Ok, it doesn’t sound as cool as Ironman but whatever. Today was the third running of the Atomic Man Duathlons where they have a long course, 10K – 40K – 5K a.k.a. “Fat Man” and a short course, 4K – 15K – 4K a.k.a. “Little Boy.” While I need to get revenge on the Fat Man because I ran it on a fractured hip last year and didn’t do so well the GEEKGRL and I thought it prudent to go with the Little Boy this year seeing how it is just two weeks out from IMAZ.
Now you know how it is with shorter races, you just go harder so it isn’t exactly easy. Add to that the fact that the race takes place just outside of Los Alamos, NM at elevation 6500 ft in the Jemez mountains…that’s “haymez” for you non-espanyolers. It wasn’t just the altitude, the climbing and the twisty turny mountain roads that made it tough…it was also my rather poor memory of what exactly the bike course looked like from last year. You see, I was debating “Should I ride my tri spokes front and back or should I throw on my disc? Hmm, I seem to recall the short bike course being fairly straight and flat, maybe a few rollers…I think I’ll take my disc.”
It’s a lonely feeling being in a race in the mountains the only one of over 200 athletes with a disc on your bike.
Anyhoo…I did the Little Boy and had a great time. It was nice to be able to go flat out without a care in the world regarding nutrition. All I needed to do was pace myself well enough to keep going for a little over an hour. The 4K run was a loop set on it’s side, tilted kind of, with 226 feet of climbing, downhill at first then a long looping climb then back downhill for a while then back up hill into transition. Fellow Outlaw and Junior Clyde “Smilin” Cody took off at a blistering pace. I stayed right in behind him and took a look at my Garmin as we were running a 5:46 min/mile…NO…BAD CLYDESDALES, BAD was all I could thing but I didn’t want to fall too far off his back and knew that if I could just hang on physics and physiology would bring an abrupt stop to this silliness and I was right. We slowed to a 6:15 pace then a 6:45 pace then a 7:18 pace and started heading up hill where I passed him and settled into a 7:30 to 8:something pace depending on the current trajectory of the course.
Here is a Garmin Pic of my run elevation (green line) and HR (appropriately, red line), which was an average of 178bpm.
I cleared the first 4K in a time of 19:30 and rolled into transition gasping for what little oxygen is available at that altitude. Since I had forgot to bring my aero bottle and had no bottle cages I stopped briefly in transition and drank some Nuun which was enough to top off my tank and allowed my HR to drop a little. I cleared T1 in 1:09 and was on to the bike for my vunder ride…the old disc in the mountains routine.
The bike begins with a climb out of transition and then just spends the rest of the time going up and down. Much to my chagrin Smilin Cody passed me going uphill. MAN…I was trying to back off a little here to bring my HR under control and I thought I had a sufficient lead…now I had to go back to work so I told him to hurry up and finish the pass and pull in front of me so I could pass him back and of course being the true gentleman that he is, he obliged and I took off again but now I knew he was on my ass so I could not let up. It got real old hauling that disc up and down hills but it handled around the corners much better than I had thought it would so I was pretty pleased. I covered the 15 K in 28:04 climbing and all and arrived in T2 for my little Nuun break, change of shoes and off on to the second run it a total time of 55 seconds.
Here is a Garmin Pic of my bike elevation and HR (again green and red), which was an average of 175bpm.
As I was heading out for the second run I noticed Cody had racked his bike and was changing shoes. I prayed that he was feeling as gassed as I was because I don’t know if I had a retaliation left in me but I knew I had the strength left to run steady pace to the end. Fortunately Cody was in the same boat as I and I was able to hold him off to the end. I crossed the finish line with a second run time of 21:06 and a total time of 1:10:42, good enough to get me 1st place Clyde and 13th overall.
Not bad for government work.
I had such a good time just getting to cut loose. Next weekend is the Ransom Canyon Sprint Triathlon, one of my all time favorite sprints.
Ok, funny story. During the first run…I was PASSED by a woman running pushing a BABY JOGGER…serious as a heart attack, which is almost what I had. I almost caught her on the uphill but she fought me off. This woman did the entire duathlon with her child. She rode a mountain bike with a pull-behind stroller and I totally took her then ;-) I never did see her finish but i know he did and when she did cross the line it was far from last place.
I later learned that she was a pro-athlete of some sort…amazing.