Tuesday, May 12, 2009

First race of the season: Oakdale Duathlon

The Oakdale du (3 mi run, 13 mi bike, 3 mi run) was a chillier (45 degrees) then desired start. I wore knickers, jersey and wished that light cloth gloves would have been in the gear bag. No rain but a NW wind that was going to be noticed. E and I were there at the opening of transition to catch the early buzz of excitement. A last minute decision pulled E from participant to Sherpa and king photog. He was happiest in this role today. I did Oakdale last year for the first time, so the course was not new to me. It does attract a lot of first timers and some speedsters, making for a fun atmosphere. It is a beautiful, low-key, fun, not thick high-profile, competitive event that Randy and crew have fine tuned over the years to make it a successful and safe day for everyone.

From the second the gun goes off, the lead men turn into specs and we ladies remain close. After mile 1 Sarah Viamonte becomes more of a spec and Angie Schmidt and I remain close. I knew Angie’s strong running ability, so wanted to keep her within footsteps to stay in the game. I haven't worked as much on speed this yr as I have on distance, prepping for challenging halves in June, July and august. I had my work cut out for me. Came in to T1 in 3rd, 1 min off the leader. Erik was there with cheers, but didn’t disclose our gap on the leader. By mile 2.5 of the bike I was passing Sarah for first. Being competitive and a math girl I was calculating times while maintaining pace. I didn’t know Sarah’s biking ability as she is new to the metro area racing scene, but figured out that she is a great runner and that I would need some distance into T2 to pull off a win. Bike went well, no train crossing the RR tracks and no frozen appendages. As I exited T2 I see the next 3 ladies (including Diane Hankee)all coming in within seconds of each other. I figured I had about 1 to 1.5 min on them – not thick pressure but no room to slack. Legs didn’t feel that great until mile 1-1.25 when there was a little down hill and I could finally stride things out and find a rhythm. I see Erik as I exit the woods and have about a third of a mile to go. I ask him if there is a female in sight and was happy to hear “nope, not a one”. WHEW! I relaxed, maintained pace and had a nice finish.

Next up: The classic and competitive GW du, where conditions are looking to be about ideal!