Monday, August 22, 2011

2011 Turtleman Duathlon Race Report

This has taken me forever to get out.  Late in the year, getting lazy
This is not an excuse for my performance, which I am very happy with, it is statement of fact.  I was hurting a bit on race day.  Why?  Because the Thursday night before Turtleman I went tubing, the kind of tubing you do behind a boat, where the driver attempts to fling you off in the most painful way possible.  It was the first time I had been tubing in about 20 years.  I used to go a lot in high school, when I had friends with boats and family cabins in Northern Wisconsin.  I was out on Lake Minnetonka on Thursday night with Jackie's family, and on a two seat tube with Jackie's cousin and her brother-in-law driving the boat.  The first time I was flung off the tube I think I landed with my left arm\elbow in my ribcage and bruised, possibly cracked, a rib, or some ribs.  I got the wind knocked out of me and had some pain, but kept tubing for awhile.  I was in some pain that evening and the next morning at Masters, it was tough to swim and do flip turns.  I was hurting, and I am actually still tender, it is more than a week later . Anyway, surprisingly, I felt little pain during the race, probably adrenaline.  Hurt before the race and a lot more later in the evening, after race.
I went to packet pick-up on Friday and found that my packet could not be found.  I filled out some paperwork and I got a new number.  I later found out my packet was stuck to another packet and they did not see it.  Since it was a numerical order on the start, I got pushed towards the back of the start.
So, on with the race.  I got up and it was barely raining in South Minneapolis. On the way to Shoreview it started pouring and it was raining pretty hard when I pulled in the parking lot.  I sat in the car for awhile, to finish my usual pre-race donut and coffee, and then decided to walk on down and check it out, umbrella in hand.
Before the race I talk to Cliff and Jill.  One conversation we had was about the transition area setup.  The run in and out were the same entrance and exit, the bike in and out were different.  Bike out on the east, bike in on the west.  The discussion, rationalized by Cliff, led to the decision to stay on the west side, near the run in and out, which turned out to be the best side. I also talked to Brian and relayed the discussion to him, he decide to pick the same as us.  It turns out we made the best decision based on the T2 times.  As always, Brian has a great race report at:
So, before the race I got to chat it up with a few people and the rained had stopped.  It was odd with less than the 200 people at the start.  At one time this race had 1000 people, hopefully it can return to those days.
I started the first run off a little easy and picked up.  I had never done a TT start on a run and I didn't want to go out too fast, with 22 mile bike and a 5 mile run to go.  The run is pretty flat and it felt pretty good.  There is not really too much to say about the short run, except that it was short.  I passed a decent number of people on the run.  In and out of transition went pretty smoothly.
I went out on the bike a little easy, took in some fluid, before getting into an aero position and hammering it out.  In the past, I had hammered the bike right off the bat, this year I have been waiting a little bit to get into the aero position.  First take in some fluids and getting my head about me.  It doesn't seem to have affected my bike splits much.  Also, in the past, when cornering I would go through a corner and get, or stay, in the aero position.  This year, I made an effort to get out of the saddle and crank hard out of the corner and then get back in the aero.  I am trying to get any speed lost going through the corner back as fast as possible.  Basically, this year I am putting more thought into how I exit corners.  I would say in the first part of this race I took the corners slower than normal.  The ground was still wet and I was a little concerned with being too aggressive and going down.  In the latter half of the bike I was more aggressive in through the corners.  Again, I passed a decent number of people on the bike, which feels pretty good.  This bike course is flat, so it is fairly fast, as reflected by my average speed, which is my fastest average bike speed in a duathlon.
I got in and out of T2 fast.  I am glad that I had the discussion with Cliff and Jill before the race.  My bike placement was choice.  I know this run course pretty good, this would be more 4th time running it.  Once out of the park there are 4 turns, basically you run one big block.  The first half is mostly flat, the quarter or so rolls, and the last quarter is mostly a slight uphill until you get to the finishing stretch.  Usually, this run is mentally challenging, partly because of how open it is, partly because it is usually a hot sunny day and there is little shade.  Luckily, it was fairly cool and cloudy.  This was my fastest run time on this course, I really wanted to go under 8min/mi, but I will take what I got.  The first 3 miles felt really good and I think I was on pace to go under 40 minutes, but the last 2 miles, especially the last mile, got to me. 
All in all I am happy with how this race went.

This is was my fastest average bike speed in a duathlon, ever.  Previously it was 21.8MPH, so I just got over my previous best.  Maybe at Dousman this year I can go over 22MPH.

If this race goes back to a triathlon, I think I would be fine with that.  As long as the water level is reasonable and it doesn't stink to swim in the lake.  I think this race also makes a good duathlon.  Either way, I will be back to this race.

2011 Turtleman Duathlon Race Results (with posted results and calculated results based on Brian's Garmin.  I used calculated results from Brian's Garmin in my race log)
Run (Dist = 1.86 Garmin Dist = 1.8) = 12:50 (6:54 min/mi or 7:08 min/mi)
T1 = 1:11
Bike (Dist = 22.4 Garmin Dist = 21.18) = 57:50 (23.2 MPH or 21.97 MPH) - Either way, fastest average speed in a duathlon
Run (Dist = 4.97 Garmin Dist = 5.04) = 40:32 (8:10 min/mi or 8:02 min/mi)
Total = 1:52:59
Overall = 50/139
Age Group = 10/20
Average Pace = 3:52 min/mi or 4:02 min/mi

Saturday, August 6, 2011

July 2011 Racing and Training Summary

In the month of July I "triathloned" 5 times, every weekend, along with 2 Tuesday Night Time Trials.  It was a full month, literally.

Year-to-Date TNT average speed = 22.17MPH
2010 average speed at this time = 21.98MPH
Skip 2009 since I was recovering from injury
2008 average speed at this time = 22.88MPH
2007 average speed at this time = 21.46MPH
Skip 2006 since I did it on a road bike and I was just starting out, ok it was 19.3MPH and I only did two of them.
I missed the first TNT of August so it is doubtful that I will bring my average above 23MPH, my average for 2008 was 23.03MPH

Highlights of July, dropping 3+ minutes on the run at Timberman from 2010, finishing 3rd in my AG at Chaska, having a good race at Twin Cities Triathlon, and winning my AG at Waseca Sprint.  Low of July, crappy race at Minneman.

July Comparisons

YTD Totals and Total Since 2007

Totals and Averages Since 2007

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

2011 Waseca Sprint Triathlon Report - A Pleasant Surprise

Another early morning, up at 3AM for the second Sunday in a row.  This time to drive to Waseca to do the Waseca Sprint for the first time.  I was out the door about 4AM.  I need time in the morning, especially when I have to drive about an hour and a half.  I like to shower, have breakfast, you know, wake-up.  Stopped along the way to get the required donut and coffee.

When I got there, the sun was just coming up and it was humid.  There were mosquitos galore, first time for that this year. 
I stopped at the Gear West tent and got my front deraileur checked out and chatted with Jared.  I have mentioned in previous posts trouble I had with it, at the Twin Cities and at the last TNT.  I adjusted it a little the night before Waseca and I thought it was ok, but I figured since I was early and no one was asking for Jared's help, I would get his assistance.  The problem, I learned, is the cable at the bottom, where it comes out of the frame, gets clogged up with crap over time.  He tried to lube it, clean it, and adjust it.  It worked well during the race.
I also talked with Steve (who has a great blog and a race report at: on and off before the race and Kevin, the owner of Gear West who was doing the 1/3 iron distance race.  I did a short bike warm-up, not much needed, it was getting hot and the humidty was already there.  I wanted to check the bike and make sure all was good.  All was good.

I spent most of the time down by the water.  I did not wear a wetsuit, the swim was too short and the water, and air, too warm for it.  I bought a brand new wetsuit this year and I have worn at two races and three times in a pool.  At least it won't wear out too fast.  We had to wait about 25 minutes after the 1/3 IM distance start before the sprint start.  During that time I watched the long course and played around in the water.  Tried to stay cool and relaxed. 
I was in the first wave, which was 29 and under.  I started next to Steve at the front.  The problem with me starting at the front is that I swim pretty fast, but I don't get started very fast.  So, at the start I get caught in a mass of people going fast at the start, if I start at the head, and I have to fight back through those people as I swim.  Basically what happened today.  No major collosions, just a lot of manuvering to get position.  The swim went well, no real issues.  As I got close to the finish, I realized the person next to me was Steve.  He took off like a rocket to and through transition.  I was a little slower. 
The run up to T1 and then out of T1 to the bike mount is longish.  I started out slow on the bike and took some fluid and then started hammering.  I had no idea where I was in the pack, but I could see some people out in front of me.  I know I am not the fastest runner, so as usual,  I am going to try and hammer the bike and then let the chips fall where they may on the run.  The bike course has no real steep climbs on it.  Basically flat with some rollers, and it is out and back.  If memory serves me correctly, I caught one guy early, then Steve, and then maybe one or two other guys.  Take that back, one was a female, she is the super fast runner, and swimmer, Claire.  Coming up to the turnaround I saw two guys coming back and immediately at the turnaround there were two other guys, I think.  I passed those two quick after the turnaround, one of the guys came back around me, and I passed him about a mile or two out from T2.  I was really trying to push it into tranistion, which I think I did.
I got through transition quick and I new immediately it was going to be a tough run.  Right off the bat I was passed by two people.  I knew Steve would pass me fairly fast.  My hope was to run a high 7min/mi to low 8min/mi pass.  I figured that was the best I could hope for and Steve would be running low to mid 6min/mi pace, he caught me, along with Claire at about the 1 mile marker.  By about a mile and half I was caught by the amazing 53 year old Charlie, who was running at a sub 6min/mi pace.  The run was a sufferfest, which was expected.  Very little shade and mostly flat, some rollers near the end.  The last mile or so I went back and forth with another guy, he walked and ran, I ran but still could not keep up with him.  I wanted to run faster, but I just could not get my legs to go.  I think a combination of the bike and heat and humidity just made it difficult.
I felt pretty good about how I finished.  I was unsure of my run split.  After the run I would have been happy with going 8:30 min/mi.  No results were up right away, but I figured I did okay on the day.  I got passed by a lot of people on the run.  I thought that last year they gave out awards in 10 year age groups, and I figured I was not going to make the top three in that range, considering who I knew was in front of me.  Finally I saw the results come up and as I was walking over to the results, Steve was walking back he congratulated me for winning my age group.  I was surprised, to say the least.  I walked over and there it was, they had 5 year age groups and I had won mine.  The age group below and above were faster, but today my age group (35-39) was right in my wheelhouse.  What a pleasant surprise.  So, I got to stay for awards.
During awards, Jerry announced my name and sounded a little surprised, that would make two of us.
It turned out that my bike split was the fastest in my AG and 8th fastest overall.  That is basically what got me the win in my AG.  The gap I put on the bike is basically the gap I won by.
So I got my first AG win ever.  Hooray!
I thought this was a well run race on a fast course.  I would consider doing this race again and I recommend it for someone doing a triathlon for the first time.
Waseca is my 10th race of the year, 8th triathlon plus 2 duathlons. 
I have 4 races remaining, 2 duathlons and 2 triathlons.

2011 Waseca Sprint Triathlon Results
Swim (440yds) - 10:04 (2:18/100yds) I think the distance is longer, this by far the slowest split of the last two years.  My "easy" pool splits are under 2min.
T1 - 1:11
Bike (14mi) - 37:47 (22 MPH) - 8th overall and 1st in AG
T2 - 0:43
Run (4.4mi) - 35:14 (8:01 min/mi)
Total - 1:24:57
Overall - 16/147
Age Group - 1/17
Overall Pace - 4:33 min/mi