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Duathlon Bike Recap: Hello Cramps!

Posted Sep 12 2012 6:00am
<--- Pre-Race Recap

<--- 10k Recap

22k*: 55:22 [*yes, they call it a 20k but it's actually 22k, I guess 20 sounds better than 22?!]

As much as I'd wanted to get on my bike, the first five minutes or so felt really discouraging cause they HURT! It was hard. Cycling has never been hard for me before (then again, I've never done a 10k-run in 28 degrees and jumped straight onto my bike afterwards....that'll teach me!).

But I quickly found my stride, until the first killer hill, that is. I couldn't believe what happened next. As some of you might remember from earlier posts, I've suffered from calf cramps during my last two half marathons. When I hit that first incline not one, nay, both of my calves cramped up to such an extent that I actually squealed in pain and frustration. I slowed down and somehow, goodness knows how, made it up that hill.

After reaching the top, I had to hold and shake out my left leg (which was worse) in order to let the cramp subside. It was awful. And so frustrating. There I thought I'd done all I can to prevent cramping. I'd done more strength training, I'd taken gels, I was even wearing my compression socks, despite the temperature. And to no avail! I could've cried with frustration (ok, so I may have shed a lil' tear but that was because of the pain! You hear me? The pain!).

The only way I could stop the cramping was to pedal on my mid-foot, that's why I'm not using the cages here.

The only consolation I had was that unlike many others around me, I did not get off to push my bike up that hill. Hell no!
 
I drank a lot of water and had most of my Jelly Beans on the first lap. Luckily, I managed to overtake quite a few riders which gave me at least a small boost.

The 22k was a two-lap course, so the second time around I was much better prepared for the hill, although it didn't make it any easier. By this time people started getting a lot more chatty and friendly on and off the course and I was getting encouragement from both spectators and those around me who were pushing their bikes.

That dark shadow in my cleavage? A pack of Jelly Beans. Just FYI.
I didn't have huge hopes for this leg but I knew I'd be closer to a good time than on the run. I was actually pretty pleased with the result, considering the circumstances and the re-appearance of my old 'bud' calf-cramp.

I was shattered by the time I dismounted and pushed my bike back into transition, trying to find our racking spot. I clipped my helmt to the rail, swapped my glasses for my visor and grabbed an energy gel before heading back out for one last lap of fun!  

TR2: 1:50 [beating G by over a minute!]

Next: The Final 5k hobble...
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