Race 2 of the Narraghmore Duathlon 2015 race series kicked off this morning at the very reasonable Sunday morning time of 11am. One of the reasons I love this race so much is the superb manner in which each event is so meticulously organised and executed. Free car parking in a field right next to the start and finish point, registration takes 5 minutes and the very kind owners of the pub right behind the transition area open their doors to everyone for the duration of the event which gives you somewhere warm to pass the time in between setting up your gear and the start gun. It’s also a great bonus to have actual toilets if the need arises rather than the porta potties, which although they serve a crucial purpose before , after or during a race, they always leave you feeling a lot less clean than when you went in…
The first race had an upper limit of 170 competitors and it sold out before race day. Due to demand, the limit was extended to 200 for the second race and again it sold out. I’m not surprised for the above mentioned reasons and I’m always baffled that this race is not as well attended or known in triathlon circles as it is certainly up there with the best events of its kind. There was also a great crowd out supporting today, as usual, and it all just adds to the overall experience and what makes this series such a success every year.
The breakdown: Run 3 km (1.5 km out and back); Cycle 20 km ; Run 3 km.
I ran pretty hard yesterday in the Parkrun 5 km so I wasn’t planning on pushing it too hard today given that (a) it’s not a good idea and increases the chance of injury to have 2 hard days in a row and (b) I was just hoping to enjoy the race so wasn’t really bothered with times. But as usual, once the gun went off, my competitor instinct went off and I just got stuck in. I didn’t kill myself on the first run but rather stayed with what I think the clever runner people refer to as “comfortably hard”(which, as an aside, by the way – I always laugh at this phrase as how can it be comfortable yet hard? Surely it’s either one or the other… I get it but it does always make me smile!).
First leg: 13:51.
The one thing I wanted to work on today was transition. I am always the slowest person in the world in transition because I’ve never really cared that much as long as I do alright on the individual legs. But it bothered me the last time when I looked at the full race results and I realised that had I actually made an effort to be more efficient in transition I would have been way up the list in terms of placing. So I had a go today! I had the bike shoes already attached to the pedals so all I had to do was fling off the runners, throw on the helmet and start running for the bike mount line. I pushed off while still wearing just my socks and sitting my feet on top of my shoes and then once I got a bit of momentum, I was able to put my shoes on properly and shove on the gloves. I’ve seen other people doing all of this before but have never tried it. It was great to practice and at least now I know I can do it even if I could do with practising it a LOT more! So I learned something today 🙂
Second leg: 48:24
Honestly, I was not feeling the bike today. The last time, I really enjoyed the bike and though feeling the burn, I kind of enjoyed it and it felt good. Today, the burn was not up for a bit of fun. My quads struggled with the heavy work on the hills and I didn’t feel like that extra gear was there at all. It wasn’t a bad time in the end but slower than the last day by about 2 minutes so not as nippy I would have liked.
Again, I tried to be as quick as I could in transition but I’m not going to lie, my legs were shaking and I felt fairly light-headed and wobbly on my feet so coordination was not at its best. The second run was as per normal for duathlons – that is, wobbly legs and a stiff back/ upper body for the first 1.5 km, followed by the physical realisation of exhaustion as it suddenly hits you in the last 1.5 km. All in all it wasn’t too bad and I managed a much faster pace, utterly unexpected and unbeknownst to me, than the last time. I hit 8:11 for the first mile and averaged an 8:00 per mile pace for the remaining 1.4 km.
Run 2: 15.09
Another great event and I really enjoyed it. Looking forward to the next one already.
13:51 ; 1:08 ; 48:24 ; 1:15 ; 15:09
Now, off to make the dinner for the mammy. Happy Mother’s Day to all!