Saturday, June 28, 2014

Back-to-Back Race Weekend Report - Lake Minnetonka Sprint and Manitou Sprint Triathlons (100th Individual Multi-Sport Race Completed)

I did my first back-to-back weekend.  On Saturday I did the Lake Minnetonka Sprint Triathlon and on Sunday I did the Manitou Sprint Triathlon.  My first time doing two triathlons in one weekend.  The weather was nearly perfect on both days, and, for the most part, I don't think it could have gone much better.

I was amazed at how well I raced back to back.  It went very well.

The completion of Manitou on Sunday was the completion of my 100th individual multi-sport race since 2006.  29 duathlons and 71 triathlons.  Next stop, 100 triathlons.

Concentration.  Again, both days, I concentrated on what I was doing during the swim, bike, and run.  I did not let my mind drift.  On the swim, concentrated on my stroke.  On the bike, concentrated on my position and my pedaling.  Made sure that I was not getting sloppy in the saddle and that my legs were not going wide.  On the run, concentrated on my stride, and my body positioning.  On both days, I had my PRs and some of my fastest races in general.  Concentrate and have fun!

Pictures, results, and my comments for each race are below.

Devon Palmer (pro-triathlete, owner of cute dog, general lay-about) got off his butt and biked to Lake Minnetonka to cheer us all on.  Here are a couple flattering pictures he took of me.  I am not puking in the top picture.

Lake Minnetonka Sprint Triathlon (Sat 6/21)

I did the usual breakfast (yogurt, fruit, granola, and banana), and then the usual coffee and donut on the way.  The weather all day was perfect.  In the morning, at the race site, got to watch the sunrise.  It was a little humid, but not hot.  Again, you probably could not have asked for better conditions.
There was a lot of people I know doing this race, so it was chance to chat with people before and after.  That makes it even more enjoyable.
I have taken to not warming up before the race, no run or bike, but swim a bit before the race start.  I don't think it is hurting me at all.  Though I should do an equipment check before the race (I should know better), see Manitou comments.
Water was perfect and the swim went without issue.  The swim is interesting, because you swim around a point, so, if a spectator wanted, they could follow you from start to finish by walking along the shore.  Not a typical swim venue.  The water is high this year, we had swim right up to the finish before getting out of the water. This was my fastest time on this course by about 20 seconds.
I got a little stuck in my wetsuit, hence the slower time.
This course is out and back, with some hills of varying difficulty.  The worst hill you go down, the turnaround is at the bottom, so you slow way down, and then you have to go back up the steep hill again.
Two things happened out on the bike course.  One was a guy, who I think, was drafting.  I passed him, and then he was hanging on my back, then he passed me going up the steep turnaround hill.  I then watched him ride really close on a guy for a long time.  He was also chatting, could not understand him, each time we passed each other.  Anyway, he pushed me to go faster, and I eventually passed him, even though he was drafting, with about 2 miles left to go.  The other thing was a pick-up truck that was on the road.  He wasn't allowing much on the right side, I got behind him, then caught up to him.  I had trouble getting around, and eventually had to lock my brakes at a stop sign.  A biker passed him on the left, which I did not want to do. Still, ended up with my fastest bike split on this course.  Hooray!
I got lost in transition coming in from the bike.  Went down the wrong row, had to turn around and go around another rack.  Kind of killed my transition.
The run is out and back and nearly totally flat.  Only up and down is the first part in and out of transition, uphill out, and downhill in.  I heard people cheering for me going out on the run and coming into the finish, that is always nice.  The run went very well, fastest time on this course.  I actually passed people on the run.  It felt pretty good.  The whole race felt pretty good.
This was the perfect day for triathlon and I had a mostly perfect race, at least good enough to PR by over a minute.
Pictures, this year's results, and previous results below.

2014 Lake Minnetonka Triathlon Results Swim (880 yards) - 12:44 (1:27/100 yards)
T1 - 2:27
Bike (14.5mi) - 39:36 (22MPH) - Fastest bike split on this course
T2 - 1:34
Run (3mi) - 22:32 (7:31/mile) - Fastest run split on this course
Total - 1:18:51
Overall - 62/476
AG - 13/45
Pace - 4:23 min/mi
2012 Lake Minnetonka Triathlon Results Swim (880 yards) - 13:04 (1:29/100 yards)
T1 - 2:02
Bike (14.5mi) - 41:13 (21.1MPH)
T2 - 0:59 (Two weeks, to T2s under a minute, almost 30 seconds faster than 2010 T2)
Run (3mi) - 22:49 (7:37/mile)
Total - 1:20:06
Overall - 72/466
AG - 7/44
Pace - 4:27 min/mi

2010 Lake Minnetonka Triathlon Results
Swim (880 yards) - 13:27 (1:32/100 yards)
T1 - 1:51
Bike (14.5mi) - 41:58 (20.7MPH)
T2 - 1:28
Run (3mi) - 23:20 (7:47/mile)
Total - 1:22:01
Overall - 85/452
AG - 13/42
Pace - 4:27 min/mi

Manitou Sprint Triathlon (Sun 6/21)

Last year the weather was horrible. As you can see from the results below they turned it into a duathlon last year.  This year was a different story.  Rain was predicted for the day, but did not come in the morning.  It was cooler and windier than Saturday, but not bad.  I felt pretty good, better than I thought I would, waking up and heading out there.  I was a little tired, and my legs, upper hamstrings, were a little tight.
Getting up and heading to the race was a repeat of Saturday morning.
Transition area is small, tight quarters.  Part of the reason for my faster transition, that and I was right by the run out.
I got to chat with some people before the race start, didn't know was many as at Lake Minnetonka, but still a few, and that was nice.
The water level in White Bear Lake is still low, so you start far away from transition, in water about thigh high.   You have a long run up in muck, not too bad.  Hard to compare the swim from previous years because they have changed it so much.  It was my fastest time, but hard to say if it is equivalent.  Definitely not equivalent to 2010, when it was a two loop swim and you had to get out and run a short distance.
My transition went much faster and smoother this day.  The problem started when I got out on the bike.  I could not get my left cleat in the pedal.  Not good.  I tried to balance it on the pedal as best as I could.  About a third of the way into the bike I decided, wrongly, I was going to try and jam my foot in.  When I tried, my foot skipped off my pedal, and into the front wheel.  Luckily, I did not get my foot stuck in the wheel and fork, unluckily I busted a spoke and set the wheel out of true.  So, for the rest of the race I had a broke spoke and a wobbly wheel.   Fortunately, they repaved much of the road, especially the worst part, and there are no steep climbs.  With a broke spoke and a wobbly wheel, I had a great bike.  I can only imagine how good it could have been....
Anyway, second transition went fast.  This run is mostly uphill, kind of steep at times, out, and then mostly downhill on the way back.  I had a fast run.  Again, I actually passed people on the run.  Amazing. 
Another great day, another great race.

2014 Manitou Sprint Triathlon (Duathlon) ResultsSwim (880yards) = 12:49 (1;28/100yards)
T1 = 1:38
Bike (14mi) = 38:34 (21.8MPH)
T2 = 0:34
Run (3mi) = 22:23 (7:28/mi)
Total = 1:15;57
Overall = 31/167
AG = 6/14

Pace = 4:19/mi
2013 Manitou Sprint Triathlon (Duathlon) Results
Run 1 (2mi) = 15:03 (7:31/mi)
T1 = 1:01
Bike (14mi) = 41:02 (20.9MPH)
T2 = 0:50
Run (3mi) = 23:36 (7:52/mi)
Total = 1:21:30
Overall = 18/76
AG = 5/9

Pace = 4:24/mi

2012 Manitou Sprint Triathlon Results
Swim (880 yards) = 15:26 (1:46/100yds)
T1 = 3:14
Bike (13.5mi) = 38:34 (21MPH)
T2 = 0:54
Run (3.1mi) = 23:37 (7:38/mi)
Total = 1:21:43
Overall = 76/308
AG = 5/27
Pace = 4:47/mi

2010 Manitou Sprint Triathlon Results
Swim (880 yards) = 15:22 (1:45/100yds)
T1 = 2:18
Bike (13.5mi) = 37:49 (21.4MPH)
T2 = 1:34
Run (3.1mi) = 23:40 (7:38/mi)
Total = 1:20:41
Overall = 100/345
AG = 13/38
Pace = 4:43/mi

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