The Striders Duathlon this past Sunday marked the official end of my unofficial pre-season. I was debating doing a 5k at the Meadowlands this coming weekend, but between narrowly avoiding killing myself at the North Face race and then running my fastest 5k ever at the du, I figure I've got a good sense of my current fitness. Now it's time to plow ahead with the build to my super secret summer race (to be revealed soon for anyone that actually cares).
Anyway, Striders was the first duathlon I've ever done and it turned out to go even better than I had expected, especially in light of my knee still not 100% going into the weekend. Hannah and I raced the short course -- 5k run/30k bike/5k run. I finished 18th overall and first in my age group (of three starters, but whatever, a win is a win). What I'm most pleased about is I ran my second 5k faster than the first, and, as I mentioned, it was my fastest 5k to date.
More interesting (from a race perspective), is that I had the 9th fastest second run (compared to a 28th fastest first run). That tells me that a lot of people went out way too hard. Since most of the same people will probably be racing my super secret race (not so secret now -- you can figure out it's in San Angelo), that bodes well for my overall chances.
On a much more interesting note, I was passed before I finished the first 5k by a guy doing his first 8k leg of the long course race (8k/74k/8k). He ran a 26-something 8k. That's amazingly fast. It turns out it was Michael Lovato -- pro-extraordinaire -- stopping by on his way from Austin to Boulder or New Mexico or something. This is a guy that's twice placed in the top 10 at Kona (in '07 and '03), amongst dozens of other top results.
Between Dean Karnazes two weeks ago and Lovato this weekend, I've had a pretty good run of randomly seeing fast people on the same course as me. I didn't check Lovato into a bush though -- he was moving too fast.