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

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