Saturday we left for Appleton, Wisconsin to take part in the Paper Discovery Duathlon, a mere 2 1/2 hours from home. We took our son Lucas and his friend Caleb as our official media crew for the event. Mike and I went to the Paper Discovery Center to pick up our schwag bags. It included kind of a lame tshirt, a tablet of paper, several samples of lotions and salves (heel balm, udder balm, etc), and a race drink called Heed - boring. We went shopping at the Fox River Mall next to our hotel and then went to dinner at the Texas Roadhouse (how can it be OK with the health department to eat at a place where people have just thrown peanut shells all over the floor?? - seems very unhygienic ). We attempted a swim it the pool (it was more of an ice bath....) and settled in to watch a couple movies. At midnight I went down to the pool to rustle the boys back to the room, where they made enough noise that I slept for a while with my pillow over my head. We were up at 6 on Sunday so we could get ready and packed out of the hotel in time for the start of the race. As expected, we needed a crowbar to blast the boys out of bed and into the shower they had deemed immensely important the evening before. The marquis on the Mall said it was a balmy 44 degrees when I looked out our window. Little problem - I had brought tri shorts and a sleeveless bike jersey to wear. at the last minute I had also packed a pair of trek arm warmers and a sweatshirt so those went on too. It was flipping freezing and windy as hell out - great.
We were at the paper Discovery Center in plenty of time. I think we were there 3 minutes and ran face to face with Bill Gilmore from Janesville - that guy is at EVERY race we go to! We picked up our timing chips. For this race we also were required to get body painted, which essentially meant that a lady took a big Sharpie marker and wrote our race numbers down the sides of our legs and down our arms. Interesting, I've never had that be part of the program. In case you are wondering, it still has not washed off after 3 showers. Nice.
We arrived at the transition area and set up our spots. Mike and I were set to take of in the second wave so we set up in that area. It was super windy, so we made sure to loop our helmets etc firmly so they didn't blow into the Fox River next to our bikes. Once we were set, we watched the transition for the kids duathlon for a few minutes (man someof those kids were SMALL!! - like 5 or 6!) which was cute. Before long we were off and running. I did my first 5K in 33:25.7 . It was interesting - the course wound through the Lawrence University campus, along a dirt path in places and up a couple of big hills. The transition went pretty smoothly and I was off on my bike. I took off my sweatshirt and changed my shoes. It was pretty much an out and back course. It was a nice flt course with the biggest hill of the whole thing right out of the start gate. The wind was really strong, mostly a cross wind on the way out and back, except for the turnaround loop where we turned into a hellacious headwind. There was one bike wreck along the way that was under control when I rode by. The bike was cool for me. I was able to pass TONS of people and found several that I could use to play cat and mouse to pump up my pace. There were a lot of hardcore tri guys here too and they flew right by me. Most were encouraging, one guy gave me some shifting advice on the way past me and other slowed down long enough to say "Hey Janesville!"as he flew by. My bike time for 22 miles was 1:21:55.9 . Then it was back to running. It was not too bad to get off the bike before the transition and run into the corral in my road shoes and get changed for the final 5K. Transition took longer than I think it should have been and felt kind of putzy. I took off running again finally and waved to the boys n my way out of the transition gate. The last 5K was a struggle to get started with and trying to loosen up my calves enough to open up the stride. Along the way, I took off the gloves and arm warmers and stuffed them into my jersey pockets. The second run was definitely tougher but I just kept telling myself that I only had a little more to go as i passed the mile markers. I ended up with a time for the second run of 35:37. Mike and the boys were at the finish waiting for me, which was cool. I am so proud of Mike for doing so well. He always picks apart his performance, but i thought he did great.
After the last run we were able to pick up a ticket from a guy that printed our official times and splits, which was pretty cool. Another something to add to the scrapbook.
I ended up 7/14 in my division (Athena) overall and I was second place on the bike, a mere 12 seconds from first place. That was cool. I was 405/497 with an official time of 2:25:28.5. I am feeling pretty good about this. First I finished without walking, flatting out, or dropping out. Second, I kicked ass on my bike in my division. I actually had a woman stop me in line to get my split receipt to tell me she kept trying to catch up to me on the bike but she just couldn't. I was her GOAL pace- How cool is that for a back of the packer?!?! Third, there was a ton of elite athletes at this event and I got to see and learn a lot from watching their techniques and equipment.
Here's a couple pictures post-race. The first is Mike and I as the unofficial Michael's Cycles Duathlon Team ( LOL - notice how thrilled the g irl in back of us is to be a part ofthe picture.) and the other is of the photojournalist team. Hollister belongs to me. They did a great job. We got some good action shots of us, which was the point. We also got lots of shots of random hot chicks, girls butts, and some other random stuff including a picture of Lucas's snot rocket (gross).