Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Race #11 of the Season: Lakes Country Triathlon

This race (for me) evolved greatly over the course of the year. First it was the Milk Run at the Minnesota State Fair. Then it was nothing. Then it was the Minneapolis Duathlon. Then it was back to nothing. Finally, it became the Lakes Country Triathlon in Baxter, Minn.

(Label "new stuff" because racing in Minnesota? Is new.)

We mainly signed up for this so Brandon could get a tri under his belt this year. We were going to be in Minnesota anyway, so I decided to randomly look for sprint tris and this came across my radar. Talked it over with him ... and yay, in.

The lead-up to this was kind of awful. Race was Sunday - I spent the vast majority of Thursday, Friday AND Saturday in a car driving across the country:

Day One: Colorado to Missouri
Day Two: Missouri to Indiana
Day Three: Indiana to Minnesota

(Detour in Indiana to pick up husband at ground school.)

I got in a bit of exercise on day two, but that was pretty much it. We also didn't get that much sleep the night before as we rolled into Baxter (little town up near Brainerd) a lot later than we expected we would. Thunder woke me up race morning - it was POURING. In grumbling and getting out of bed, we got an e-mail from the race director saying the race was still on, so we still had to get ready to race.

It rained intermittently pre-race ... which made setting up transition interesting:

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(No trans towel, stuff in bags ...)

Brandon got in a pre-ride to test out the wet roads, but since I'd already raced once in crappy weather this year, I decided I was good. Brandon went back and forth on whether he wanted water on the bike and ultimately decided on it, but I didn't even bother with it.

We did, however, take the fairly obligatory pre-race selfie.

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A bit before race start, we decided to get in the lake for a pre-race swim. I'm glad I did because about ... 45? meters from the shore, there was a giant clump of reeds and random aquatic plant life that clawed at your arms and legs. It was very unnerving. I didn't even look into the water when I hit this stretch. Blargh. Other than that, the water was fairly toasty.

A small pre-race meeting, and then we were pretty much off.

The Swim:

I was looking forward to this swim. Only a quarter-mile? This works out well for the slow swimmers (that is, me). The reedy area sucked going out but not so much on the way back in. The start was a wave start starting on the beach which was new for me. I think I still prefer in-water starts, but this was much better than a time trial start.

As weird as it sounds, I feel like I got beat up more in this little tri than I did at IMAZ. Maybe because it was such a small area or maybe it was because it may have been filled with more newbies, but I didn't get any free space to myself until I passed the final buoy heading to shore.

Which came quickly because the swim was SO AWESOMELY SHORT. Sighting actually wasn't bad, either.

Time: 10:36

T1:

I felt sluggish heading into T1. Up a hill, down to the end of the parking lot, fighting the plastic bags for my crap ... Not one of my better transitions.

Time: 2:03

The Bike:

The bike course was 14 miles on wet pavement. With a somewhat damp seat and a wet ass from the swim. All this dampness made me feel like I was sliding around on my bike seat for a good chunk of the ride.

I pushed the bike a decent amount. Not 100%, but probably more than I should have. I had no problems with the wet roads. It was really weird riding an unfamiliar course though in a place where I have NO sense of direction - I know logically we rode some sort of loop, but it definitely wasn't around the lake (on our right) and I feel like we took no left turns. Disorienting.

In any case, I passed some people, got passed by fewer people and pushed it in to transition.

Time: 45:25

T2:

Better than T1, but not by much. Transitions for this race sucked for some reason.

Time: 1:52

The Run:

Run course was a tad longer than the usual sprint tri for Colorado - 3.2 miles. I got off and ran a bit to start off, but the three days in a car came back to bite me and my legs started protesting fairly early. The rain had also stopped making it insanely humid which I am definitely not used to racing in.

Still, I managed to run when I could and tried to run more than I walked which I think I was overall successful with.

I was in a group of about three when I came on the finishers chute. A girl said something along the lines of, "Hey, let's pick it up to the finish!" She and the guy took off; I held off until I actually hit the chute and then took off on my usual sprint. I almost passed the guy, but I think he got pissed at me and found some extra gear to stay in front of me. I was maybe a second behind him crossing the line. Maybe.

Time: 31:41

Overall Stats:
Time: 1:31:35
97/152 overall
44/82 gender
4/9 age group (F30-34)

We knew we pretty much had no chance of getting a podium spot, so we ditched everything early to get back to our hotel and check out its water park ... which was a giant FAIL because the two really fun, more "adult-like" things we would have wanted to do were closed since some kid decided to crap in one of the slides that morning. 

So checked out, grabbed lunch, and headed to the Twin Cities.

Looking at the official results later, I saw that I was fourth in my AG. I looked to see how close I was to getting on the podium ... Yeah, 10 minute gap between me and third. Dangit.

Still, the time makes it technically my fastest sprint tri ever, but that's skewed due to the shorter swim. It also shows me how much time I lose in the water. I really need to become a better swimmer ...

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