Regular readers may remember that in March I ran a 7k event with my lovely wife. What I did not mention in the post about the race was one of the conversations wife and I had while running/walking:
Wife: Oh, by the way, I signed us up for a Duathlon.
Me: A what?
Wife: A duathlon. 2 miles of running, 14 miles of biking, followed by 3 more miles of running.
Fast forward to last weekend, when the duathlon was upon us. Our friends Eric & Val drove down from St. Cloud Friday night so we could all hit the road bright and early Saturday morning.
On our arrival, we unloaded the bikes and walked our stuff down to the transition area. Though for me, it was more of a "stuff storage" area. I swapped out the clipless pedals the night before for an old set of platforms so I wouldn't have to change shoes. And if you don't change shoes, it's not really a true transition, is it? Here's a photo of the lovely wife in the stuff storage area modeling the shirt she got:
The race itself went much better than I expected. When it comes to running, I either have days when it's a torturous thing that I wouldn't inflict on my worst enemy, or it's something to be tolerated. I believe actual runners call those "good days." Anyway, Saturday was a "good day" for me. We more or less ran the first two miles as a group. Eric, who is always the fastest of the bunch, took off ahead around mile 1 and the rest of us made it to the stuff storage area close together.
Wife and I made great time on the first half of the out and back bike portion, thanks to a fantastic tailwind. But as all cyclists know, a fantastic tailwind on the first half of an out and back course is a terrible thing to have. Because when we turned to the "back" portion, there was Mr. Headwind. Beastly. We slogged our way the remaining 7 miles and somehow managed to stay upright, despite the 30+ mph gusts.
When we hit the final 3 miles, I somehow lost the Wife. As we headed up a small rise I noticed she was about 100 yards behind me. I slowed my pace a bit and figured she would catch me, but didn't want to stop because I wanted to take advantage of how good I was feeling. Make hay while the sun shines and all that. Now if you follow her blog, you know she's been plagued with more injuries over the last 2 years than anybody should have to put up with. And she was taking it easy, so she never did actually catch me.
I had told myself I would run to the turn around point (1.5 miles) and could take a walk break if I was feeling crappy, or could switch to a walk run plan if needed. After turning around I started walking for probably 1/4 of a mile. At this point, a tiny little woman passed me. Reading the race results later I found she was 50 years old. She was running a casual pace and I thought "I can do that." So I tucked in behind her, and every time I wanted to stop I thought "She's not stopping" and kept running.
My final time was just over 2 hours, which I was extremely happy with. I finished faster than the Wife, and it may be the only time I can ever say that. Not that it bothers me that she's a better runner than I am. Far from it. I know that the only reason I finished ahead of her was her Achilles tendon and luck. And I'm OK with that.