Daughter Number One says I was doubly dumb to race the Scituate Duathlon just seven days after I ran the Chicago Marathon. She may be right, but I took second place and that symmetry (get it? second at a du?) has me smiling great big crazywoman smiles.
I had signed up and paid my entry fee last December, but I wasn’t going to do this du–not solo anyways. Once I decided to do Chicago I emailed race director Bill Burnett and told him I would either be a no-show or maybe, just maybe, I’d bring along a couple peeps from my running club, the Highland City Striders, and do it as a relay team. (As you know, I’ve got a soft spot for the bike leg, and I figured my marathon-wobbly legs could at least get me through an 11.5-mile ride if I left all pavement pounding to the highly capable Striders, Liz and Matt.) That seemed logical and rational, and believe it or not I do have breakthrough moments of logic and rationality. Bill, Liz and Matt were all game.
Relay or no-show were still my Plan A and Plan B on Thursday, when I got further proof that full-court-press racing seven days post-Chicago would be dumber than my usual dumb: that day’s training plan called for 20 minutes of running on the treadmill followed by 20 minutes of water running in the pool–my first faster-than-a-slow-walk-type movement since Chicago. The idea of planting my feet, blood blisters and all, on a moving treadmill struck fear in my heart.
But I climbed aboard that treadmill and it turned out to be not so bad after all.
By Saturday the blood blisters were healing as nicely as blood blisters can, thanks to some pricey blister bandages I still had left over from last winter’s Boston Marathon training. (An aside: my medicine cabinet has accrued all sorts of interesting stuff in the last two years!) I was now crossing thresholds without cleaving to door frames; when I walked down the stairs I even faced frontwards. So I emailed Liz and Matt and said even if I had to walk it, I was going to dig deep and do this Du all by my little ol’ self.
Daughter #1 sensed a change in my aura.
Emma: “Tell me you ARE NOT GOING TO RACE!”
Me: “OK. I’m not going to race.”
Emma: “Liars go to HELL! Or NEW JERSEY!”
Me: “But you told me to tell you I wasn’t going to race!”
Even at the start line, I wasn’t hellbent on more than a light jog. But then the air horn bleeted and we Wave 4-ers were off and the slight downward slope at the start felt really good. And then it kept feeling better. I didn’t watch my Garmin, just went by feel and focused on my form and soon enough I was passing Wave 3 chicks and then even Wave 2 dudes. And once I got on the bike, well, then it really rocked–despite a crazystrong headwind I averaged over 20 mph and breezed past the one rider–#406, a boy with a Cervelo and an Ironman shirt–who dared to pass me. (He also dared to blow snot at me–thanks, dude.)
Here’s how I fared in my 35-chick age group:
– 7 beat me me on Run 1 Me: 13:25. The best: 11:48.
– 5 T1’d faster than me Me: 1:14. The best: 1:08.
– No one beat my bike Me: 34:12. Runner up: 36:42 🙂
– 11 T2’d faster than me Me: 1:16. The best: 0:57
– 6 beat me on Run 2 Me: 17:47. The best: 16:23
– 2nd in my age group.
– 7th of 156 chicks overall (with the 5th best female bike split du jour).
– 67th of all 341 racers.
After crossing the finish line, I bet my face looked kinda like my friend Tom’s did when he crossed the finish line of his first 5K–about 10 minutes before he had prepared us all to expect to see him. It’s a “wow–where did that come from!?!” kind of expression that’s pretty cool.
Post-Scituate, my coach called me “a machine”, a friend called me a “Nordic Goddess” and Daughter #1 called me an idiot. I guess I’ll own all three 🙂
And now, let the off-season begin…well, there are a couple dus happening on October 30th, and I may be talked into doing one of them…but after that, it’s definitely the off-season! 🙂
Carpe diem, folks! 🙂