This past Sunday I ran/biked in the Staten Island Duathlon and now can officially say I’m a duathlete! Yes, I finished… and had a great time. I was pretty nervous before the race since I signed up last minute and because I had no idea what to expect. And most importantly, I hadn’t really trained for the bike portion of this race! But this was a flat course with reasonable distances, so I decided not to psych myself out and just have fun.
The race was broken down like this: 1 mile run, 12 mile bike, 4 mile run.
Never having done duathlon before, I wasn’t positive how to set up my bike in the transition area or really how to transition at all. This was my biggest concern believe it or not! What I ended up doing was just watching what everyone else did and followed them, especially since there were some serious tri/duathletes there. They seemed to know what they were doing. It was actually very simple and organized, plus I had some help from a few nice racers
Here’s my breakdown of the race:
Run 1- 1 mile run (8:25)
Um, yeah I don’t know what got into me for this mile. I never run anywhere near this pace but I was thrilled when I saw my time! I suppose it was a combination of the adrenaline and the fact that it was only one mile, but I finished this in my fastest pace ever.
This part was really fun because while us duathletes were running this mile, the triathletes were doing their swim. Since we ran along the beach (beautiful course by the way), it was cool to watch them heading into the water! If only I could get over my fear of swimming in open water, I’d consider the triathlon next time.
Transition 1- 1:50
I have to say I think my transitions could have been faster, but honestly I wasn’t exactly sure what I was doing. Plus, my bike got stuck on the one next to me on the rack so it took me a bit of time to get it out. I had some Nuun from my water bottle at this point and ran my bike to the street. Again, I followed the lead of the other duathletes.
Bike 1- 12 mile bike (39:30, 3:17/mile)
The bike portion of the race was pretty flat, which was good since I didn’t train much. Plus, hills and I don’t get along in general so it was good they weren’t in the picture. It was also on familiar streets for me since I grew up on Staten Island and have been down these roads so many time.
In order to get 12 miles we did three 4 mile loops on the street adjacent to the beach. I was nervous it would be crowded but it wasn’t bad at all, I really didn’t have any problems with congestion. I saw some amazing bikes while I was riding but most were similar to mine which made me feel better. I kept myself entertained during this part by picking a person and trying to bike past them, and then when I did I picked a new person. It actually helps the time go faster!
Luckily, my mom and dad were there to cheer me on and since it was three loops for the bike portion, I was able to see them a bunch of times.
I’m not sure what a “good pace” is for biking so I don’t know how my time for this part measures up, but I felt good and enjoyed it! Buying my bike was a great decision, I loved the experience of this and being around other riders so much.
One thing I still haven’t figured out how to do though while riding my bike: drink from my water bottle. I always feel so wobbly so I didn’t drink any until the second transition. Any tips for drinking water while riding would be great!
Transition 2- 2:03
This one was a bit longer than the first because I accidentally put my bike on the wrong rack initially. I didn’t want to annoy anyone so I had to switch it. I also had a few Gu energy chomps at this point for energy and some more Nuun.
Run 2- 4 mile run (37:05, 9:15/mile)
My legs felt like jelly after I got off my bike and started this run portion, and as I kept running they felt heavier and heavier. Next time, I’m definitely training more to avoid this feeling! That being said, I kept a pretty good pace for the 4 miles even though I stopped to walk at the water stop for a few seconds for some hydration/a break.
The course itself was beautiful, we ran along the beach and onto the boardwalk. It was also out and back.. 2 miles out, 2 miles back. My only complaint is that the sun was SO strong towards the end of the run and there was no shade. I was so thankful for the light beach breeze though to cool me down.
Unfortunately, there were no headphones allowed so I was music-less the whole time. I haven’t trained much without my iPod so it was sort of weird listening to my own breathing for 37 minutes. I kept myself busy by singing songs to myself, commenting on people’s outfits, and concentrating on my form. It wasn’t so bad but I definitely prefer having some Call Me Maybe to keep me going!
Total time: 1:28
After the race, they were giving out bananas, oranges, and bagels plus Muscle Milk and Zico coconut water! I had a light chocolate Muscle Milk.. perfect for recovery.
I didn’t stay for the race awards because I didn’t think I would ever place in anything. Later on though a family friend who was running the race called to let me know I placed SECOND in my age group! What?! My dad picked up the plaque foe me, its definitely going on my wall because I don’t know when/if this will ever happen again!
To celebrate, my sister and Karl made me a waffle breakfast.. so tasty! My sister made me this with some frosting..
I had an amazing time and can’t wait to do more duathlons. I also recommend the Staten Island Duathlon for anyone interested. Its flat, well-organized, and has a beautiful course! Glad this was my first one.
What did you do this weekend?
Did you run/bike at all?
Anyone else do any races?