So I did this little experiment - race a 10k running race at 8am, drive an hour, race a 58 mile bike race at 11:45am.
I should have just listened to my reason and my friend. We both knew that the bike race will suck because even if I run quite easily it will still impact my legs, and then 3h between events will just make it worse.
Let's start with the run. It was pretty good, I felt pretty good, strong. I did not really race, it was like a tempo run, I just went fast enough to win:) I did wear a watch but forgot to stop it so I do not have a precise time but it was around 43min. Pathetic, I know but what can I do?
I don't really know why I did the race since I had no goals, no expectations, no plan. I guess I just did it because the whole idea sounded totally batshitcrazy and I loved it.
Now the interesting part. The bike. So I knew that the combination of me training like a triathlete and not a bike racer (no peak power), 10k race in the morning (eventhough I ran pretty slowly it still had an impact) and racing in women cat 1/2/3 (those cat 1/2 women are f* beasts) would mean that I will suffer big time.
The race was two 28mile loops, around 30-40 women and I immediately knew that I am totally out of my place there. I had no idea what orange line rule meant, or why people started yelling on a girl when she started to pass. I did not understand what was going on around me so I decided to stay at the back of the peloton because I guess I was a danger to everyone.
Bike races are weird. Slow, fast, slow, fast, crashes (only one small one), yelling, f*bombs. So different than running. My friend Mad, who used to be a runner too and now switched to biking said "it's like you don't have control over the tempo, like you do with running. it is very difficult." Exactly!
So I pretty much wanted to drop out after the first 15 miles. (To be honest the only reason I did not drop out was that one of my male friends knew that I was doing the race and he told me that I was an idiot for doing both run and bike but he still said he would check how I did and he sent me a good luck text in the morning so I decided to finish that damn thing. Just because of him. I kid you not!) I was miserable. But then my quads have loosened up a little bit so it got better. But it still sucked.
I was getting dropped every time someone attacked and then clawed my way back in. Every single time! There was a pretty big hill at the end of the loop and a lot of people got dropped there, including me. I knew it was too soon to be all alone so I stared working hard to catch the main pack again. I eventually did and actually most of us did because pro men were passing us and we were ordered to pull over and wait for them to pass (wth?). The a few miles later something happened again and a lot of us got dropped. Fortunately I managed to get together with 4 other women and we took short hard pulls to catch the main pack again. It took us around 10 miles to catch them but we did. Actually I got dropped from that group too towards the end but I again just went hard steady pace (like a good triathlete) and caught the main peloton. Phew. But then with 5miles to go I got dropped for good. It was into a headwind section and I was pretty much spend.
So I rolled in around 2min40sec after the main peloton. I was not last, which makes me happy, because during those first 15 miles I was 100% sure that unless I don't drop out I will finish last that stupid race.
Let me tell you, I did not enjoy it. As I said I had no idea what I was doing and I do not like those fast/slow/fast/slow "tricks". I does not make any sense to me. But I think that I can do much better (by much better I mean not get dropped every time someone attacks and not get dropped at the end) if I raced on fresher legs.
Therefore I hope that next year, these two races and not on the same day. Because I want to break a course record (it is 41:something, which asks to be broken) and I want to race this bike race fresh.
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