Sunday, August 30, 2009

Minneapolis Duathlon Recap

Sunday (8/30) was the inaugural Minneapolis Duathlon. Touted as an urban race, it took participants through the heart of Minneapolis.

The race was a 5K run, 18 mile bike and 5K run. The running portions took us from downtown Minneapolis, across the Mississippi River, onto Nicollet Island, and back to downtown. The bike traveled down West River Parkway and back. West River Parkway was completely shut down for the race. Also including a time-trial event, a 5k event and duathlon relay this first time event drew 1200 people. 813 people completed the duathlon.

My goals heading into the MPLS Duathlon, and results. I'm again pleased. This makes three very good results in a row and ends a very productive August. See Waseca Triathlon Recap and Detroit Lakes Triathlon Recap blog entries.

My targets were:

First Run (5K)
Gear: Nike Luna Racers
Target - 20:55 (6:45/mi)
Official Result - 20:15 (6:31/mile)
Overall Place - 42nd (813 total)
Age Group Place - 2nd (44 total)

Notes - Went out too fast, but then I always do. Hey, I just felt good. And I was wearing the Garmin 405 for the first time in an event. The pace was reading under 6-min pace initially so I reeled that back in a bit. There were three fairly substantial hills. I keep forgetting that overpasses can be a bit steep at time. The hill at Mile 2 was the worst, short but steep. I kept the run in control and came into T1 with every bad muscle still in game mode. Not bad for very limited running this month due to the continuing Achilles issue.

Target - 2:00
Official Result - 1:41

Notes - Whoa! Looooooonnnnnggg transition. But what would you expect with 1200 people? I easily had 125-yards from the timing mat to my bike. Everything went smooth.

Bike (18.11 miles)
Gear: Cervélo P3/ZIPP 404 front-rear disc by Gear West. Retul bike fit by Curt Wood (Gear West). Giro Filter sunglasses with ZEISS certified lenses. Giro Advantage 2 aero helmet.
Target - 49:23 (22 MPH)
Official Result - 49:09 (22.0 MPH)
Overall Place - 26th (813 total)
Age Group Place - 1st (44 total)

Notes - Just a nice rolling course. One major hill on the return. But other than that, I really didn't have any hill issues. A very slight tail-wind (4-5 MPH) at our backs for the out-and-bike bike course. As I approached the turn-around, the left hammy that has been giving me some issues the past two weeks was starting to be crabby. Then the left flexor. So I was doing some standing which helped.

Target - 2:00
Official Result - 2:29

Notes - We had to dismount on one side of the road, cross the road, run another 15-yards to the timing mat...then the loooooonng journey back to the bike rack. And my calves were not the least bit happy. I was getting worried that they would cramp up as I started to get on the Luna's. But they hung tough.

Second Run (5K)
Gear: Nike Luna Racers
Target - 21:26 (6:55/mi)
Official Result - 21:42 (6:59/mile)
Overall Place - 58th (813 total)
Age Group Place - 2nd (44 total)

Notes - This hurt. The first half-mile was spent just getting the legs from reaching full cramp crisis. But I was then able to get into a nice steady rhythm. I was running well 6:40 pace to start with but I could not hold it. So I just relaxed and tried to enjoy the race. That aforementioned climb at Mile 2 sucked some life out of me. After that, it was just keeping a steady, relaxed pace.

Target - 1:35.45
Official Result - 1:35.14
Overall Place - 35th (813 total)
Age Group Place (45-49) - 1st (44 total)

Summary - A wonderful event. I'm not sure how John Larson pulled it off. I mean, for a first year event I had my concerns. In fact, here is my direct quote from a blog entry earlier this week:

I envision 1000 'rookie' duathletes all fighting for road space. I don't see this any more than rush-hour traffic. It may be ugly. So, I'm treating not as a 'race' but as an 'event'. We'll see.

Truth is, the bike traffic wasn't that bad. Oh sure, there were moments. Like when I was screaming down a large hill nearing 40-MPH and I came up behind three ladies riding three abreast and seemed to be having a Sunday chat. A rather loud, 'LEFT-LEFT-LEFT' seemed to awake them from their combined stupor and hopefully encouraged them to stay to the right, and in single file.

The course was challenging, the weather perfect, and the awards.....well, they were awesome. Next year, John hopes to have 2000 people compete. I think he has 1200 people guaranteed to return, so he'll be off on a strong start to making the MPLS Du the largest duathlon event in the world.

The Results

Next Possible Event (yet to be decided upon) - I am considering going on a 515 mile road trip (one way) from MPLS to Dickinson, ND. That's only a stone throw from the NDak-Montana border. All for getting in one last triathlon this year. The West River Triathlon takes place on Saturday, September 12, 2009. I gauge my probability at entering somewhere around 30%.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Minneapolis Duathon Preview

Sunday (8/30) is the inaugural Minneapolis Duathlon. Touted as an urban race, it will take participanta through the heart of Minneapolis.

The race is a 5K run, 18 mile bike and 5K run. The running portions take us from downtown Minneapolis, across the Mississippi River, onto Nicollet Island, and back to downtown. The bike travels down West River Parkway and back. West River Parkway will be completely shut down for the race.

The weather looks to be great, but seeing then...what is that....temps in the upper 40's at the start!?!? I haven't seen morning temps in the 40's since April! Bah! At least the winds look light.

Wave Information and Times: Great, I'm in Wave 10, 45-minutes after the start of the event. I will hope to use those 45-minutes wisely (port-a-pottie).

#1 - 8:00 - Elite, Open 5K, and Relay - #1 - 199
#2 - 8:05 - Duathlon Male age 14 - 29 - # 200 - 299
#3 - 8:10 - Duathlon Female age 14 - 28 - #300 - 399
#4 - 8:15 - Duathlon Male age 30 - 35 - #400 - 499
#5 - 8:20 - Duathlon Female age 29 - 33 - #500 - 599
#6 - 8:25 - Duathlon Male age 36 - 39 - #600 - 699
#7 - 8:30 - Duathlon Female age 34 - 38 - #700 - 799
#8 - 8:35 - Duathlon Male age 40 - 45 - #800 - 899
#9 - 8:40 - Duathlon Female age 39 - 44 - #900 - 999
#10 - 8:45 - Duathlon Male age 46 - 67 - #1000 - 1099
#11 - 8:50 - Duathlon Female age 44 - 69 - #1100 - 1199


5K Run - 20:55 (6:45/mi pace)
Transition 1 - 2:00 mins
18.11 mi bike - 49:23 (22.0 MPH average)
Transition 2 - 2:00 mins
5K Run - 21:26 (6:55/mi pace)
Total Time - 01:35:45

Click here if you want to learn how I calculated this automatically.

If you do get to the race to watch, look for bib number 1055. I'll be wearing my racing orange. And also cheer on my freshman college roomie, Bill Poganski wearing bib 1072.

I'll also be looking to greet Nick Gervino (wearing bib 1028). Nick won the North Dakota Boy's Class A XC title in high school in 1978 (our senior year) for rival Valley City while the mighty Blue Jays of Jamestown (my school) took the team state title for the second straight year. I'm sure Nick can still kick my ass.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

The Dead Zone

Yes, it has a been a while since my last post. Multiple reasons apply. Work, 'nuf said. Also the two big events of the season...those which had two big red circles around them, the Waseca Triathlon and the Detroit Lakes Triathlon are over. Happily, I peaked perfectly for those two events. No small feat for a self-coached aging triathlete also doubling as father and husband.

So, I'm in PPD. PPD = Post Peak Depression. Symptoms include legs which have no snap and little energy, little personal motivation, and no desire for yet another 2 1/2 hour bike ride.

Hell, we all go through it at some point. It feels like you are running in quicksand. Everything aches and you just want to rest. So, rest is what I did after the D.L. tri in which I did no workouts for three days. And I didn't feel one bit g-u-i-l-t-y. That's when you know you have a bad case of PPD.

Still, I show signs of getting out of it for a fall calendar of events. Such as:

1 - Team Ortho's MINNEAPOLIS DUATHLON is a new event to the Twin Cities and happens this coming Sunday (8/30). I signed up for this way back in January. Now then, I am not treating this as a race. Here is why: It is already the U.S.'s largest duathlon. That's right, a first year event with over 1200 people. People were encouraged to participate whether they are riding a Road/Tri, Mountain, Cross, or Single Speed bike. Nothing wrong with that. But I envision 1000 'rookie' duathletes all fighting for road space. I don't see this any more than rush-hour traffic. It may be ugly. So, I'm treating not as a 'race' but as an 'event'. We'll see.

2 - I am considering going on a 515 mile road trip (one way) from MPLS to Dickinson, ND. That's only a stone throw from the NDak-Montana border. All for getting in one last triathlon this year. The West River Triathlon takes place on Saturday, September 12, 2009. I gauge my probability at entering somewhere around 30%.

3 - The Plymouth Fire Department 5K on Saturday, Sept. 26. If my Achilles is fine and if my hammy is fine (all of a sudden my left ham is all crabby) and if the weather is fine I may crawl out of bed and drive four minutes...literally...and jump in this one. Fine cause. I took 5th overall in 2008 with a time of 19:38. Note to self - remember the Well Kept Wife works for the city and would again like me to represent the family.

4 - The Osceola Duathlon on Sunday, October 11. I did the inaugural event back in 2007. I skipped it last year due to other commitments. But I'd like to try my hand at it again. Very unique distance of 3 mile run, 22 mile bike, then an all out 1 mile run. Vikes are playing at St. Louis that I'm not missing a home game!

5 - The Minneapolis 5K-9, with my youngest dog! Bad thing about whippets....they are good for about 300-yds and then its 'I just want to walk and look at squirrels' time. No matter. This may be a fun way to kick off Saturday, October 31,2009

6 - OK, how's this for a real wild hair? Hit the road on Wednesday, November 11. Drive to Ft. Worth Texas and participate in the 2nd Annual Bronda's Run/Bike Du. 2 mile run-15 mile bike-2 mile run. Whoop-de-friggin-do, right? Why drive to Texas for a sprint du? One, I used to live, train, and race in Texas from 1987-89. Two, and this is the real cool part, the run is held inside the Texas Motor Speedway. The bike occurs on a closed course around the speedway, then finishing the second run inside the speedway again. How cool is that? Don't believe me? Here's the run course:

Now, if I were to actually do all of these remaining events....likelihood the same as me winning the Power Ball....that would give me a total of seventeen events in 2009. At least one event in every month save for December.

Then I deserve a rest. So I can start planning for 2010. And I can tell you right now it will not be seventeen events.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Detroit Lakes Recap

Here we go with the Young Life Detroit Lakes triathlon recap held August 15, 2009. A muggy day with overcast skies and threatening storms on the horizon greeted me as I drove to the city beach.

This event had two distances: a Oly and a sprint. There was a single Oly male wave that led off the morning at 8 AM followed 3 minutes later by a single Oly female wave. Twenty minutes after that the sprint started with males 39 and under followed (in 3-min increments) by males 40 and over (and who would dominate) and then two waves of females.

When you watch the video, be sure and pay attention during the first part which is showing swimmers warm up. Important for two reasons. You see a solitary figure standing in waist deep water about 75-100 yds from shore. Waist deep! That is yours truly. During warm up I was walking through muck and sinking to mid-shin. Then the first 20-yds of swimming was total blackout before the bottom sediment cleared and you could actually see bottom. So I'm swimming out during warm ups and couldn't believe how shallow the water was.

Second, notice the first big buoy. THAT was the sprint turn-around! We were all, 'are you sure!?!?' when the race director indicated the sprint waves would turn around at the first buoy. We thought for sure it would be the second. So, needless to say...the advertised 1/3 mile swim was not 1/3 mile. Maybe 400-yds.

My goals heading into the D.L. tri, and results. I'm again pleased.

My targets were:

Swim (0.33 miles)
Gear: Tyr Solid Lycra® Square Leg; Tyr Nest Pro googles (yellow lens)
Target - 10:38
Unofficial Result (my watch) - 7:19
Official Result - 7:18
Overall Place - 32nd(215 total)
Age Group Place - 4th (27 total)

Notes - So, the swim was short as already noted. Works for me! I felt very comfy the whole way, using a swimmer to keep pace on the way out. Then dropping that swimmer at the turn and drafting off two swimmers on the way in. Bad thing about out and back courses....we strayed off the line a bit on the return and strayed head-on into the last female wave....oops!

Target - 1:30
Unofficial Result (my watch) - 1:18
Official Result - 1:20

Notes - The transition was a long one from the beach but it went smooth. I elected to put the bike shoes on in T1 as opposed to having them already clipped in. I did this as there were three tight turns within 2-blocks of leaving T1 and I didn't want to be messing with getting my feet in.

Bike (12-miles/12.52 by my bike)
Gear: Cervélo P3/ZIPP 404 front-rear disc by Gear West. Retul bike fit by Curt Wood (Gear West). Giro Filter sunglasses with ZEISS certified lenses. Giro Advantage 2 aero helmet.
Target - 32:43 (22 MPH)
Unofficial Result (my watch) - 32:25(22.8 MPH)
Official Result - 32:34 (22.7 MPH, yes!!!!)
Overall Place - 5th (215 total)
Age Group Place - 3rd (27 total)

Notes - Nice course, again advertised as 12-miles but everyone I spoke to had it between 12.4 and 12.5 miles. Only one hill to speak of. Wind in our faces for first third or so. I was pressing hard to get the speed up and when we finally turned so the wind was cross or at our backs I was simply gone. I picked off so many younger riders it was almost comical. Only got passed by the eventual 3rd place finisher. My best bike in the last two years, period. If anything negative it was that I got caught up in the moment of pressing for 23 MPH average..which I reached about a mile from T2. But paid the price as my left calf was a little wicky-wacky for the first mile of the run. But this alone made my day.

Target - 1:20
Unofficial Result (my watch) - 1:18
Official Result - 0:54

Notes - Since I red-lined on the bike, I was careful to take my time here. As the video shows I took one last swig of Hammer Perpetuem. Walked a few steps with my race belt but by the time I passed my bride taking the video...I was in full swing.

Run (3 mi)
Gear: Nike Luna Racers
Target - 20:15 (6:45/mi)
Unofficial Result (my watch) - 20:27 (6:49/mile)
Official Result - 20:27 (6:49/mile)
Overall Place - 8th (215 total)
Age Group Place - 2nd (27 total)

Notes - While the run was not as strong as two weeks ago at Waseca, I'm still happy with it. The Achilles had been barking at me all week again. And after hammering on the bike, the left calf was on the cusp of a full blown cramp crisis. So I tried to work it out in the first mile, which I ran at a comfy 6:40. This was an out-and-back so I was able to see everyone. I knew there were two 40-49 AGers ahead of me and I tried valiantly to catch one. But being honest, the mugginess was starting to get to me and the last mile was simply a survival journey. On the video, as I come into the finishing chute note that a young lad in a green shirt is sprinting along with me. That would be the Boy® who seemed pleased with his old man's finish.

Target - 1:06.27
Unofficial Result (my watch) - 1:02.36
Official Result - 1:02.31
Overall Place - 5th (215 total)
Age Group Place - 3rd (27 total)

Notes - A nice event. I believe I would do this one again as we can tie in family visits. The Lodge on Lake Detroit turned out to be a swanky place to stay complete with spa that the WKW (Well Kept Wife) could enjoy. The race day staff and volunteers were eager and helpful. And when you review the Sprint results, just be sure and note that the Top 5 Overall went to those males over in the 40 and over category. That had all five of us talking afterwards!

The Video -

Sprint Results
Oly Results

Friday, August 14, 2009

Detroit LakesTriathlon Sneak Peak Video

And it looks like the bike course is a bit over 12-miles. By the car's odometer I read 12.4 miles. We'll see what the bike says Saturday.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Detroit Lakes Triathlon Preview

This coming Saturday (8/15) finds me, the Boy®, and the WKW (Well Kept Wife) in the comfy confines of Detroit Lakes. Comfy because these are the stomping grounds of my summer vacations as a youth when my folks would pack up my sister and I and we'd head east from Jamestown, NoDak and visit the wide selection of lakes around the D.L. area. And also because this time around, instead of a campground we are staying at the ultra deluxe uber spa known as The Lodge.

This event will be a 1/3 mile swim, a 10 mile bike** and a 3 mile run. And I have had this one circled on my calendar for some time now. I trained to peak for this event as I should have quite an entourage watching. My parents & my sister and brother-in-law should be in attendance.

**Note - point of contention here as last years results stated 10-mile bike while web site now reads 12-mile bike. I guess we'll find out.

Here is a view of the course from Google Earth, which is cool as I could zoom in and get a good look at the topography.

The Swim

Out and back. Hopefully it is counter clockwise..not that it matters much. I prefer counter clockwise as I breathe only to the right.

The Bike

I expect the course to be fairly flat. It's around a lake. How many hills can there be?

The Run

Out and back. Just the way I like it so I can count how many people I have to mow down. And since this event has ten year age groupings, my goal of making the podium in the 40-49 age group may take more effort. As with any event that I am doing for the first time it is hard to set goals but here we go anyway. My targets will be:

Swim (1/3 miles) - 10:38
T1 - 1:30
Bike (10 mi) - 27:16 (22 MPH)
T2 - 1:20
Run (3 mi) - 19:30 (6:30/mi)
Total - 1:00.15

And if the bike turns out to be 12-miles instead of 10-miles:

Swim (1/3 miles) - 10:38
T1 - 1:30
Bike (12 mi) - 32:43 (22 MPH)
T2 - 1:20
Run (3 mi) - 20:15 (6:45/mi; longer bike slower run pace)
Total - 1:06.27

Too early to tell about the weather but it looks to have good temps with a chance for some thundery mix before dawn. Breezy, of course!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Drink This, Not That

Last week I had a note from the Boy® and the WKW (Well Kept Wife). I was told I had to blog about a book they had been reading. I had seen the book strewn around the house here and there but paid it no attention until said note.

The book is by David Zinczenko and is touted as a 'supermarket survival guide'. It has the Boy® now telling me what I can and can't eat & drink. One of those pleasant experiences the first time around which ends up being like going to the dentist for a root canal. This is because as with most 9-yo boys, they don't know when something is too much of a good thing.

The book is 'Eat This, Not That' offering discerning shoppers everywhere a simple plan for finding the healthiest foods for them and their families. Beyond homing in on the best and worst in the world of packaged foods, the Eat This, Not That! Supermarket Survival Guide scours the aisles to help you pick the most nutrient-packed foods, snack, and drinks available.

I have to admit, the book is like a Nutrition for Dummies read. It is entirely about food at supermarkets, every item on every page is something readily accessible to you. And since every item is captioned with its relevant nutritional information, it's like having the "Nutrition Facts" panel of every major item at your grocery store right there with you, in a little book that is so well designed and organized it is remarkably easy to use.

For example, during the summer I love to drink lemonade. But do you know the worst lemonade in terms of sugar content? Something I bet you have all had. Minute Maid Lemonade (20-oz bottle) which has 250 calories and 67-grams of sugar. That is the sugar equivalent of five Good Humor Vanilla Ice Cream sandwiches. Your punishment to work that off, per the book, would be sixty minutes of vigorous housecleaning.

Instead, opt for Crystal Light Pink Lemonade Hydration (16-oz bottle) which has 10 calories and 0 grams of sugar.

How about another example? In the past I have loved to drink Arizona brand drinks. Just live 'em. Why, I wonder? For example, the Arizona Kiwi Strawberry (23.5 oz can) has 360 calories and 84 grams of sugar! That is the sugar equivalent of seven..count ' bowls of Froot Loops! Your punishment would be thirteen laps around the high school track.

Instead I should be selecting Fuze Slenderize Strawberry Melon (18.5 oz bottle) with just 23 calories and 0 grams of sugar.

The book is full of categories dedicated to snacks, frozen foods, protein bars...and on and on. Each page uses colorful pictures and short informative descriptions. Simple and informative such as this actual page example shows:

So, I was really enjoying this book and then I got to page 278-279. Beer. Uh-oh! How would my brands rate?

The beers that made the cut (bolded indicate beers in my fridge) were:

- Rolling Rock Extra Pale Ale
- Carta Blanca
- Guinness Draught (huge sigh of relief!)
- Beck's
- Michelob Ultra
- Amstel Light
- Beck's Premier Light
- Budweiser
- Leinenkugel's Honey Weiss
- Sapporo

The beers that made the bad list (bolded indicate beers in my fridge) were:

- Blue Moon (my Belgian beer tastes are not to be tampered with!)
- Michelob Honey Lager
- Budweiser American Ale
- Bud Light
- Yuengling Lager
- Sam Adams Light
- George Killian's Irish Red
- Guinness Extra Stout
- Corona Extra
- Heineken

I may come back to this book from time-to-time and speak to other categories. Frozen pizza's come to mind! Enjoy, and happy food shopping!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Sunday Recap

Sunday dawned..which was important because The Storm had moved through Saturday night. A couple of tornado's reported but no damage to our neighborhood. Some weren't so lucky. Incredible how just a few miles can make all the difference in a major storm.

In fact, Sunday evening I took the TT bike out to Long Lake, which sustained most of the storm damage. First, Gear West is still standing. There is a substantial amount of tree damage and debris laying around the city. Second, I set a new PR on this particular course averaging 22.4 MPH over 13.56 miles per the Garmin 405. You can see the results here.

I'm pretty thrilled about that as I did forty miles on the bike the day before and also had a 5-mile run the morning of. A very nice, solid week of training.

I am now in taper mode for the Detroit Lakes triathlon on Saturday (8/15). This will be my first time at this event. I should have a preview up later this week.

August Totals to Date
Work Out Hours - 10 hrs 45 mins
Bike Miles - 138.4
Swim Yards - 4,600
Run Miles - 11.45 (Achilles needed another break post the triathlon on 8/2)

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Visiting the Velodrome

This past Thursday I did something I should have done years ago. In fact, the whole time I was at this event I was kicking myself for having lived in the Twin Cities for 19-years and waiting so long to attend.

I headed to Blaine to the National Sports Center outdoor Velodrome. Let me tell you, as a cycling fan this is awesome. The NSC Velodrome was designed and built in 1990 by Ralph Schurmann of Munster, Germany. The track is made from Afzelia wood to create a fast 250 meter oval track with...get this...43-degree banking in the turns.

Why go? First, admission is free. There is bleacher seating. There's a concession stand. And there's lots of action on the track. But first you need to understand all those lines on the ice hockey! All velodromes have lines painted on the track’s surface.

» The “cote d’azur” or band of blue, marks the tracks inside boundary. Racers may not ride on or below this wide band, except for emergencies or during the slow tactical maneuvering during match sprint competition.
» The black “measurement line”, as the name implies, is used to measure the distance around the track.
» The thin red line around the track is the “sprinters line” and it defines the sprint lane between the red line and the blue band. A leading rider in this lane is said to “own the lane” and may only be passed by a rider going over on the right.
» The uppermost thin blue line is the “stayer’s line” or relief line. It marks the boundary between faster and slower traffic, with the faster riders below the line while the slower “relief” riders are above this line during Madison races.

The types of races I saw were -

Scratch Race
The most fundamental race in the velodrome. All riders start at the same place (on scratch). The rider that crosses the finish line first on the final lap wins. Scratch races vary in length from 8 laps and up, and are typically the first event of the evening.

Points Race
The points race may seem confusing at first glance, but it can be one of the most fun events to watch. Essentially, riders cover distances of 10-40 km, and the rider who accumulates the most points, wins the race. Points are awarded during sprints every 8-10 laps. The first four finishers in these sprints are awarded 5,3,2 and 1 points respectively. If a rider laps the field, he or she is awarded 20 points. Any rider that loses a lap on the field has 20 points deducted from his/ her total.

This is a points race in which the sprint points progress upward as the race progresses. Often the sprints are each lap and the points awarded correspond to the number shown on the lap cards. The lap cards start at 1 on the first lap and continue to count up as the laps increase.

Miss and Out Race
The Miss and Out or “Devil take the hindmost” is an elimination race in which the last rider across the finish line every other lap is withdrawn from the race. The tension builds lap after lap as the riders fight for position at the back of the pack. One by one the field is whittled down to the final three riders who then sprint for first second and third place.

One of the most exciting races to watch on the track, the Madison (so named because it originated in Madison Square Garden) is a race consisting of two-rider teams. The riders are required to switch off during the race by means of an exchange. While one member of the team races his partner slowly circles the track above the blue relief line. When they meet, the racer passes his momentum to his partner via a push or “hand sling” before moving up to the relief line to recover for his next effort. Races may be run over a specified number of laps or over a period time. Often, sprints for points are offered as a means of enlivening the action.

Here is a sampling of photos from last nights 'Thursday Night Lights' held on August 6. To see a slide show of all the photos, go here. Note - click on thumbnail for larger view.

And of course, I took the FlipShare so you could see a video sampling as well. The roller-derby Madison race appears in the last few minutes.

I had a chance to meet with a person I know, Don Schmeichel, in between his events. Don stated that in thier first event of the night they had been flying along at 35 MPH. When you look at the video, it just looks so effortless does it not! But when I was standing at trackside....those boys were flying.

I plan to catch a few more sessions before the season ends on September 10. And who knows? Maybe next year, I'll be racing Cat 5 out there myself!

Friday, August 7, 2009

Waseca Photos

Lifetime Photos was at the Waseca Triathlon this past Sunday to snap photos of all the participants. I was able to pull mine off their site. Waterstamp, but that's OK. They did a great job.

Click on the thumbnail for larger view. Click here for Waseca Race Recap.

That's my baby! Notice the bottle of Coke in the cage!!

The swim wave before mine starts. You can see me right of center in the blue trunks.

Exiting the swim.

Leaving T2 on the bike. Not into my shoes yet!

On the run.

The finish. I'm hitting my stop button the watch.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

The Boy® at His First Swim Meet

The Boy® and I went to swim team practice on Wednesday night as we have been doing all summer. Actually, we go every Monday and Wednesday. The Boy® has a 90-minute practice with the Lifetime Swim Team in one half of the pool. I do my practice on the other side.

Only this Wednesday, we arrived to find quite a crowd. Seems that a late decision had been made to hold a swim meet with one of the other clubs. No one had any time to be notified, so we were walking into racing conditions. The Boy® was just a tad caught off guard and understandably nervous as his coach assigned him to compete in the 50-yd free and the 50-yd backstroke.

The Boy® was also nervous about using the blocks as the team has only been practicing starts very recently. But he did just fine. We're awaiting the official results but unofficially The Boy® dropped another 3-seconds off his 50-yd free time. That's on top of the 11-seconds he had already improved on since he has started swim team practice.

The backstroke needs a little work. But I will say this: One, you'd never catch me diving off the blocks and two, I've never been able to execute a proper flip turn. So, he's two up on me already!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Bored, So.....

...I customized my Twitter page. I think it is pretty cool. You decide.

To customize your own Twitter home page:

- Click on settings
- Click on the design tab
- Select 'change background image'. Select a file from your computer. Note - Images must be smaller than 800k. GIF, JPG, PNG.
- Recommend to check the 'tile background' box
- save changes

You might have to play with the image size a bit to get it to look right. Have fun!

Monday, August 3, 2009

Waseca Recap

First, my thanks to Mario Minelli for his taper plan. Worked like a charm. Legs felt dead earlier in the week but were in great shape when it came to race-day. I have full confidence heading into Detroit Lakes on 8/15!

Time for the Waseca Triathlon recap. Drop dead gorgeous day with light winds, fast course, and nice venue. OK, the lake IS a little green and you can't see your hand in front of you. That's my only rip.

My goals heading into the Waseca tri, and results. I'm pretty pleased.

My targets were:

Swim (0.26 miles)
Gear: Tyr Solid Lycra® Square Leg; Tyr Nest Pro googles (clear)
Target - 8:23
Unofficial Result (my watch) - 9:10
Official Result - 9:21
Overall Place - 23rd (134 total)
Age Group Place - 2nd (6 total)

Notes - Yes, it was the tri-suit. Recall that I had been experiencing breathing issues leading to full-blown panic attacks in my last two events during the swim. I suspected it might have to do with the tri-suit I had been wearing. Let's just say wearing a girdle across your chest does not help a person's swim. Today, I raced in a swim brief. I was fine. I felt great, comfy, and in control. My time was off my goal, but it is rather hard to judge these open water distances. Heck, after the disastrous swims of the last two events I was content with this swim.

Target - 1:30
Unofficial Result (my watch) - 2:14
Official Result - 1:57

Notes - As anticipated and spoken about in my pre-race video, the run from the beach to the bike corral was pretty damn long. Add to this putting on my tri-suit (my lucky orange!) and I'm also content with this result.

Bike (13.82 mi)
Gear: Cervélo P3/ZIPP 404 front-rear disc by Gear West. Retul bike fit by Curt Wood (Gear West). Giro Filter sunglasses with ZEISS certified lenses. Giro Advantage 2 aero helmet.
Target - 38:34 (21.5 MPH)
Unofficial Result (my watch) - 38:38 (22.2 MPH)
Official Result - 38:47
Overall Place - 8th (134 total) 21.4 MPH
Age Group Place - 1st (6 total)

Notes - Man, what a great bike course. I just got in a groove and hammered. At the turn-around I was averaging 22.6 MPH with a slight tailwind/crosswind. The wind seemed to pickup and start to be more into our faces than a crosswind on the return so I lost a bit of time there. But I felt very good. Unofficially, this is my fastest bike split ever for a individual bike event. Previously, I had gone 24.5 MPH over 40-miles but that was 20-years ago for a USAT CAT 4 in Houston....and that was all peloton. Again, unofficially as the official time posted a wee bit of a different number surprise!...I am questioning. I think the bike course was longer than advertised. Since I was not wearing my Garmin 405, I can't say with certainty. Nonetheless, I'm very happy with the result. (Mario - mind checking with Jesse and see what he thought on the bike course length?)

Target - 1:30
Unofficial Result (my watch) - 1:08
Official Result - 1:06

Notes - Should have been faster but I ended up dismounting too early. My bad, and no fault of any of the great volunteers at the race. But it was a great T2 as I had no worries....and plenty of baby powder in the Luna Racers.

Run (4.4 mi)
Gear: Nike Luna Racers
Target - 32:16 (7:20/mi)
Unofficial Result (my watch) - 29:36 (6:43/mile)
Official Result - 29:37 (6:44/mile)
Overall Place - 7th (134 total)
Age Group Place - 1st (6 total)

Notes - Wow. I simply did not expect this kind of effort on the run. Now, as I thought the bike course was long, I think the run course was short. Without the Garmin..I just don't know. But I came through at 6:40 at mile 1, under 14 at mile 2, almost 20 flat at mile, who knows? And best of all, I was able to actually KICK IT the last 1/2 mile. I should always be running sub 6:50's for any running event. Maybe the Achilles is finally mending (NO PAIN!) and maybe I can get under 6:30's at Detroit Lakes.

Target - 1:22.13
Unofficial Result (my watch) - 1:20.47
Official Result - 1:20.46
Overall Place - 4th (134 total)
Age Group Place - 1st (6 total)

Notes - I knew I was having a great day, but to see myself end up top four overall was special. Yeah, maybe the field was a little weak overall but still there were some very good athletes in attendance. My hats off to race director Bill Nevala, the volunteers, and the town of Waseca. I hope to return in 2010.

Sprint Results
1/3 IM Results

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Waseca Triathlon Sneak Peak Video

July Totals/Additional Waseca Tri Info

July was a fairly good month for workouts. It helps when you only enter one race! Knowing that I had three events in August I wanted to lay down a good base while also working on that nagging right Achilles.

Swim Totals
Notes - It certainly helps one's totals when your son is on the swim team which forces dear old Dad to swim 90-min workouts as well. The pool is split in half, with four lanes going to the swim team and four lanes to lap swimmers.

Bike Totals
414.5 - miles
Notes - My best month ever in the last two years, beating my previous monthly high by 102 miles. Still, I needed to get in more speed sessions. Something I hope to work on during August.

Run Totals
32.95 - miles
Notes - Yep, all I could manage was what I would typically run in one week. While better, the Achilles continues to hold me back and I expect it will take the cold, dark days of winter to heal that up.

Total Hours
36 hrs 18 mins
Notes - Not bad, although I was shooting for forty hours this month. The Real Job & the Achilles got in the way. And some additional easy/rest days were inserted once I decided I was doing the Waseca triathlon.

Speaking of the Waseca tri, the weather is looking very good. Albeit, possibly a bit breezy.

The field for each event....there is a 1/3 IM and a now full. Race director Bill Nevala (follow on Twitter at @bnevala) has now added additional waves to the field to thin things out a bit.

7:30 AM: 1/3 Iron Wave 1 starts (male)

7:35 AM: 1/3 Iron Wave 2 starts (female)

8:00 AM: Sprint Wave 3 starts (male up to 34 yo)

8:03 AM: Sprint Wave 4 starts (male 35 yo & over)

8:06 AM: Sprint Wave 5 starts (female up to 34 yo)

8:09 AM: Sprint Wave 6 starts (male 35 yo & over)

My targets will be:

Swim (0.26 miles) - 8:23
T1 - 1:30
Bike (13.82 mi) - 38:34 (21.5 MPH)
T2 - 1:30
Run (4.4 mi) - 32:16 (7:20/mi)
Total - 1:22.13

If it is breezy as predicted, the wind will be pushing at my back as we head out on the out-back bike course. I would hope to build up speed going out in order to build confidence for the return into the wind. And if I'm over 22 MPH average at the turn-around, maybe the return becomes a goal to stay above that rate.

There are a total of seven entrants in the male 45-49 category, so I will have my work cutout for me to make the podium. I should have the results posted Sunday evening. Have a great weekend!