Saturday, September 6, 2014

Triathlon #1 of the Season: Lakes Country Triathlon

Late August and I'm blogging about my first triathlon of the season.  This is a first since 2010, and quite frankly, almost makes me depressed.  This race came about simply out of necessity; I wanted to do a triathlon really bad this year, we were going to be in Minnesota, and the timing worked out quite well.  Simple as that.

As you know from reading the blog, I'm vastly undertrained this year.  I've looked at my numbers, and they are nothing if not very sad.  Or maybe they make me very sad.  Regardless, I knew I was in shape enough to get through a sprint tri.  I've done it before and will do it again.

The few days beforehand, I was in Indianapolis attending ground school.  T drove up there with the bikes (bless her) and picked me up, and we made the long trek from Indianapolis to Brainerd/Baxter, MN on Saturday.  For those of you who are unfamiliar with the upper Midwest, the drive consisted of corn, Chicago, farms, and Minnesota (Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, and Minnesota).  We arrived into Baxter very late, checked into our hotel, and collapsed into a sleep.  The race was the next morning.

Sunday morning, we woke up, shook our way out of sleep, and drove to the race.  It was gloomy, humid, drizzling/raining.  In other words, a typical Minnesota morning.  We picked up our packets and tried to stay dry.  The rain was spotty.  We kept our stuff dry in plastic bags and huddled under awnings to stay dry.  I eventually decided to take my bike out for a spin to test out the wet roads and came to the conclusion I'd be fine.  I got into my wetsuit and went to the water to take a pre-race swim.  I noticed the seaweed and smiled, remembering my time swimming in Minnesota lakes when I was a kid.

After that, I got ready to go. I was in wave 1, so the gun called for me.

The Swim
A 400 meter swim was enjoyable, especially with warmer water.  Still, I took my time, kept my breathing under control.  I passed a lot of people in the water, and felt comfortable.  Didn't push it, but could have.
Time: 8:09

T1 was steady, aside from my wetsuit getting caught on my ankle.  Don't know what happened there.  Either way, I was quicker than I thought I'd be.
Time: 1:50

The Bike
I was racing in my backyard essentially.  The scene was what I had grown up with; thick forests, country roads, lakes, cabins.  It was a pleasant ride for the most part, and the rain had stopped.  The road was still wet, but manageable for sure.

The lack of training showed on the bike.  I was struggling and feeling every pedal stroke.  My breath was ragged and felt like it wouldn't come, even with the lack of altitude.  I kept getting passed and just worked to keep steady.  

The final stretch of the ride was on a very bumpy road, and I hopped out of aero to save my shoulders.  The ride was taxing and I worried about the run.
Time: 45:54

Quick, efficient.  I was in my running shoes and off.  No hangups.
Time: 1:57

The Run
This is where I was most worried.  My running has been awful as of late, and I certainly have done no brick training or any tri-related run training this year.  I vowed to just keep steady and do what I could.  

Mile 1 was very slow, which didn't surprise me.  10:40.  I wasn't discouraged though; rather I knew I was conserving some energy.  

Mile 2 I definitely picked it up, but didn't feel like it.  I felt strong.  Like I was getting stronger.  The only downside was the sun was peeking out, which skyrocketed the humidity.  9:20 split on mile 2.  

I knew at this point I could get a sub-10 per mile run, which is always what I'm gunning for.  I steadily picked it up and saw the finish line.  The confusing part was which way you turned.  You were supposed to go left, but no one was there to tell you, so I went right.  Everyone yelled at me, so I went the other way.  Oops.  I crossed the finish line and saw my run time, and smiled.  
Time: 30:53

Wind down
I grabbed a bottle of water and went to wait for T.  She looked good and I ran with her a bit to the finish line.  Saw her cross, and we grabbed some watermelon and cookies.  We quickly packed up our stuff and trekked back to the hotel.  Couldn't play in the water park due to 2/3rds of it shut down, so we packed and headed to the Twin Cities.

Race Thoughts:
It was an okay race.  Definitely showcased my lack of training and fitness.  I also know mentally right now I do not have a strong mental mind this year.  I don't know what the deal is with that, but I need to figure it out.  I want to train, just cannot mentally get myself to properly do it.  I will figure it out, somehow, just right now don't know how to.

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