Tuesday, June 28, 2011

2011 Lake Waconia Triathlon Race Report

The day before this race I felt pretty fatigued and kind of icky.  So, I was not sure how race day would go.  I woke up on race day and felt tired, but better than the day before.  Not sure what was up with Saturday.
As always, on the way to the race I get a coffee and a donut, which I love.
Jackie was with me this morning, which was great.  She read and then went to her friend's house while I was getting ready.  She came back with her friend and her friend's kids, which was great.  Always good to have more people watching.

The weather was cool and cloudy, but not windy in away that would cause waves.  Waves have really caused issues with the swim in the past.  Not today.  It was good race weather.

There were a lot of people I knew at this race and it was great to see all of them and have some time to chat before and after.

On with the race.....
My swim was slower than expected, or would have liked, and I am not sure why.  It felt good, I did not feel like I was pushing it too hard, but I did not feel like I was taking it easy.  I like the TT start, but it does not have the same intensity as a wave start.  That being the case, I don't think I start with the same intensity and continue to swim with the same intensity.  At any rate, I had a good swim.  The water was calm and cool, the conditions could not have been better.

I was slow through T1.  Still getting used to getting out of new wetsuit, also put on my socks.

The bike course is rolling (read somewhat hilly).  I did not remember this.  No biggie.  I was a tenth of mph faster than last year.  There was some tailwind out and some headwind on the way in.  It rained a little along the way.  Aside from the wind, the conditions were good.  The road conditions were good and there were plenty of volunteers (Thank You).

I was pretty decent getting out of T2, no flying dismount.  Did not feel comfortable.

This run is tough, basically the first 3/4 mile is uphill, and then the run rolls up and down the rest of the way.  The good thing is the last mile is mostly downhill, except that slight uphill coming in.  In my previous two attempts on this course I could not go under 8 min/mi, this day I was able to.  Hooray!

I was extremely happy with my results for this race and felt really good afterwards.  I dropped 3 minutes from my previous best in 2008 and I did it on the run, which is a really good sign for me.  It means I might be getting my run speed back.  Also, I had the run speed, while still getting a good bike split out of it.

The picture of me below is courtesy of Nick Morales

2008 Lake Waconia Results
Swim (880 yards) - 24:33 (2:48/100 yards), very wavy, catastrophically bad swim
T1 - 2:34
Bike (24mi, not distance in 2010 and 2011) - 1:07:57 (21.2MPH)
T2 - 1:35
Run (4mi) - 32:09 (8:03/mi)
Total - 2:08:45
Overall - 188/431
AG - 22/38
Overall Pace - 4:31/mi (total time/total distance)

Injured in 2009, Jackie and I volunteered and did traffic control on top of cemetary hill

2010 Lake Waconia Results
Swim (880 yards) - 15:04 (1:43/100 yards)
T1 - 1:43
Bike (20mi, shortened from 2008) - 54:20 (22.1 MPH)
T2 - 1:46
Run (4mi) - 34:21 (8:36/mi)
Total - 1:47:10
Overall - 129/361
AG - 12/30
Pace - 4:22/mi

2011 Lake Waconia Results
Swim (880 yards) - 15:11 (1:44/100 yards)
T1 - 2:15
Bike (20mi) - 54:02 (22.2 MPH)
T2 - 1:07
Run (4mi) - 31:35 (7:54/mi) - Hooray! under 8min/mi!
Total - 1:44:09
Overall - 90/315
AG - 11/26

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

2011 Eau Claire Sprint Triathlon Race Report

There were a lot of racing options this past weekend, Liberty (Oly and Half), Trinona (Sprint and Oly), and the OptumHealth Manitou Sprint Triathlon.  Last year I did Manitou, this year I decided to go back to my "home town" (I went to high school and undergrad) to do thier 2nd annual sprint triathlon.

As usual, I showed up early, I think I was fourth in transition.  The between bike spacing was good, the between rack spacing was tight.  The transition area was long and a bit narrow.  The bike in and out were at the same end, the in from the swim and the run out were the same end.  Initially, I was unsure of the space in transition, but it actually worked out well enough.
It was a cool race morning, a couple hours before race time it was 40 degrees and foggy, by race time it was over 50 and it was sunny, still cool, but not bad.  The water was perfect temperature for a wetsuit swim, the water was glass, and there were no weeds.  Nice.  The swim course is only about a third of a mile, has a inverted triangle-like shape and is tight at the start and finish.  There are only 4 waves and they are 3 minutes apart, so everyone was out on the course fast.  I was in the second wave, 30 and over. 
Brett Lovaas was racing and I am a much slower swimmer than him, still I decide to get in behind him and     
try to get some "pull".  It did not work too well.  We were all crammed in, and at the start the guy next to Brett fell in behind him and I got knocked around alot to the first turn.  I had a decent swim time, but it felt kind of rough. There was a lot of knocking around going on.  The swim is too short to get people to spread out.  Also, I was wearing a brand new wetsuit, which I really like and I have worn in the pool a few times, but it felt especially tight this morning.  Anyway, I made it through the swim and I am pretty happy with my time. 
Out of the water it is an uphill run to transition.  Thankfully, they put mats down all the way from the water up to the transition, which was really nice.  The run uphill was probably a couple hundred feet and a decent grade on rocky pavement.
Once in transition I struggled to get out of the new wetsuit and get on socks and shoes, but out of T1 I did go, and the time out was not too bad.
There is a significant climb out of transition, then you ride through some neighborhoods, and then out into rural area.  It is probably 2-3 miles until you are out of town.  When you get out to the rural area it is fairly flat, except for a few decent climbs.  Not a flat course by any means, but not nearly as hilly as GW Du.  There was some wind coming back in, but nothing too bad.  The course was well marked and had sufficient volunteers.  I would say that for a sprint course the bike is challenging.  Most of the sprints races I have done around here are flatter.
I did my first flying dismount of the year, got out my shoes successfully, and dismounted successfully, except I kicked my left shoe off the pedal, and had to stop to pick it up.  My T2 was the fastest, I think, I have ever recorded.  Got the new shoes on quick and ran out.
The run out is pancake flat. More than a half mile in there is a significant uphill into Carson Park, the main park in the city where most of the run takes place.  Once you crest the hill and get in the park, it rolls gently, and there is two short, steep climbs.  One of the more challenging runs I have encountered in a sprint.  The run through the park is really nice.  At about the half way mark you are on a bluff and can overlook the water and the swim start/finish, which is pretty cool.  Good location for a run.  The good thing is, you go out of the park the same way you came in so you get a downhill to the flat.  The last half mile or so is a flat run in, so if you have anything left you can go all out.
That run was my fastest 5k, and splits, off the bike, by about 3 seconds for 3.1 miles, on much more difficult course than my previous best.  My previous best was 2008 MinneMan, which is a much flatter run.
Brett Lovaas won the race and broke the course record by about 2 minutes.  Nice job Brett.   
Two critiques/complaints/suggestions, the food at the end was a little lacking.  Apples, bananas, orange, granola bars, and plain bagels.  To drink, two Gatorade choices, water, and about a half dozen choices for soda.  They could add a little more flavor to the food choices.  The other thing is they did not have music or an announcer while people were in transition.  Almost every race I have been to has someone doing announcements, music playing, etc.  It is strange to have nothing until about 10 minutes before start. 
One more thing, they had age groups setup in 10 year (30-39 for example), it would be nice if they switched to the standard AG interval.

Hopefully they continue this race, it is a very good course, and overall everything went smoothly.  The race had plenty of volunteers and they did a very good job.  I would recommend this race.

2011 Eau Claire Sprint Traithlon Results
Swim (547 yards = 500 meters) = 8:24 (1:33min/100yards)
T1: 1:41
Bike (17mi) = 47:29 (21.5MPH)
T2: 0:45
Run (3.1mi) = 23:14 (7:30 min/mi)
Total = 1:21:30
Overall = 33 out of 192
AG (30-39) = 6 out of 26

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

May 2011 Training Summary

I did one TT, one triathlon, and two duathlons and they are all included in my May summary.

This May I did one Tuesday Night Time (T'N'T) Trial and I was happy with it, considering it was two days after Gear West Duathlon.  Here is the result from this May, plus some results from past May TTs for comparison.  First TNT of 2011 is the fastest.  Good sign?

2011 First (5/24) TNT Result - 29:36 = 22.3MPH
2010 First (5/11) TNT Result - 31:32 = 20.93MPH
2009 First (8/4) TNT Result - 31:22 = 21.04MPH
2008 First (5/13) TNT Result - 29:38 = 22.26MPH
2007 First (5/8) TNT Result - 30:33 = 21.59MPH (first with tri bike)
2006 First (5/6) TNT Result - 34:46 = 18.98MPH (Road bike with aerobars)

I posted my results for St. Anthony's Triathlon, Gear West Duathlon, and Apple Duathlon.  I was happy with all three races.

Only did about 15 minutes of arm strength work for the whole month of May.

Comparison of May Training Data

Data Since 2007 and Monthly Averages

Data Since 2007 and 2011 Year-to-Date