Sunday, August 29, 2010

Maple Grove Triathlon Results - Olympic Distance

The inaugural Maple Grove Triathlon was better than expected, especially for a first year triathlon. I would do this race again.
The toughest part of the day was the wind, it made the swim a little more difficult, and it made the bike a lot more difficult. The swim had some chop, but nothing I that could not be dealt with. On the bike, it was pretty brutal. With the wind to my back I ran out of gear on the bike, even in the flats, the wind was that strong. Going into the wind, or with some of the cross-winds, it felt like I was using everything I could do go forward. The bike course itself, is relatively flat and the road surface was great. I like the bike course and look foward to trying it again with less wind. I think it is a course I could PR on.
Back to the swim, I thought the swim layout was good, only issue is that when you make the last turn into shore the sun is right in your eyes. It required me to do a little breaststroke on a couple occasions to make sure I was coming in ok.
The transition area was probably the roomiest, and one of the nicest, I have been in all year. It was nearly the entire park parking lot and there was plenty of room. The bike out of transition is uphill, so coming in is downhill, and care is need coming in and out. Luckily, I had no traffic coming in or out, but I could see issues if there was traffic, especially with all the novice racers on the course.
The bike was interesting, the Olympic distance people went first, and I was in the 4th wave, and at the head of my wave. On the bike I was going back and forth with another guy, I passed some people in the first quarter of the course, after that I saw barely anyone until I got back onto the last portion that shared with the sprint. Once I got back on that part of the course, the sprint waves were out, so there was some traffic, not too bad.
Coming in from the bike, I made my first successful "flying dismount" and had my fast T2 in a triathlon, ever. I was out of T2 in 54 seconds. The "flying dismount" helped a lot.
On the way out of transition there is a significant hill to run up. There were also some decent uphills along the course. More than I expected, all of them doable. Once off the part of the course that was shared by both sprint and olympic, I was running by myself, for the most part. It was strange. Again, there was one guy I was going back and forth with. We cheered each other on a little bit. It was a good run for me, I ran hard, and it felt good to run after last week's 13.1 mile run/jog/walk at Pigman.
A number of people complained about the lack of signage or direction on the run and bike. Apparently people had missed turns. I had no real issue, when I came to a corner I was not sure of, I slowed down and confirmed. I looked at the map a couple of times and had a decent picture in my head of the course. It is the racer's responsibility to know the course.
The water stops and volunteers were great. There were people cheering along the course, which is always great. Jackie and her friend Sarah came and watched, which is always great.
To my surprise I finished 3rd in my age group. I admit, it was a weak field compared to other races, but every once in awhile you need a bone thrown to you. It is only my second podium finish (3rd AG at 2008 MinneMan) as individual, and 3rd ever (Also, 3rd relay finish at Cannon-Wells Duathlon in 2009). I have a picture of my 3rd place "trophy" posted above. It is a hand made pottery plate, nice trophy. I like it better than a medal.
It was a really good race day for me, possibly the best of the year.
I would definitely do this race again. I can find no glaring fault with the race. If it gets too big, then it might be problematic, the current size, maybe a little larger, is good. Maybe a little different food at the finish (cut oranges, watermelon, and some soda), and some more directions on the course, but now I would be nit-picking.
My goal was to go 2:35, I went about 2:37, I think without the wind I would have gone under 2:35.

2010 Maple Grove Triathlon "Olympic Distance" (Bike a little long for Oly) Race Results
Swim (0.9mi) = 28:26 (1:48/100yds), 2nd in AG to an Elite
T1 = 1:57
Bike (26 miles) = 1:13:14 (21.2MPH), 3rd in AG, again Elite was first
T2 = 0:54, this was FAST for me
Run (6.2mi) = 52:12 (8:25min/mi), fast for this year, and I happy with this, especially for the course
Total = 1:37:09
Overall = 31/167
AG = 3/22, 1st Place was an Elite. I got some hardware :)

Brian also has his comments on the race here -

Friday, August 27, 2010

Maple Grove Triathlon Pre-Race Thoughts

I am not sure I have much to say, since this is the inaugural running of this race, and I am trying to keep my expectations in check. They limited the participants to 500, which I think is a good idea for a first year race. Also, there are no relays.
Brian, has a very good pre-race post at:
I agree with his comments. They seem be talking this race up a lot, especially for a first year race. Hopefully they can keep up with thier hype.
There is an Olympic distance and a Sprint Distance race. I am doing the Oly and I am feeling really good. I will throw out an estimated result.
Let's assume I have the best Oly of my life, I PR this race - 2:35, I think this is realistic. Fast, but realistic. I feel good this week, so I think a PR is possible. I think I can pull off the swim and the bike, it will hinge on the run. If I can run 6.2 in 50minutes or less I can probably pull out a 2:30ish Oly. If I did that it would be huge.
As usual, I just have to race my race.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Pigman Long Course (Half-Ironman) Triathlon Results

2010 Pigman Long Course Results
Swim (1.2 mi) - 37:23 (1:47min/mi)
T1 -4:04
Bike (56 miles) - 2:50:00 (19.8MPH)
T2 - 3:16
Run (13.1 mi) - 2:55:13 (13:23 min/mi)
Total Time - 6:29:54
Overall - 263/398
AG - 31/37
This is was my second trip to Palo/Cedar Rapids, IA this year. First trip for the Pigman Sprint ended with a DNF due to a flat. Again, Jackie came with me, thankfully. Her support, as usual, helps alot, especially on this day.
Drove in on Saturday, checked into hotel, got race stuff, ate dinner (Actually ate my dinner, at Olive Garden, of breaded pork chops and pasta and then ate about a quarter of Jackie's leftover chicken, brocolli and pasta when returning to the room), went back to hotel, and went to sleep. Got up early, as usual, and had breakfast of two yogurts, a banana, OJ, and some water. I thought I ate something else, but cannot remember right now. Got the usual coffee and donut on the way. Transistion setup was no problem and had another banana, more water, and some Power Bar Ironman drink, which I bought the previous day at the Gear West stand at packet pick-up. I like that beverage, less sweet than a lot of the other pre-made stuff.
The morning was foggy and a little warm. The race start was delayed about 45 minutes to an hour, due to the fog. The water temperature was almost right at 78, so it was wetsuit legal, barely. The delay left time to stand around and think, and sweat in the wetsuit.
It was a TT swim start and everything went well. There were no issues on the swim. It was not my fastest swim, nor slowest. It went well. The run to transition is long and uphill. I ended up walking most of the way from the swim finish to my area. No need to hurry too much, it was going to be a long day.
Got out on the bike a little easy, I didn't want to burn it up right away (sarcasm). The course was hillier than I expected and it got hot out there. My only real complaint is the water at the water stops, there were 4 of them, was hot. I basically put some water in my mouth, spit it out, and sprayed the rest on myself. The water I kept in my lower bottle cage stayed cooler than the water I got at the stops. During the bike I took one gel, half a Clif bar, two Clif Shots, my large bottle with Clif drink (can't remember the name), and then my water bottle. This was probably not enough, but basically all I could stomach.
Took my time heading out on the run once into T2. I should have taken a little more time and put on some more sun screen. I got a bad sunburn, maybe post pictures in a future post.
I went out on the run in a jog/run, plan was to take it slow and survive. On the way out, Kevin O'Connor, owner of Gear West, was riding his bike (he did not race but was there and out on the course on his bike) and made the comment to me to race smart and take it easy, because a lot of people were having trouble. He was right. It is two miles out of the park and then down a large hill and then the course is flat to the turn around, the turn around is up and down a decent hill. I ran/jogged to mile 4, at that point I started fading. The heat really started getting to me. There was not an inch of shade and the road just radiate heat back up to you. I walked/jogged from mile 4 to the turn around, from mile 7 to 10ish I did more walking, and from 10ish to the finish I was doing a lot of walking, but ended up jogging some more. I walked/stopped at each water stop and took water, occasionally a little HEED, maybe a little bite of orange, and ice. I felt pretty lucky to make it through the day. I can say I was closer to calling it quits then when I was at Racine 70.3. I think the fact that people were still out there kept me going.
When I finished, Jackie was there waiting for me, which was great. She spent the whole day out there and got a sunburn for it. She helped me over to the ice bathes they had setup, which felt fantastic. I don't drink regular soda, usually, but I got myself one here. Sat in the pool for a little while with a Mello-Yello and cooled off. Once out of the pool, more food, lots more fluids, a cold shower, more food, more fluids, and then out of there
I am always grateful that Jackie comes to watch, but today I was especially grateful. It was nice to have someone waiting at the finish of an especially grueling day.
Interesting side note, I have done 3 Half-IMs (This one might be my last for awhile. I am not sure I want to do anymore until I can train specifically to do one and do one when I am doing less races in a season, it is just not my distance) and I get out of T2 at basically the same time for all of them. The only real difference is the run time.
2008 Longhorn 70.3 - Out of T2 time = 3 hours and 24 minutes - Total Time = 5 hours and 45 minutes
2010 Racine 70.3 - Out of T2 time = 3 hours and 34 minutes - Total Time = 6 hours and 17 minutes
2010 Pigman Long Course - Out of T2 time = 3 hours and 34 minutes - Total Time = 6 hours and 29 minutes
Very, very consistent

Friday, August 20, 2010

Pigman Long Course (Half-IM) Thoughts and 2010 TNT Results

I have not done the Pigman Long Course (Half IM) before. What I have heard is that if it is hot day, it will be a really hot day on the course since there is almost no shade. From what I know of the course it is fairly flat. This will be my third half-IM race, second this year, and my goal is to finish. I would like to finish under 5:30. I can get a swim in around 30 minutes, the bike should be about 2:45, under 3 hours, and then the run is a toss-up. It pretty much all hinges on the run.
I did 6 of 8 Tuesday Night Time (T'N'T) Trials this year. I am fairly happy with the results. I did not break 23MPH this year, which is a little disappointing to me. I consistently broke 23MPH in 2008. I think that in terms of my speed on the bike, and definitely the run, I am still recovering from the time off due to the stress fracture.

2010 TNT Result

2009 TNT Results and All TT Results

2008 TNT Results (Fastest Average)

2007 TNT Results and All Results

2006 TNT Results and All Results (no TT bike, LeMond Sarthe with clip-on aerobars)

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

New Bikes! - Trek 1.5 and 2011 Felt F75X

We got new bikes. Jackie got a new Trek 1.5 from me for her birthday. I got myself a brand spanking new 2011 Felt F75X cyclecross bike. Of course, both were purchased at Gear West Bike and Triathlon ( Jackie has got some miles on her new bike, I have yet to ride mine. The plan is to do some cyclecross racing this fall. See how that works out.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Turtleman Results

First of all, there was no rain and low humidity, at least low for how the weather had been for the previous week. I had the usual breakfast of yogurt, frozen fruit, and granola with a banana, and OJ. I attempted to have my donut and coffee, but the gas station I stopped at had only pre-packaged sweets. So I had a Little Debbie Cheese Danish and coffee. Jackie came with and brought her bike, so she could ride to her stepmoms before the race and come back with her stepmom and stepmom's two nephews before the race. We got there with plenty of time and I got setup and ready with plenty of time, as usual. It was a great morning. Sunny, a little humid, but the temperature was not too bad.
One comment about people at the race. A number of rude and inconsiderate people. At the entrance to the park there was a sheriff volunteer who was asking, and telling, people to get off thier bikes and walk them. He was ignored by a ton of people. I was amazed at how people behaved. Very sad. Also, I saw a number of people, and heard stories of people, being rude and inconsiderate about other people's transition spots. A little disturbing.
I forgot socks, so this was going to be a race where I got to find out what running without socks was going to be like.
The water was about 82 degrees, so wetsuits were not legal. I wore my Speedo FastSkin, most elites wore speedskins of some type over thier tri-suits. If you wore a wetsuit your results were seperated and you were not eligible for anything, points, etc. The relays and elite have a wave/group start and they waded out to the first bouy before starting, out to about chest deep water. The individual start was TT and this made a difference. The bottom of the lake is mucky and nasty. You ran in the water and would be on solid bottom at one point and then sink up to your hip the next. It smelled horrible. I went down to my hips twice and finally decide to start swimming. The water was pitch black and smelled awful. The kind of awful that makes you want to vomit. Once I swam about a hunderd yards or more the water cleared up and swimming was smooth to the end. When you got out it was similar muck. Probably the worst swim environment of the year. The swim itself went very well. I wanted to go around 17 minutes and I did.
T1 went fine. No wetsuit, sunglasses on, helmet on, shoes on, and you can ride in transition, so out I went.
I set my fastest bike in a tri or du this race, I averaged 23MPH. My goal was to make this race my fastest bike split of the year, not sure I would. I think a weekend off of racing and a rest week helped me out. I concentrated very hard on my body position and my stroke and leg position. I am sure this helped alot. I know I can get sloppy on the bike at times and I just don't have the power to be sloppy. I think the temperature, the fairly flat course, and the lack of a serious headwind, really helped. It was one of the first short races where I took a gel in during the race. I took it in with about 15minutes left on the bike. Only hitch on the bike was I took the first turn, once out of the park, too fast and almost clipped a cone. If I had clipped that cone, it might have ended my day early.
When I get off the bike at T2 and went to put on my shoes, I got a massive, massive cramp in my abs. I had to stop, breathe, and stretch, before running. It was a huge cramp.
Once I got off on the run, I knew it was going to be a long run. One, because I expended so much on the bike, and two, the run course is challenging. It is not really hilly, there are some uphills, nothing steep, long and gradual. There is very little shade, and only 4 turns, so you have long stretches to run. I find it somewhat mentally challenging with the lack of turns and the lack of shade. I was happy with my run time, it was between my 2008 time and my 2007 time. I felt I gave it my all. There were no issues with not wearing socks. Nice.
This is a fast course and lots of fast people race this race. You can tell by the bike splits for the Elites (males at 27MPH) and that I ended up in the middle of my AG.
I am really happy with my race results. This was one of my best races of the year. It was nice to have Jackie come back with her stepmom and her stepmom's nephews. I think they were ages 6 and 9, or close to that. I don't think either had seen a triathlon before. The 9 year old seemed much more interested. It was nice to have a little bit larger cheering section.
Turtleman 2010 Results
Swim (1094 yards = 1km) = 16:14 (1:29 min/100yds)
T1 = 1:25
Bike (21.5mi) = 56:04 (23MPH), Fastest bike in a tri or du, ever
T2 = 1:29, ab cramp off of bike. I had to stop and stretch
Run (5mi) = 41:58 (8:24min/mi)
Total Time = 1:57:07
Overall = 138/403, in 2007 and 2008 there were over 700 individual participants
AG = 22 of 43, large and very fast AG
Post pics of Jackie's new bike and my new bike at some point this week. Maybe preview Pigman Half, which I have never done.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Turtleman Preview

There was no race last weekend, but I had a long workout on Sat and Sun, long for me.
Saturday I had an hour and a half bike workout. Did the bike workout outside, in the glorious heat and humidity. Then I did a 40 minute run workout, in the rain and heat. Again glorious. On Sunday, I did an hour run. Did the first 10 minutes with Jackie and the rest on my own. I felt pretty fatigued last week and into the weekend. Feeling less fatigued this week.
This week is an easy week. Mon and Wed Master's swim workout. Tuesday 30 minute bike, on trainer, fairly hard, then 15 min run at a pretty good clip.
I have done Turtleman 2 times previously, 2007 and 2008. I volunteered in 2009 at the swim, no-swim, start, and then left. Hopefully, this year is not like last year. Last year, the swim was cancelled due to weather, and then the race was stopped eventually due to weather. I talked to people and it sounded like it sucked.
The race has always been tough for me, maybe because it is a late season race and I am worn out. It is usually hot and humid, which makes it tough. The course, both bike and run, are not very hilly. The run has very little shade, it makes it tough. The course distance has changed over the years. This year the swim has been shortened.
The lake is usually kind of crappy. Mucky, shallow, and there is a sand bar you cross twice as you go back and forth.

2010 Turtleman Distances - Swim is 0.6mi (1094 yards), Bike is 22.3 miles, Run is 5 miles
Goal Time for 2010 - 2:02:00

2007 Turtleman Results
Swim (0.9mi = 1630 yards) = 31:30 (2:03/100 yards)
T1 = 2:03
Bike (21.1mi) = 1:04 (20.7MPH)
T2 = 1:40
Run (6.2mi) = 54:39 (8:48min/mi)
Total = 2:32:55
Overall = 316/715
AG = 50/85

2008 Turtleman Results
Swim (0.9mi = 1630 yards) = 27:45 (1:42/100 yards)
T1 = 2:11
Bike (21.4mi) = 57:10 (22.5MPH)
T2 = 1:42
Run (5.1mi) = 41:36 (8:10min/mi)
Total = 2:10:06
Overall = 206/795
AG = 24/72

As an aside, on Saturday I bought my girlfriend Jackie her first "real" bike for her belated Bday present. I bought her a Trek 1.5. We got great treatment at Gear West, not surprising, but I am noting it. It is alway nice to get great treatment when making a purchase. Hannah spent the time to make sure the fit was good. Tried some different saddles and stems. It all went very well. I might be picking up a 2011 Felt F75X Cyclecross bike in the very near future. When I pick that bike up I will post pics of both new bikes.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

July 2010 Workout Summary

Here is a comparison for previous July workouts. Race time/yardage is included.
This July I did 2 TTs and 4 Triathlons, one triathlon was a 70.3 race.

I put in a lot of time this July. This month had the most run time of the whole year and very close to the most bike time, second most. The 70.3 definitely boosted my time for the month. Last July I still had not raced, due to the stress fracture. I think I had done 4 tris and 2 TTs in July of 2008.
Below is YTD and totals, including everything this year, since 2007

Below is totals and averages since 2007

In August I have 2 TTs left and 4 Tris. One of those is a Half-IM, two are long sprints, and one is a long Oly, for lack of a better description. August should be a pretty hefty month also. September has a Tri and 2 Dus and things will start to come down from there as I get lazy for the rest of the year.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

2010 Brewhouse Triathlon (Long Course) Results - 51st Multisport Race Completed

On Sunday I finished my 51st multisport race since 2006. I have done 34 Triathlons and 17 Duathlons as an individual. I have also completed 2 relay Duathlons and 1 relay Triathlon. I also had 2 DNFs, one flat and one intentional when I had my stress fracture. So, I have started 56 races, completed 54 races. That includes sitting out 2009.

Jackie and stayed at an AmericInn in Cloquet, MN the night before Brewhouse. The hotel SUCKED. I reserved a room online about 4 weeks before, maybe more, maybe less. At any rate, I know I reserved a non-smoking. They said sometimes the website screws up and we should call to confirm. Good to know. Why don't you put that on your F'n website. Basically, we got a too bad for you from them. I call Holiday Inn and they had a vacancy for 300 bucks a night. Almost every hotel in the area was sold out due to the 'Tall Ships" being in Duluth. So we stayed in the "dungeon" as Jackie referred to it. It was a nasty room and a nasty hotel.
Packet pickup was a little disappointing. It was probably the longest line I ever waited in for a packet pickup. Probably more than 20 minutes. They seemed a little disorganized.
We went into Duluth for dinner and ate a Thai restuarant. The meal was good. I am a fan of Thai food, I would go back to this place. They give you a healthy portion of veggies in your curry. We went for a walk around canal park before heading back to the crappy hotel. Canal Park was fantastic with the boats and the people. What a great area.
I got up on Sunday, after sleepy pretty badly, and had two bananas, yogurt, and some Gatorade. We stopped at a gas station and I got the usual coffee and donut for the pre-race.
No issues setting up transition, getting numbers marked, and using the bathroom.
Headed down to the beach for the swim start. The short course started at 8:30, the long course at 9, so I had some time. I chatted with David Thompson and Devon Palmer while warming up and waiting. David finished first, no surprise, and Devon finished second.
The day was cool, for the most part, no real wind, and light humidty. The swim went off without a hitch. My swim time was about 1:20 faster than two years ago. The transition is long and narrow, and the long course athletes are at the opposite end from the swim enterance. It was a long run up transition and to the bike.
Since there is a long hill at the start, I stayed out of the aerobars and in easier gear until it flatten out a bit. Then I shifted down and got into the aerobars. The long course is two 10.3 mile loops. Half of the 10.3 miles is some of the worst roads I have ever ridden on. Potholes, cracks, uneven, just all kinds of bad road. Very rough on you when you are in the aero position. I thought I was going really slow, but I was only about 1 minute slower than 2 years ago. So it was not that bad at all.
I was grateful to get off the bike. I did not sprint out of transition, because I knew I was going to have to run uphill for awhile once out. I settled into a comfortable pace to start. I forgot how hilly the run was. It feels like a tough run course. The last mile in it started to rain a little and the pavement started to feel hot and humid, almost suffocating. Even though the sun had not really been out all day, it still started to feel nasty when the rain came down. Luckily, most of the last mile is all downhill and that made it bearable.
I felt good, as good as I have felt on just about an run this year. I was pushing myself about as hard as I could and was surprised with my results. I was only about 1:46 slower than two years ago.

2010 Brewhouse Triathlon (Long Course) Results
Swim (1408 yards) - 24:17 (1:39/100 yards)
T1 - 2:26
Bike (20.6mi) - 58:29 (21.1MPH)
T2 - 2:18
Run (5mi) - 40:39 (8:08min/mi)
Total - 2:08:06
Overall - 61/154 (small field, smaller than 2008)
AG - 9/12 (really small field, about half the size of 2008)

No race next weekend. After 11 straight weekends, I get a weekend off. Next stop, Turtleman