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!
Photography 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!
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.
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!
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!
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?