Why I chose this race.
I chose this race when I was entering The Wales Triathlon, I haven’t done a duathlon for a while, and I thought it would be a good training session. The Race is orgainsed by Activity Wales
It was an early start, as the race started at 7:30am. I was up at 4:45, and picked up my mum who was coming along for a day out! We left Narberth at 5am and I had my breakfast in the car, a peanut butter sandwich and some water. I was hoping it would warm up as we drove because the car was showing a temperature of 3.5, brrr. I registered and realised I had forgotten my race belt, went to set up transition, pump up my tyres and put my drink on the bike. So easy in a duathlon, there’s much less to remember.
I made my way down to the start and lined up in the middle. There was a short course and long course starting together. The run is totally flat, an out and back along the seafront. I started fairly steadily and gradually overtook quite a few people. My heart rate was averaging 161, which was lower than at my last race. When I got near the turnaround point I started counting women, there were 3 in front, and I overtook Sian on the way back, when I came into transition I was 3rd woman.
Out of T1 I got stuck behind a bus which was going slowly behind a lot of the slower cyclists, and I was also trying to get my feet in my shoes, which I haven’t practised since last year (Not recommended!) Its always a bit stressy coming out on the bike, as there are so many things to think about, my Garmin was asking me if I wanted to calibrate my power meter, so I was trying to press enter, and get my shoes on, and not crash into a bus. Anyway I got myself sorted and attempted to calibrate my power meter (you are meant to pedal backwards for about 4 seconds, which I did.) My legs were feeling pretty tired, maybe from training, or maybe because I’m not used to running before cycling, I started to feel more relaxed after 15 minutes or so, but my power still looked low for the amount of effort I felt like I was putting in! I kept an eye on it, but listened to my breathing and tried to maintain a steady pace on the flats and downs, which seemed to work, because every time we went up a hill a few men would pass me, then I would pass them again as we got near the top of the hill and on the descents. I picked up a few QOM’s on these sections
When I got in to T2 I ran past my spot looking for my shoes, couldn’t see them as someone had racked their bike in my place, I wasted a few seconds looking around and had to rack my bike in the wrong place, and finally got out on to the second run. As I got to the turnaround I kept my eye out for any women, I saw the first woman, and knew she was too far ahead for me to catch her, so I looked out for more women. after the turnaround I spotted the 3rd place woman, and thought I’d better pick up the pace, I started to catch the man in front and he stayed with me, we ran together the whole way back until the last 1km where he pulled away. As we got on to the finishing straight I saw I could probably catch him so I put in a sprint finish and managed to catch him at the line, there are some embarrassing photos of me getting over enthusiastic about crossing the line at the same time! But we had a hug afterwards and all was okay!
I was really pleased with my pacing on the run, my second run was actually faster than my first. My power was totally out which was pretty disappointing, as I wanted to check my stats and see how I was progressing. I must not have calibrated the power meter properly as I started out, but its better that these things happen early in the season so as to learn from the mistakes.