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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