Sunday, May 16, 2010

Race Results: Lakes to Pines Triathlon - Park Rapids, MN

For the third year in a row, I attended the lovely Lakes to Pines triathlon in Park Rapids, MN. As I have done this event since its inception, I have been able to see it grow from relative obscurity to now officially being on the map. Maybe it was the perfect weather this year. Maybe it was the fact a record sixty-three people made the trip. But it is official, this race is now known. For seven (7) males went under the previous course record. Five (5) females went under the previous female course record.

Overall Results

The male class was won by Mike Fretland of Bismarck, ND. I had last seen Mike in September, 2009 at the West River Triathlon in Dickinson, ND. Mike had finished 2nd overall that day, and I had followed in third.

The female class was won by Kailee Fretland, wife of Mike. So they had a great day bringing home a true daily double! It was good to see and chat with both of them again. They are good people. And I'll also be seeing them again next week at the Fargo Half-Marathon.

Note - Special thanks to Kevin O'Connor of Gear West Triathlon. Those unfortunate souls who track my Twitter account might recall this little nugget from earlier in the week:

Mr. Sandman, I did not like the dream you sent me last night where I entered T1 to find my rear tire flat.

OK, this was a little spooky but not quite as bad as the nightmare dream. As I was packing for the trip to Park Rapids, I discovered the Boy's® rear bike tire was flat. No spare around. This meant an emergency run to Gear West as we headed out of town. Kevin had a new tube on in less than 10-minutes. We were saved.

The recap:

Swim - 500 yards
Goal - 8:30
Time - 7:49
Overall Rank - 15th (63 total)
AG (45-49) Rank - 3rd (4 total)

This was an indoor swim in a 25-yard pool. Nothing of note here other than a personal PR for 500-yards. My goal this year is to go under 7:30, and I'm inching closer. I had a nice, smooth swim. If I had lap-by-lap splits I would not be surprised to learn that I had a negative split on the back 250-yards. My confidence had been boosted earlier in the week by the Boy's® swim coach who had said, "your work is paying off as you now look taller in the water."

Goal - 1:10
Time - 0:51

Had a good exit from the pool and hit the transition area well. I had decided to give the ol' shoe's in the pedals with rubber bands method one last try. This would be the last time I do that....ever.

Bike - 14.7 miles
Goal - 40:05 (22 MPH)
Time - 39:06 (22.6 MPH)
Overall Rank - 5th (63 total)
AG (45-49) Rank - 3rd (4 total)

That split should be faster and the average speed hovering right around 23 MPH. Two issues arose, one at the beginning and one at the end. The first occurred as I left T1, hopped on the bike and put my foot down on the shoes to start building speed before slipping into them. One shoe came unclipped from the Speedplay pedals. C'est la merde!

I remained calm, and laid the bike down. Put on the shoe that had come off. Went to the bike and ripped the other shoe off the pedal and put it on. Got on the bike and hammered. I probably lost all of forty seconds. But I was pissed.

The bike course is a double loop. The wind was probably about 7-8 MPH and not bad at all compared to the gales I've been training in all spring. I was humming along at a 23.1 MPH average and feeling good. Then near the 3/4 mark, the left calf gave me that special little shimmy. You know the one. The one that let's you know if you kept up the current pace, the muscle would soon rebel and seize up. I went into a higher cadence and kept the speed up. It seemed fine. In fact, the Well Kept Wife™ couldn't even keep up with me via the camera.

With less than a mile left on the bike, the right calf did decide to freeze up like a stone cold rock. Unlike the left calf it gave me no warning. I was down to one leg. I stretched. I massaged. I tried to keep going but I had to back way off and lost valuable time.

After the race I talked to four other participants who also had calves cramp up. I'm not sure, but I think the beautiful day has a part in it. For the last two weeks we've been experiencing wet and cold weather here in the Tundra. Basically highs in the 40's. By the time we jumped on the bikes in this event, the temperatures were easily approaching 70. That's a thirty degree swing over the course of a few days. I know I had hydrated well. And I may have red-lined it a bit on the bike.

I'm guessing without these two issues (shoes and cramps), my time would have dropped from 39:06 to 38:06 which would have put me at 23.1 MPH....which is where I was riding shortly before the cramps occurred. But that's racing.

Goal - 1:00
Time - 0:51

Second transition was event free. No issues with the calf once I was in my flats.

Run - 5K
Goal - 20:24 (6:35 per mile)
Time - 20:45 (6:42 per mile)
Overall Rank - 9th (63 total)
AG (45-49) Rank - 2nd (4 total)

My legs felt absolutely dead. So I was pleasantly surprised to see my run split despite not hitting my target. I just had nothing in the tank. My run mileage had been down the previous two weeks, but I'm hoping my legs are a lot fresher for the Fargo half marathon next Saturday. Otherwise, I may as well mail that in right now.

Goal - 1:11.09
Time 1:09.22
Overall Rank - 5th (63 total)
AG (45-49) Rank - 2nd (4 total)

My lofty goal for this event had been to come under the previous course record (1:12.24) set in 2008 by Dave Bjorklund. If I achieved that, anything else was gravy. As I stated at the beginning, not only did I better the previous course record by three minutes.....six others did as well! So this event is starting to attract a deep field. Mike Fretland and I agreed that sooner or later someone will do this event in under an hour.

Who knows? Maybe it will eventually be the Boy® who does it? Yes, there was an equally exciting kids event again. I mean, who can argue with this look of determination from him finishing?

And to show you how much time a kid can improve over one year, take a look at these numbers. Last year, the Boy® did the exact same course (50- yard swim, one mile bike, 1/2 mile run) in 10:36. With almost a year of swim team under his belt, a bigger bike, and some recent runs in prepping for his annual track and field event he finished in 6:33.

So, Dad finishes fifth overall and takes 3-minutes off the previous course record. The Boy® finished fifth overall (23 total) and takes over four minutes off his previous best. A good showing for us. We were all chatty afterrwards about tactics and such. Nearby, the female in the house rolled her eyes at us. Secretly, we think she wants to do this event next year.

And best of all, Grandpa Maas was able to see generation number two and number three compete. This was special to me. My father worked long hours while I was growing up and was not able to see me compete until I was a senior in high school. To be able to see him watch his grandson is just fantastic.

I would be remiss if I did not thank the entire staff, volunteers, and personnel who put together this great local event. Where else do you walk into a Friday night spaghetti feed to being immediately greeted, "You're back!! Great to see you again!" Then be joined as you eat by various staff who want to catch-up on your life, give you advice on the newest road hazards to watch for on the bike...and end it all by giving you a high-five as you cross the finish line.

Please consider adding the Lakes to Pines event to your 2011 schedule. They do a great job. Showers available right on site (local high school) after the event. Great staff, volunteers, and community. Should you have any questions about the event from where to stay to where to eat, feel free to e-mail me.


Adam Beston said...

Great result. Good all around. Sounds like my deal of just getting it all together on race day. I think it will just take a few more races to nail all three (if thats possible) after lasts years woes race day can be a tense thing. Good post.

Jumper 2.0 said...

I will strongly consider it for next year!

Christopher Hawes said...

I really enjoyed reading your race overview and great job. It is great to see that you and your son can do these types of things together. Keep up the great work!