Saturday, April 10, 2010

Duathlon = Near Death Experience

Ok, I know it's been awhile since I've made a blog entry, but really, honestly, I do have a good excuse. I mean, once I catch you up on the last few weeks, you'll wonder how I even manage to stay vertical!

So I think I've mentioned before that I joined the Chattanooga Triathlon Club to learn about the sport and to be able to train with experienced triathletes in preparation for my first race, which, incidentally is only two weeks from tomorrow. They do alot of mock races, which is great because it helps to ease some of the fears of the unknown. And a few weeks ago, one of the training events was a bike/run/bike duathlon. The course was 10 mile bike loop, 3.7 mile run loop, and then the 10 mile bike loop again, and I have to say it was a beautiful day! Nice, sunny, and greenery starting to bloom everywhere... Perfect day to be inaugurated into the world of multisport. And let me just say that Ken, the president of the CTriC, stayed back and ran the entire race course with me to help put me at ease... I was really impressed by that! So anyway, we start out on the first bike loop, and Ken stopped to talk to someone but told me to go on ahead that he would catch up. So I do. And I must admit, I was feeling pretty proud of myself, because even though I was riding a less-than-ideal mountain bike, I was RIDING it, and the breeze was blowing across my face, and I was really pedaling at a steady decent pace. It was so freaking peaceful and awesome! Right up... until... I hear "Hey - Shelleyyyyyyy!!!!!!!!!!" Apparently I made a wrong turn, and Ken had to chase me down to get me back on track. LOL! Yeah, it was great. So we get back on course, and we ride up and down the little baby hills, and I'm feeling pretty good, even though all of the experienced athletes were leaving us in the dust, but that was ok, because at least I wasn't alone. And I was learning about how to shift the gears on my bike, which is a must here in TN - there isn't a flat spot in this entire state. Here a hill, there a hill, everywhere a hill hill... Anyway, we get about a half a mile from the turn around point on the first bike loop, which is up this rotten big old hill, and my head started spinning, mouth started watering, guts started wrenching, and I had to stop for a minute before I dropped. Sat down on the ground, drank some water, and slowly I started coming back to reality. Apparently I got too hot and heart rate too high too fast, but quickly recovered. So we decided to turn around instead of trying to push me the last 1/2 mile up the steepest part of the hill, which made it a 9 mile loop for me instead of 10. But that's ok. So we get back to the transition point, and rack our bikes (yeah like I know what I'm doing at this point, LOL) and we take off on the "run". Just can't tell you how absolutely GORGEOUS it was - there I was feeling all accomplished with just having completed my very first road ride, and now I'm headed out on a run with real athletes! Woo Hoo I am just livin' large for sure, because it was even ok to walk run walk run as needed, and Ken was totally encouraging the whole time... right up until the reality of having children comes crashing down on me... or should I say leaking out of me. UG can you imagine how embarassing it is to see a little dark wet spot growing in the front of my grey shorts, expanding each time my foot pounds down on the pavement? Then I suddenly realized that it would have been better to be raining, LOL... at least there would be camoflauge! Instead, I'd run a few seconds to get a short-but-decent distance ahead of Ken, with the evidence ever expanding, and then walk to stave off the all-out flood until Ken got close, end then off I'd go again. This was the vicious cycle for at least half the run. Finally, the hot sun started proving beneficial after all, as the heat helped to evaporate all the moisture, sweat or otherwise LOL! And while I walked at least half the total distance, we pulled back into transition, mounted the bikes, and headed back out for the second installment of the cycling loop. All in all, I did 18 miles on the bike, and 3.7 miles on foot, and even though I came in nearly an hour behind of everyone else, I felt pretty dang accomplished! In the picture below, Ken is the big guy second from the left, standing in between the little short blonde lady and me.

I must say, for several days after the duathlon, I really felt like I'd been hit by a train! Physically exhausted and hurt in places I didn't even know I had, LOL! And as the clock counts down till raceday, I ponder all the things I'm thankful for. Like a great group of people to train with and learn from, the physical ability to be able to even attempt this stuff, and for my race suit to have black bottoms to camoflauge any leakage that may sneak up on me during the race :)

1 comment:

  1. Hey Shelly. I'm so glad you found my blog. Please email me at or friend me if you are on facebook at Melissa Joy Bastian Black. I would love to get to know you better. Thanks for your words of encouragement on my blog. How did you find my blog? I was just wondering.