventually I settled in around 5:55 pace, which seemed much more reasonable, but about all the legs had. There was also a brief stop between mile 10 and 11 - apparently the stomach didnt like the double races, either. This brought me to the finish solidly in third place, meaning the race the day before probably only cost me one place, because there was no way I was going to beat Josh Whitehead (he ran with Debolt before dropping a 9:4x last two miles...) Results are here. Splits for me: 5:32, 5:45, 5:54, 5:55, 5:57, 5:54, 5:52, 5:59, 6:01, 6:00, 5:58, 5:49, 5:39.

So, would I recommend this? No, not exactly. Will I do it again? No probably not. Was it a cool experience? For sure, especially because both races were in town, had great support, and were a lot of fun. And the crazy thing is that there were over 100 people that did both! So it was pretty cool to have the shared experience.

But, there is a reason why you never see coaches prescribe two hard running workouts on back to back days... they take a lot out of you. I think it was a combination of muscle fatigue and glycogen depletion which led to the slower than usual performance on day two. Now I just need to take a few days really easy (no problems there...) and hope the weekend didnt take too much out of me, as I'd like a few more quality weeks of decent exercising before Gulf Coast.

No comments: