Sunday, June 8, 2008

Biathlon? Duathlon? Or just a race?

I'm still trying to determine what kind of race I ran on Saturday.

I awakened around 5 a.m. to the sound of rain on our windows - not a very welcome sound when you are planning to do a triathlon. I got ready for the race and headed out, somewhat hoping they would postpone it a few weeks. I was willing to do it in the rain. It just seemed like way less fun than what I had imagined - a nice sunny spring day for the Salem Spring Tri. I arrived and parked, then had to ride my bike (borrowed from Paul's cousin) over the to race sight. By then I was already soaked through. As I was hanging my bike on the rack, I heard rumors that they had decided to cancel the biking section. I quickly found my training partner, Lindsay, who confirmed the cancellation. I was bummed, since I was excited to use Juel's really nice bike, but kind of glad not to have to freeze myself in the process. (I just found out that it was about 40 degrees outside that wonder I had a sweatshirt, a coat, and a rain jacket on.)

We waited around. More rumors circulated about canceling the swim. That would make me really mad...I didn't pay 50 bucks to run a 5K race! But they sent some willing athletes into the water to test it out. The decided to keep the swim, but to cut it from 800 meters to 500 meters. So that's a little more than 1/4 mile. That was somewhat depressing since I felt the most confident on the swim, and since I usually swim about 3/4 mile when I go to the pool. But so it was. We waited a long while...and took some silly pictures.

By the time it actually started, the rain had stopped. And I was warmer, thanks to the wet suit. But lots of racers had gone home, so they cut down on the number of waves of racers to speed things up.

Here's the murky Salem Pond. Not too cold actually, again thanks to the wet suit. I swallowed plenty of water as the race started, stuck in the wake of other vicious racers. So I wasn't as fast as I'd hoped, but got into a nice rhythm by the end.

You'd better appreciate these wet suit pictures...certainly not the most attractive. But we had a lot of fun.

The 5K run was fine...but running has never been that fun for me. And I forgot my iPod, so it was quite boring. And lots of people passed me. I'm no runner. But I passed some people...even some men! Which meant I had at least 4 minutes on them since they left in the wave before me. Paul, Hattie, Aaron and Tandy were waiting at the finish line.

It was a different experience. I don't think I've run a race since elementary school. Crossing the finish line is something I've never done before. I wanna do it again, but with the bike part thrown in there. It wasn't quite as fulfilling as I had hoped and expected, mostly because it was a typical training workout for me - run 3 miles, and swim 1/2 mile (even less, since they cut it short).

I just looked up my final times...I did the swim in 11 minutes and the running in 30...which is normal for me. I came in #280, with over 400 people actually racing. I looked at the guy's time who finished 5 spots before me...and it took him 22 minutes to swim...twice as long! - but he still beat me cuz I'm such a slow runner. I guess I know where I need to focus next time.

So I looked up biathlon and duathlon. Wikipedia says a biathlon is a term used to describe any sporting event made up of two disciplines. However, biathlon usually refers specifically to the winter sport that combines cross-country skiing and rifle shooting. Another popular variant is summer biathlon, which combines cross-country running with riflery.

Haha, definitely no guns yesterday, but it almost snowed!

A duathlon, on the other hand, is an athletic event (not to be confused with biathlon) that consists of a running leg, followed by a cycling leg and then another running leg in a format bearing some resemblance to triathlons.

So I suppose it was a biathlon...but when you've been planning for months for a tri, a biathlon is just less fulfilling.

All in all, it was a fun day...I think I'm going to sign up for one this September in Texas.


Britta said...

Hey good job! That's too bad about the rain, but it's still cool that you did it. I can't beleive your "training run" is 3 miles running and 1/2 mile swimming! You are intense! I aspire to be able to do more than 2 laps without stopping. :)

LadyCarma said...

I am in awe of your biathlon! You are amazing, and you look terrific in the wetsuit. You don't look like you had a baby less than a year ago.
Running in Texas will be interesting as compared to Utah. More heat, more humidity, more bugs? Plenty of people really get into the athletic events, so you will have lots of company. You go, girl!

Cristi said...

You are my hero...I so want to do a triathlon- let me know if you ever decide to do one out this way!

Jess said...

When are you leaving on Sunday, because I think we're getting in late Saturday night! So we might be missing each other? Anyway, let me know. And should I just call your parents' house? Yeah, and it was hard to shoot a bird on Oregon Trail :) Hope you're having a great day!

abbeybean said...

Thats stinks! Sorry you didn't get to do the whole thing - you'll definately have to do one for real soon. And you look so official in those wetsuits! When I did my tri in Boise we all just jumped in the pond in our suits - but then again it was August. HAHA

Steven and Erika said...

YOu are AMAZAZING! Great job! Wish I could do the one in Texas with you! That would be fun! I have a bike race to prepare for the end of October in VA so I hope I can be just as graceful as you! You look awesome in your wet suit....not too many people can say that but you can say it with pride :)! Thanks for the was fun to read about your day!

Linford Family said...

Pretty impressive Melanie! Congrats on beating over a hundred people. That't too bad though that it rained. Maybe you can do it again down in Texas in the 100+ degree weather...that would be fun.

LanaBanana said...

um...I'm jealous. I've been wanting to do a triathlon for a year now and things keep getting in the way. Mostly, AZ people need to stop having them on Sundays! :) But you've inspired me to pick up the training again. Love ya!