Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Lake Dunstan Sprint Duathlon!

Well, today's training called for an easy 55k spin down to Cromwell, and support my partner as he raced a sprint triathlon. In the past few days, we've had a severe weather warning in place: gale-force winds and heaps of rain. It hasn't been pleasant. Just on the other side of the Southern Alps, on the West Coast, they were receiving 500-600mm of rain. YES THAT NUMBER IS RIGHT, and it's ridiculous! We were getting our fair share of rain, not nearly as much, and there were quite a few days where it was blowing like crazy.

So, in prepping for the race/ride last night, I took a peak at the weather forecast for the following morning. It did not look pretty. I'd much rather race in shitty conditions than train (especially easy ride) in them, just so I avoid being cold. I, at the very last minute, decided to sign up for the duathlon. Avoid the cold of the water from a triathlon, avoid the cold of easy riding for 2hrs. Problem solved, I thought!!

Well, the weather did suck. It was cold and it started to pour. I was dreading it. I kept all my clothes on, did no warm up or anything of the sort and at the very last minute I threw all my warm clothes near my bike in transition, shivered and hopped around until the gun went off, then just started running. It was a 3k run - 20k ride - ~5.6k run. I think everyone passed me in the first 5 seconds. I don't know why people want to go so anaerobic right from the gun, it's an incredibly un-enjoyable feeling!!! I slowly reeled them back in, even within 1k. I ran the first 3k conservatively, thinking maybe I was 4th or 5th, but no idea which of these girls were in a team.

Onto the bike, it was pissing. I thought I'd be freezing, but instead I never once looked at pace or speed or power. I just worked my butt off. I thought I was clicking along quite nicely, but then I took a gander at the leaves on the road-side trees. They were blowing, quite strongly. I seemed to have a niiiiice tailwind and hadn't even noticed it. Once at the turnaround of this out-and-back course, I did get to experience a chilly Southerly headwind... but just got to working harder. Very, incredibly frustratingly, I passed a group of riders riding together. I made a calm remark that perhaps they should keep to the legal distance and NOT DRAFT. They proceeded to get right up my butt. In the end, I was towing a group that swelled to 6-7, and I was PISSED. I got quite snarky, quite bitchy, and then moved on.

Onto the run, the rain had stopped but the trail had gotten a bit muddy and was rather rocky. I, once again, just RAN. I was feeling good. Well, my legs felt like tree stumps, but other than that, I was moving really well. I passed heaps of people, but given that there were 3 different races going on (Tri Kayak, Tri Swim and Du), I had no idea what was going on. I finished, and on a day where I made a last minute decision to race, and then thinking, given the conditions, I'd suffer from the cold badly. In the end, I worked hard enough to avoid being cold, and I did indeed suffer but in a good way. ;)

After all this rambling, most of which I'm sure you've skipped, how did I do? I won the duathlon! YEEHAW!!!!! I received a trophy and a 6-pack of beer. Ahhhhh, New Zealand.

Does anyone want free beer?

And here's the obligatory painfully ugly race photos:
Run 1, pissing rain. I look like I'm sincerely regretting my decision to take part.
Finish line, end of run 2. Full on race face.

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