Monday, May 26, 2014

Fun in the Rain

The past month  have been busy has been very busy for the Locke family.   Work and end of year school functions took most of our time. It was very nice to have my mother come and visit and be able to attend his graduation.   The good news is I am very happy to report that Christopher Dean Locke has officially graduated from High School.  The bad news is he has decided not to go off to college and instead stay home and attend college locally - Maple Woods Community College. And to think I had big plans for that bed room of his.......

I have been trying to get some training in for some early season events including the Kansas City Corporate Challenge .  One event I always like to support in the Spring into Summer Duathlon.

Jeff and Maria Mittelhauser have promoted a Spring and Fall duathlon for many years.  Held annual in Sedalia, Missouri both events attract a wide variety of participants - seasoned veterans and beginners alike are greeted with a nice friendly fun event.  Jeff recently reached a milestone in his athletic career by reaching 100,000 miles run.  I can imagine cycling 100,000 miles but not running.  No wonder I can never seem to beat Jeff in a duathlon on the run leg.  I respect the Mittelhauser for not only his commitment to running, but also for the fact that he runs his races rain or shine.  I have been to many events that are cancelled because of a little rain.  I remember they cancelled the 2005 National Triathlon Championships when it was held up in Smithville, MO.  Here is a good review by the RATS -  My stand has always been to run the race no matter the weather.  I can remember doing triathlons down in Florida in all kinds of weather including rain and flooded streets.  That was part of the attraction to racing events is you never know what you are going to get.  I do understand why we have to move/post pone off-road events around here due to the type of dirt we have and trail damage.

On the morning of the race I twisted my upper back putting on the bike rack and bikes.  I still do not know how I did it other than when almost dropping it while carrying it to the car. It did not hurt right away either.  It came on slowly and by the time we were heading out onto the highway, it hurt to even breathe deeply.   It felt like I had been in a bad bike crash even before started the race.  I almost turned around and headed back home but let Carolynn drive while I laid down in the back seat trying to rest and do some light stretching.
A rainy spring day greeted all the participants for the 2014 Sedalia Spring Into Summer Duathlon.  Last year Carolynn made this event her first ever duathlon and took home the win.  This year she did not put in any run training and decided to just go for a nice ride on the Katy Trail while I raced.  We arrived only about 20 minutes before the event was to begin but I was able to get an o.k. spot in the transition area.  Back felt a little better but still was causing me some issues.  I needed some more time to warmup and got my wish when the event was delayed some due to the rain.  I did some light stretching and soon Jeff arrived at the start line with the great news - We are Racing.

After a quick overview of the course and a reminder to be careful on the slick rain soaked roads we were off.  First up was the 2 mile run.  A fun simple run course with little elevation and a section of Katy Trail is used which is cool.  I have done some runs but was unable to keep pace with the leaders.  I settled into a third pack of runners (actually should call them joggers because that was the pace we seemed to be going).  One of the runners was this very young man who was competing in his first event with his Dad.  He put a lot of heart into his running but needed to learn pacing.  He would run really fast then slow down to a near crawl then before you knew it he was off sprinting again passing everyone who had just passed him.

Before we knew it we were back into the park and entering transition. I had the foresight to flip my cycling shoes upside down so they were no filled with water.  Something about sticking my feet in wet shoes always bothered me :-).  Transition was o.k.- first one of the year is always a little rusty.  The downhill road exiting the park was exciting.  Wet carbon rims do not offer the most surest stopping.  I think it had rained long enough to wash away and oil and overall there was good traction.  It also helped that I lowered my tire pressure to around 80 psi.   Within the first mile I had passed about 10 racers as they gingerly exited the park and headed out onto the course.  As far as I know there were no crashes as everyone rode within their limits.   The KCCC Time Trial is coming on on Thursday so I really wanted to put out a hard effort on the bike despite the rain.  I went into the Red quickly and tried not to focus on the pain but just floating along on the slick course.  Some of my fastest bike splits have been on wet course and today was no different.  I was the first to return to the transition and quickly set off on my second run. 

My back did not hurt much on the bike, but running sucked.  I kept up an honest pace and was able to finish up the run still in 1st place.  I was happy to be able to finish up with the win and had a great time racing in the rain despite my back.

Now it is time to try and heal up and get ready for the KCCC TT and the Triathlon in a couple of weeks.  I think I will be paying Betsy's Massage a visit this week for sure. 
If you were wondering were are all the action shots from the event are the answer is the official photographer was off playing in the mud.  Turns out the correct answer when your wife ask you should she ride on the road or Katy Trail the correct answer was stay on the road :-)

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