Something about taking time off of exercising for the month of Ramadan made me want to sign up for all the races in the world. More to come about which races I am going to run this year and in 2015! I am so excited for what I have in store for myself physically!
On August 3rd I did the Maryland Women’s Sprint Duathlon.
Now before I get into recapping this event, I just wanted to give a huge THANK YOU to all of the volunteers and race organizers of this event. The race was extremely well organized with wonderful volunteers that cheered on all the participants. In addition, the pit crew was amazing for all bike related emergencies.
An alternative title to this post should be: Reasons Why You Should Never Do A Race You Are NOT Trained For.
So when I saw the advertisement for this race, I just knew I HAD to do the race. I have fallen in love with the sport of duathlons after I did my first one in Bethany Beach last year.
However, prior to taking the entire month off for Ramadan June 29th-July 29th, I was only running a few times per week, instead I was mostly biking and using the elliptical. In fact the only run I did before the race was a 2 mile run on the beach 2 days before the race. (Yeesh)
I am well aware of how irresponsible it is to do a race when you are not trained for, but I knew I would be able to safely finish the race since I had done a similar and shorter event before……
And I just barely managed to finish the race.
It was pouring right before the race started so I was really unsure of what I needed to bring. I grabbed rain jacket and a hat just to have with me in the transition station. Before the race began I ate a Luna bar and some Clif Shot Bloks.
I set up my bike and walked over to the starting line for the first 2 mile run portion. It had stopped raining by this point so I only grabbed a hat with me.
At the start I ran into one of my running buddies! She was doing the running portion of the duathlon relay. Normally, I would have stuck with her but I was not in super speedy running shape.
As soon as the race started I saw that my shoes were untied. So I pulled over to the side to tie my shoes. Not even 20 seconds into the race, I was in last place.
I knew I was not in this race to have a killer PR or the race of my dreams, so I just settled in and decided to enjoy the race alone. I was pretty far back from the rest of the participants so I felt like it was just me and the beautiful outdoors. The course ran through Western Regional Park in Howard County, which looks absolutely stunning in this picture.
I took the first two miles slow and steady. I knew I had a long race ahead of my and I did not want to burn out right from the beginning. The GPS on the running app I normally use was not working so I had no idea how fast I was even moving. But, I did the two miles without stopping and even managed to catch up to a few people at the end.
Run #1 (2 miles) 25:32 12:46 min/mile pace
Once I got back to the transition area, I threw on my CamelBak (best way for me to drink water while biking),helmet and rode out into the unknown.
I am not sure what I was expecting for the bike portion of the race. However, less than a mile into the race my chain slipped off. And that is how I found myself all alone in the middle of nowhere covered in bike grease. Thankfully, the pit crew was right behind me and they had me up and running in no time!
The bike course was absolutely breathtaking. Wide open farmland. I think I was just feeling happy to be out biking in such beautiful weather. I did not have any bikers near me since I was still close to last so I had the course all to myself. Which I think I am thankful for because this race was all about me getting myself to the finish line.
I stopped enjoying the course as much once I got to the never ending hills. I am not ashamed to say that I found myself walking 1or 2 times up a hill pulling my bike along. And even when I was biking up the hills, I was moving painfully slow.
The bike portion of the race was pretty brutal since I rarely bike on the open road with such steep hills. Thankfully, since it was super early I did not have to worry about getting hit by a car while riding.
The wonderful volunteers did an excellent job of keeping me motivated when all I wanted to do was stop riding. I managed to talk myself into pushing it as much as I could because I was worried I would not make it back into time to finish the rest of the race.
Each participant needed to finish the biking portion of the race by 9am in order to finish the rest of the race
And I am so glad I pushed it because I was the last person that they let finish the race. I think I might have passed one or two riders. I was not paying that much attention because I was giving it all I had just to keep moving forward.
At some point I ate some Shot Bloks. I think this was after I had biked ten miles and I was starting to get a little hungry.
Looking at back at my time, my bike portion of the race was pretty bad. Thankfully, I survived! Also, I am so thankful that I don’t look like death after running 2 miles and biking 13 hilly miles. I am awesome at faking a smile.
Bike (13 miles): 1:29 8.75mph
All I had left to do was drop off my bike and run 2 miles! So, my ONLY goal for this race was to leave transition WITHOUT my helmet on for the run.
I can’t believe I did that during my first duathlon and I was certainly not going to do it again.
As I was heading out on my last run, I heard the race coordinators call out that I would be the last person finishing the race. I was definitely nervous that I would be pulled from the race.
I was not totally drained for the last two miles, but they were not the easiest 2 miles to run. I just kept moving and crawling towards the finish. I did stop and walk for a bit.
And before I knew it I was heading into the finish! I think I was a little embarrassed to be finishing last, however, it was really nice of everyone to cheer me in.
Despite not training for this event I really gave it my best effort and I am so proud to have finished this wonderful race!
Run 2: 32:38 16:19 min/mile
OVERALL: 2:32:28 (152/153)
The post race food and t-shirts were awesome! I stuffed my face with a watermelon!
Once I was done, I quickly grabbed my medal, my bike and all of my gear before searching for some food!
Speaking of the medal, look at how awesome it is!
YOU CAN DU IT! Love it!
I was sore as soon as I finished the race and due to some chafing issues I waddled around the rest of the day. Other than some screaming hamstrings I was good to go after a day or two. I am soooo sooooo glad I did this race, I could have easily not shown up due to the weather or lack of training. I am determined more than ever to get back into kick ass shape so I don’t have to roll in last place for a race.
(technically I was not last since it was a wave start, but who is counting)
Have you ever done a race that you did not train for? Any regrets?
A HUGE thanks to Rip It Events for covering my entry fee for this race. All thoughts, pictures and race experiences are my own.