To “Du” or not to “Du?” I dunno.

Yesterday morning, I completed my first ‘athalon. Ok, to be clear, I finished my first duathalon at the Bangs Lake Multisport Festival in Wauconda, IL. It was a 5k run 20k ride and 5k run. I know a lot of triathletes and IronPeople. I know the dedication and training they do everyday. They inspire and amaze me. That said, I will never be one of those people. So a duathalon was a perfect event for me to “tri.”

I was excited and well prepared. I’d done bricks and organized myself the night before. Let me just say 4:30 a.m. comes really fast, but my coffee need was satisfied, and I was raring to go. When my friend arrived and asked to borrow a bag since hers had ripped, I put down my bag to get one for her. Unfortunately, I never picked up my bag and instead followed her to the car. Needless to say, when we parked the car and I realized I had left my bag at home, I was on the verge of throwing in the towel I also had left at home anyway! I left my cycling shoes in the bag! I’m a cyclist! I was counting on making up for my slow runs on the bike! And you know what? I’ve done this before with said cycling shoes. Last year, when I rode Ride the Rockies, I left them home as well. Ok. This is my mo. Move on with it. I’ll keep my running shoes on.

The first run began with the gun going off and the race official sending us in the wrong direction! After about 10 seconds, everyone herded around to the proper direction. I guess being in the back of the pack had its merits since I now suddenly found myself at the front and getting passed quickly.

I listened to @coachprs and @coach1D interval workout. I knew I had to keep my pace slow and not burn myself out, but I also knew having them remind me to keep my shoulders relaxed and have light, fast feet meant I would be more aware of my form. You know what? It worked. My time was 30:09, and that was fine by me.

The ride was disappointing because my running shoes were slippery and not conducive to riding. Whatever. There was nothing I could do about it except stay in the saddle and hammer as best I could on the rollers. I knew my time would be slower than I expected because I was only using half my pedal stroke. Knowing this was my strength and not using it was a bummer, but what can you do? Time was 12 miles in 41 minutes.

Finally, the last 5k was here. I had a Gu out of the transition and started to slowly get my running legs back on. The divider wasn’t clear between the duathalon people and the Olympic tri people’s, and I nearly went on the 10k route because I could only focus on moving my legs. In all my bricks, I had not ever completed a full 5k after the bike. So it was to my delight and surprise that I didn’t feel my legs blow up, and I told myself to keep running and not stop! After the first 2.5k, I picked up the pace and flat out sprinted the last half mile. I did not leave anything on the course, and I did not walk. Time was 33:00.

All in all, I had a great time. It was great fun, and I can’t wait to do it again….with cycling shoes.

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10 responses to “To “Du” or not to “Du?” I dunno.

  1. How funny that they started you in the wrong direction and then when the crowd turned around you were in front! Good idea on listening to the Coach PRS podcast while you ran. Hmm, in all the “athlons” I’ve done, you’re not allowed to listed to headphones. Surprised that was allowed. Nice job on both your runs! Good job on sticking out the ride without the cycling shoes. Stinks that you didn’t have them. :/

    Awesome that your legs did not blow up on the last 5K run! Definitely bring your cycling shoes next time. 😉

    • You know what Sheila? I had no clue headphones weren’t allowed! My husband told me an official was telling bikers to remove them before they could begin the ride. It never occurred to me that you weren’t allowed to have them on the run, but as someone who rides in a group frequently, I would NEVER ride w them. Way too dangerous!

  2. Nice work girl! All the best memories come from these kind of snafus. Huge congrats on your first du, and that goes double for having the chutzpah to go on without your cycling shoes. Hard core!

  3. Great job, especially considering the bag thing! (I’m just seeing this post) Dealing with equipment failures, missing equipment, etc is all part of the “multi-sport” experience. Sounds like you did admirably. Prepping your equipment is always extremely stressful, knowing you can function even when things go very wrong should give you a confidence boost.

  4. Very cool. Have been and love being a cyclist. Have had the privilege of racing with some amazing women, and (competitive part of me coming out here….) the privilege of winning a few awesome races. Lately, I have been feeling like mixing it up a little. While I am totally not a runner, the concept of a du has intrigued me! Maybe just something new to try – but sounds like you had a great time…having read some of your more recent posts, I am guessing you got your new shoes! Happy riding….

    • Ha! Well, that post was written in Aug and was my only “du.” I plan to do more this summer though. It was a lot of fun and very well done. I also wouldn’t mind doing a time trial or something either. But that’s a little intimidating to me. I have friends that race, but they are fearless and I am….not!

  5. Time trials are awesome – that is how I got started. From there, one of the girls asked me to join the team that they were putting together. I protested for months, saying that I was not good enough – but thankfully they persisted! The racing was so much fun. It became such a part of me – we rode together, raced together and rented cottages at stage races together – it was so great to have such a strong bond with all these fantastic women and athletes. We raced together for 4 years before our group started to disband. I continued to race for a few more years with other women, and had a great time, but the feel was never the same! Racing is so exhilarating and working with your team mates very satisfying! I hope you do get a chance to race with your friends – while daunting at first – it is such a great experience!

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