Last Sunday I had the privilege of racing in my first duathlon…originally known as the Jamestown International Triathlon!  Of course the fact that it was a duathlon was a fluke but the racing and weather gods spoke and a swim was not possible.

I made the drive to Richmond the night before the race to avoid waking up in the middle of the night to get to Jamestown.  My Dad was in the area for meetings so he let me camp out on the pull-out sofa for the night.  We had an excellent pre-race dinner at Bonefish…one of my favorite chain/seafood restaurants hands-down.  (I had the Grilled Salmon with the Pan Asian sauce…highly recommend it…and of course tons of their delicious bread…carb loading, right?!)

Unfortunately the night in the hotel was not very restful as kids played outside and I tossed and turned on the lumpy mattress.  It’s always the night before that I start to get nervous and doubt why I do this to myself.  Ugh.  4:30 AM came sooner than I wanted as my alarm blazed and I rolled off the sofa.

Rise and Shine athlete. Again, do I really want to do this?

Thankfully the little voice in the back of  my head always says YES.

In the car I chowed on a peanut butter and banana on Ezekiel bread and I was on my way.  Sort of.  Directions were a little off…  (wrong turn here, reroute there) Okay, now I was on my way. Not the best way to start a race morning. 

As I got closer to Williamsburg, later then intended, I saw the lightning bolts ahead.  We had some bad storms in Virginia last weekend and they were sticking around Jamestown. This could be interesting.

I finally made it to the long packet pick-up line at 6:30.  Race start was 7:00.  This was not good.  As a ‘seasoned’ triathlete I should know to get there early to prep my transition area and prep my mind.  As I waited in line I quickly caught wind that the race was not starting till 7:30.  Shew, I had more time.  Now about that lightning…?

After finally getting my packet (but no shirt, they ran out!) I set up my bike in the transition area, got my timing chip, and body marked #120.  A little after 7:00 they announced a final change in plans: the storms/lightning were keeping staff from getting on the water safely to replace the race course buoys.  Due to the heat the race couldn’t be pushed back any longer, a duathlon it is!

So how does a duathlon work?

Instead of swimming 1 mile, the race starts with running 1 mile…then biking 40K….then running 10K.  Here we go!

The race staff did a great job of getting everything together at the last minute.  Wave times started like normal to keep a good flow of racers in/out of the transition area.  I was in the second wave, officially starting at 7:34 AM.  The first mile run went well and I just wanted to keep a steady pace to warm-up.  I knew I had miles ahead of me to push it.

I clocked in my first mile at 8:22.

I quickly grabbed my bike and made it out on the road for an out-and-back course.  It was a fairly flat and shaded along local roads but about 15 minutes in I knew something was off with my bike seat and my left hip/glute started bothering me.  Unfortunately it didn’t let up during the ride regardless of my constant wiggling and shifting.  I should have just stopped and readjusted my seat but in the moment, I felt the need to keep going.  Lesson learned: next time just stop and readjust!

I completed the bike in 1:22:40.

I was relieved to see the transition area and I just prayed my hip wouldn’t bother me during the run.  I was feeling tired and hot so I put down a chocolate espresso gel pack which perked me right up.  Thankfully it was definitely just the bike bothering my hip and my legs felt strong and re-energized as I began my favorite part of the tri: the run.  It was a flat course along a paved bike/packed gravel path through the woods.  The course was fairly shaded but the heat still was already beating down.  I took along my packet of Sharkies from my Foodie Penpal gift and chewed on one every half mile or so.  They were awesome!

I completed the run in 49:32.

The crowd was great and stuck around to eat pizza, watermelon, and other snacks at the post-race party.  I ate the Do More Bars from my Foodie Penpal package…I loved the Raisin Peanut Cereal flavor!  I stuck around for a bit but decided to get back on the road.  I wish I would have stuck around for the awards ceremony though…

I finished the race in 2:23:24…3rd in my age group. woop woop!

It definitely was not my ‘best’ race because of the bike, lack of sleep, and change in swim plans.  I respect each tri for the learning experience and adventure they offer and do not regret participating!  I AM disappointed because I didn’t get any pictures during the event (bad blogger)!  I was too stressed out before the race and too tired after.  Excuses, excuses.  If they post any from the race, I’ll add them 🙂

I don’t have triathlons or races scheduled but I’ll be traveling for the month and then moving to Richmond in August so I’m gonna lie low on the training front until I get settled.

In other news: I am done waitressing (forever?!), enjoyed a great 4th of July with friends, got my hair chopped off, and moved out of Harrisonburg!  I’ll be traveling to Montana and Yellowstone the next couple of weeks and hope to post about my adventures!

So what is new with you?!  Name the best thing you did so far this weekend….for me, I enjoyed roaming the Farmer’s Market…fresh corn and peaches, yum!