USAT Duathlon National Championship (Bend, Oregon) – A Race Report and Lessons Learned

The Finish Line at USAT Duathlon NationalsThis wasn’t my greatest race result by a long shot, but it was the result that I deserved.  As I mentioned in my last post, my body has been a house of cards this year.  Maybe a teetering stack of Jenga blocks is a better metaphor with each race being like pulling out another supportive block from the bottom.  Any way you look at it, I’m frail this year; one tiny mistake and everything comes toppling down.  That happened in Avilés when my back went out and boy did it cost me.  This time everything held up—consequently, Nationals were definitely easier and faster than Avilés even though it was at about 3,500 feet of altitude.  But I was also definitely racing well within my already compromised limits.

I’m going to write this race report a little differently because I don’t want to focus as much on the actual race as much as what I’ve learned from doing the race and what I’m doing about it.  Even though I’m not in ideal shape, I am excited and I have a plan.  Also towards the end, I’ll mention some of the longer term challenges that affected both this race and Avilés—as well as what I’ve learned from going through this darker period.  So let’s dig right in! Continue reading

Race Report: ITU Duathlon World Championship 2016 (Avilés, Spain)

This was the most improbable race!  A week ago, I said I couldn’t do it.  The night before the race, I said I couldn’t do it.  And, entering T2, I said that I certainly couldn’t do it.  Never in the 35+ years that I’ve been a competitive runner and cyclist– and in all the hundreds and hundreds of races that I’ve done– I have never faced so much doubt about my ability to do a race.  Yet somehow it came together.  It wasn’t pretty or gloriously fast, but it came together nonetheless.  This race report won’t talk about all the amazingly cool things about the race—it will focus mostly on my injuries and how a World Championship somehow came together despite it all. Continue reading

Race Report: WA State Time Trial Championship (40-K)

Today, Mary and I were down in Tenino, Washington to race the Washington State TT Championship.  This is a great event hosted by South Sound Velo.  This is the fourth(?) time that I’ve done this race.  For Mary, it was her first time trial.  My goal was to come under an hour (I rode it in 58:59) and Mary’s goal was to break 20mph (and she rode 20.6 mph), so all in all, it was a great day.  Here is a quick pdf of the overall results.  My time was good for 8th position out of 19 in my M40-49, Category 4-5 age group.  Middle of the pack– exactly where I expected to be.

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Starting Off with a Bang: Duathlon Nationals 2014 and Seafair

I’m a bit of a nut when it comes to my training and racing, but this weekend was extreme even by my standards.  I hadn’t thought about the folks reading my blog when I started on my Odyssey, so I don’t have many photos to share from the experience.  In short, it was three days, two 1,500 mile plane trips, and two hard races all compressed into one very busy weekend.  Despite plantar fasciitis interfering with my race schedule, these were still races 12 and 13 of the year me– but I still have a long way to go before I can come close to my record of 23 races in one season.

Duathlon Nationals 2014 (St. Paul, MN)

The Odyssey started at 4:45am last Friday, when my friend Mary Craig picked me up and we drove to the Seattle-Tacoma Airport for an early morning flight to Minneapolis-St. Paul.  We arrived in the early afternoon, quickly drove the race course (which had been changed because much of the course had been flooded) and then built our bikes and prepped for the race on Saturday.

Mary and me after Duathlon National but before gelatoMorning came early with a 5:00am alarm (3:00am home time) and then off to the transition zone to set up the bike for the race start.  By 8:00am, my race was underway.  First run was slow– I’ve been fighting plantar fasciitis all summer so my running speed isn’t nearly as fast as it was in the winter and early spring.  Bike was awesome.  The second run was just a touch slower than the first run, but I was consistent with my competitors who all ran the first leg far too fast.  I crossed the line in 170th place out of 349 competitors.  My age group is a bit more competitive as I was about two-thirds the way down at 20th place out of 30 competitors.  While I’m used to winning my age group back in Seattle, I have to keep telling myself that Nationals are the big leagues.

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