Sunday, October 30, 2011

The FitBirds Dabble in Black Magic

The moons aligned and the FitBirds sold their souls to the Race Director in exchange for a sweep of awards at this weekend's Vo Doo Duathlon. It was a beautiful morning for a race, cold enough to break out the long sleeves and running tights, but still warm enough to not blow smoke rings while exhaling on the run. There was a good size group of Birds in attendance and an assortment of races to chose from. There was a two mile run, a 5K, a 'Lil Vo Doo Duo, a Big Vo Doo Dou, and even a Dirty Doo Dou!

I had decided to partake in a little Dirty Doo in hopes to work on my mountain biking and running. It was more challenging than I had anticipated. All of the events began at the same time, but some turned right on the levee, some turned left, and some turned around before ever reaching it. It was a little unnerving for those of us who don't listen well or retain information. I really didn't want to run or bike more than I needed to.

I had hoped to draft off of Lizzard in my first two miles, but that thought quickly went away as she left me eating her asphalt from the start. I settled into my slow but steady pace and watched as most of my FitBirds passed me by. I was actually quite pleased to see that I was running about a 10 min pace and wasn't completely miserable doing so.

Pre Race: Lizzard, Coug, Recruit Bush,
Crash, Kitty, Smiles, Dr. Roboto
When I made it back into transition I slowed long enough to toss my hat and replace it with my helmet... and to look over to see Lizzard with a bloody nose from her over-exertion of pushing for a sub 9 minute mile. Impressed, but not deterred, I set off on my mountain bike hoping to make up some time. I was fine until I reached the hill that led to the levee. Halfway up I had to get off and push the bike to the top. I laughed at my unimpressive beginning then re-mounted to try again. The gravel was more brutal than I had expected. The vibration from the path became really annoying and I couldn't get any real speed up. I decided I much preferred the more technical trails at Comite than riding on this flat, gravel surface. I thought about the friends who offered up bike support to aide our team in our upcoming 126.2 mile run from Baton Rouge to New Orleans. I decided that they are crazy for riding that distance over 24 straight hours on this surface. It would be miserable. (But if any of you are reading this, we are so glad to have you along!!)

New MTB shoes, waiting to be worn
I kicked myself for not being more organized this week. I had just gotten my new mountain biking shoes, but it took me all week to get around to trying to replace the pedals on my bike. I couldn't get the platform pedals off the night before the race, so I didn't get to try out my loaner clipless pedals. Although I knew it was the right decision to not try them out on race day, I knew that it would have been a huge help to have had them on. If I'd been better prepared I would have had it done earlier in the week. Oh well. I was slow, but I wasn't sure just how slow I was because the field of racers for the Dirty Doo was so small. So I just kept at it and looked forward to the one downhill section that would take me quickly back to the paved road.

FitBird Molly-Ween: Crowe, COOg, Koko, Polly, Karin
Smiles, Walsh, Kate
I actually forced myself to eat my least favorite flavor of Gu, strawberry banana, in hopes it would give me some energy for the run. I unstuck it from the walls of my throat with a few sips of water, and rode towards transition. I was still suffering the after-affects of the FitBird Molloween Adventure on Friday night, and had waves of queasy mixed with fatigue hit me during the ride. When I turned the last corner I was confronted with a spattering of FitBirds and Coach Canada cheering me on. It made me smile as it has been a long time since I've been cheered for in a race!

Transition only consisted of removing my helmet and running out, but for some reason that seemed to take much longer than it should have. I passed by my cheering squad one more time and tried to focus my thought on anything other than my tired legs. I didn't fare as well over these last two miles and found that I had to walk at times. The last mile wasn't as bad as I had finally found my legs again, but there wasn't much left in the tank to sprint to the end, even with a cheering section.

The FitBirds cleaned up ~ winning pretty much every award short of the free mountain bike door prize. I actually was pretty confident someone would get that too just by the sheer number of us present at the end. It was a fun day, a great race, and we are already working on the next group adventure.

Docs in A Box/Doc Duo: Crash and Roboto
2nd Place Relay 'Lil Voo Doo
Wild Thangs: Lizzard and Kitty
1st Place Relay 'Lil Voo Doo
Joyce Ryder
Grand Master 2 Mile Jack-O-Lantern Run
1st Place 60-64 'Lil Voo Du
Andrea Talley
2nd Place 25-29 Big Voo Du

Mary Winette
First Place Masters Dirty Voo Du
1st Place 40-44 Dirty Voo Du

FitBirds In the House:
(top) Recruit Ellen Bush (2nd Place 50-54 'Lil Voo Du), Dr. Roboto, Crash, Smiles, Joyce
(bottom) Migrated Mary, COOg, FitDix Jay (1st Place 44- 49 Big Voo Du), Lizzard

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