Monday, July 28, 2014

2014 Heart of the Lakes Triathlon Race Report

By a very narrow margin, 42 seconds, I had my fastest time on this course, of my 4 attempts.  I did this race in 2008, my previous fastest, and then 2012-2014.
As always, this is tough race, but, I think, very rewarding.  Also, the race consistently has some of the toughest competition at it.  Always some of the best elites and AG show up.
I did not have my fastest bike or run, but combined with my fastest swim here, and ok transitions, I was able to knock some time off my previous fastest time.
This race can be difficult because of the heat.  The run has almost no shade, and the first half, or more, seems mostly up hill.  The last portion is basically flat, and there is absolutely no shade.  So, if it is sunny, it seems hot, even if it is pleasant outside.
Anyway, this year it the humidity and temp were not that bad.  The swim went good, did not seem particularly fast, and felt ok.  I was not super energetic getting out at the start, it started to feel better about half way through.
I got out on the bike without issue.  The wind was tough on the bike.  The night before I noticed my disc wheel tire was flat, so I just used my 808.  I think it was helpful with the crosswind to not have a disc.  I think it was about mile 14 or 15, not exactly sure, that you turned right into the wind and it was like hitting a wall.  Literally, turned a corner and felt like I was coming to a stop.  The headwind was a killer.  The last bit in was tough.  I was afraid my legs were going to be really toast on the run.
I didn't feel too bad getting off the bike to start the run.  As expected, it felt warm.
Thankfully, they have frequent water stops, with actual cold water, and cold sponges, on this run course.  It is really nice that they have, I think, more than 4 water stops on a 5.3 mile course.  Some recognizes the need for it on this course.  The run was a struggle.  It just felt difficult. 
In the end, I went under 8 minute miles, which was my goal.  The last two races I had not gone under  that and it was a little disappointing.  I am keeping a great average run pace in races this year and I want to keep it up.
This race had a number of people I know at it, so it was nice to chat with people.
This race is very well run, great organization.  Packet pickup in the morning is fast and easy. 
As long as I am racing, I hope I can do this race every year.  Great course and well run, why would you not want to do it?

2014 Heart of the Lakes Triathlon Results
Swim (880yards)  = 14:27 (1:38/100 yds)
T1 = 3:05
Bike (21miles) = 55:18 (22.78MPH, fastest average bike speed, so far, this year)
T2 = 1:32
Run (5.3miles) = 41:46 (7:53/mi)
Total = 1:56:08
Overall = 56/254
AG = 10/27
Pace = 4:20

2013 Heart of the Lakes Triathlon Results
Swim (880yards) - 15:23 (1:44/100yds)
T1 - 3:09
Bike (21miles) - 55:58 (22.5MPH)
T2 - 1:28
Run (5.3miles) - 41:03 (7:45/mi, see my run from '12, this was MUCH better.  Close to '08!)
Total - 1:57:01
Overall - 75/260
AG - 5/12
Pace - 4:22/mi

2012 Heart of the Lakes Triathlon Results
Swim (880yards) - 14:42 (1:40/100yds)
T1 - 3:00
Bike (21miles) - 55:37 (22.7MPH)
T2 - 1:40
Run (5.3miles) - 46:07 (8:42/mi, see my run from '08.  This run was slow.)
Total - 2:01:03
Overall - 102/292
AG - 7/17
Pace - 4:31/mi

2008 Heart of the Lakes Triathlon Results
Swim (880yards) - 16:42 (1:54/100yds)
T1 - 2:57
Bike (21miles) - 54:13 (23.2MPH, fastest average in a triathlon)
T2 - 2:02
Run (5.3miles) - 40:58 (7:44/mi)
Total - 1:56:50
Overall - 151/460
AG - 14/39
Pace - 4:22/mi

Sunday, July 27, 2014

2014 Graniteman Clearlake Triathlon Race Report

A couple of weeks behind......
This was my first time at this race.  Last year, I did two of the Graniteman races, St. Cloud and Big Lake.  I would do all these races again.  They are well run races and they are good sprint course races.  Swim location is good, bike routes are good, and fast, and the runs good.  I would have done St. Cloud and Big Lake this year, except they are on dates that there are other races I wanted to do a little more.  As an aside, the same people now own Buffalo Triathlon, which I did this year, and they did a good job with that race.
I got there in plenty of time and setup.  Realized I forgot my helmet.  First in over a hundred races that has happened.  Luckily, Maple Grove Cycle was there and sold me a nice helmet.  My road helmet is about 8 years old, so I am probably due for a new helmet. 
The weather was warm, humid, and cloudy.  Luckily it was cloudy.  If it would have been sunny, it would have been really miserable.
The swim is straight across a small lake.  A drag race.  You have to walk to the start.  I did not have flip-flops or sandals.  I recommend wearing something for the walk.  The walk is on a trail that is hard\sharp\unpleasant gravel.  At the end of the trail, they have barrels with wave numbers that you can put your footwear in so you can get it back.  Next time I will wear something on my feet.  
I was in the second to last wave, so have to wait a little while to wait and watch the other waves take off and get a decent warm-up. 
Something amazing happened on this swim.  I took off on the right side of the wave, started off kind of aggressively, and found myself out in front.  As I continued to swim, I was still out in front.  When I finished, I thought, correctly, I was first in my age group.  I was. I had the fastest split in my age group.  The guy behind me got out of transition a little faster than me, and never looked back.  He averaged about 24 MPH on the bike and I think his run time was in the low 7 minute per mile. 
There is s run uphill to transition, not a short run.  I got hung up a little in transition getting my wetsuit off.  Out of transition is tricky, it immediately a steep, short, uphill bike out to the road.
The bike is short and fast.  I was passed by the guy in third place within 5 miles on the bike.  He also averaged about 24 MPH.  Never going to catch him.  I felt ok on the bike, I did not expect to be as fast as I was.  That was a pleasant surprise.  I got off the bike thinking I was in third, I was correct.
The run is tough.  It is mostly trail, with a short bit of run on a county road.  The short bit is up a down a short hill and up a decent hill, turnaround, and then back the same way.  The trail is up and down hill, typical trail type running.  It was warm and humid, still cloudy throughout.  I struggle a bit on the run.  Not sure if I struggled because of the bike and swim, or I was just having one of those days on the run.  I was passed by the guy in 4th about halfway though the run.  He was running low 7 minute/high 6 minute mile pace.  I ended up finishing 4th.  I cannot complain.  Aside from the run, which wasn't terrible, I had a race I was very happy with. 
As I have said before, I don't race to place in the top 3.  If it happens, I am very happy, and consider myself very lucky. 
This was a really good race.  I would definitely do it again.

2014 Graniteman Clearwater Race Results
Swim (774 yards) = 11:41 (1:27/100 yds)
T1 = 2:19
Bike (14.3 miles) = 38:20 (22.4 MPH)
T2 = 1:08
Run (3.1 miles) = 24:54 (8:04/mi)
Total = 1:18:20
Overall = 39/250
AG = 4/14
Pace = 4:24/mi

Friday, July 18, 2014

June 2014 Racing and Training Report, Weight Update

Running a bit behind, should have had this out about two weeks ago.  Busy, busy, busy

I did four triathlons, two in one weekend, and two TTs.

It was a good month for races.  I did a difficult Olympic course and had one of my fastest times at that distance.  I PR'd both Minnetonka and Manitou sprint, back-to-back on the same weekend.  I had my best time at Waconia in the last couple of years.  I would call that a good month

Tuesday Night Time trials continues to be a good hard workout.  I have not cracked the 22MPH barrier since the second one of the year.  The more I ride this new course, the more I realize how hard it is compared to the previous course.
TNT 6/3 - 13mi = 35:35 (21.92MPH)
TNT 6/17 - 13mi = 36:10 (21.7MPH)

My total time this June is about the same as previous two Junes, which puts it down a little from Junes before that, except June of 2009.  I have kept my intensity up, especially with the bike and swim, which I think has helped a lot.  3 of the 4 races had very fast runs, for me, and very good swims.  Bike has been good also, even though I am putting in less time than I want to.  I am still averaging 10 hours a month, but I have started to fall off a little.  First three months of the year, way above 10 hours, next two were a little under 10 hours, this month under 8 hours.  I want to pick up July a bit in preparation for AG Nationals.

Weight Update: I hit a new all time low.  Looks like the diet and exercise are working well.
My average weight for November and December of 2007 was 204.7 lbs.  My average weight for 2013 was 194.  On January 3rd of 2014 my weight was 194.5.  My weight on June 30th was 180.5.  My average weight for the year is 185.2 lbs.  Looking good.

All in all it was a fantastic June.  Looking forward to July and August.

Year-to-Year Comparison of June

Totals and Averages Since 2007

Year-to-Date and Since 2007 Totals

Sunday, July 13, 2014

2014 Lake Waconia Triathlon

I am running a little behind on my posting.  Busy, busy, busy...

This is was my second fastest time at Lake Waconia and my fastest of the previous 2 years.  Surprisingly.  It wasn't quite as windy as some years, or as hot as some years, but there was still wind.  A few points on the bike you could really feel it. It was my third fastest bike split on this course.
The swim was pretty calm.  My swim split was the fastest I have had at this race.  I have been having a very strong swim year.  So far, my average swim pace is the fastest of any year.  I think calmer water helped this year. 
The race is under new management and there was a smaller, much smaller field, than previous years.
Even with a smaller field, the competition is still pretty good at this race.  You still get a good mix of elites and age groupers.  In my new age group, I finished 8 out of 13, so there was plenty of fast people over 40 on the course.
With less people, the transition area was arranged differently.  About the same width, not as deep.
Not as hot on the run.  It was still a sunny day, so it was warm, but the humidity was not bad, and it was not hot.  This was my third fastest run time on the course, faster than previous two years.
The new management runs the race just as well as the old.  No issues with sign-up, check-in, etc. 
The is one of the more challenging courses in the area.  If it is windy, the swim can be very choppy.  Without or without wind, the bike is challenging because of the hills.  The run is a mix of steeper hills and longer flat hills.  If it is a sunny hot day, you will feel it because of the lack of shade in many areas.  As long as this race is around, and as long as I am doing triathlons, I think I will continue to do this race because it is a great challenge.

2014 Lake Waconia Results
Swim (880 yards) - 14:32 (1:39/100 yards)
T1 = 2:09
Bike (20 miles) - 55:35 (21.6MPH)
T2 = 1:15
Run (4 miles) - 32:49 (8:13/mi)
Total = 1:46:17
Overall = 51/169
AG = 8/13
Pace = 4:20/mile

2013 Lake Waconia Results
Swim (880 yards) - 16:04 (1:49/100 yards)
T1 = 2:16
Bike (20 miles) - 58:02 (20.7MPH)
T2 = 1:12
Run (4 miles) - 33:13 (8:18/mile)
Total = 1:50:45
Overall = 111/263, same place as 2012.  Strange.....
AG = 12/26
Pace = 4:31/mile

2012 Lake Waconia Results
Swim (880 yards) - 15:07 (1:43/100 yards)
T1 = 1:49
Bike (20 miles) - 57:40 (20.8MPH)
T2 = 1:25
Run (4 miles) - 34:07 (8:32/mile)
Total = 1:50:06
Overall = 111/317
AG = 11/29, 6 minutes slower than 2011, same place in AG
Pace = 4:30/mile

2011 Lake Waconia Results
Swim (880 yards) - 15:11 (1:44/100 yards)
T1 = 2:15
Bike (20 miles) - 54:02 (22.2MPH, fastest bike split at Waconia)
T2 = 1:07
Run (4 miles) - 31:35 (7:54/mile, fastest run split at Waconia)
Total = 1:44:09
Overall = 90/315
AG = 11/26
Pace = 4:15/mile

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

In 2009, Jackie and I volunteered on the bike course with my leg in a cast due to my stress fracture.

2008 Lake Waconia Results
Swim (880 yards, windy and choppy, miserable swim, ick) - 24:33 (2:48/100 yards)
T1 = 2:34
Bike (24 miles, bike lengthened due to construction) - 1:07:57 (21.2MPH)
T2 = 1:35
Run (4 miles) - 32:09 (8:03/mile)
Total = 2:08:45
Overall = 188/431
AG = 22/38
Pace = 4:31/mile