DITR was (supposed to be) my first Tri since Columbia. I was pretty excited in the week leading up to it. I didn't exactly rest for it, since I am still focusing on doing Diamond Man in September, but I did have a few days off. Saturday morning I woke up early (before the alarm went off), got stuff together, and jumped into the car to drive to the park 'n ride on 195 to meet Gwen. We were driving up together, which was nice, since I hate driving, especially alone. I drank my instant breakfast while waiting. After loading up Gwen's bike and stuff, we took off. It was raining the whole trip up, which was very reminiscent of Columbia. When we got there, the first thing I saw getting out of the car was a flash of lightning. Great. Well, maybe it will pass. No such luck. By 7:00 they had decided to switch the race to a duathlon. The visibility in the water was just too poor. I agreed with the decision, but was REALLY disappointed in the no swim thing. Swimming is by far my best leg, and I was actually (not so secretly) hoping for a podium finish. By changing from a Tri to a Du, I figured there really wasn't much chance of that. I'm a decent runner, but not a great one.
Run 1 - 18:10
The first run was described as 2.7 miles, but my Garmin said 2.5. Either way, I felt pretty good. I tried to push a bit to stay with the top runners. The run was the same as the normal run, but they had us turn around at the first water stop. It's over gravel, grass, and paved sidewalk. With the hard rain, must of the path was pretty flooded, so there was really no hope of keeping dry feet.
T1 - 1:26
Not my best effort. I had trouble, for some reason, getting my helmet fastened. I also debated briefly wearing my glasses. I like wearing them to keep debris out of my face, but was concerned that it was raining so hard that even with the yellow lenses in it would make it hard to see. I opted to wear the glasses, which turned out to be the wrong decision.
Bike - 1:27:27, 18.3 mph (according to Garmin)
The bike was probably the scariest bike I have ever done. I've never biked in that much rain before. DITR is not as hilly as Columbia, but there are a few steep downhills, including one that ends with a hairpin turn at the bottom. I had done that turn 2 times before, but it is completely different in the rain. I was so afraid I was going to crash. And the woman who passed me just before the turn didn't help matters any. Seriously, in the rain, on a steep downhill, with a sharp turn ahead, and you don't wait to pass until after the turn! Anyway, I tried to just be safe on the bike. I gently breaked the downhills and pushed the flats and uphills as much as I was comfortable. The glasses did make visibility worse, so I took them off after the hairpin turn. I tried to put them in my pocket, but missed and ended up losing them. I drank a bottle of Cytomax and ate a (somewhat soggy) english muffin with raisins and peanut butter and one package of Sport Beans. I learned after Columbia, that I really need real food on the bike. Seemed to be the right thing because I felt pretty good coming off the bike. Oh, and for those of you who know the story, rest assured I DID NOT go off course this year, so DID NOT do 9 extra miles : )
T2 - 1:06
Couldn't quite break a minute. I blame the rain ; )
Run 2 - 38:46
The second run is supposed to be 5 miles, but my Garmin said 4.86 miles. Like I said before, it is an out and back run over gravel, grass, and pavement. With the constant rain, it was one big mud puddle. I have had IT band problems in the past, but they haven't really bothered me in a long time. Until Saturday, that is. Coming off the bike and starting the run, my left knee started hurting. That nice, sharp pain you get on the outside of the knee when the IT band rubs. Oh so familiar and unwelcome. I decided to just ignore it and try to run as fast as I could. I figure the IT band was tight from starting the first run cold (my IT bands always bother me more when I'm cold), and running over the uneven terrain. I felt good other than the IT band, so tried to just go as hard as I could. The nice thing about an out and back is that you can see who is in front of you. I counted 16 women in front of me, so I was still thinking I could have a chance at a podium. I even managed to pass one woman on the way back. If course, her calf read 40-something, so it really didn't buy me anything. And only one woman passed me, but she was 26, so I was still good. I finished strong and it felt really good!
Turns out, I was 6th in my age group (5th if you take into consideration that the 1st place woman was 2nd overall), so no podium finish for me. Could I have done it with a swim instead of a second run? Maybe, but it really doesn't matter. I really do this sport to try and better myself, and I have to say I was very happy with my race. My first ever duathlon. The impromptu MMTC tent was great! It was nice having a place to hang out and stay reasonably dry. Plus, the food everyone brought was great! I'll probably do this race again next year. Hey, gotta see what will happen with a swim!