Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Twin Cities Triathlon - History in the Making

Since I was injured at the beginning of the season I wasn't able to race in two of Optum Health's stellar races - Manitou and Minneman.
I was very excited about Twin Cities Triathlon because not only was the race venue gorgeous, the course challenging, but because a number of my athletes were also competing.
The swim was in the Mississippi and even with having my fastest swim due to the current, it was the fastest swim ever for others too! I came out of the water more than 2 minutes behind the other elite women. I knew the bike was going to be challenging and hilly so I was looking forward to it. Since I have had bad luck on the bike this season (chain dropping on the past two races) I wanted to see how hard I could bike. I pushed myself and had a great bike split, finally working my way into second place. I knew I had to put some time on Becky on the bike because she is a stellar runner but I didn't catch her until about mile 20. I figured I had about 1 minute on her going into the run.
I had no idea how hard the run course was going to be. My legs just were not feeling it. I saw the lead men on their way back from the turnaround point and I was saying good job to all of them. If I am able to speak - that means I'm not running hard enough! Becky caught me close to mile 3 and she was movin! I ended up 3rd female overall and happy with my bike splits but not my run at all. I also learned that I got a penalty for placement of equipment. I was so confused about this but lots of other people received the same penalty. Not sure what I did - I am wondering if I racked my bike in the wrong spot. I wish they would tell you so you know what you need to correct.

There was a first place finisher in our family though. My father in law came from Iowa to race the sprint course and he got first in his age group - so proud of him! Here is a picture of him and Owen finishing the race together!

I can't wait to see how many people sign up next year - it is definintely a must do race. I am taking the next couple of weeks to prepare for Pigman Long Course. Derek is gone this weekend so I am a single mom - we will see how much training I can get done :)

Sunday, July 17, 2011

HOLT Race Report: Bad Voodoo continues

I love this race and was looking forward to it all week long. I knew the weather was going to be warm but I thrive in the warm weather. I would much rather it be 90 degrees than 75. I also knew this was going to be good training for Pigman Long Course in August which is known to be steamy.
My swim is still not where it needs to be - especially since I didn't swim for six weeks and then I fell down the stairs a couple of weeks ago and I might have a slight crack in my rib or a rib out of place. Swimming hurts as well as taking in deep breaths. I was hoping that with the rain the lake would cool down....it did but not enough, so no wetsuits. So again I struggled in the open water and had to do some catching up on the bike. The bike was going great until I got my chain caught again earth rear derailer. This happened last week at Lifetime and again I had to get off my bike to put the chain back on. It was pretty scary going 24 mph when your wheel is jammed and also sucky when you loose time because of it. I am really frustrated because this has happened the last two races so I have no idea of where my biking fitness is at. I came off the bike in 5th and knew I had some work to do on the run. It was really hot at this time and some people were walking on the course. It was hard to run by them because you kind of say to yourself "if their walking....I can walk too!" I wasn't sure how fast I was running because my watch wasn't working and I like to know my splits. At every water stop I considered taking my gel but the thought of warm gel in my mouth did not sound appealing.
At that point you play mind games with yourself...if only I didn't drop my chain...if only I took my gel....should I take my gel?

I finally caught Suzie with about a mile left and just wanted the race to be over with. So much that I thought the end of the race was about 20 yards short of the finish line!

I ended up third female overall so it's a long road to recovery but it's coming :)

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Lifetime Fitness Race Report - Can't a girl catch a break!

5 days ago running with a cast on

Photo courtesy of Paul Phillips (Competitive Image)

Yesterday crossing the finish line at Lifetime Fitness

(much better!)

Photo courtsey of Kerry Yndestad (Yndecam)

When I went to get my cast off on July 5th. There were two questions I asked my doctor:

1. Can I swim today?

2. Can I swim in the open water and race a triathlon in 4 days?

The answer was a resounding, Yes! I was super excited to race Lifetime because I love the atmosphere and it's so fun to see the professional triathletes on the course at the same time! With no swimming for six weeks I knew the swim was going to be brutal, but I talked with Coach Dan beforehand and went into the race just to have fun and push myself.

I knew the water was going to warm at Lake Nokomis, but I was crossing my fingers it would be wetsuit legal, unfortunately that wasn't the case. The temp was somewhere around 81 degrees! I forgot how brutal the swim start is - I tried hanging on to people's feet with no success. I found myself out in the open water pretty much by myself. My sighting was good ...probably because I was going so slow! I came out of the water 28 mins and 30 secs later. That is a lot of time to make up on people when they get out 7-8 mins before you!

The bike was going great until I went over a pothole and I dropped my chain - I was going about 23 mph when that happened, so there went all my momentum. I was able to stop, jump off and put it back on. I have no idea how much time I lost, but it had to be around 3-4 mins.

I was looking forward to the run because the course is pretty flat and there are always great crowds cheering you on. During my warmup I ran what I thought was part of the run course - needless to say that wasn't part of the course. I took the same route during the race and realized I was off track after about 30 seconds. I turned around and someone I had passed about a minute ago was heading in a different direction. I was so mad at myself because that cost me another minute. In a race this competitive you can't make mistakes and I was just ready to have the race over with.

I finished strong with a little kick at the end to catch a woman in front of me. Derek and the boys were there to cheer me on and cheer me up afterwards. Even though I had my issues, it was so fun to be back to racing and seeing all of the friends and other triathletes I have come to know and love. We really have a great community of athletes here, but also just really amazing and wonderful people as well. Up next is Heart of the Lakes where I am sure it will be non wetsuit as well. I am going to be swimming everyday this week!!!