Monday, October 26, 2015

eSprit de She Dallas Duathlon Report

This weekend was my last race of 2015, and my second year to do the eSpirt de She Dallas Duathlon. For those who weren't in Texas, the weather was pretty horrendous on Friday and Saturday, and it was pretty touch-and-go whether we would be running the race at all, but thankfully the clouds stopped wringing themselves out long enough that the course was deemed safe, so we headed to McKinney from Austin on Saturday afternoon.

After and incredibly important stop Bucee's in Temple, we made it to McKinney around 10pm on Saturday night. We stayed at the Super 8, less than 10 minutes from the race location. This allowed us to wake up "late," (around 6am), eat our free breakfast of oatmeal and toast, and head to the race site. The only trouble we had all day was that the parking situation, when approached in the dark, was not very clear at all. Since it was about 7:15 and packet pickup closed at 7:30, we just parked my car next to a dumpster with the flashers on to go get our stuff. Easy, breezy, and the jerseys we got were incredibly cute Moxie jerseys that are worth the entry fee alone!

Since Bryce wasn't there (our car was too full of Luna Chix and bikes!) I don't have any pictures from the race, so this report will be pretty short!

Three of us from the Austin Luna Chix ran the race, one the short course and two of us the long (including me). The courses were run-bike-run and either 2mi-11mi-2mi or 3mi-16.5mi-3mi. The weather was dry, thankfully, but chilly enough that I raced in my long sleeve Luna shirt and leggings, which worked great the whole time to keep me dry and warm.

Transition was open racking, even between distances, and oh boy, did some ladies come LOADED with gear for this short race. There were people taking up 2 to 3 bike's worth of space to set out all their crap and it was kind of difficult to find a place to stick my bike and bike shoes (you know, the ONLY things you really need for a short duathlon!)

I found a spot on a rack pretty close to bike in/out, prepped my bike shoes by making sure they were wide open with the straps laid out for easy-on, and then went potty. The race was also a little weird in that the short course race started first. The differences in distances weren't THAT great, but still, there was a definite significant time gap between our short course racer finishing and the other two of us. I'm not sure why long course wouldn't start first, but it was what it was.

The run was uphill on the way out, but not too terrible. I ran a steady 9:00min/mile for almost all of it, stopping for the very steep hill and the set of stairs (yea, stairs) and then resuming running. I felt good, especially for not really having run in a couple of weeks. The course was easy to follow and well marked, with plenty of water along it.

When I got back to transition and grabbed my bike, I took of my race belt with my race number and hung it on the rack. A girl kind of looked at me funny, but didn't say anything. I didn't want it flapping around, so I took off and left it there. Then, on the start of my second of 3 laps, I realized the reason the girl had looked at me funny- the timing chip is on the bib, DUH! I felt like such an idiot for leaving my bib behind. However, I had my watch running and decided to just keep going, although my exasperation at my own ridiculous brain zapped some time from me.

During the bike I noticed a man riding the course ahead of me who would occasionally stop, then pass me again. I finally figured out that he was cheering on his wife, who had picked me as her "person to pass" (admit it- we all do this!) and she did pass me every now and then! She and I chatted a little and when I'd pass her she'd go, "man, do you ever take a break?!" It was fun pushing each other to keep going hard, and we kept it up all throughout the second run, with her husband eventually cheering for both of us.

I got back after my third lap, put my bib back on, and took off on the second run. I wasted time in transition because someone racked their bike completely sideways, taking up a whole section. This was not a newbie, either, as it was a nice all-carbon Cervelo bike, it was just someone who is a jerk. I refrained from just dropping her bike in the grass, and instead straightened it, moved it over, and re-racked my bike.

The second run was slightly slower than the first, but still pretty steady. On my way in from an out-and-back, I saw the other girl running the long course from my team and gave her a high-five. She caught up to me with about a quarter of a mile to go in the race, and she and I ran it in together.

Her performance showed me just how much of a runner's game this sport is! I crushed her bike split by over 10 minutes, but our overall times were literally just 1 second apart because she made up SO much time on the run. (She is way faster than me as a runner!)

I finished in 1:59:27. That's the total time they have for me now, enough to get me 4th place instead of 3rd by just 3 minutes. I provided the time for my bike split from my watch, so the timing company is going to re-figure it against what was recorded. I was really thankful they were willing to do that. The timing staff were nice, and said I was probably NOT the only triathlete who was going to come report the same mistake that day.

Overall, besides lagging a little berating myself for a sillly mistake, I felt strong and enjoyed the race! The three of us celebrated with our silly picture up top, got some mimosas, a bowl of food from My Fit Foods, and made our way back to Austin, two of us having placed in the top 5 of our AGs and all of us in the top 10!

It was a fun, quick girl's trip and a great race. I love women's races because you can tell who is new, and there are smiles everywhere from women finding in themselves a strength they didn't know they had. It was fun racing for Luna. Now, it's officially time for mountain biking and trail running until February!

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