Blood, Sweat & Tears

Dan and I finally were able to coordinate our schedules to actually do a brick together. I arrived at his house around 14:30 as planned. Not only did we do a brick but we also tried to make it feel like a race. We laid out our running gear in transition area fashion and started the bike portion in socks with our shoes already clipped into the pedals. The part about running with my bike, hopping on the bike, then buckling my shoes is still a work in progress for me. But, as Eric Sommer pointed out, this part of a triathlon needs practice just like swimming, biking, and running. I was happy to listen to some advice from Dan. He seems pretty adept in the transition area as his T1 and T2 times are traditionally pretty fast.

Blood, Sweat and Tears

We didn’t hammer from the driveway but did a 4 mile warm-up out to Farmingdale Rd. We began the bike portion where Farmingdale and Old Salem connect. Headed south to the end of Farmingdale, turned around and rode hard until Bradforton Rd. Not the best route to practice for our next Duathlon as this route is rolling while the race is completely flat except for one overpass. Anyway, Dan rode in front while I hung back a couple bike lengths. I was riding my traditional road frame without TT bars while Dan was riding his Specialized TT bike. I was not going to be able to keep up with him mano y mano so once he would start to pull away from me I would roll up to his wheel get a brief respite then drift back. TTs are not my forte so I was happy to use him to maintain a speed I would not normally be able to sustain. I didn’t get an average but we probably averaged around 22 mph. The wind was not favorable. It seemed like a cross-head wind out and back.

The total bike length was just over 16 miles with 12 of them at race pace. I think we probably cooled down for about 0.5 miles.

As fast as I tried to make my transition Dan was waiting for me for at least 15 seconds. He started counting “34 seconds, 35, 36, 37” out loud just to piss me off. I think I stopped the clock around 38 seconds. It really does take practice to perfect the transition. I did take my feet out of the pedals prior to entering his driveway which felt kind of weird. It’s the little things that make a difference.

The first 0.25 miles of the run was stiff, sore, slow, and painful. It’s hard to get a rhythm after the transition. That’s why it is so important to practice.

About 0.5 miles into the run I felt something sticky on my hand and just thought it was some Hammer Gel that had spilled. At about 0.75 I happened to look down and see my hand coated in blood. Enough to make Dan stop running. It looked like a bad horror movie; like I had exploded a ketchup packet in my hand. Apparently, in my hasty transition, I somehow cut my thumb. The bleeding stopped by the end of the first mile, it was merely a flesh wound.

The run portion was pretty memorable. Dan and I both agreed that the first mile was tough but then something strange happened. We usually run side-by-side but all of the sudden Dan flies by me. The rest of the run consisted of the 2 of us pushing each other and forcing us to run, not only at race pace, but faster than we would normally run alone. I guess that’s what a training partner does for you. Dan would lead, I would lead, etc. I probably ran the fastest 5.5 miles, after a hard ride, than I ever have.

The mile by mile pace was as follows:
Mile 1: 07:56
Mile 2: 07:08
Mile 3: 06:55
Mile 4: 06:57
Mile 5: 06:58

We totaled 5.43 miles in 38:54 for an average pace of 07:10.

The brick ended in exhaustion for me, pretty much at race pace. A great workout on a great afternoon.