My target for this race was to finish below 2:10, just in time to drive back to the house for the usual family Sunday breakfast at Pancake House at McKinley Hill. That would mean finishing before 8:10am (if the race started 6am), with probably 56mins total run time, another 55mins on the bike, and 9mins transition buffer for T1 and T2 (worse case).
There was some confusion among the male runners when the starting gun was fired, since the announcement said that we'll be released in waves according to age group. It turns out that there was going to be only TWO wave starts: the first one for elites plus males aged up to 44, then the second wave for the female and the rest of the men.
Anyhow, seeing all the guys running made me start my race as well. :-)
RUN LEG 1 (6km)
I saw my pace hitting 5:30/km in the first 500m so I drew myself back, letting it settle to just a tad below 6:00/km as I was anticipating a dreaded climb at the Palms area. True enough, I passed it ---twice since we had to do two loops. By the 5th km I was excited to get onto the bike leg but I still had about 10mins to go before transition. I got myself ready by taking my only Hammer Gel for the race as I neared T1.
BIKE LEG (30km)
The bike course was about 70% flat and 30% hills which made me happy about my decision to keep my aerobars clamped in. As there were a lot of participants in this race, you really had to be conscious when overtaking AND when being overtaken. The turns are pretty tight, especially on that one turn with a muddy section wherein unfortunately I read in the SBR.ph forums that one participant crashed. Hope he's ok.
I managed to get my speed up here, surprisingly enjoyed it as I took the flats with impunity, seeing >30kph at times on my Cateye. The Cateye proved helpful in monitoring my number of loops (we had to do 6) so I never lost count since I just needed to look at the distance on the screen. It was probably short of 1km but I think I did well, finishing at 27.5kmh average pace as per the Cateye. It was +1kmh faster than my first duathlon in Subic last Nov 2012 so I was really happy with the improvement going into T2.
I entered the dismount area with my cleats disengaged (surprised that I'm able to pull my cleats off while on the bike even with a bulging belly, hehehe). I found myself a little tired as I walked to my station to park my bike and was slow to put back my running shoes. Good thing I installed my Lock Laces for this race to save on time.
RUN2 LEG (3km)
|Leaving T2 (photo c/o SBR.ph)|
It was going to be another loop before hitting the finish. My leg turnover was good coming off from the bike but pace was slow (6:15) than planned (sub 6:00). I tried to get in some more pace but I was probably too tired from the bike that I couldn't dial in my target pace. I just told myself to maintain 6:15 current pace and not slow down.
But there was the Palms climb again. It was difficult to get the pace better to 6:00 so I had to content myself with 6:15. I was actually getting slower, reaching up to 6:25 in the last turn to the finish. I sprinted the last 100m, telling myself, "last na 'to!!!" so I had to give my all.
I finished the race at 2:04:30+ (based on the clock at the finish arc), happy to be within my target finish time. My Garmin logged the race with a total 38.5km so it's short by 500m. Adding about 3+ mins to my total would still keep me below my target finish time of sub-2:10. Yey!
I think I should've taken another gel about 5km before T2. It could've been a game changer going into Run2, instead of me believing all my stored fat would carry me in 6:00 pace in those last 3km of running. That's something that I may need to practice later on.
Or, I may have to slow down(?) a bit on the bike to leave some energy for Run2. Btw, as it is only my 3rd duathlon I need to practice on road etiquette while biking, i.e. staying on the right and ONLY moving to the left when passing.
Btw, when's the next leg for this series? ;-)