Tri Challenge: My Father's Day duathlon
June 24th, 2011
12:18 PM ET

Tri Challenge: My Father's Day duathlon

All the hard work and hours of training for the NYC Tri were tested like never before on Father's Day weekend. A fitting holiday to challenge myself because my children were the reason I entered the Tri Challenge.

My coach was out of town and so was my wife with our two oldest daughters at Dance Nationals in South Carolina, so I dropped off my youngest daughter at her abuela's house, grabbed my super powered CNN jersey and went off to the race.

As I pulled out of the driveway I remembered the words of my coach Eric, "This is a gift to yourself" and immediately I felt a rush of excitement run through me as I drove toward Moss Park.

I arrived, checked in and got my race kit. My first duathlon was about to begin. The run was on dirt roads in the woods and the ride was completely flat but I learned a ton of do's and don'ts as a newbie.

The top three things are be prepared, be patient and be ready to adapt.

Newbie Tip #1: Know the course before you race
I had no clue which direction the course would go which added a lot of extra stress and took most of my mental energy as I focused on  staying on the right course. Next time I will be prepared.

Newbie Tip #2: Pace yourself
At the start of the race everyone took off. I had to realize I had my own pace which built up as the race went on. I had to be patient with myself and my own pace.

Newbie Tip #3: Go with the flow
The ride was flat and the run was on dirt. This is the total opposite of what I had been training on so I had to adapt quickly.  It was a change in the landscape and I had to go with it.

Overall, I finished strong. I won second place for my age division which was a total shock. I have my coaches to thank for the great advice and preparation over the past few months.  I felt great and realized all the hard work is truly paying off.

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