May 15, 2015

My first Duathlon

Transilvania Cross Duathlon was my first duathlon and it was a though one. I never trained specifically for a duathlon, I've never run after  or before a bike ride, but it was in my bucket list for a few years now. 

It was a very hard race but I felt good and aside from some small mistakes everything went ok. And I had a lot of fun especially on the downhill of the bike course (I got a new pair of tires and I will write about it soon).

I picked up the timing chip and the race numbers a day before the race so I arrived at the course about 40 minutes before the race. I left the bike and my stuff in the transit zone and left for a very short warm up. I tested all my setup, my racing clothes and the bike with the new tires but I didn't test how much will my phone wobble in my back pocket. This was a big mistake because it wobbled too much so I knew that I will have to run with the phone in my hand again. This wasn't such a big problem because I am used to running like that, it is just a small setback, especially in trail running. I thought that I know the course well enough and I will recover some time on the bike. 

The start was fast but not fast enough because the trail wasn't wide enough and I couldn't pass the others like I wanted. Soon the trail cleared up, I passed a lot of people and I could run in my own rhythm the two laps (about 5 km). I was passing people all the time, and just before the end of the run I eat my second gel (the first I had eaten just before leaving the transit zone before the start). I was the first time when I had to change equipment in a race so I made some small mistakes. I run passed my bike so I lost a few seconds and I should have run with my bike gloves or I should have carried them in my back pocket. 

The first transition was  a bit slow but once I got on my bike I was back in the race. I knew the course very well and the adrenaline helped me to be even faster. I passed 3 or 4 people on the first descent. Then on the first climb I lost all my followers, although I wasn't so fast, and then I raced alone. I made another mistake before the end of the first lap, I lost my bottle. I was lucky that a photographer picked it up, and I yelled that he should give it back in the next lap. 

I completed one more lap, without water, passing a few more contenders and paying more attention to the details of the track. There was a steep section, which I climbed in training when it was dry and I tried to climb it on the bike in the first lap but it was too slippery, I had fast but not grippy tires on the back, so in the second and third lap I was prepared to jump off the bike and run up the hill. I completed the second lap of 6 kilometers pretty fast but I had to stop to get my bottle back. The photographer wasn't prepared to give it back so I lost a few minutes but at least I could eat another gel. While I stopped a guy from a relay passed me, that was the only time somebody passed me on the bike course. 

The last bike lap went ok, I was tired but I still passed a few people, and even handed my tools to a guy who broke his chain. After finishing the lap my muscles from my legs were so tense that I barely managed to jump off the bike where a referee was signaling. The second time I payed more attention to were my stuff was in the transit zone and I put down my bike very fast, threw down my helmet and glasses and the gloves. I changed my shoes very fast and got my phone case. The first few meters went very good. I manged to put my phone on my hand and my legs were cheering, from the impact with the ground, my sore muscles were getting a gentle massage. 

Everything was fine until the first climb. I walked a little bit and than grinding my teeth I started running for another 10 minutes. When I started hearing he noise from the finish line I got some extra power and I started preparing for crossing the finish line. When I got out from the forest I heard my family cheering so I passed the finish line with a big smile.

I finished in 1:52:26 and I was very happy that this hard race was over. I found out after about an hour that I arrived in second place in my age group so I was ecstatic. On the downhill from the zoo into the city I was so happy, it was a great satisfaction. All that hard work, all those hard trainings, all that thinking and preparations and all that money invested in the equipment just paid off.

I was happy when I saw the final result that I could have gotten first place with a little more preparation ( I was still a bit tired after the semi marathon) and this was finally a race where no girl passed me, not even the pros :)

I hope I can race duathlons again and will have at least the same result.
running
please let me pass you :)
flying
at the time I didn't know that I was showing my position :)
the joy of the finish line
on the podium
shaking the hand of a legend

May 8, 2015

Mures Half marathon - race report

Last Sunday I run almost a half marathon, the Mures Half Marathon. It was a good race for me, I finished 5th in my age category. I didn't take too seriously this race, it was more like a test. I didn't really prepare for it, I wasn't rested and I didn't have the proper setup. I run with an old pair of nike trail shoes and the course wasn't off road. The shoes are so worn that my toes started to hurt after about an hour of racing. I didn't have my phone case, so I run with my phone in my hand and in the other hand I carried a gel for half the race(which I dropped in the second lap and I had to stop).

Like I said before this was a very good race. I started very fast, the adrenaline kicked in and it lasted for almost 1 kilometer. After that I tried to run in a steady pace, accelerating sometimes and slowing a bit when I felt too tired. I tried to go faster in the last two laps but I was too tired. I managed to sprint on the last straight so I finished in 1:22:05. I am satisfied with my result, another 5 minutes I could get on the podium, maybe next year.

It was a good experience, I saw a lot of good runners and learned a bit more about running :)
This weekend I am racing for the first time in a duathlon and I hope I can write a good race report next week also :)
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