Thursday, April 17, 2014

Does Time in the Jogging Stroller Make Your Kids Better Travelers?

Subtitle: Race Report - Double Oaks Duathlon 2014
This is what the back of a minivan looks like with the following contents: 3 children 5 sleeping bags 5 mats 1 tent 5 duffle bags (full of clothes) 3 canvas bags (full of food, shoes, jackets, etc.) 1 Triathlon bike 1 Road bike 1 Stuffed Bear Plus other misc. items It is pretty amazing what we fit in there, really. It was a 12 hour drive on I-81 S to Alabama from Northern Virginia. (Spoiler alert: You can DOUBLE your trip time by taking the Blue Ridge Parkway the way home.) This is the second year I have raced at Oak Mountain State Park. It is just south of Birmingham Al. Luckily, the weather was warmer, sunnier, and less filled with pollen that last year's event. The course was the same which consists of a 5 K loop completed twice. The last mile or so of which is on a single track trail (yay!). A 13 mile bike loop of rolling hills, also completed twice. The 5K loop again completed in the reverse direction in order to run the trail section first on the final lap.
The new Trek Speed Concept totally stands out compared to the other bikes on the racks in the transition area. Awesome! There was another 9 series Speed Concept in my row as well, but his was blue so definitely not as fun as Lunar Orange! The first run went much better than last time. I did a better job of planning nutrition (that will need a whole other post, but Yay to Osmo, Clif and Power Bar). I warmed up before the race start. I knew that the race starts uphill. What I did not do better was I still went out to fast. At 6:30, my first mile was my fastest. Perhaps a bad habit for road races, this is the secret of my success in trail running. Get ahead of the crowd before the first bottleneck. In this race, the order we started the race was more or less the order we stayed. Going into the bike, I was ready. I am pretty sure the race organizers were having some sort of timing malfunction as almost everyone's T1 time was 1:!5. Suspicious. Plus my clock time was shorter than my chip time, but since I started in the second wave, it should be the other way around.
Maybe I will change my FB picture to the one of me riding away. The bike ride was solid. Not record breaking, but I got passed by very few men and was not passed by any women. I lapped many of the sprint distance participants. I never rode the brakes on the downhills except at the U-turns around the cones. The bike rides very well. I especially like that the front end with all the internal cables is much stiffer than previously. This bike feels very stable and likes to go in straight lines. I was able to climb all the hills while remaining seated. I have not risen with a computer for so long, however, I have to go back and figure out how to best make use of speed and cadence information in real time.
The last leg was not comfortable. I had an OK pace, but I definitely need to get more miles under my belt to strengthen legs for the longer and later runs. At the end of the day, I was the fourth woman to finish and the second in Women 35-39. Since they skimmed the top 3 off for overall awards, I was technically awarded first in the age group. I felt better today when I saw that the 35 year old who did beat me was a local AND was voted Triathlete of the Year by USAT!

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