The 3rd annual Dirty Duathlon took place this Sunday under beautiful fall skies in the picturesque Greenwood Park. A kids Du took place before the adult beginners took to a shortened - but still tough - course. In retrospect I shoudda competed in one of these events instead of the Open category I signed up for (although there were a few juniors that looked pretty rough and tumble).
The beginners ran one 2 mile lap and biked two 3.5 mile laps, which woudda been about right for me, but what's the fun in that? The Open was 1 lap run, 4 laps bike and 1 lap run. Ouchie.
I went back and forth on whether I wanted to even try this event, finally deciding only about 2 weeks before I would give it a go. With such a short lead time I didn't have much time to "train". I'm clearly not a racer of any kind and I really only run over the winter, when its too cold to bike. So I knew the running would be tough, but I thought the biking wouldn't be too bad. I was wrong about the biking. Rollercoaster wasn't bad at all, but the long first hill of Hillside and its whole backside (after the corner by the parking lot) was killer.
But hey, for my $25 entry fee I got:
1. Cool t-shirt
2. Sweet biking socks from the swag pile and
I think Justin said it best when he said, "Four laps of Rollercoaster and Hillside?! There's just no reason to do that -- ever." I really wish I had talked to Justin before signing up, but I was not-so-lucky so.....off I go....
I swear, mere moments into the run up the first hill I thought to myself, "So, uhm, Self, quick question: WHY?!"
Not thinking of excuses to quit yet, but that's coming soon.
I knew I would have my usual adreneline dump leaving me drained early on and indeed I did.
Some pictures borrowed from Justin
The course was very hilly and the Hillside portion seemed to never end. On the third bike lap I was so gassed I had to walk my bike up the first big hill leading into Rollercoaster and up the switchbacks after the creek. About 2/3rd's through my third lap of Hillside I washed out my front tire in a sandy turn and went down very lightly, but my hamstring cramped up on me hardcore. It took me a minute to stretch it out enough to stand up straight. I decided at that point I would finish my third bike lap and call it a day.
Tired, berry berry tired.
Jackie and the kids came out to cheer me on. Their support really helped, I could hear Jackie yelling at me (I usually don't like that) even after clearing the transition area and heading up the hill. Squirrel, Justin, Ryan, Hal, Sam and Steve all shouting encouragement was great too. Its pretty cool to be part of the mountain bike community now after peddling many years on my own or just with Corey.
When I rolled into the transition Jackie asked if I was done and I said I was. She congratulated me on doing the run and 4 bike laps. "No, I only did 3". She insisted, "I think you did 4." Justin came by a few minutes later and agreed on 4. I thought if I had done all the biking I should finish it off with the run. I went over to the timers and asked if they were keeping track of bike laps. They said they were not. I told them that I didn't know if I did 3 or 4 laps and the wiseguy timer said, "Are you sure you didn't do 5?" Snarky timer, just what you need at that point. I have to admit, it was pretty funny. Now, after the fact, I'm sure I did 3.
I'm disappointed I didn't finish, I thought at least finishing wouldn't be a big problem. I'm pretty sure I could've done it, but I was feeling it wasn't worth the risk of a bad crash on the final lap due to fatigue or more nasty cramps. I have a major job interview later this week and I think going into it with all my teeth and no limp can only help my chances.
I did happen to notice my blubber far exceeded that of my fellow racers, mostly because they had none and I still have some. I plan to rectify that situation for Dirty Du 4 and maybe even train more than 2 weeks in advance.
I have to make a special mention of my new friend Nick who not only finished but went immediately afterwards to a 2 hour salsa dance class. I guess instead of asking himself WWJD or what would John Wanye do? He opted for what would Antonio Banderas do? Good job Senior Nick.
All in all I had a really good time. I didn't do as well as I woudda liked, but I'll be back.