This weekend I drove up to Penticton with my dad to race the BC Duathlon Championships. It was a good opportunity to gain some fitness for my first triathlon coming up on June 3 in Dallas, Texas. I also figured it would be kind of fun to do something other than a triathlon for a change, and it was good father daughter bonding time :).
We left Friday morning, and arrived in Penticton at about 4 pm that night. It was fun to travel somewhere, even if it was not as far as other ventures I've been on in past years. I'm not sure why, but I really like Penticton. There is something about the Okanagan Lake, and the small town feel that I love.
I raced at 2 pm on Saturday, so had quite a bit of time to kill that morning. At about 9:00 am, I went out on my bike for a little spin and wasn't able to shift out of my big chain ring.... obviously something kind of undesirable on race day. I took my bike in to the local bike shop, the Bike Barn, to get this looked at. The mechanics were really nice (one guy even offered us gingerbread cookies), and in about 20 minutes my bike was good to go, and I was feeling relieved that I wouldn't have to ride 32 km in my big chain ring.
The race consisted of a 5 km run, 32 km bike (nondrafting), and 5 km run. I felt good in the first run, which made it difficult to not go out too hard. I think I paced it pretty well, but it was still a solid effort. The first half of the bike was brutal as we were riding into a pretty powerful headwind. The race wheels I was riding also made it challenging to control my bike as I kept getting blown from side to side. On the plus side, we had an awesome tailwind on the way back to transition and I was really able to motor along. Starting the second run, my legs felt awful... I don't think I have ever felt that drained in a race. Thoughts of not finishing definitely crossed my mind, but then I thought of all the time I had just spent in a car driving up here, the fact that I was the first woman, and that first place won $150 (and a bottle of wine... although for me that wasn't very motivating), and knew that I couldn't just stop when I had less than 20 minutes left in the race. So I just focused on putting one foot in front of the other, staying relaxed, and just finishing the race no matter how horrible it felt. I was the first woman to finish in a time of 1:41.
This race was a good learning experience for me, and I'm hoping that the more I race the better I'll be able to handle the longer distance. Next step... add in a 1500 m swim and another 8 km of biking :)
So now I am back home after 7 hours of driving and 2 hours of ferrying, and I am really exhausted. I think I will just continue to lie on the couch....