Thursday, May 27, 2010

How a duathlon kicked my butt!

This past Sunday I participated in the Gear West Duathlon! This people, is a serious duathlon with serious athletes. I am not worthy to participate, but they let me anyway.

I signed up for this duathlon for 3 reasons. First and foremost, I knew there would be friends and acquaintances there that I wanted to see. Secondly, it's a good workout, no matter where I was in my training and thirdly, awesome prizes. (which of course, I didn't win. I don't win prizes.)

For those of you that didn't know, I have not signed up for a marathon yet this year. I have been working on my speed on shorter distances including the TC 1 mile that is in previous posts, a 5k, a 7k and my first 10k. Wow, off subject for one moment. I have had a first mile race, a 5k pr, a first 10k that went well and my first duathlon so far this year. Cool!  Ok, back on subject now. My point is, I have not had a workout longer than 45 minutes in a very long time. And the ones I have had, have been few and far between. It just hasn't been my focus!

So, what the h e double hockey sticks am I doing, racing a duathlon that will take well over 100 minutes. And why the heck do I suddenly, like a day or two before the duathlon, decide to race it hard and try to break the top 25% in my age group? (Yes, it may be because I'm an idiot, but I was looking for a bit of a more substantial answer than that) ;-)

And yes, somehow, I come out with this blinding optimism that tells me that I should try to finish the race somewhere @ 1:37- 1:38! The Gear West Duathlon is a 5k Cross Country run (didn't know it was off asphalt), 28k hilly bike and then a 4k Cross Country run! I took my 10k training pace for my run and figured I could do a good 20 mph on the bike.


See, now I pause to think!


I am in the best shape of my life! Period. Look at these pictures from the race. Thanks for the pics Steve Stenzel!

 Ok, yes, the heel is striking first but only at the end of a long race!
That is a butt that's in shape!
I've shown this before, but here is a picture of my first race in 2007!
Notice a little difference?

I am 192 pounds now! The best weight I've had except fleetingly when on my highest mileage for the last marathon. Right now, I am nowhere close to high mileage.

Pharmie, Steve Stenzels wife, even commented prior to the race, about how I look like I'm losing weight. I've actually lost very little (from 196 lately) but my body composition or something has changed quite a bit in that I am being told it frequently.

I'm feeling strong, more flexible, better looking, smarter. (the last two may be an exaggeration).

A great formula for me to suddenly having a goal and an unreasonable goal at that, for a duathlon! Full of Minnesota's stars of Tri's and Du's!

I went to the duathlon and setup being quite anxious and nervous about the race. I haven't felt like that in a while. Ehhh, it's good for ya, don't ya think?

It's weird. I am a friendly sociable person. Not overly sociable mind you. I'll go up and talk to anybody. It's just that I'm not likely to unless there is a good reason. So here I was, at the du, seeing lots of familiar faces and just standing there, not talking to anybody. It's quite common for me. I think part of it is just that I do ALL of my training alone. It's really been necessary with my past job but I should look into making sure that changes so that I work out with others sometimes at least.

Anyway, I run a warm up mile, do some active stretching and get ready to race.

I really loved the race from the beginning, as in, before it even started. We had to walk about 1k to the start line. There was something about that walk that built up, yet also released some of the anticipation of starting. I'm not sure how else to explain it. Basically, since the first run is a 5k, we had to start 1k away from the bike transition. So the first 1k is on the road and parking lot. That's my kind of running.

After the 1k and passing the transition, their is a gravel trail that goes along the school to the back of the school, We run along it until it ends! And when I say ends, I mean the gravel ends and the grass starts.

I really liked it actually. Nice and soft. I was feeling strong, so much so that 1st mile was a 7:15 pace. So this trail was up and down, around this court and through the woods. It would change from grass to wood chips, back to grass. Oh, did I mention up and down? Over wood planks! My second my slowed down to 7:49 but that was just natural since the surface was soft. Not feeling too bad. Unfortunately the 3rd mile slowed down even more to a 8:53 pace. Of course, this hill may have had something to do with it.

Pic stolen (borrowed?) from Steve Stenzel at this specific blog post!
My 5k time ended up being 24:41. About a minute slower than my fastest 5k and it was cross country. It was a good run but I ran too hard for a duathlon and my current abilities.

Too bad the race didn't end there! (as far as finishing time I mean)

More later and thanks for stopping by!


  1. Hi Tim,
    Nice job on your duathlon! I think that you did great:) Woo hoo for seeing Steve...he is such a nice guy, I was able to meet him at the St. Paul Securian half. Remember how I said that you were taller than I expected? After seeing your picture from 2007 it makes me think that I thought that you were thinner too:) It is amazing what running can do for the body! I have noticed changes in myself too:)

    I would love to try a duathlon sometime too...first I need a bike...then I would need to train:) Congrats on a fantastic finish! Have a wonderful weekend!

  2. Great race report, impressive finish! Great pics, it's amazing what running does to your body (nice butt, btw, lol!) Have a great weekend : )

  3. Great job on the du! Love what running can do to us physcially--I saw a huge change when I started running!