Sunday, March 16, 2008

Blue Norther Duathlon - Seguin, TX

The day started early to drive out to Seguin for the Du. My SherpaWifeDebbie and our daughter rolled out early to make the drive. It was the first time my college Junior daughter saw me compete. They dropped me at the race site and went to pick up my sainted Mother who also had never seen me race (race - a term I use lightly) but has wanted to for a while. She wanted to go to the 12 mile run or the half marathon I did earlier but I convinced her a multi-sport event would be more fun as she would see me for longer than 10 seconds as I departed and 10 seconds as I finished. After the fact she agreed, but I think she did doubt me in the interim. She probably thought I was hiding some sort of cult-like behavior that was putting me in danger in some mysterious way.

Okay, so race report. Check-in was smooth and on time. Always a big deal with me. Got a great rack position for the bike and just hung out waiting for the crew to join me. They got back after making a DONUT run. Can you believe, they got DONUTS. The race was a 3.1 mile run followed by an advertised 13 mile ride (it was over 14.5) and another 3.1 mile run. The runs were two laps around the campus so I saw my personal cheering section multiple times. I went out a little hard on the first mile and really paid for it with a high heart rate the entire day - sheesh...when will I learn??? I forgot totally about trying to protect my calf but I went back to the neutral running shoes and while the calf was tight from the start it never cramped - it just kept me aware.

I got into the transistion area and apparently there had been some intergalactic phenomena because almost every bike was gone. Now look folks...I am a SLOW runner but this was crazy...there were some serious runners here. So I jumped on the ride and thought, "I gotta hammer." I was passed at about the 1.5 mile mark and was really ticked. What was wrong with me? I decided to keep the cadence at 90 and gear as I needed. The course had a few climbs but nothing ridiculous. I began to pass a few people (including the guy who passed me) and felt better. There was one hairy sharp turn and I ended up crossing onto the grass on the other side as I skidded around the corner...note to self "in the future, when the sign says "sharp turn - slow" it might pay to slow down a bit."

I roll back into T2 and felt pretty good about the number of bikes still out on the course. A quick transistion and off I went. My legs were really off. I think it had something to do with that first run but whatever. At the first aid station I poured a cup of water over my head and heard one of the spectators saying how cold she was and couldn't believe that guy just poured a full cup of water on his head. There was nothing cold about this body at that time. Temp was in the 50s or maybe 60 degrees but I was certainly warm by then. This run was pretty good - I want to see the splits but I think I did okay. I may have actually been last in my age group but feel pretty good about the effort on this day. I just didn't really feel I "had it". I am always slow, but this seemed like I was pushing a wheelbarrow of stones.

I was really glad to race in Seguin, as it is my hometown. I grew up right outside of town and went to junior high and high school there in the "city". Elementary school was in the country in McQueeney and then we got bussed into the "city". Seguin's claim to fame is that it is the home of the world's largest pecan. It is commemorated with a statue on the town square - back in the day, someone would wrap it up in a box with ribbon around Christmas and hang a huge to/from card that said "to the world's largest squirrel". This is truly small town Texas.

See you at the finish line.

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