Mt. Rainier Duathlon 2012 Race Recap: It’s Always Darkest Before the Dawn

Jun 12

Mt. Rainier Duathlon 2012 Race Recap: It’s Always Darkest Before the Dawn

The Mt. Rainier duathlon was May 6th, so it’s a bit belated to be churning out a race report but I’m doing it anyway so DEAL WIF IT. It was the fourth year I’d be doing the short course, and I’ve grown to enjoy the race quite a bit (it doesn’t hurt that I’ve placed in my age group every time I’ve done it, largely due to the fact that there’s no swim segment to substantially drag down my overall finish time). I thought for sure this year Teresa would finally succeed in forcing me to do the long course version of the race (I’d managed to dodge it in previous years due to 1. Being a noob, 2. Being stubborn, and 3. Being injured), but she surprised me by encouraging me to do the short course race because I had enough long distance races on my plate this season and she thought a fast, short race would be good for me. Over two consecutive weekends I drove to Enumclaw and rode the duathlon course. The once-mighty Mud Mountain Road climb now seemed totally manageable thanks to experience/familiarity with the route and because I’ve grown to become a halfway decent cyclist. A week before the race I felt comfortable and confident and was looking forward to the event. And then, as what often happens, three days before the race life decided to kick me squarely in the ladyballs. I won’t go into details but basically an unexpected and profoundly shitty event occurred and my focus immediately shifted from racing to dealing with this sudden hardship. I abandoned my workouts and drowned my sorrows in lots and lots of booze. Thursday and Friday night consisted of drinking with friends and stumbling home from the bars. On Saturday I pinged Teresa and told her that I wasn’t in the best mindset for the race, that I had skipped workouts and was boozing it up instead of taking care of my body, and whether I should still do the duathlon. She talked me off the ledge and, ever the optimist and eternally my ardent cheerleader, encouraged me to “get back on the horse” and “channel my rage” on race day to push...

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The 2012 Race Schedule Has Been Set (It’s Like a Fantasy Football Draft, Only Lamer)

Nov 22

I know it’s only November, but Teresa has me training like my “A” race is right around the corner (and it kind of is since I’m running the Seattle Half Marathon). I’m a bit nervous about having such a jam-packed 2012 race schedule after coming off a fat and injured 2011 season, but I’m feeling good and the coach seems pretty confident in me, so it’s game on, beeyotches. Behold, my 2012 race season (aka, the last year I get to race in the glorious 25-29 age group before being thrown to the fast and strong 30+ assholes): November 26th: Seattle Half Marathon This will be my first half marathon since the Eugene half in spring 2010, where I PR’d on a relatively flat and fast course. I’ve never done the Seattle half or full marathon despite having lived here for over 10 years. There’s something about the course being difficult and the fact that it’s during a typically shitty time of the year weather-wise that hasn’t struck me as being terribly appealing. However, a ton of teammates are racing the half and a lean and fast Jas is hoping to run a 3:30 or better in the full, so I decided to woman up and race it too. It’s hard to say what I’ll bust out on Sunday–I’ve been running well lately, which is a refreshing change from how slow and painful my runs were for the first half of 2011. I’d like to do 1:45 or better, which would be a PR for me (on a tough course, no less), but as long as I have a solid, strong race, I’ll be pretty happy. March 18, 2012: Rev 3 Costa Rica It’s happening, folks! Jason and I are going to kick off the tri season waaaaaaay too early for my tastes by doing our first half Ironman of the year in freaking March. I bet my first outdoor ride and open water swim will be the week we get there, right before the race. The trip will actually end up being relatively inexpensive since I used miles to book our plane tickets and we’ll be sharing a house rental with two other couples. The pricey part will...

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Defending My Title at the Mt. Rainier Duathlon

Jun 07

Defending My Title at the Mt. Rainier Duathlon

Before I put up my Issaquah sprint triathlon race recap, I thought I’d crank out a delayed recap of the Mt. Rainier Duathlon, which I did on May 1st. Enjoy! Until recently, I haven’t been focused on races and have instead been trying to get my right Achilles tendon healthy. Now that it finally seems as if it’s mostly on the mend, Teresa has taken advantage of my newfound health and has been bugging me about my 2011 race season. First up was the Mt. Rainier duathlon, which I wasn’t thrilled about because I wasn’t optimistic about how well I’d do (especially since I was fresh off an injury, hadn’t been running much lately, and had gained a shame-inducing amount of weight in the offseason). My grumblings fell on deaf ears, and both my trainer and my somewhat bullying boyfriend peer pressured me into signing up. (Well, technically Jason signed me up, but he used my credit card. Bastard.) Because of my running handicap, I got out of doing the long course for the third straight year, but Jason opted to finally pop his long course cherry. I wasn’t optimistic about posting a PR this time around and instead opted to focus on not embarrassing myself. Since I didn’t expect to run better than last year, I figured I could at least improve my bike time. Jason’s goal was to take the big descent back to transition confidently since he was still a bit shaky after last year’s bike accident. We got to the race and although the rain had held off and it was remarkably sunny, it was also ball-shrinkingly cold (if I had balls, that is) and holding steady at about 36 degrees. I began to immediately fret over what to wear: should I have gloves? Should I wear the team windbreaker? Is a t-shirt and arm warmers enough or do I need to don a parka OH GOD I’M GOING TO FREEZE TO DEATH OUT THERE. I reminded myself that I often race warm and ended up going with the “Screw it, it’s a short race that I don’t really care about” approach to getting ready. Jason and the other long course racers started five minutes...

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We Meet Again, Mt. Rainier Duathlon

Apr 28

We Meet Again, Mt. Rainier Duathlon

Last year I bitched and moaned about having to do the Mt. Rainier duathlon because it was all the way over in Enumclaw and had a 2 mile hill that sucks ass to climb. Jason Jedi mind-tricked me into racing and I ended up taking 3rd in my age group. This year I did the duathlon again, and since I’ve been hitting my workouts pretty diligently and am training for a fatty Ironman, the race was one of my best ever. This year to prep for the duathlon, I ended up riding the course four times in one day (gotta love those long long long training rides) and got to know the Mud Mountain Road hill quite intimately. I also did a bike ride with some girls over Teresa’s bachelorette weekend that included an absolutely absurd 6+ mile hill that took me an hour to climb. After wimpily conquering that, Mud Mountain Road felt like a piece of cake. Throw in some good track workouts to improve my runs and I felt pretty good waking up at the butt crack of dawn on Sunday morning to race. Last year I raced a 1:36:37. My only goal this time around was to PR and to try and bike 50 minutes or under (I biked a 51:22 last year). Jas and I showed up and set up our transition areas. It was cold but sunnier than last year, and it ended up warming up fairly quickly so I just raced in my usual tri gear and threw on some arm warmers for good measure. Some of my training buddies raced in bike shorts, which I cannot fathom how comfortable it is to waddle-run with a huge cushy load near your ass and taint. Most of my teammates raced the long course but five of us represented Team Shorty. We started the race and I pushed myself to run a good but not super strenuous first leg so that I wouldn’t feel like collapsing once I got to transition. After the first 1.6 mile run I grabbed my bike and embarked as fast as I could. I felt pretty good and kept mentally telling myself to push it during the bike part...

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The Dynamic Duathlon

Apr 27

The Dynamic Duathlon

On Sunday Jason and I did the Mt. Rainier Duathlon in Enumclaw. A bunch of our TN Multisport buddies had signed up for the race and were urging us to do the same. We had heard daunting things about the mighty duathlon course hill, so last week we decided to ride the bike route and see how formidable the hill would be. Jason, his dad, Beth, Barb and I met in horse loving Enumclaw and rode our bikes to get a feel for the duathlon course. Beth told me that she wanted to make sure she could successfully get up the hill this year since last year she was unable to conquer it. It was a warm, sunny day and most of the roads were flat and fast with a few gradual inclines…and then we got to the hill. Even though I had heard gloriously awful things about it, the beast still caught me by surprise. The first part of the hill is the steepest — it’s mercifully short, but I’m told it’s a shitty 17% incline. When I hit it I was in the completely wrong gearing and frantically downshifted. Although I did make it to the top, I ran out of momentum and ended up keeling over and running into a guardrail (thankfully, much like a Weeble, I wobbled but did not fall down). When Beth caught up to me at the top of the hill, I asked her, “Was that the part you got stuck on last year?” She just laughed and said, “Oh no, it gets worse.” “Worse” is putting it lightly. This mofo is 2 miles long. While the rest of the hill isn’t as superbly steep as the beginning part, it’s a long, winding, never-ending piece of crap. Every time I rounded a corner and expected to be at the end, I’d see more hill to climb. I cursed, sweated, wheezed, dropped my chain, cursed again, stopped to put the chain back on my bike, burned my legs up trying to start climbing again mid-hill, sweated some more, wheezed a few more times, and finally made it to the top. Then we turned around, flew down the hill (well, they flew while I...

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