August 4, 2013
The David Hancock Tri is one of my favorite events, even though I am a slow swimmer and a horrible biker. I think my bike issue is similar to my issue with a kayak – nothing fits me… and I am not about to buy a custom made bike just to compete in triathlons.
I was in conversation with Dave Hancock for a week or so about the possibility of borrowing a bicycle… or finding someone to relay with me (as I did last year). As the date got closer, it seemed unlikely that I would have a bike OR a teammate, but he said, “Show up anyway, and we’ll figure something out.” MY idea of a solution was to forgo the bike portion entirely and just do the run course twice. I figured that the speed at which I swim combined with feeling pretty tired on two runs, I should finish relatively close to the other competitors, rather than an hour after like I usually would.
When I got down to the start, Dave seemed flummoxed that I had not come up with a usable bike within a few days, but agreed to my modified version of a triathlon, where I ran twice. (Someone might be tempted to call this a duathlon, though they typically eliminate the swim to do the run twice (and not do the run twice in a row).
My one-kilometer swim took me 37 minutes (including the transition), and most of the rest of the competitors were long gone. David’s dad offered me a ride to the bike-run transition area (aka their house), because it was about a mile-and-a-half from the swim area, but I said I would walk myself. I did a modified race walk, both because there were a lot of street crossings and also because swimming often tired me out and takes a significant time to right myself (usually I would gut it out on the bike or wait while my teammate biked the 28 miles).
Once I got to the Hancock homestead, I started out on the 6.5 mile run course (Woo Hoo, I am in the lead!). I tried not to overdo my pace as I have another ultra next weekend.
Around the time I was returning from the cul-de-sac at the end of Appian Way (around mile 5.1), I saw the lead cyclists descending down the off-ramp of the 2nd Street Bridge. Bye bye, lead. I finished my first loop of the 6.5 mile course in 69:40, around 10 minutes per mile.
I didn’t run nearly as well on my second loop, took the hill easier, walked most of it and I was passed by much of the crowd. On the positive side (as I mentioned above), I was running around or with the other runners in the race. My second loop took 75:00, closer to a 12:00 pace.
You know, it’s funny to get upset about a particular pace. In an ultra, I would be ecstatic with 12 minute miles. In a shorter race, there has to be something wrong with me!
My total running mileage for the day was nearly 19 miles, due to the fact that I walked to and from the race from my house, did 13 miles IN the race, plus 1.5 miles walking from the swim to the run transition.
After the race was the usual socialization period, with the Hancocks, the volunteers, me and Wolf. The beer ran out early because the Tribe folks drank it all (also, I am working on drinking less, even though I never drank much to begin with).
Even if I end up not running the event in 2014, if I am in town, I want to volunteer or hang out afterwards. That is my extra motivation in doing a race – the social aspect.