The last time Katie and I teamed up for a duathlon, it was super windy, so Katie got the tough job having to bike through that. This time it wasn't as windy, but it was colder and rainy. So Katie got the tough job AGAIN. As she handed the chip off to me after her ride, all she could say was "I can't feel my feet". The weather may have been ideal for running, but not so much for biking.
We also made a major strategic error leading up to the race. You see, we encouraged some friends to do team up and do the race. We did Lakefront Days with them last year, and Mike and Katie S. are all-around good people, so why not get them to do it? Unfortunately, we forgot the number one rule of race recruitment: Only recruit teams you know that you can beat! Oops.
Nevertheless, we planned on racing as hard as we could and see what we could pull off. The race was a 3 mile run, 14 mile bike, and a 2.5 mile run.
"The Nerd Herders" before the race
The race was organized into waves, and the first wave was elite men, elite women, and teams. This was problematic. Just after starting, I was already at the back of my wave and throughout the first run, all the speedy people in the next wave were passing me. Once Katie got on the bike, all the rest of the speedy people passed her, so it was a demoralizing setup for the both of us. We really didn't get a chance to pass anyone and we were passed more times than we could count. But I'm getting ahead of myself.
Our wave starting. I'm on the far left in the red shorts, and Mike is in the middle with the Navy (note the capital 'N') jersey.
Once we started, I knew that keeping Mike in sight was out of the question. I just wasn't as prepared as I should have been, and had to accept that. About 1/2 mile in, I fell in behind a woman wearing a purple top and ended up sticking with her for the rest of the first run.
Odd side note: This woman in the purple top is wearing number 392, but 392 doesn't appear anywhere on the results page. Thus, I don't know if we beat her team or not.
Near the start after having fallen in behind the woman in the purple top
Here's Mike about 3/4 mile in to the first run. If you look in the background for someone wearing red shorts, that's me. This is when I decided that I couldn't catch Mike.
I may have been wearing the same clothes that I did for the TC 1 Mile. Don't judge me—most of my racing clothes are in Michigan right now.
When I got to the first mile marker, my watch said 6'22". Considering I did the TC 1 Mile in 6'01, I'm 100% sure that the mile marker was in the wrong place; as was the 2nd mile marker. For most of this run, I pulled out an old cross-country habit where I tucked in behind the woman in the purple top's shoulder and breathed a bit louder than normal. I used to do this to psych out the competition so that when I would eventually blow past them they would be as inclined to give chase. On Saturday, the woman in the purple top had a good pace that could pull me along.
I'm going to write a more detailed post for tomorrow about this, but at one point during the run, 2 duathletes from the wave that started after us came by and did the jerkiest thing ever. To find out what it was, tune back in tomorrow. (That, folks, is what we call a teaser).
Run 1 (3 miles): 20'55" (2nd place co-ed team)
Coming into transition, we traded the chip and Katie was off on the bike.
Not sure where on the course this was, but Katie has cool new purple bar tape
Hanging around transition, I chatted with Steve and Mike while keeping the muscles as warm as possible. As we were chatting, I noticed a woman go up and down the rack of bikes a few times as if she was searching for something. The third time she came by, I asked her if she needed help. Turns out she couldn't find her bike. It was a purple Trek next to a brown Adidas bag. (Just wanted to say that there had to have been 15 purple Treks there.) We helped her search for it, and after Mike pointed out that there were 2 other rows of bicycles, she found it and was off—after a probably 5-6 minute transition time. Hope she did well after that!
Transition eerily empty
Katie S. somewhere on the bike course
Once again, no idea where this is, but I'm going to say that it was near the end.
Katie S. came flying in the bike, and Mike was off to do the 2nd run. Not long after, I noticed another co-ed team handing off to a woman with a black and green top. I knew I would have to catch her if we wanted a chance at placing. Thankfully, Katie came in about 30 seconds later, and it was a race!
Bike (13.5 miles): 47'19" (5th place co-ed team—Katie's speed was within 0.1 mph of Katie S.!)
Ok, it wasn't a race. The woman that I had to catch kept the gap at about 30 seconds and I couldn't close it no matter how hard I tried.
With about 150m to go, I started my kick
Crossing the line
Run 2 (2.5 miles): 17'52" (4th place co-ed team)
Overall: 1:27 (4th place co-ed team)
We didn't place. The runner for the team I needed to catch was fresh (they had a 3-person team, so she hadn't done the first leg), and I just didn't have the training to pull it off. But we still had fun and ate some great hot dogs after the race.
Mike and Katie S. accepting their medals for the 1st place co-ed team. Great job, folks!