Dubey-dubey-dooowaaaaah-athlon - A Very (W)right Race Report

Previously on A&A's Adventures in Cohabitation: The Wrights fled the Pyrenees into the Alps in hot pursuit of bonne fetes and festive french booze. No nobles were beheaded in the making of Mr. (W)right's Padden Mountain Pedal, but many a muscle flooded with lactic acid. And things heated up both literally and figuratively as TRIAL 2: THE RECKONING started to take shape (occupying several unplumbed and unpleasant new dimensions). Today: a special duathlon-edition. Andrew Wright conquers multi-sport, but boy does it bite back!

Duathlon is an odd-event-out in many regards: it lacks the purity of a single-sport event, the cache of triathlon, and the overwrought quirk of Mudders/Urban-marathons/Viking-Runs. The format is generally low-key and straightforward: run, then bike, then run some more. Incidentally, bi-athlon is the one that involves skiing and shooting. Participants would do well not to mix the two up lest casualties occur...

Duathlon draws a smaller crowd, one that falls into a few notable categories. These are distinct in build, attitude, frequency of reference to STRAVA/GARMIN, and accessories. The first are cyclists who maybe run as cross training. They may or may not have funny bikes, depending on their style of biking. They probably are wearing plain cycling shorts and a team kit jersey.

The second are triathletes using the event as a training tool. They look silly. There is no other word for all the super-hero gear that apparently maxes out tri- speeds.Oh and also they tend to look obscenely fit, though not necessarily. But if anyone likely resembles a 1960's superhero serial...

The minority are runners who maybe don't hate cycling and wanted to spice things up - these are a rare breed, but they probably are the lanky ones wearing arm warmers.

The final group are random local strays who wanted to do some athletic event, but maybe didn't feel strong enough in any single discipline. They are striking for the absence of synthetic lycra/nylon/spandex and their more neutral color-palates. Needless to say this leads to some notable heterogeneity in finishing times (unsurprisingly, the triathletes in their sperm-helmet and skin suits usually finish the entire thing in about the time it takes the slowest members to finish the first run).

As the dutiful girlfriancewife that I am, I served as Mr. (W)right soigneur/manager at his premier Padden Duathlon experience. Since this event preempts our weekly run, I also managed to squeeze in some together-as-run time by participating in his warm up. If you are wondering, having a very large purse full of cell phones, wallets and other detritus does make one feel a bit off kilter at a medium trot. I imagine you weren't wondering this because you either have better things to do with your time, or because it's honestly fairly obvious to start with. But just in case...

During the race, my duties were relegated to moral support and storing valuables. I took advantage of this freedom to put in some serious meandering between legs. Starting my timer when the race started allowed me a pretty decent ability to know when I might need to come back with cell-cam a flashin' in the secret hopes that the transition-area would lead to far more prat falls and hijinks than it ever actually did. In between legs (oh my!), I trod trails and even popped back home for a second cup of coffee.

No race would have actually existed absent the relevant fifty tons of training data. I gleaned this from many overheard conversations about the competing virtues of many of Andrew's favorite tracking programs. Upon staggering beneath the finish line likening his current physical status to that of a heavily worked donkey (or so I interpret the gasped utterance: "I feel like _ass_" to mean), Andrew promptly peddled home, raced upstairs and began the arduous hour of reviewing all relevant data. I'm assuming he is doing this much the way that Chris Froome quickly surrendered over two years of training data to a local paper after his incredible performance. Obviously there are questions of doping afoot and  he must prove to himself that he's been clean. I suppose it also serves as his approach to self-discovery.


As his support, I share in the learning process, and as my captive audience, you may share in it too: The training impact of his ride was 323 points. I don't know if these points may somehow be traded in for golden-banana track points, but it wouldn't hurt to try, I bet. His heart rate maxed at 204 (disappointingly one whole beat per minute lower than his highest ever recorded max - why my husband is proud of tachycardia I couldn't say, but to each his own...), but over the 1:40 minutes, his average heart rate was 186 on the bike, but only a measly 184 during the run. And he PR'd some various sections of course arbitrarily marked by Strava.

Once he had sufficiently destroyed himself, we were able to move on to watching other people destroy themselves on bikes (riding up mountain sides with gradients of 100405%). For good measure, and in wholehearted celebration of the earlier personal pummeling, Andrew raised a chipper chorus of " is sore!" He said this with a sparkle in his eye and a giddy pitch to his tone that made it sound like he had just invented a cost-effective cure for human suffering and was on his way to the patent office before his press conference. I fully expect someday, when we're both quite old to wake up to my decrepit spouse bouncing up and down like a boy at Christmas shouting "oh boy, oh boy, my spleen has just burst and my aorta is clogged!" before swan diving into the great abyss. 

Because anyone who has just completely destroyed his body athletically immediately wants to jam himself into a car and drive around for three house - and because naturally anyone who commutes to work every day wants any excuse to relive that commute on days off - Andrew spent most of the evening saying hey hey to his new Kona Hei Hei (hey hey, girlfrien'...). That bike does not look like it should be called a heeeey heeey, even if that is the Polynesian word for eighteen-ton monster that eats small children while skydiving from outer space using a napkin instead of a parachute. But Andrew loves it, I think, and it does look different from his other bikes, so he probably won't get them all confused.

Needless to say, several Herculean tasks required a hero's repast, and I was ready with the leftovers (I know right, and I not just June Cleaver incarnate??):

How I managed to fit over half of an extra large into that pizza box... well, a magician never reveals her secrets. The time in which Andrew inhaled it, though (about 2.3 seconds)... that's no trick. That is just sheer will, grit and determination. The man, is, after all a champion!
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