Last Sunday was the Atomic Man duathlon in nearby white rock. Just like last year I got up buttocks early and hopped on the Big Dummy loaded with road bike and gear and cruised the 9 miles down to the race start. This year I got up extra early as I had not picked up my race packet yet. I awoke to completely allergy clogged sinuses at 5:30 am and snorked and wheezed my way through some espresso, bananas and oatmeal before leaving the house at something like 6:20. 37 minutes of riding mostly downhill in the cool, yet not frigid morning got me to the race site at 7am.
I got my package, got suited up, got the bike off the dummy into the rack, warmed up a bit. I also ran into my buddy Ryan from Albuquerque. He was came up to the race with a firend of his with the sole purpose of riding the 100 miles or so back to Albuquerque in an attempt to finish a big loop that he and Chad were thwarted at a few weeks back, read the excellent tale in two parts one and two. Amusingly Ryan was caught by the race photogs, unamusingly Ryan rode off with his friends car keys and ended up having to chill out in Santa Fe to give him his keys back and he did not finish the loop again. Bummer. Next time, dude! Ryan on his super fantastic Boulder Bicycles Randonee bike:
Anyhow, I got to the start line and joked around with the familiar faces I see once a year at this race.
Stretched a bit, and then we were off
As usual the race started with a long down hill stretch. i got a fast start and hoped to put alot of time on people around me before I fade due to no training. This usually works pretty well, but this year I have run less than 20 miles all year, so it was not too successful. Also it took at least 5 minutes of running to finally clear my sinuses from the allergies. When the run started going up, lots of people passed me. I chugged through the race, feeling not so great, and finished the first run in 12 place. Got through the transition without sitting down. cyclocrossed onto the bike and started riding.
I was pretty sore to start and got rolling slowly, but soon I settled into a rhythm and started picking off riders. It was decently windy and pretty tough going on the rolling course. Not much else to say. I tried hard, but did not have good sensations. I think I passed two people who passed me in the transition almost immediately and then picked off three more on the out bound leg, and then passed two more on the way back toward the end of the bike leg. I had been chasing two people in front of me forever, but gaining little ground, but using an extreme aeo tuck and my mass advantage i gained ground on a couple long fast downhills, while resting. Just at the end of the ride one guy passed me with full on aero kt with carbon disk everything, I thought it was a car coming up behind me it was so loud. Using maths, I think I stood in 8th overall at this point. Not too great, but better than 12.
Literally in the first 1/4 mile of the first run, I passed carbon guy and then the two guys I passed on the second half of the bike passed me. And that was it. I was pushing it a bit as I did not want to loose some more placings at the end of the run like last year, but in reality, there was no one near me. My pal Gustavo finished a minute ahead of me and the next person behind me was 45 seconds. I held on for 9th overall. I did not feel too terrible on the second run, I was not particularly fast, but it was OK. I could feel that I would be really really sore, but other than that, no biggie.
Turns out I was second in the 35-40 age group, scoring me a sweet pint glass with the race log on it. With a shirt, good awards, nice raffle stuff and a running hat given to those who fill out a survey, good post race pizza and snacks, this race is pretty fun to go to.
After the race and awards, I saddled up the BD and spun on up the hill to home. It took me twice as long to get back, but it was an enjoyable long day. Elena made me a great sammich when I got home and then I napped for a couple hours. Perfect!
Now the stats
My splits were:
18:14 run (12th fastest) - 1:12 transition - 27:39 bike (9th fastest) - 1:01 transition - 19:48 run (17th Fastest) Total time: 1:07:52 9th place overall.
In 2008 it was: 17:30 run (10th fastest)- 1:15 transition - 26:18 bike (fifth fastest)-1:07 transition- 18:49 (10th fastest). Total time: 1:04:57 for 7th overall
in 2007 it was: 00:17:06 run (6th) 00:27:05 bike plus both transitons (7th) 00:19:21 run (7th) Total Time: 1:03:33 fifth overall.
Disturbingly, just using trends, I can predict that I will finish in 11th place in a time of 1:13:50 next year. In reality, I hope this is not the case. I think the lack of running made me suffer so badly in the first run that it carried over into the bike, harming that time. The second run was kind of silly as no one was near me after the first bit. I might have been faster with some competition, but it is not really relevant as the competition was nowhere near me, or they just did not show up...
My post race summary from 2007 was: Maybe next year I will break an hour with a bit more running training, some lace locks for the shoes and some aerobars it should be pretty easy... unless i get old.
The post race summary last year was: The short version of this years report was that I got old and I neglected to get lace locks or aerobars.
This year the summary is: I successfully have continued to get older. No training is not a path to success, this year was slow enough that I cautiously predict that I can do better next year with a modicum of training. I also predict I will age again next year...I will not make any lacelock/aerobar plans.
Thanks for reading my typically long race report, As a bonus for those who still are reading, I provide a race report from 1991 inspired by a photo that my pal from HS greg R sent me via the facebook recently: Ocean Grove Biathlon 1991, From right to left, Greg, his brother mark, and a oddly skinny version of me
So the summer after my senior year of HS I did a couple of run-swim biathlons (as they were called then, none of that duathlon crap). These races were on the Jersey Shore not far from where I grew up. The first was the Belmar run-swim-run, which I recall as being a 1/2 mile dry sand run, 1/2 mile ocean swim, 1/2 mile packed sand run. It was a chaotic first run in really dry soft sand. I was an aerobic monster at the time with some pretty fast track running under my belt. I went into the water in third place, just behind the leaders, got passed by something like 50 people on the long long rough open ocean swim. I think little kids passed me. I blame the cool nike aquasox I inadvisably wore for the race. They are not so much fun to swim in. But I was pretty freaked out by having to go around the jetties in a pretty choppy ocean. I did not die, and then passed 25 people back on the 1/2 mile run. Scary scary dark ocean, I was a good swimmer, but not ready for a long open ocean swim. For the Ocean Grove race I was a bit trepidatious, but looking forward to it as it had a 2 mile run followed by a 1/2 mile swim, and then a short 50 yards or so of beach running back to the finish line at the boardwalk. The run started in Ocean Grove, on the boardwalk and headed to Asbury Park, turned around at the convention hall and then back to ocean grove. It was pancake flat. I figured I could do the run in about 10:30. I think it took my 11:30 or 11:45, I was really disappointed in how slow I ran at the time. I would pretty much kill for 5:45 miles now.... Anyway, I went into the water in second place not too far behind first. I did the swim, concentrating on not getting freaked out by the open ocean and to keep paddling. We went around a buoy and came back. The swim was more like 1/4 mile, if that. Got passed by one guy in the water and finished third overall. I think I got a trophy that may be sitting on the dresser in my parents house in NJ.
Take a good look at that picture above. Do you see it? Cans of gatorade! The future ain't got nothing on the past. The end.