Race Report: TCSD Duathlon

This event was originally planned to be a Triathlon, but due to the rainfall earlier this week, the lifeguards deemed the water quality unsafe to swim in, so the event was turned into a Duathlon: a 2-mile run, followed by a 20km [12.5mi] cycle leg, and closed with a 4-mile run. This race was once again put on by the Triathlon Club of San Diego, and located on Fiesta Island. I didn’t really have any specific goals in mind, though I wanted to either repeat or improve upon my bike performance from three weeks ago and get solid running times.

Pre-Race:

I woke up just after 4:30am to get everything ready to go. For breakfast, I drank 700mL of water mixed with two scoops of Cytomax, and a Banana. We were soon out the door, and made it to Fiesta Island just after 6am. I was able to get a timing chip this time, though I used my watch to get all my individual splits. I went for a quick 2-mile warmup on the course, did some stretching, set up my transition area, and was ready to go!

Run 1:

Right off the bat the lead group was running around 5:30/mile, and I knew that was a little too fast for me, so I dropped back and tried to hold a pace closer to 6:00/mile. The front three runners eventually broke away from the rest of the group, and I made up the rear of the chase group. I came through the first mile in 5:54, and felt pretty good despite the quick pace. The second mile was pretty uneventful. I just tried to hold on to the back of the group and try not to go too fast. I came through the second mile in 5:56, and was glad that I was able to hold an even pace.

Run Time: 11:50 [5:55/mile]

Transition 1:

I had a terribly embarrassing moment when I came running into the first transition area: I couldn’t find my bike. For some reason I thought I had racked it up closer to the front of the transition area, but it turns out I had actually put it on the other end. 30 seconds later, I found it, and was on my way to the bike course.

Transition Time: 1:32

Bike:

This was the first race where I’ve kept my cycling shoes on my bike both before and after the cycle leg. I built up some speed at the start of the bike before taking a few seconds to put my shoes on. After that, I tried to hold 22mph for as long as I could, making sure I wasn’t pushing too much or too little. I came through the halfway point averaging 21.9mph, which I was quite happy about. However, around this time I started to experience quite a bit of discomfort. I’ve been having a lot of issue with my saddle, and think it is time to buy a tri-specific saddle so I can comfortable sit in the time-trial position at any speed. This caused me to stand up quite a bit, and I noticed my speed drop as I was losing the aerodynamic benifits. In addition to this I was experienced general fatigue [I think I ran a little too fast in the first run leg]. I finished the second-half averaging 21.1mph – slower than I would have liked, but I was still happy that I was able to put in a decent time despite the discomfort. I took of my shoes about a half-mile from the transition area. Although this was unnecessarily early, I wanted to make sure I got it right [it was my first time doing it in a race].

Bike Time: 34:40 [21.5mph]

Transition 2:

Running my bike through the transition area with my shoes still clipped in was quite a bit easier than I had anticipated. Fortunately, I was able to spot my shoes pretty quickly and found my spot much quicker than in the first transition. However, my hands were freezing and it took me over a minute to tie my running shoes. I was not too concerned about my transition time, but it was frustrating to have that much trouble doing a simple task.

Transition Time: 1:44

Run 2:

I started off the run with quite a bit of discomfort due to the saddle issues on my bike. I told myself that the pain would go away after just a few minutes of running. In order to divert my attention, I began saying “Good job!” to every single person that I passed. I wasn’t running a necessarily fast pace [6:47 for the first mile], but I was passing enough people to keep me from thinking about the pain. I found myself a bit more comfortable after the first mile, so I decided to increase my pace to get a solid running time. I ran the second mile in 6:33. Nothing too exciting happened on the run, though I was able to pass a TON of other runners without getting passed myself. I ran the third and fourth miles in 6:35 and 6:20, respectfully.

Run Time: 26:15 [6:34/mile]

Conclusion:

Overall, I was quite happy with my performance. I [perfectly] matched my bike split from the TCSD Triathlon three weeks ago, despite starting the bike leg much more tired today. The fact that I was able to get the same split under more substantial fatigue tells me that I have made improvements on the bike over the last three weeks. I do, however, think I need to look into getting a tri-specific saddle to make racing and training easier on my body and ultimately more enjoyable.

The real improvements I made today were on the run. Although I think I ran 10-15 seconds too quickly, I was very satisfied with the fact that I ran the opening 2-mile [11:50] in a relatively comfortable and controlled pace. In addition to this, I finished the closing four miles in 26:15, over two minutes quicker than the triathlon in September. I’m hoping to go under 25 minutes [6:15/mile] for this 4-mile run on my next go.

Next Sunday I’m doing a 10km road race in San Clemente, and I am pretty stoked to be doing a stand-alone running event. I’ll be writing up a race report for that as well!

Overall finish time [h:m:s] : 1:15:09

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