Monday, July 9, 2012

26th Annual Lorain Summer Sprint Duathlon Race Report

I didn't have a lot of expectations going into this race for a couple reasons.  First, it was a last minute decision to compete in this race with me just registering on Thursday.  The race conflicted with a 100K bike tour i've done the past three years and it was a hard decision to skip it this year.  Second, this race was very heavy on the running for a sprint distance.  Third, I've only ran once since my last race.  To make matters worse the morning of the race, they shortened the bike route from 14.3 to 13.10 miles.

It was an early race morning for me as this race started at 8 and Lorain is over 50 miles away.  I wasn't feeling so well as I woke up in the middle of the night with an achy shoulder.  It was a bad case of DOMS from Friday's open water swim.  I packed all my gear and made my way to Lorain.  I used to think packing for cycling tours was tedious, but it is nothing compared to these multi-sport events.  This race was very well set up with signs marking everything.  I easily got everything set up and got in a few warm up laps.

Run 1
Our race started with the first wave of the Triathlon and we were off at 8.  Thankfully, it wasn't too hot at this point.  I wasn't looking forward to starting off with a 5k, but looking at how choppy the lake was.  I was thankful to run over swimming.  My plan going into this race was to run an easier pace the first 5K then hammer the bike and final run.  This plan was quickly thrown out the window as the race got off to a blistering start.  Mile 1 was ran in 7:45 and everyone was pulling away.  The run was flat and wound through a couple neighborhoods before the turn around behind a bank.  The 1/2 point was hidden around a corner.  I had already surrendered 2 minutes to the leader by the turnaround.  I started to worry as I was maxed out and losing gobs of time.  Making a quick decision to save energy for the bike.  I slowed my pace a little and posted a decent 5K time for myself.

5K in 25:19 for an average pace of 8:14

Transition 1
I was much more prepared to managed the transition at this race.  I took Matt Oravec and Laurie Perduyn's advice and invested in some speed laces for my shoes.  These are laces that act like a draw string.  Since I was at the race early.  I was also able to get a prime spot on the edge and I took advantage by managing the first transition in 1:32.

It was time to drop the hammer and claw back into this race.  It was a flat route except for some false flats.  Once on the road I never exited the big ring on the crank.  Once up to speed, I began to pick off one rider after another.  Learning from my mistakes at Munore Falls.  I invested in a Aero water bottle the fits on my aero bars.  I was alternating with riding in an aero tuck, taking sips of Powerade, and rinding on the flat bar.  The first 5 miles flew by in 13:08!!  Hammering on I was wrestling a little now with the bike.  We were heading west and I was getting blasted with a side wind off Lake Erie.  We did head south for about 1.5 miles and this was the only tail wind of the 13.1.  At the turnaround, I was greeted with a stiff headwind.  Dropping down a couple gears I just spun through it till I headed back East.  Unfortunately, the wind had shifted by then and now was a massive headwind all the way back.  I survived the next 5 miles in 14:20 and conceded some time the last 3.1.  I'm fairly satisfied with this bike leg and would give myself a B.  I'm still leaving a ton of time as I can't ride in a aero tuck yet for more than a few minutes at a time.  I think I was roughly 50/50 on my bike position at this race.

13.1 miles in 36:59 for an average speed of 21.20 MPH

Transition 2
I had a big fail exiting my bike as I cranked my knee on the water bottle cages behind the seat.  As you can see.  It left quite a mark.

Regardless, I made use of my speed laces again making it through transition in 55 seconds!!

Making the final turn towards the finish

Run 2
Racing a 2nd 5K...Yay!!  I was a little fatigued at this point and was running as hard as I could to hold my position in the race.  As luck would have it.  The wind calmed down a lot and the heat shot up.  It was like someone threw us in a microwave and put it on high.  At the turnaround, I stopped to take in some Gatorade and dowse myself with cold water.  Luckily, I was able to pass a few people on the way back.  At the end, there was a small dip and my plan was to coast down the hill and then hammer the climb to the finish.  It didn't work as my legs were completely shot on this hill, but I survived to the finish.

2nd 5K in 27:55 for an average pace of 8:55

Sprinting to the finish

My finish time for this race was 1:32!  A full 3 minutes ahead of my goal time.  Best of all, it was good enough for 1st place in my group!

Worst smile ever with my new bling

I couldn't be happier with my results.  It almost feels like i'm dreaming going from never placing in a race to placing 1st in two straight races.  It feels really good to see results from all my hard work this year and these 2 races have done a lot to ease the disappointment from the Cleveland Marathon.

Post race celebrating with Colleen, Laurie, and Alex

Thank you Colleen and Alex for the great race photos and a big thank you to Laurie for all your help with training and motivation the past few weeks.

This will be my last Duathlon for a while.  No worries, i'm not giving up on them.  It's officially time to put my big boy pants on and do some Triathlons.  As I write this, my first one is only 13 days away!  Yikes!



inspirunning said...

Congrats Beal...very happy for you! looking forward to your tri's! Good Luck!!!

Jen said...

This is awesome! Isn't it amazing that when you're in it you don't realize how good you're doing? Congrats to you on another first!


Alex Kuhn said...

Cool Summary! Nice job! You kicked your ass!! time also in the water! ;-)

Matty O said...

:) welcome to multisport my friend !!!

Haha, yes, being good at multiple sports pays off greater than just being good at one sport!

Speed laces make a huge difference and save valuable time for these shorter distances.

Keep up the good work, nothing like a little bling to keep the training motivation super high!

Anonymous said...

You'll have to let me know if you do another tri up here. ANywhere from Mentor to Lorain and I'll come out and spectate. Looking like I am going to be out of running for the rest of the summer so I have lots of free time and still wake up at the crack of dawn so putting my race cheerleading skils to use!
P.S. you are looking skinny in these pics. Keep up the good work.