Monday, June 22, 2015

Lake Minnetonka Triathlon Recap

Lake Minnetonka Sprint Triathlon
Excelsior Commons June 20, 2015
0.5 mile/ 15 mile/ 3 mile

Well, this was my first race back from hurting my left knee in the fall and then breaking my left foot in the spring.  It would have been nice if everything had went to plan, but mother nature got in the way.

Leading up to the race, I was usually getting in 3 or 4 hours a week of training. My time breakdown and predicted reactions were as follows:
      Over  1:50       Failure
      1:45- 1:50        At least I did it.
      1:40- 1:45        Great Job
      1:35- 1:40        Above Expectations
      Under 1:35      Able to retire as champion of the world

Specifically, my top shelf goal was a 2 min/100yds swim, 18 mph bike, 9 mile/min run, and I wanted my total transition under 4 minutes.

I did not have the time to drive the bike course or practice the run course.  My summer schedule is terrible throughout my first five week course.  I have class at 8:ooam and 6:oopm on MTH.  It makes for some long days.  Anyhoo, I had no idea what to expect as far as hills on the course were concerned. 

Race morning weather was rain and thunderstorms.  This was the first time I have seen the 10-forecast be exactly correct.  Everyday, the forecast said morning thunderstorms, and that's exactly want we got.  I was up around 4:50am and got to the race site (Excelsior Bay) at a little after 6:oo am.  Lots of rain, but the lightning had mostly stopped by that time.

When I got to the site, I didn't see any buoys in the water; I kinda figured I knew what was coming next.  I'd say it was around 6:30 when the announcement was made that the swim portion of the race was going to be canceled.  What a bummer.  I still haven't used my wetsuit.  It was probably a bad idea to try it out for the first time on a race day, but like I said, my schedule sucks right now. 

Anyhoo, the race was converted into a Run, Bike, Run (1 mile/ 15 mile/ 3 mile).  That meant all of my goal times were shot.  So, I decided to run as fast as I could on the mile.  When am I ever going to run just 1 mile again?  On the bike and the run I was going to stick with a 18mph / 9 min/mile goals.

The rain really started to come down in the few minutes before the race started, but once we got going I didn't really notice it.  By half way through the bike,  the rain had stopped.  By the time I got to the run, I had to take off my long sleeve shirt because it was getting hot.

Run 1: About 1 mile
Goal:       Fast
Actual:    Good Enough
We were sent off in the same waves that were planned for the swim.  We ran on a narrow sidewalk out of the park. You were kind stuck in order for a little bit, unless you wanted to try to use the soggy muddy grass for a pass.  Once we got to a road, I tried to increase my pace a bit.  It was a short run, and I was just going to try to go fast, so I didn't even look at Garmin for the pace until I heard the lap tone.  By my watch, I ran the first mile in 7:26 minutes.  Either I took a long route, or it was a bit more than a mile for the first run ( I had it at about 1.1 miles).  I'm guessing the latter, since the route  had to be worked up at the last minute. 
Run 1 Time:    8:15 minutes
Run 1 Ranks:  143rd our of 372 overall
                          116 out of 239 males
                          16 out of 36 age groupers

Goal:     Absolutely None
Actual:  Not Interesting
T1 would have been interesting if I had to change out of my wet suit.  As it was, I just walked through transition and hopped on my bike.  The run did take a little out of me.
T1 Time:   1:52  minutes
Position:    143rd out of Run 1,
                   159th out of T1 (372 finishers)

Bike: 15 miles
Goal:     At least 17mph, Hopefully more than 18mph
Actual:  Over 18mph
On my training rides I had been averaging around 16.5mph, but I usually bike on a kind of hilly loop with a couple stop lights and a few stop signs.  I was hoping a little flatter route and not having to stop/slow so often would tick me up an mph or two.  Both of the runs were basically flat. The total elevation gain (equivalent to elevation lost) was about 430ft.

I'm just slow on the bike.  There were times when I was at my max cadence (couldn't even make the highest gear catch), and folks were passing me like I wasn't moving.  Maybe I'm too big and cause too much wind resistance, maybe my bike is crap or maybe I just don't practice enough.  In any event, my average was 18.3mph, and I guess I can't ask for much more.  That is the extent of my abilities.  The stats page says that 76 people passed me on the bike portion.  It felt like more.  I should be happy with a personal best for average speed, but it was a let down to see everyone speed past me.  On the bright side, I don't believe my tri-shorts are sheer.  A lot of folks should bend over and take a look in the mirror before they suit up for race day.  I saw the equivalent of bare ass far too many times on Saturday.
Bike Time:    49:17 minutes, 18.3 mph average
Bike Ranks:  200th out of 372 overall
                       164th out of 239 males
                       21st out of 36 age groupers

Goal:     Absolutely None
Actual:  Not Interesting
In T2 I racked my bike and took off the long sleeve compression shirt that I had put on during the rain before the race started.  The clouds were breaking and I run hot.  Again I walked out of transition; a quick turnover just wasn't of interest to me this time around.
T2 Time:  0:58 minutes
Position:   189th of the bike
                  186th out of T2 (372 finishers)

Run: 3 miles
Goal:      9 min/mile average
Actual:   Killed it.
Again, the loops I run at home are on a bit of a hilly route.  The run for this race has basically no elevation change.  On training runs, I was averaging about a 8:50 mile.  On the race route, the official stats have me at an 8:30 per mile average.  I had the course running a little short on my Garmin, about 2.9 miles.  If that is the case, then I would have been at about an 8:40 per mile.  Either way, I was very happy with my time.  This was an out and back on the same trail.  There was a water station after about half a mile where I foolishly tried to drink from a cup on the run.  I think some water may have gotten in my mouth, but most of it was on my face and body.  Maybe I'll get a water belt for my longer races coming up.
Run Time:     25:29 minutes, 8:30 per mile
Run Ranks:   205th out of 372 overall
                       160th out of 239 males
                       27th out of 36 age groupers

Total Time:  1:25:49
Position:        194th out of 372 overall
                       162nd out of 239 males
                       25th out of 36 age groupers   

Time Comparisons
A graph of accumulated times are below.  I was just under the field average on everything except T2 (missed it by 2 seconds).  Compared to male finishers, I was right on average for run 1 but slower on the bike and run 2.

Post-Race & Up Next
The finisher medal for this race was quite nice; the same goes for the t-shirt.  The food at the end was plentiful.  Pizza, muffins and apples.  Although, I think the pizza or apples may have made me explode.  As it is, I had a big muffin and some water and felt fine after the race.  I had a banana and Gatorade in the car, and I felt well enough the rest of the day to go do some renovating on a rental property that I own.

Next up is a tri-relay with an old college buddy in a few weeks.  It's a shorty: .44 mile swim and a 14 mile bike.  He is going to do the run.  It will be a good work out, and (weather permitting) I'll get to have a swim with my wet suit before the long races on my calendar. 

After that, I'm going to skip the Annandale race on July 19.  It sucks because I already paid for the race. However, I have to be up north on July 20 and I just don't want to stack driving 3.5 hours and racing on the same day.  So, I'm going to pay through the nose and do the Paul Bunyan Triathlon
($95, 1 mile/20 mile/5 mile) in Bemidji on July 18.  It's going to be a hassle trying to get my bike up north with my family in the car, but we'll try to figure it out.