Monday, 11 March 2013

The First Duathlon

Mothers Day last year was a tough day that turned into a great learning day it was the only time I never completed a race it may have been a 20 mile race but I at least pushed myself to complete 10 of those miles. Worthing 20 Mile Road Race. Mothers Day 2013 that I have a race on Mothers Day again is down to luck not me looking for it. How apt that like last year I am still pushing my boundaries pushing myself making myself proud and on this Mothers Day making my Mum prouder (if that's possible) of me.

Race day and I can not sleep properly this reminds me of all my first time big races a sure sign that this is a special day that I am about to do something that no one can ever take away from me. I have a lot more race day experience now and I did not have to leave home super early the race is in my home town so parking on a Sunday morning is not a problem, Hazel is ready the camera is ready its freezing cold which is good for me but not so good for Hazel.

We get to the race start area I get my number and sticker for my bike again Hazel has to pin the number on I really am all fingers and thumbs (I prefer the race number on my shirt before I leave home to be honest) put the bike in the transition area and can now relax and breath as I am now ready for the start.

We get the safety briefing done I have a little warm up just to keep warm and clear the legs ready for the race, we are called to the start line 2 minutes before the start and then we are off, the great thing about this race is I know the whole route like the back of my hand I know where I am and how far I have to go it really makes a difference. I soon end up towards the back end of the field which is cool and where I expect to be I concentrated on my me my race the only person I am completing against is myself the run goes really well I take my one walking brake and off I go again to the transition area I can not believe how well I have done that must be the fastest I have ever run 3 miles Portsmouth Duathlon 1st Run and the first time the last mile of a run was faster than any before. I feel good and get my bike from the transition area ready for the next section of the race

I start the bike section on a high with the knowledge that I have a chance of  making up some places as I know that I have a decent speed and a good road bike riding eastbound into the wind was quite tough but I keep my head down and keep going. My Garnin blips at the mile mark and I realize I did not set the watch for the bike section I do that straight away (I am gutted by this oversight but pull myself together the whole time is still on the watch) I have decided to split the race into 2 half's the first down to the Hayling Ferry and back to the transition area and then the 2 loops around Southsea Common this worked well for me and the bike section like the first run went really fast even taking in to account the 3 times I rode into the wind. Portsmouth Duathlon Bike Section I counted about 10 people that I overtook on the bike section this gave me a great boost to be part of a race and not only overtake people but pull away from them. This will hardly ever happen with running.

I dismount go into the transition area I get a drink and then start my last run Portsmouth Duathlon 2nd Run I take my gel as I'm running after 300 yards of so I get a little cramp in my left calf, I stop and walk all the bad thoughts flood my head is my injury jinx going to kick in I run and walk for a little while the good news is I run through the cramp and carry on with my run, I realize that I should have stayed in the transition area had the drink and gel at the same time take the extra couple of minutes like I have done with the training. At least I know why that happened it was my fault not my legs. My confidence is a little shaken I have to finish and hopefully finish injury free, I take plenty of walking breaks I will finish this race I get inside the last km and I start to get cramp in my hamstrings left leg again so I shake that off and am able to run in to the finish with no further problems.

Am I a little disappointed with the time of the last run? Not on your life this is race conditions which are completely different to training I had 2 really fast sections which surprised me. I pushed my body to its limits whilst still having calf problems and I passed with flying colours, everything my body throw at me I answered back big time I will not accept failure I will adjust and do what's right to get me home. I have 4 weeks until race two of three in this series the first run will increase to 4.7 miles the rest the same I need to train harder than I trained for the first race, this will be easier to do as I now know whats expected of my body of me and the race.

 To my Mum on this Mothers Day I give you your son Darin McCloud aged 48 and a little bit 10k, 10mile, Half Marathon, Marathon and now Duathlon Athlete. Who would have thought? If I can do this anyone can change their lives for the better, I have no thoughts of ever giving up having spent the first 46 years of my live giving up all the time. 

I am so happy honest!



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