This morning Sweet Baboo and I got up and headed for the 3rd Annual Atomic Man Duathlon. They have two courses, the "Fat Man" and the "Little Boy". Forgetting for a moment the objectionable source of the names, I have to say that this is one of the best duathlons I've ever done. It's well organized, and they give you HEED at the aid stations instead of the evil stomach-cramping gator-juice. And, they give out some serious shwag. Last year they gave out technical T-s, long sleeve, which are one of my favorite shirts. This year they gave out LG Jackets. And, if you fill out a post race survey, you get a really nice runner's cap. The awards are usually something interesting and artsy.
We stayed in the area the night before and ate at the Peking House, I think it was called. Really decent Chinese food, including Tofu. We tried getting a bite at the Los Alamos Beverage Company, but they didn't really have anything vegan-ish. The people there looked pretty happy with their food, though, so I'm assuming it's a pretty good place. I met the owners, who did this duathlon, and they are pretty nice people. Their 8-year-old also did this race. I think he beat me.
Anyway, I'm babbling. Back to the race.
The little boy course is a 4K run, 15k bike, and 4K run. The fat man course is a 10K run, 40K bike, and 5K run. It is worth noting that the bikes on each of the courses are formidable. As in, "holy hell, this hill is steep and long, and I think I'm going to throw up." As in, the Jemez Mountains not too far from the Santa Fe ski area. They are not only very winding, but involve considerable climbing, and the whole things is at an altitude of over 6000 feet.
I did this one last year, and I was hoping to best my time. I probably would have, if I hadn't wasted time doing any of the following:
- Standing at the bike mount line repeatedly punching my cadence meter, muttering, "reset, damn you."
- Stopping to pick up a gel I had accidentally dropped on the course after the race director, in the prerace meeting, threatened that if we trashed any part of the course, he would find us and he would penalize us.
- Pedaling with one leg on my bike aftering picking up said gel, while saying, repeatedly, to my left shoe/pedal, "Clip in, damn you."
- Stopping to put the chain back on that jumped off while pedaling uphill.
- Pedaling with one leg on my bike after putting on said chain, while muttering to my left/shoe pedal, by now shouting, "Clip in, damn you!"
It is interesting to note that it's been suggested to me repeatedly by Sweet Baboo that you're supposed to clip on the side that's most difficult first. Of course, I never remember this until I'm at the point where I'm screaming at my pedal/shoe.
Sweet Baboo would also tell me, in his kind and patient way (if he saw any of this) that swearing at my pedals, or my cadence meter, don't make it work. I, however, would insist that the end justifies the means: I feel better by swearing at my pedals and my cadence meter, and that's what's really important.
Besides, he never sees me swearing at my equipment; he's usually finished with the race, showered and relaxing with a cool beverage by the time I hit T1.
Anyway, here's a profile of the bike course. You'll have to click on it; the elevation is on the right in green; my % heart rate is on the left in brown.
Before and after the bike from hell, the two 4K runs are more or less flat, with some slight grades increasing or decreasing no more than 100 feet across the same course. The longer 40K course, by the way, including a decsent and climb into a canyon.
I missed last years' time by about 10 seconds, I think. Lessons learned: reset the cadence meter BEFORE the race; clip in left first.
Oh, I was 11th in my age group (40-44). Out of 12. I miss getting the medals. But I'm determined to get faster.
I hadn't said much about this before, but after my grand announcement of no longer being an Athena I immediately gained five pounds that have stubbornly refused to budge. I've been toying with the idea of reclaiming my status and re-entering the Athena category.
It's damned hard, at 155 pounds, (that's 11 stone for our Aussie and Canadian friends, ay?) to outrun all those skinny birdy women who dash by me. Those women who don't have to haul my fat ass up a grade 8 or 9 hill on a bike.
They are hardly much more than the weight of their skeleton, muscle, and some connective tissue, as they do their 7 or 6 minute miles and then haul their 5% bodyfat up a hill on a bike. Yeah. I'm whining. Don't remind me, or I'll sit on you. I, on the other hand, to use the vernacular, have a whole lot of cushion for the pushin'.
And I miss the gratuitious medal. I know, I know... I should be above all that. But who doesn't love a medal?
In any case I'm going to make my decision some time this week.