IMG_7229Today I had the pleasure and pain of completing the Brands Cycle Duathlon.  Pleasure because it was an awesome race, pain because it was chilly and pouring rain the entire time.  Going in I knew it would be raining, but when I woke up I crossed my fingers and hoped the sky would be clear, but that didn’t happen!! I’ve never biked in the rain….I’m still a beginner so biking in the elements is totally off my radar and I have only run in the rain if I got caught in it, so this was definitely a new experience for me.  Luckily yesterday I had the smarts to go and buy a rain coat because I didn’t have one in my closet, and you know I love a good deal, and I was able to pick one up on sale at Dick’s Sporting Goods yesterday….and so happy that I did!  That rain coat saved my britches this morning.

Freezing and wet but smiling b4 the startIMG_7186

The race started promptly at 8:30.  Now going in you know when you see the fancy schmancy bikes there are going to be some heavy hitters in the race and there were.  During the bike there was a lot of “on your left” being yelled so they could fly right by you.  Now this was a smaller event.  I think there were like 200 people registered, and I heard about 50 didn’t show up…..probably because of the rain.  The first leg was the run which was 1.2 miles.  So at the start I don’t know how I managed to be up front but I was and started off way too fast.  I’m running like hey all the guys are up here, then I’m like hey I’m going really fast, then I look down at my watch and my pace is 7:30 and I’m like hey pump your brakes there shorty.  So I slowed down tremendously to a 10-11 minute pace which is my comfort zone.  The first leg was pretty easy, and then comes transition.  Transition is the point where you switch from one element to another, so this transition was run to bike.

My bike on the rack.  Coack Jax told us about the bag on the saddle trick, my saddle was still drenched!IMG_7185

The bike leg was 11 miles.  Now ordinarily 11 miles would be a nice ride for me, but throw in the freezing rain pelting you everywhere and it turns into a challenge.  Some how some way I am going to improve my biking.  I know it is going to take some time, but I have the will and I’ll get it done.  The bike was flat for the most part.  There were 2 hilly areas.  One leading up to a turn, and then on the reverse trip we had to climb the hill in the opposite direction.  I have very little concept of gear switching, so hills are hard for me.  I kind of felt I would go faster if I got off the bike and pushed it up the hill!!! Hopefully I’ll improve and I’ll be singing a different song next year.  At the bike turn around standing there waving a caution flag was none other than Coach Jackie!! I was like hey Jackie, she is like your doing great nice and easy on the turn, and I’m like I think I may fall, and she says no you won’t!  She is so encouraging, and it was nice to see a friendly face.  We had to do 4 loops on the bike to make the 11 miles.  By the 4th loop I was totally over it.  I was wet everywhere.  My shoes were shooshing, my glasses were all wet, I was just a mess.  BrandsFast forward to T2 (2nd transition) bike to run.  I went through this pretty quickly 1:16.  Now when I started the last run which was another 1.2 miles I now completely understand the term brick workout.  My feet literally felt like I was running on bricks.  Talk about super heavy!  I think it was a feeling I’ve never felt before.  I don’t think I truly got comfortable until the very end of the run, so I guess in a longer race it would be better because I’ll have more time to get into my stride.

Overall despite the horrible weather Race Awesome really put on an awesome race.  It was well organized, the staff and volunteers were great, and the overall atmosphere was great.  If you compete in races you know sometimes there is very little or no support regarding nutrition, but here that was not the case.  Fairway was one of the sponsors.  They had watermelon, bananas, apples, oranges, and bagels with peanut butter and chocolate spread.  IMG_7205There was also an abundance of coconut water from Purity.  IMG_7208Now I’ve come to the realization that coconut water is an acquired taste because I haven’t met one that I like.  This one however is tolerable.  I put it in my smoothie when I got home instead of using water and I have to say it was pretty tasty.

Thank you for the haul Purity! They were super generous.IMG_7226

There was also plenty of coffee and tea which was a godsend in this type of weather.

End of race obligatory bling shot!IMG_7212Some views of the finishlineIMG_7202IMG_7206Me & Simone before the rain kicked our butts!IMG_7211Simone finishing strong! & she one a Giant road bike in the raffleIMG_7197And a special thanks to Super D…Dionne for volunteering.  Every time I did a lap there she was cheering me on, and she recorded this awesome video…thx DD![youtube]

Next stop Staten Island Half Marathon tomorrow….yes I’m crazy!!

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