Monday, June 27, 2011

Race Result: 2011 Lake Waconia Triathlon

Event: 2011 Lake Waconia Triathlon (USAT)
Date: Sunday, June 26, 2011
Location: Waconia, MN
Hotel: Home, sweet home
Weather: 62F; mostly cloudy; wind from SSE at 9-11 MPH; periods of showers
Official Results: Overall results

Personal Results

Goal: 1:39.54
Official Time: 01:41.02
Overall: 68th overall (315 total); 39th in Males (206 total); 3rd in 50-54 AG (24 total)

I returned to the site of my first & only DNF, the 2009 Lake Waconia triathlon, to give it another try. On that particular day, they had to fish me out of the water. I was not happy.

So I had not officially completed this course. Nor had I done my usual pre race day drive of the course to see what I might be up against. So I was going in blind. That is not something I usually do and don't recommend doing it. However I had lack of time to do so and talked with a few folks who have done this event before. The only thing that I was questioning is why everyones run times seemed so slow. Was the course long? Nope. Just hill after hill after hill. More on that later.

On this day, the weather was cloudy and cool. Low 60 F for the air temp and a reported 66 F for the water temp, but if felt much colder than that. Of course, it was still better than swimming in icy 53 F water (hats off to you Adam!). It decided to shower on us a bit on the bike, but otherwise one could not really complain about the weather conditions.

Time for the personal report.

Swim - 0.5 miles

Goal: 15:04
Official Time: 15:20; 6th in AG (24 total)

Per my eyeball assessment, I thought the course looked short. But I forgot to take into account how big of a lake this is. Trust me, the swim course was NOT short. Like the Pigman Sprint, this was a time-trial start for the age groupers. A person was sent off every three seconds. For big events, I have come to favor this. Much less congestion on the water.

The course was rectangle in nature. Long swim to first turn buoy, shorter segment to the next turn buoy, then straight in. It seemed to me that the first buoy would never come. I made the turn and navigated to the inner lane as it seemed everyone was swimming outside. So I had a nice, uneventful swim as far as traffic goes.

After making the turn for home it seemed like the beach was not getting any closer! I'd swim about a dozen strokes, take a sight, and the damn shore never seemed to get closer. I was starting to worry I'd expend all my energy just to get to T1.

Shore eventually did come and I looked down to see 15:02 on the watch. Long run to the first mat and even another long run to the bike. But I was pretty happy.

Goal: 01:50
Official Time: 01:45

Despite the long run up to T1, I had a good transition. See? I'm back under two minutes and hopefully will stay there the rest of the season. My only whoops was when I realized I had forgot to put baby powder in the bike shoes. But no problem otherwise.

Bike - 20.0 miles

Goal: 54:20 (22.1 MPH)
Official Time: 54:59 (21.8 MPH); 4th in AG (24 total)

This was an ambitious goal for a course I had not seen or ridden before. And I'm still not up to snuff in bike shape after the stress fracture but my times are improving each week. Maybe I can get back into the 22's at the next event.

This bike course has a lot of good climbing initially, then turns into some rollers that continue for the rest of the way. So after five miles I was only averaging 21.4 MPH. At mile 10, I had worked that to 23.1 MPH average thanks to the tailwind and having left the big hills behind. And then we turned into the wind and by mile 15, I was down to 22.3 MPH average and dropping as a few more hills combined with the wind to scrub that speed off.

I was certain that the dreaded leg cramps would appear at some point on the bike due to the distance but they never materialized. So I came into T2 just a little over a minute off my goal. I thought I could make that up easy in the run.


Goal: 01:20
Official Time: 01:29

I should have been under the goal easily. But since my feet were so blistered from the previous race I put on socks before slipping into the new LunaRacer flats. And then after taking about eight steps to the exit, I realized I forgot to grab my race number belt and had to turn around to get that.

Run - 4 miles

Goal: 27:19 (6:50 pace)
Official Time: 27:42 (6:56 pace); 4th in AG (24 total)

Yep, when was the last time you saw me not in the top three in the run? It's been a while, that's for sure. I had been duly warned about the opening hill on the course, so I had adjusted my run split to account for that. What I had not counted on was the series of rollers that followed! Climb, descend. Climb, descend. I'm not sure there was a flat component on the entire run course. Very challenging. And I have not yet started to incorporate hills into my workouts since starting up running a few weeks ago.

But I gave it the ol' college try and ran as hard as I could. I started out like I was going to run 6:20's and MC Jerry MacNeil mentioned something like, "There goes Brian Maas running like a bat out of hell." But it didn't last.

I was fortunate to hook up with a few youngin's and we helped pace each other through the course. I also got to chat briefly with Grand Master standout Neil King. 62-yo Neil is someone I know from racing in some triathlons in northwest Minnesota. I hope I can be racing as well twelve years from now. Good show Neil!

And the return on this out-and-back course I saw lots of familiar faces, including Chris Hawes who had a great race and PR'd on this course by three minutes. Chris, you were looking very strong!

No excuses for the poor run. This was the longest run I have done in training or racing since the stress fracture. It's all gravy at this point. I was able to run without pain and able to finish strong. The rest will come.

For my efforts, I placed third in the male 50-54 AG and got one of the much sought after beer mugs. To be frank, I didn't think I stood a snowballs chance in Hell that I would podium. And in looking at the results, I see 50-54 standout David Goldberg was not able to finish the race or had a problem. That certainly would have knocked me off the podium. But I also beat a few people I thought I would not be able to. That's why they just don't hand the awards out on merit.

Lake Waconia beer mug award!

Maybe I should have filled it with Guinness?

Next Event:

Jul 2 - Minneman Triathlon; Oak Grove, MN (USAT) - 0.3 Mile Swim, 13mi bike, 3 mi run. Another event that will be next to impossible for me to podium in as every stud typically shows up here.


Mario said...

Congrats on a great race! The mug made it worth it, didn't it? I'd like mugs or pint glasses instead of medals--much more practical and no guessing on what do do with them.

Christopher Hawes said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Christopher Hawes said...

Great job on a tough course. See you at MinneMan