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Tough Cookie Duathlon 2014 recap

Today is Monday. It's also freakishly cold, again, in the Austin area. I am captain obvious today.

Let's keep talking about the weather for a second, because it needs to be said. Moving to Texas, I did not expect cold weather. I was prepared to be roasted in the oven of the Texas summer, but I had no inkling that there would be below 50F weather. Call me naive, or ignorant, but I just assumed Texas would be like California with a mild winter. 

Cut to my move here in November, and the several months of rather chilly weather punctuated by brief warm trends, and many ice storms. Yes, ice storms. Where the ice on the ground actually looks like snow, and my poor California car has to be de-iced before driving. Um, what?! A credit card was all I needed to scrape the thin layer of frost off my windshield back home, yet I am out here pouring vinegar all over my car so it smells like an Easter egg, and using anything I can get my frozen hands on to hack at the layer of true ice on my windows while the defroster is blasting inside. Oh, and then two days later it would be 80 degrees and balmy. The temperature swings are crazy.
Well played, Austin winter.
Now this makes perfect sense with my actual recap, because on Saturday, it was 80 and wonderful. I walked around the South Congress area in a t-shirt and jeans, no sweatshirt needed, while hanging out with friends. Sunday, I woke up super early {for me} to head to my race an hour north, and it was 69F and gearing up for a thunderstorm when I left at 7am. Because I wanted to make sure I had some layers to change into after my race, I threw on some loungey yoga pants over my tri shorts and made sure to have a long sleeve shirt and a thin windbreaker jacket in case it was cold. Hello, 40F and falling with a massive windchill at 8am. 

Arriving at the race site, I was told the duathlon had been changed to a 5k run because of the weather. Initially, I was bummed I wouldn't be able to do the bike portion. As I sat in my car, too chicken to even just go stand by the run start, I began to realize that maybe I didn't even want to run the race at all. Knowing I would beat myself for skipping out on a race I had already prepared for, driven an hour to get to, and considered easier than the original, I obviously stayed. Later, when I was a shivering popsicle, I knew the race coordinators had made the right call on canceling the bike. About 10 minutes to the race start, I finally left my warm car and headed to the run course. There were 81 women who stayed to run the 5k. I know there were many more signed up for the duathlon, so it's kind of sad that so many left. Since this was a USAT sanctioned race, the results still count as a duathlon. I had changed out of my tri shorts and put my yoga pants on, knowing they would have to serve as running pants for this race. I kicked myself for not taking the weather report more seriously, and prepared with my fleece lined running tights, gloves, and more long sleeve layers. I am just so glad it wasn't pouring rain at that point. 

The run course was two loops through South Park in Copperas Cove, and the entire way out, there was a very strong headwind that froze you to the bone and made it feel like you were running up a very steep hill. The second lap was so much harder once I hit that wind. My thin windbreaker is a cycling jacket, with very little give through the shoulders and chest, so it wasn't ideal for running, but I made do. I needed that extra layer, and wished I had brought gloves, as my fingers were so cold they were burning. Later I came back to my car and found a pair of thin fleece gloves I totally could have used, whomp whomp. 

As the race started and the pack thinned out, I kept track of the group in front of me, not intending to break any personal best records or anything, but still being my competitive self. I managed to pass two ladies, and hold that spot the entire way, but didn't have it in me to reel in anyone else. I ended up finishing the slightly shorter than 5k race in 27:03, taking 19th place overall, and 3rd in my age group. Every finisher got a cute medal, and age group winners got a little....paper weight?...award. I actually stayed to get my award, unlike the Mermaid duathlon last October when I placed first in my age group, but left before the awards were given out.

As soon as the award was in my hand, I was booking it back to the car, where I posed for selfies with my medals as my defroster fought to defog my windows.

I had high hopes for this race, hoping it would be like my beloved Mermaid races in California. The weather was a bad stroke of luck, and I will reserve judgement for this series until I've completed another race, and hopefully the duathlon next year. 

Anyone know of any other duathlons in the Austin area I can train for? I need a race to look forward to if I want to stay motivated.


  1. CA girl here and now a MO girl. Your TX weather is nothing compared to mine! I've ran a 5k (my first actually) in teen weather last year and that was cold! I do understand the wind chill and that is killer. Layers work for that as you can always take them off. It takes me a lot longer to get through a 5k so you make yours seem easy peasy! You should be proud either way for sticking it out and finishing the 5k! Keep it up!

    1. Hey S!

      Thanks for stopping by my blog! So happy to have new comments and friends :) I definitely think you have it worse being further up north! I am so unused to colder weather. I feel like all I want to do is hibernate until the weather is steadily warm. Am I so bad to complain about my weather, when it is all relative to where you are, though? haha I will be complaining and wishing for these cold times comes July when the temps are triple digits, for sure. Hope you have an amazing week, and come back often and get to know me and the blog.


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  3. Nice job on the race even if it was cut short!

  4. That's disappointing but still good that you stayed despite the weather and change in the race. I guess we are a little more prepared here for crazy weather, especially in the winter!

  5. Kudos for sticking it out. We had a friend who ran the army marathon that same morning in Killeen, and when we heard about the weather, I felt sorry for anyone doing anything outside. No fun at all! Congrats on a great finish.


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