I did the Camarillo Duathlon race yesterday and things went well, especially considering a year ago I was 40 pounds heavier and started this new fitness journey after being diagnosed with diabetes. This was the third and last of the year’s Camarillo Duathlon Series 2014.
Unlike the first time I did the Duathlon Series last October, I trained for this one. After the October duathlon I started running regularly, 3 to 4 times a week, and cycled during cross-training days. Although, when I decided to run the December Santa to the Sea Half Marathon, I shifted all my training efforts to running and cycling fell by the wayside.
The field at this past weekend’s duathlon was much larger than the one in the Fall. The Race Director, Bill Escobar, said that they had done a Living Social deal and seventy people showed up on race day via the deal. Because the Living Social deal didn’t send any runner info to race organizers everyone had to register in the morning and there was a nice sized line to register and people were racking up their bikes with minutes to spare before the races began. I liked seeing more faces and probably new racers but Escobar wasn’t very fond of the logistical bottleneck that happened so probably won’t do the Living Social deal again. I picked up my race gear the day before so the lines didn’t bother me at all.
Here’s a quick video of the transition area right before the start of the Olympic race.
With the nice and full field, the Olympic race started at 8 a.m. and our Sprint race would start 20 minutes later. I remember during the October race that I didn’t warm up with a run because I felt that if I did a tiny run it would use up all my running strength. A mile and a half run was like a marathon to me back then.
As we made our way to the starting line I winded my way towards the front of the pack then we were off. My plan was to run hard the entire mile and a half and did just that, running my fastest mile split since junior high. It felt good being in the middle of the pack and being able to run strong the whole way. Because there were a few more bikes than last year’s race my transition time was a tad slower but still ranked 18th out of 81. I used the same hybrid bike as last time so didn’t have to worry about changing shoes.
My main goal for the cycling portion was to cycle at under a 4 minutes per mile pace for as much of the race as possible. The October race was hot and the day before there were brutal headwinds that calmed down only a little on race day and some of my mile splits were over 7 minute miles.
I grabbed a couple of bites of a Cliff bar around mile 4 and that’s exactly when the race photographer took my photo. Every time I went to drink water or take a bit of the Cliff bar I slowed down a bunch. I haven’t used little Gu packet as my nutrition before but I think I need to try it out because of its smart and easy to use packaging. I finally tried one the other day and it didn’t unsettle my stomach.
By mile 6 I had been passed by a lot of people including folks who were also on hybrid bikes so I can’t use that as an excuse. It was a little frustrating but I just didn’t have it in my legs to go any faster. That said, I still improved my cycling time by more than 8 minutes which is really good considering I had focused 99% of my training at the running portion. I wondered how much improvement I’d see in cycling just by the improved conditioning via running.
I finished the cycling portion strong and started the final run portion in good shape. My legs were a little heavy but I didn’t get the crazy rubber legs that I did in October. I kept a steady pace and got passed by a couple of people but I just kept on with the steady pace. I checked my Nike Sportswatch pace and it said I was at a 9:45 mile pace.
I was a little disappointed that I didn’t actively push to reel in runners. I did pass one person with about 400 yards left in the race and surged a bit at the end but didn’t get the adrenaline kick that would have put me in super race mode. I still beat my final run portion from October by almost 4 minutes.
I also used my heart monitor during the race and I’ve been reviewing the data to see where I was really pushing it and where I was apparently cruising. I’ll keep all this in mind as I continue training for my next race, the Ojai Half Marathon on April 27. Elite Sports, who put on the Camarillo Duathlon, is also managing this race and so far it has over 800 registrants.
You can review the race results for the Camarillo Duathlon race here.