Brief Reflection on Powerman Sprint Duathlon 2011
It was a hot weekend in mid November 2011. The township of Seri Manjung, Perak was once again swarmed with participants of the annual Powerman Duathlon. I had a minute part to play in it, having registered for the Sprint event which was introduced only this year for novices like me.
Still relatively new and raw at this sport, I had my very first taste of Triathlon some time back in PD, July 2011. That left me hungry for more torture. Initial plan was to sign on the full event. But because of PBIM (Penang Bridge Marathon) which is just a week after Powerman, I had no choice but to choose the Sprint event. Introspectively, I admit that I am no where near "gungho" enough to take on full Powerman and still manage a full marathon in a week's time. I am not Richard Tang or Pui San. For now, I will just have to be contented with "HALF" a Powerman. Know thy limits, I say.
|Steve did the Sprint event too|
Anyway, Powerman is a Duathlon that starts off with a 11km run, followed by a 64km bike and finishing with a 10km run in the grueling heat. I had the easier option of doing exactly half of that: 5.5km run-32km Bike-5km run. However, the effort level could never come close to half that of the full event. It's probably more like a quarter of the full.
So, race morning was bright and sunny. That could only mean a red hot chilli padi kind of weather coming up. The full Powerman was flagged off first at 7:30am followed by the team relay and then finally the Sprint event at 7:50am. I enjoyed the running part. Clocking a pace of 3:45-4/km. It was a moderate effort pace as I know I had to conserve for the upcoming second part, one which I knew I would suffer badly.
I have not trained on my bike since the Campaign For a Lane on 11/9/11. So, it was a good 2 months of neglect while I focused mainly on my marathon training. To be fair, even the marathon training had been erratic and inconsistent all because of work and on calls. I know, excuses and excuses. Well, it's the best one I can come up with.
So, to expect any miracle from this 32km would be asking too much. No practice, deservedly no improvement. I was not counting on performing well for my bike. All I wanted to be able to do was to cycle at least at a constant 30km/hour. For the most part of it I did managed that. In the midst of being overtaken by tonnes of riders, that is. I wasn't too upset by it this time. Just did what I could. There were three killer elevations in the form of bridges. I utterly, absolutely detested it. But it is because I lack training. I had to accept that.
The bike part (32km) took me almost an hour. A valuable lesson of pain. Did I say I detest biking?! I am so weak at it that it revolts me. But despite that, now I know this: the speed that I ought to aim for should be at least 35km/hour or more if I am ever to improve on it. It all boils down to practice and practice. No easy way out.
Some were talking about drafting issues in the race. Well, you can see that I would have no problem with that. Can't see how anyone could benefit from a slow rider like me!
Well, by the time I raced back to the starting point for the second transition to commence the final 5km run, I was half cooked. But no time to think about that. I was just happy enough to hop off the bike. The last run was hard because I could not quite feel my Gluteus Maximus. It felt as though I was dragging my feet along. Luckily it improved after about 1km where I managed to pick up my pace. The last 5 km was not enjoyable at all. I just wanted to finish it and get it over with. But the legs were no longer listening to the higher brain function. It was going on strike. I could only manage a pace of 4:30/km.
The best part of any race like this is when you cross the finish line to be handed an ice cold towel and 2 bottles of drinks. I think the organizers really scored top marks on this! You can imagine the ones finishing the full crossing the line....the relief and elation would be multiplied exponentially!
Well, I had a good time. It was memorable enough. But just the bit where it felt "incomplete" would only leave me with the hunger for a full Powerman next year! So, we shall meet again. By then, I hope my biking ability should see some improvement. Well, practice does make perfect.