Monday, November 12, 2012

The Dirt on My Off-Road Duathlon (with Addendum*)

November 11, 2012. Nuvali, Sta. Rosa, Laguna.

On a perfectly sunny day, I had a play date with Mother Nature at the 2012 Dirt Weekend+. I was a participant in the event's offroad duathlon featuring a 4k run - 20k bike - 2k run course - which was just awesome from end to end.

At the Starting Line / Transition Area, all smiles and ready to rumble.

Nuvali's trails were exquisitely well-maintained and had just the right balance of "Weeee!" and "Whoa!" sections for the non-technical off-road rider. There was one gnarly downhill section wherein I miscalculated my braking and ended up locking my front wheel, so Becky did a bit of a somersault. But I was able to jump out of the saddle quickly, unhurt. (I think yoga has helped my legs keep their balance in these bike handling mishaps.) I rolled down the bike through the rocky section, then got on the saddle and pedaled away.

*As my little legs pumped as hard as they could along single track, fireroad and gravel, my heart was singing with delight, but my mind was also wondering, how much further to the finish line? Riding, it seems, is an experience which mingles pain and pleasure. Being part of a race just takes it to a higher level - a little bit more painful, but a great deal more pleasurable. There's something about racing against time and crossing a finish line that induces a gush of glee into one's system. See Exhibit A, below.

Parking Becky after the 20 km bike leg. Dugyot, but happy.

Becky did a great job as we crunched through rock, soil, and mud. My girl sure knows how to get down and dirty! We even passed some boys! (Yeah, high-five, Becks!)*

The last leg, the 2 km run, was the shortest distance of the legs, but it was the toughest on the body and the mind. After pedalling practically non-stop for 20 kilometers through uneven terrain in the midday morning heat, my legs were begging me to please.stop.moving. But my mind said, No way. You will not stop. And not stop I did. I started with a very, very, very slow jog, which eventually halted to a walk. I picked up the pace now and then, alternating slow running and brisk walking. At less than 100 meters from the Finish Line, my legs suddenly had a surge of energy which allowed me to sprint to the finish line. As my feet landed on the timing mat, I had this big goofy smile on my face. THE.BEST.FEELING.

*I finished the course in 2:18 minutes. I was the 233rd to finish out of 300 riders. 19th out of 28 female riders.So yeah, I'm not winning any races anytime soon. Not that I plan to. I'm just happy to finish strong.

This is my second duathlon, and I plan on doing this for a while and hopefully get better at it. Some notes on what I can do better next time:

1. Wear a sleeveless jersey. I felt my body heating up in my sleeved jersey which made for an uncomfortable run and ride. Now if only I can find one in my size...

2. Relax! I must not panic at transition. I was in such a hurry to ride my bike that I was unable to wear my sleeves properly. I looked and felt harrassed. Not a good state of mind to be in when on a mountain bike!

3. Do a warm up run. Tsk. Kasi.

Meanwhile, a recovery run is in order and Becks and I must set a date to hit the trails again soon.

I ♥ Dirt! (Becky: Me too!)

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