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President's Day Duathlon, White Sands

Sunday, February 19, 2012

The duathlon took place on the 18th. I left for Las Cruces on Friday and it was not a great start. It was snowing in Silver and had been for 11 hours. The snow was not sticking but I sure was hoping that the weather would improve as I went South.

Outside of Las Cruces the air was calm, pretty cool and dry! These pictures show the Organ Mountains and they were being assaulted by the storm blowing through.

I stayed in the dorm with my daughter. It was a zoo and the room mates were definitely loud but I guess college students will be college students. We went to Olive Garden for dinner, a favorite of Raelyn. I enjoy the never-ending salad and the steak medallions and pasta alfredo with spinach I had was good too. We went to the mall and walked just long enough for my hips to start hurting. (x-rayed last week, Tuesday appt. to see what the problem is). We then drove to Caliche's where she had a small sandbox with a gummy worm and I chose a chocolate milkshake.

A couple of red box movies later we were back to the room and stretched out watching movies with the volume turned up to eathshattering so we could hear the movies over the rap music and partying. The room mates decided to go out and I was thrilled. Unfortunately they returned at three and were less than quiet. I arose at five and made all the noise I possibly could while dressing and gathering my gear. Raelyn, bless her, slept through all of it.

I arrived at the base on White Sands at 6am, got through check in and proceeded to rack my bike and head to the warmth of the gym. It was quite nippy outside...enough so that my knees felt like going on strike. I picked up my packet and upon reading, I almost started bawling. The 2 mile run was changed to a 7K...or 4 miles! I almost panicked. If you have never suffered through being ahead in a race and then slowly watching everyone pass you by, or if you have ever been dead last and upon getting to the bike, not a soul is in sight, then you have not experienced two of my least favorite happenings, both of which are a normal part of my racing experiences. The last time a competed in this race I was definitely last off the run (I can't run), and made a huge effort on the bike to catch up and eventually win. However the last time was a 2 mile run.

The individual Athena that was first off the run was 11 minutes and 14 seconds ahead of me. I jumped on my bike and I had a blistering bike time. The ride was an out and back. Out is downhill mostly and there was a headwind. Back is slightly up hill and at least the wind had ceased to blow much. I passed several people and saw a couple of coyotes up 10 feet away and waiting to cross the road. Beautiful!

I came around the final corner still closing on the leader. The last little part of the bike to the finish is a little steeper hill then the rest of the rise in the race. I got within about 15 feet before the eventual winner crossed the line. I am not making any excuses, I just needed another 200 yards and I would have won. I made up 11 minutes and 7 seconds of the lead...just could not quite make up those last 7 seconds! Oh well, being the first loser (second place) is better than never having got off the couch! Besides, the season is just starting and perhaps the hip problem won't be something to least I am hoping.

I have a new phone with a new camera and it is a tough camera because it took this picture of me and did not break. The last picture shows the Organ Mountains on the opposite side of Las Cruces and the skim of snow that made for a brisk morning run (walk) and bike ride.

Here's hoping that your weekend was as fun and productive as mine. Keep up the good work!
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Congratulation on how much time you made up on the bike! You rock!!! I'll be at White sands in a month for the Bataan Death March Memorial. Last year we had 45 mph winds to battle but not the year before. I'm so hoping that the winds aren't there this time.
    Have a great day!
    2610 days ago
    WOW!!! You must be the best biker in the whole wide world!! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
    2611 days ago
    Wow! Congrats on the strong finish! I never scoff at 2nd place. Would it be nice to finish 1st? Sure. But you know what? 7 seconds is a matter of so many factors. When you're that close, it just means the other person was 1st on that day. It's the "Any Given Sunday" rule. On any given day, you have the chance to be the best. Be happy that you were the best you were capable of being under the circumstances you were given. Keep rocking those races! I'm so proud of you!!!
    2613 days ago
  • BILL60
    Well done. Hope the hip problem is an easy solve. Hang tough!!
    2614 days ago
    Awesome - you are one tough cycler!! I hope someday, I can accomplish some of the stuff you do!!!
    2614 days ago
    Wow....Pat, the night in the dorm sounded harder than the races! LOL I would have bailed I'm afraid. But you had a nice time with your daughter and that counts for lots!!! Beautiful country. It's been years since I've been in New Mexico. I think you did awesome!!! Hey, you made it through the hardest part, got on your bike and did an awesome job of finishing. Maybe the winner didn't have the same obstacles to overcome, so in my book, YOU WERE THE WINNER AND ARE A WINNER!!! ALWAYS. Good for you. You are always an inspiration to me. Good picture of the winner by the way!!!
    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
    2614 days ago
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