Thursday, November 12, 2015

Salmon Duathlon 2015 - Race Report

My goal for today was to beat Tracy with a "Y"...myself (my friends know what I'm talking about). This would be my fourth time doing the Salmon Duathlon. The Salmon Duathlon was my second multi-sport race following the Golden State Triathlon in 2012 (my very first triathlon). I had so much fun at Golden State I wanted to do another one, but Golden State was one of the last local triathlons for the season, so I settled for two sports instead of three and found this fun, low key event.

My first year's time was OK, but of course I wanted to beat that time the second year. I did beat my 2012 time in 2013, so of course, I believed that I would continue to improve and get even faster in 2014. Unfortunately, I added several seconds in 2014. I wasn't devastated, but I did question whether or not I had reached my limit. What if 2013 was as fast as I would ever be?

Actually, I had a second goal for this race...not to mess up my Garmin! For whatever reason, I have been unsuccessful at capturing my race data. One year I turned on my Garmin and didn't let the satellites sync. Another year I recorded the entire race as a cycling event. So this year, the pressure was on to get it right. I am happy to report that I recorded the race accurately and was within a couple of seconds of my official time.

Finally got it right!


Started the day with a breakfast of eggs on toast (Double Fiber english muffin). Thirty minutes before race start I had Beachbody's new Performance "Energize" pre-workout drink. It is similar to C4 but doesn't make you feel like your skin is crackling! LOL

Just what I needed :-)

Overheard at the Registration Desk

HS  fills out his registration paper work which included information like his name and age (63) and the following conversation ensues...
Registration Lady: It's 65
HS: No, I'm only 63
Registration Lady: No, it's 65 dollars. Mike, you've raced here before.
HS: Derp!!!

More Pre-Race Antics

As we stood along the side of Sonora Rd listening to final instructions from Mark , a fellow racer took the mike and gave everyone a little pep talk and chant to help get up the hill (all three times). I don't remember all of it, but it was a military 4 count chant that included the following lines...

...I don't know but I've been told, Mark Aiton is fat and old.
If he tried to run this race, he would fall flat on his face...

Smiles before and after the race today! Great race by On Your Mark Events
It was a great chant and got everyone fired up and ready to race.

Run - Part 1

For the first run, I wanted to try running by I fought the urge to check my Garmin. I also wanted to test out some of the things that I learned at the #ChiRunning clinic. The first loop felt good (it always helps to start a race off going down hill). Even the first run up the hill wasn't so bad.

Running through the Knights Ferry covered bridge 

Actually, the second loop felt pretty good too. Hmmm...What's up with that?


In and out without any problems. It really makes a difference not having a wetsuit to peel off ;-)


Last year, things got a bit windy on the way back. This year, however, there was no headwind to contend with...although there did seem to be a bit of a cross wind the entire ride.

The road conditions were a bit improved too. It looked like several of the really bad potholes had been filled and I didn't see a single rider sidelined due to a flat tire. As I neared the turn around point, I reminded myself that my bike is perfectly capable of during around and that I didn't need as big of a turning radius that I thought I did. It's a bike not a big rig. Anyway, as I neared the turn around point, I got a little nervous because the street seemed too narrow and I unclipped my inside foot. The volunteer kept saying "It's OK, you've got this" but I don't think I believed him.

My speed slowed to a wobbly crawl and when I eventually got around the cone I tried to clip back in but was unsuccessful on my first few attempts. The only thing I could think was that +James Cotta would have been soooo embarrassed. He probably wouldn't tell anyone ever again that he taught me how to ride! LOL


Same as T1 and unlike the first time I did this race, I didn't run out of T2 with my helmet still on my head! LOL

Run 2

I'm not sure what it is, but this run course reveals itself to you bit by bit, so it never really seems that long. That is... until you come to that hill...for the third time! As I exited the covered bridge and gazed up the hill, my thoughts went dark and I told myself just to walk. Why run and make yourself miserable.

James is still smiling before his third go at the hill!

I then sternly reminded myself that the little bit of discomfort I feel running up the hill would be nothing compared to how I would feel after the race if I walked. Nothing is worse than the "shoulda-coulda-woulda" after a race. So I kept running...slowly! Eventually I made it to the top and rounded the corner, a short flat distance and then it was basically all down hill to the finish! Yay!

As I rounded the final bend I looked in amazement at the clock. I had hoped to shave :30 seconds off of last year's time. That would have been a major triumph for me. It would have proved to me that I wasn't done, that my best years weren't behind me, that I could still manage to eek out improvements.

The clock showed 1:36 and change! That couldn't be right. I wanted to shave off seconds, not minutes. I almost started to cry...but I ran instead... I ran with everything I had left. I finished at 1:37:19. Just a hair under 7 minutes better than my best time! I was thrilled!!! I couldn't wait for HS to finish so I could share this with him!!

Post Race

I finished the race and immediately drank my P90X Results and Recovery drink...the weekend wasn't over and I had more training to complete before Monday morning. After an orange slice and a little water, I walked over to the finish line to wait for HS.

Although HS had been plagued with a sore knee and other ailments, he also shaved a couple of minutes off of his best time! However, at the awards ceremony, Mark announced that HS had finished 2 hours behind me and that while he did win his age group, my trophy was going to have to hang a bit higher than his on the way home.

I love this handsome guy!

HS trying to hobble up to get his award like an "old man"
Love my #PearlIzumi kit 

HS hung my medal a bit higher than his on the way home ;-)

Next Year

My goal next year is to have our team show up in greater numbers than Stanford!!! #OYME #OnYourMarkEvents