Saturday, July 4, 2009

MinneMan Triathlon Result

It's official. I need to see a shrink. For the second event in a row, I had issues with the swim. I'll come back to this in a bit.

I got up a little after 4 AM to make sure I made the event. The MinneMan tri was held in Oak Grove which is a little over 40-minutes from my home. A 7:30 AM start time was the root cause of getting up earlier than I would otherwise have wanted.

The weather was fine. Temperatures were in low 60's, hardly any wind, and high humidity. The water on Lake George was very calm which made me feel good after my disastrous DNF at Lake Waconia where I didn't even make it through the swim portion.

I liked that the bike racks were divided by your age group. I could scout out the competition. Set-up was fine and I was done with laying out my gear by 7 AM.

Results and comment:

Swim (528 yards)
Goal - 9:40
Result - 12:47

Yeah, three minutes over goal. And I had set a conservative goal. So what happened? Everything was fine at the start. But about 150-yards in I was still fighting for position. I was laboring for no reason at all. I guess you could say I was starting to freak. I swam over to a guard and floated for a bit on a noodle. It took me forever to catch my breath. But I wasn't going to DNF in a second straight event so I took off and found a good rhythm and was able to complete the swim.

I think there could be one possible cause. I have been doing a trial with a DeSoto Liftfoil trisuit. One can wear this suit for all three elements. No wetsuit is necessary.

I like the suit. It moves well. But it is restrictive across the chest. And by that I mean it makes my breathing more shallow, like a taut innertube is stretched across the chest. I feel good in warmups, but as soon as I start a race stroke I find that I'm just gasping which leads to mild anxiety which leads to, well, Get Your Freak On.

For my next event....I have nothing now until August...I'm thinking of just wearing a swim bottom, period. I'll see if it is the Liftfoil after all. I can change into a proper trisuit in T1 without losing too much time.

Or I'll have to pop a Xanax before my next event! I've just not experienced anything like this before. And it plainly cost me today.

Transition One
Goal - 1:15
Result - 2:42

Geeze Louise, but what a loooooooooooooooooooooong transition! Having not done this race before I was purely guessing at a T1 time, but we had to run a long, long way just to get to the transition entry and then once inside....another 40-yards to get to my rack. Holy cow!

Once in, everything went well. Glasses and helmet and run to the exit. My shoes were already clipped in.

Bike (13-miles)
Goal - 36:16 (21.5 MPH)
Result - 35:57 (21.1 MPH)

The bike went fine. I only bonked once and that was short. My mileage had been low as of late so I had no idea what the legs would give me. The wind was not a factor. I just kept picking people off and was not passed once. Considering our group was the third wave out of ten, I was happy.

Brian gets dialed in on the start of the bike segment

I had no issues with the calves or Achilles during the bike. Had I been in better shape, I could have meet the goal easy. The only negative about the bike course was the last three miles was through curving residential streets with two tight turns. So I wasn't able to hold much speed through that area.

Transition Two
Goal - 1:00
Result - 1:56

T2 length wasn't as bad as T1, but the long trek to the rack certainly hurt. Helmet off, run cap on. Small issue with one shoe as the liner slid so it was all balled up. No way I was going to run on that so I took a moment to reinsert the liner. Need to use more baby powder next time. I don't wear least after May!

Run (3-miles)
Goal - 25 minutes (8:20 pace)
Result - 22:39 (7:33 pace)

Yes, the ol' Achilles. How would it hold up. I had run a grand total of 12.76 miles since May 16...all of them this week. To say my run endurance would be suspect would be a colossal understatement.

Brian during the run segment

First impression was that my legs felt surprisingly fresh out of T2. I actually had to will myself to slow down as I knew I did not have the gas for the pace I was setting....old habits of just letting 'er rip were there and I liked it. I came through the first mile at 7:12.

The rest of the run was just spent hanging tough. The Achilles ached just slightly as I neared mile two but it just as quickly loosened up. I finished without having to hobble so that was a great thing mentally for me

Goal - 1 hour, 13 minutes
Result - 1 hour, 17 minutes
Overall: 84th out of 393; 9th out of 25 in the 45-49 AG

AG Rankings by category
Swim - 19th out of 25 (ugh!)
Bike - 8th out of 25
Run - 7th out of 25

Full Results link

Considering I was three minutes over my swim goal I'll take it. I don't like to play, "how would I have finished had I had my A-game?", but take off 3-minutes for my horrible swim, drop another minute had I turned in my usual bike performance, and drop two minutes on the run had Mr. Achilles not happened....and I'm looking at a much more respectable 1 hr 11 min finish getting me into the top forty overall and my usual Top 10% overall finish.

But as Dandy Don Meredith once said:

"If ifs and buts were candy and nuts, we’d all have a merry Christmas”
Best to come was that after finishing, I heard someone calling out my name. It took me a second to recognize the face but I was elated to find my high school cross country and track coach standing there. Russ Schmeichel is a coaching legend in the North Dakota community.

He still holds the Jamestown College indoor track records for the 600 and 800 meter runs. Both were set in 1969. He was NDHSCA Coach of the Year four times (1977-1978, 1988-1989, 1990-1991, and 1991-1992). In 1998, Schmeichel received the Special Achievement Award from the North Dakota Associated Press Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association. It is the association's highest honor. In 24 seasons as head coach, Schmeichel led the Jamestown Blue Jays to 17 state championships. During my high school career, we won back-to-back titles. While other cross country teams would arrive at the meets in a small bus carrying perhaps 10 runners, the Blue Jays would show up in two full-sized buses with over 70 runners.

For more on Coach Schmeichel and his impact on my early days, visit my blog entry here.

Coach Schmeichel, at age 62, is still biking hard. He told me he had ridden over 100-miles the last two days alone. And he was there to see his son Don ride. Don ended up twelfth overall. He participated in the Clydesdale division and won that category by a substantial ten minutes.

I had a good talk with Donnie afterwards as well. He is riding a Wilier bike and so I had to take a look. This is what the frame looks like as I didn't have my camera to take an actual photo.

It is a beautiful frame. Donnie is involved with promoting the bike line, so if you are interested or would like to learn more just let me know and I'll get you contacted. If certainly did not hinder Don at all as he had the day's 10th fastest bike split.

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