Saturday morning me and my holiday belly headed out to the other side of Shreveport for a little event called the Dustbuster Duathlon. Pretty easy event: 1.5 mi run, 11.75 mi bike, 1.5 mi run. Here is where I would usually complain about the ridiculously chilly temps in the low 20s, but on the way to race my sister e-mailed me about being cold in Iowa and my aunt twittered about it being -24 F in Sioux Falls, so I'll keep that whining to a minimum. The whole race for me was comical at times. First, it was incredibly foggy at the venue today. There were spots where the visibility was less than arms length, I swear. So rather than warm up on the bike on the local roads in the thick fog, I figured I would just run to warm up. I set up my transition like I knew what I was doing (I definitely don't), and then went to stay warm in the car. Thinking that we started at 9, I was warming my feet and watching all the multisport-geeks out warming up. Around 8:30 I decided it was time for that one last bathroom break before getting ready (not the kind you should hold). There I was, strolling around this pecan farm looking for a bathroom, porta-potty, a large bush, anything. I find nothing, but I do hear this voice trying to yell something that sounds like "5 minutes. We're starting in 5 minutes." Wait a minute, who is starting in 5 minutes? Is there a kids race? Those people around the starting area look adult-sized. Crap!
I tried to nonchalantly jog over to the car to grab all my racing accoutrement, all the while thinking, I'm about to do this Du and I really need to doodoo. Oh well. I strapped on my number, my big ass GPS watch, my Fox mountain bike gloves, and double knotted my running shoes. I rushed over to the starting line, did my usual sizing up of the competition...they all had shoes that didn't have to be double knotted. Oh well. So there we are, in the freezing cold, getting a very detailed, turn-by-turn description of the entire route, and then we were ready for the gun. Oh wait, no, we had to take a time out to pray for the beautiful bloody freakin' freezing morning and for our safety and all that. Huh? Anyways, then we got the gun and we were off. Run run run. Not much to talk about on the first 1.5 mi part, into the transition zone sitting about 5th, unknotted my running shoe laces, threw on the SIDIs, blew Terry a kiss and out I went on my road bike sans TT bars because I couldn't find all the pieces to put them on the night before.
Now for the fun part of duathlons. Lots of men run really fast. And lost of those men can't ride a bike to save their lives. And seriously, you paid how much for that fancy schmancy Cervelo and disk wheel only to have platform pedals and old school toe clips? Did not changing your shoes really save you that much time in transition? Or do you not have the fancy speed lace running shoes? And if you can't steer your bike in a reasonably straight line, maybe you shouldn't use the aerobars just yet. At any rate, I was picking off the fast runner men for the first few miles of the bike portion, which distracted me from the fact that my legs were freezing. It was definitely cold. And still foggy. In fact, it was so cold and foggy on one portion of the bike that the water droplets collecting on my sunglasses from the fog were actually freezing, which made it a little tricky to see at times. Luckily the sun started to break through and melted all the frozen bits off. The remainder of the bike was rather uneventful...two women passed me (darn tri girls stomping out massive gears), so I think I was in 7th as I came into the transition. Terry was on the side of the road snapping photos, so I was sure to blow him another kiss...
Changed my shoes, tied my double knot again, threw my running hat back on, and out I went to finish the last 1.5 mi run. I could definitely feel my lack of bothering to break a sweat since returning from Cyclocross Nationals in Bend back in early December. The legs were heavy and still moving in pedal-like circles, but after a few steps I slid back into my running rhythm. I was happily bumbling along, made it to the turn around, and headed back toward the finish. With the sun now behind me, my shadow was visible in front of me...and then I realized that I looked like some sort of crazy Yeti with my hat all askew and some crazy 80s-style big-hair wings poking out. Good goo I looked like a hot mess. But I finished, didn't get passed by any more women, so I figured I was 7th.
After the race someone had a big vat of red beans and rice for us to eat and Terry continued to mock my insanity for running, biking, and running again in the freezing cold. I was patiently waiting for transition to open again so I could grab my bike and was hoping that the results would be posted somewhere since we were chip timed so that I could see how I finished, then we could go. I kept waiting and then finally they said that they were going to hand out awards. I just wanted to see the print out of splits and all that since I didn't think I had placed, but I stood around and listened to the awards ceremony while Terry sat in the car warming his feet. I heard the overall winner's time, and I was about 10 minutes behind her. Then they started into the age group categories...I was faster than the 20-24 winner, but the 25-29 winner smoked me. Then they announced the 30-34 second place finisher...wait a minute, I think my time was faster, maybe? Then they called my name as the 30-34 winner! Haha! I headed back to the car with my new plaque. Terry was shocked! He didn't get out of the car to take the podium pic since we both thought I was 7th and wouldn't get anything. So the winner shot had to happen in the car!
Next event on the opening race weekend of 2010: mountain bike race! Way more fun than anything involving road running and TTing on a bike.