Pacific Coast Duathlon

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Whoa!  That was a tough race!  I knew the Pacific Coast Duathlon would be a challenge as soon as I arrived in Laguna Beach.  The Pacific Coast Highway was hilly!  Then I saw the course at the Expo, which consisted of a lot of sand and even more hills.  On the plus side, I do have to say the course was stunning!

IMG_5979-sPhotography courtesy of the Bear, who is a master behind the lens!

Race day started at the crack of dawn.  We live an hour away from Laguna Beach, so we got an early start at 3:00 a.m.  After setting up my bike and gear at the transition area, the Bear and I sat and relaxed on the sidewalk to enjoyed the scenery.  (The Bear was the sweetest for waking up so early after a long week working in DC!)  About 30 minutes before the race, I got in a quick warm up run around the course.

Then we headed down to the beach for the start of the race.  Oh, did I mention that the first run was on the sand?!  Yeah, that was fun!  Actually, it wasn’t as bad as I expected.  Plus, one nice thing about this race was that I got to see the male triathletes enter the water. Now I know what to expect for my first triathlon.  But back to the run… which happened to be a half mile along on the sand and then a super steep hill up the cliffs to the transition area.  No big deal!

IMG_5995-s IMG_6001-sThat guy is my hero!  He was in his seventies and passed me up on the hill.

The transition took about a minute before I was on the bike.  The bike course was a little longer than the last race at 12 miles.  It also had a ton of hills.  Up and down the PCH I went.  I loved going down the hill reaching a speed of 30 mph, but biking uphill was torture. I repeat, TORTURE!  Lesson learned: bike more hills in training!  I finished the bike course in 43 minutes and arrived back at the transition area.

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After transition, it was time for the 5k run.  The first mile went pretty fast at 8:58.  The second mile was not bad at 9:28, but the third mile… OH, the third mile was on sand!  My pace slowed down a bit but I was feeling pretty comfortable.  Then I began closing in on the end of last mile.  There it was, the holy grail of all hills.  Before I could even get to the steepest hill of all time, I had to run from the shoreline through the fluffy quicksand that never seemed to end.  I am not going to lie here. I tried to run up that hill but I had to stop to walk. It was okay because I had a game plan:  walk up the hill and sprint to the finish, so that’s what I did!

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I finished the entire race at 1:28, and I am not complaining!

One thing I took away from this race is that I need to train much, much more on the bike.  I also want to improve my running pace uphill.  I was so impressed by the athletes at this race.  It was like a different breed of athletes. These kids do not mess around.  I found this race much more competitive than the last duathlon.  It’s time to step up my game before my first future triathlon!

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Love this sign! I want to be her friend. :)

How was your weekend?  Did anyone participate in one of the many triathlons or duathlons this weekend?

23 thoughts on “Pacific Coast Duathlon

  1. Yay for you! Looks like it was beautiful and I’m pretty sure everyone running by you is wondering how the heck you look so good in the middle of the race!

  2. Congratulations on completing this really cool race! I would have totally done it with you had it been here with me! I am so intrigued by events like this with more than one sport – and I definitely think something like this will be on my bucket list for next year. :) In spite of the hills, you did amazing! Had I just biked 12 miles of hills, my mile times would be wayyyy up there – you killed it! :) Good job!! And, might I add, you look phenomenal! You look beautiful in every picture. :)
    Meghan @ fitnesscrEATures recently posted…The 6 Biggest Annoyances of Running through AtlantaMy Profile

    • Why thank you Meghan! If you haven’t done a duathlon before, I would definitely recommend it. It’s a great way to enter the triathlon world.

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