I am currently training for my first triathlon, the New York Triathlon on July 20.
(Holy crap, that’s only 9 weeks away!)
Anyway, last weekend I competed in the Prospect Park Mother’s Day Duathlon right here in Brooklyn. This was my second duathlon (I ran my first one last August), and this time I did a lot better: I came in 23rd out of over 120 competitors. I came in 6th place in my 24-39 age group, too. If you’re my parents or if you are thinking about racing against me someday, you can see the complete results here.
Most happily (and most surprisingly) at the end of the race I discovered that the race organizers had free WiFi set up around the finish area, and as people finished the race the staff was updating their web site with the results in real time. Those of us with web-enabled devices were able to check our own times and everyone else’s as we waited for the rest of the athletes to finish the race. Pretty cool.
I’m pretty nervous about July’s triathlon, but these duathlons have helped me a lot. They help me actually get some idea about what switching from biking to running in rapid succession really feels like, and in a competitive environment, too. I’ve been able to meet other multisport athletes, too, although it would be more accurate to say I got a chance to scope them out but not really meet them. I still feel like an outsider in a fairly exclusive club.
Other lessons learned:
- Transitions: I need to figure out how to get my bike gear on more quickly. I could have come in the top 20 if I hadn’t been so leisurely about my first transition.
- Nutrition: The duathlon is probably half as long as the triathlon in sheer time, which means I need twice as much stored up energy. I’m going to need to pay closer attention to my diet on race day. I began to feel a little weak towards the end of the race, but moments after finishing I was shocked to find myself getting dizzy and then vomiting in the bushes. Must remember to avoid acidy fruit drinks for breakfast!
- Pacing: I’m going to have to figure out my final pace. I intended to take the bike part pretty easy, but I think I pushed myself pretty hard in the end and lost some energy for the final run.
I’m not sure if I will have a chance to compete again between now and July 20 — maybe I can find a 10k to join or something — but I really enjoy this and look forward to more.