Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Race Result: 2011 Maple Grove Sprint Triathlon

Event: 2011 Maple Grove Triathlon (USAT)
Date: Saturday, August 27, 2011
Location: Maple Grove, MN
Hotel: Home, sweet home
Weather: 64F, sunny, light winds from NNE at 6-7 MPH
Official Results: Sprint Overall results; Olympic Overall results, TriStar 111 Overall Results

Personal Results (sprint event)

Goal: 01:08:08
Actual: 01:08:32
Overall: 2nd overall (416 total); 1st in AG Males - Non Elite (210 total); 1st in 50-54 AG (14 total)

This is going to be a short, but sweet, report. The Boy® and I headed out immediately after this event to do some lakeside relaxation and fishing with Grandpa and Grandma Maas for a few days, then when we returned we are now on vacation. State Fair and enjoying the last remnants of summer before someone starts middle school! So, gotta rush through this and kick back into vacation mode.

First, many thanks to Mario Minelli for choosing us as his race hotel. It was great to have you stay with us Mario. Great job in the 111 event as well! Best of luck at IM Wisconsin a couple of weeks. I know you will do very well.

Also, hearty congrats to Garrick Campbell for his first Oly finish! He has the bug now. That's for sure.

To the personal report!

Swim - 0.3 miles

Goal - 07:49
Official Time - 9:20; 1st in AG (14 total); 15th overall fastest

The announced water temp was 77 F. That extra $20 I slipped to race official Bill Nevala did the trick....just kidding! The water temperature the night before had been announced at 81 F but that reading had been taken off the dock. A cool night prevailed. And the water responded by allowing itself to be wet suit legal.

Transition closed at 7:00 AM. My wave (#22!!) was not to launch until 8:51 AM. So I watched the TriStar 111 series and got to see Chris McCormack get his bike ready and then begin the swim. I have been doing tri's for a long time. I've never seen talent like this up close and personal. When Macca left the water it was as if he was sprinting the opening of a 5K. Words will do no justice. Too bad for him that he had mechanical issues on the bike and could not complete the 111 course. I hear he wants to come back next year.

About thirty minutes after the big boys and girls started, I put on the wet suit and began my warm-ups. The weather was fantastic. Probably the best race weather I have raced in this year. A little over 10-minutes to my wave kick-off, I sauntered over to line up in the Mens 45 and Over wave.

The gun finally went off for me and I quickly found myself near the front of the pack. About 100-yards in I could spy one person to the left of me and one to the right of me. By the time we hit the first buoy (200-yds?), I was all alone and then having to navigate with the two novice waves that had been launched in front of us.

This brings me to grip #1 for the event. Like last year, the race organizers chose to insert multiple novice waves in the middle. Why they do this, I cannot say. I have nothing against novice waves. The more the merrier in a triathlon. But pack them at the end for safety sake. I hope this is changed for next year.

I left the water in the lead on the wave. I had recalled how Macca had left the water and I was about to let some second rate Aussie show me up on my home course!

For those who don't follow me, I wear a two piece wet suit. So as I was leaving the water I was trying to slip the top over my head. This usually means I am blinded for a few seconds. I'm running hard, and I hear a spectator yell, "Look out!", and BOOM! I run smack into a spectator barrier. I have a dandy black-and-blue mark on my left upper thigh to prove it. I just chuckled and continued up into T1.

Note - The Well Kept Wife© was able to come and take photos. I usually don't display this many race photos but she was able to get some very good shots so why waste 'em?


Goal - 2:00
Official Time - 1:33
A very nice result as I had been over two minutes at this same course last year.
Bike - 14.3 miles

Goal - 37:57 (22.6 MPH)
Official Time: 38:09 (22.5 MPH); 1st in AG (14 total); 3rd fastest overall

Like last year, I think 14-miles is not accurate reflection of the sprint bike course. If anyone used a Garmin, please let me know. Call it 14.3, I suppose. So, the official results show 22 MPH average but that is not even close. At 14.3 miles my average matches my bike computer readout at 22.5 MPH.

Geez, for whatever reason I recalled the course as being flat. It ain't. Roller after roller. But I felt very good and just kept hammering. Near the ten mile mark, my right calf locked up for about 30-seconds and I had to slow to work it out. But it responded quickly and gave me no further issues.

I was passed by a few of the TriStar 111 big boys heading out on their second lap. I heard that some people on that course as well as the Oly course missed turns, etc. Not a good situation for a race like this. That leads me to grip #2. Last year there was the same complaint. Not enough directional signage. I totally understand that it is the responsibility of the athlete to know the course.

In this case, there were directional signage at the turns only. I do not recall markers well in advance. If you race bikes, you know that when you are zooming at speeds akin to a car all it takes is the bat of an eye, a glance at the bike computer, the simple adjustment of the helmet....and WHOOSH....the sign can be missed. More signage is required, especially leading up to the turns.


Goal - 1:00
Official Time - 0:43
As I have the past several races, I paused to put on socks. This was a quick and smooth transition into the run. And since I have been logging big miles running in August, I was super confident I could open 'er up and blow doors off people.

Run - 3 miles

Goal: 19:21 (6:27 pace)
Official Time: 18:21 (6:07 pace); 1st in AG (14 total); 3rd fastest overall

I surpassed even my wildest expectations by running where I should have been running all year long had it not been for the pelvic stress fracture. I felt great.

As I did this event in 2010, I knew to expect hills on the course. There is the small incline right out of the chute and then the two, "Hi, I will kill you now," hills right at the end. All short, but all ill-timed making the run course a little more challenging.

Near the end I heard footsteps which ended up being the eventual female overall Olympic champion Claire Bootsma. I went with her to the finish line but backed off so she could cross the finish line by herself.


Earlier in the week, I had asked if I could switch to the Elite wave so that I could avoid the novice swim wave congestion. But I also made sure I could still be eligible for the AG awards if I did that. Per USAT, if I started Elite, I would not be eligible for the AG awards. And these awards are pretty cool. I got one last year and because of that, chose not to start Elite....and I was able to pick up another dandy ceramic bowl.

On podium for the 50-54 AG win

One more picture, and this is of the Boy® hanging with his old man after the event. Note his T-shirt, what a kid!

Yes, 'Protect Your Nuts' indeed!
Next Event:

Sep 11 - CyMan Triathlon, Polk City, IA - 500yd swim, 14.3mi bike, 5K run
I have yet to officially sign up yet. I'm going to mull it over for a few days. Registration will be open until September 9. If not, then my next event will be.....

Sep 17 (signed up) - Bismarck Half-Marathon

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Looking Past Maple Grove to Bismarck

Next Saturday (8/27) is the second annual Maple Grove Triathlon event. I'm not going to do any pre-event right up. This event has enough shameless self promotion as it is. As I stated last year, the event goes to great extremes to tour itself as the greatest thing since sliced bread. And as I stated afterwards, it is a nice venue and provides fantastic awards. I just wish they would tone down the rhetoric a bit. And trust me.....I'm not the only one saying that.

This blog entry is going to be about something that I am looking forward to much, much more. The Bismarck Marathon/Half-Marathon/5K on September 17. Let me explain why I have this one circled in red on my race calendar.

Yes, I'm sure you are getting tired of me reminding you that I experienced a pretty serious injury earlier this year. Back in March, it was confirmed that I suffered a pelvic stress fracture. I even shared with you the gruesome pictures, such as this one:

I shared with you that I had even run a 5K, taking 2nd overall, before I knew I had this injury. I had simply run through the pain. Then it was twelve (12!!!!) weeks of not doing a damn workout to try and heal the fracture. And this was to have been my year, when I would breakout and be a regular finisher on the 50-54 podium. I mean, the year started out so well with a podium finish at a duathlon in Texas, followed by two consecutive overall second place finishes in 5Ks.

However, once I started training again I was determined to try and salvage as much of the back-half of the season as possible. So, I trained smart and strong during May-July. I entered as many races as I could, using them simply as speed work with the goal of 'hitting on all cylinders' by the time August rolled around. The early season tale-of-the-tape had success, near misses, and miserable failure:

• Jan 23 - Frost Yer Fanny Duathlon; Houston, TX (USAT) - 3rd in 50-54 AG (19 total)
• Feb 6 - Hamel 5K; Hamel, MN 2nd overall. 19:14 (6:12 per mi pace)
• Mar 1 - Pelvic Stress Fracture happens, but still unknown to me
• Mar 12 - Chase a Leprechaun 5K; Becker, MN 2nd overall. 19:36 (6:16 per mile). 1st in 41+ AG
• Mar 22 - Pelvic Stress Fracture Diagnosed
• May 14 - Lakes to Pines Triathlon; Park Rapids, MN 1st overall in Male Relay (I swam/biked and Boy® ran)
• May 28 - Apple Duathlon; Sartell, MN (USAT) - 36th overall (226 total). 1st 50-54 AG (12 total)
• Jun 5 - Pigman Sprint Triathlon; Cedar Rapids, IA (USAT) - 66th overall (648 total). 7th 50-54 AG (35 total)
• Jun 12 - 22nd Manitou Sprint (USAT) - 45th overall (251 total); 5th in 50-54 AG (20 total)
• Jun 19 - HyVee Rochesterfest Sprint Tri - 15th overall (153 total); 2nd in 50-54 AG (11 total)
• Jun 26 - Lake Waconia Tri (USAT) 68th overall (315 total); 3rd in 50-54 AG (24 total)
• Jul 2 - Minneman Triathlon; Oak Grove, MN (USAT) - 30th overall (342 total); 3rd in 50-54 AG (24 total)
• Jul 17 - Heart of the Lakes (Long Course) - 120th overall (383 total); 11th in 50-54 AG (37 total)

But I knew I was making progress. And I started to plan for the back half of the season. I learned about the Bismarck event and became intrigued. I have done the Bismarck Triathlon on several locations and loved the course. I was told the run route for the full and half-marathon was flat...as is everything in North Dakota. I started to think this would be an amazing carrot for me to dangle on a stick in front of me. If I could compete at a high level in the Bismarck event, that would be a very complete and fulfilling comeback from such a bad injury.

I talked with locale triathlon legend, Mike Fretland. I talked with my brother-in-law, Kim Hocking. Both live in Bismarck. They encouraged me to consider the race. So, I entered into the half-marathon. Then the floods came.

It has been a horrible year for weather across the USA, and North Dakota has taken the brunt of it. Fargo and Minot were both affected. And this year, so was Bismarck. For the first time since the Garrison Dam was constructed in 1954 the giant spillway gates were opened to release water from Lake Sakakawea and poured into the Missouri River and found its way down to Bismarck. Devastating flooding happened. And the run course....that nice flat run course.....had to be changed as the water is not expected to recede in time for the event.

As a result, the race map now looks like this. And, smack dab at the start of mile 5 there is a hill to climb. A one mile, 4% grade hill. We half-marathoners have to climb it only once. Gotta feel sorry for the full marathoners who get to tackle the hill twice on the double looped course. Here is the full course elevation map. The little blip you see twice....that's the hill (click on image for larger view):

I'm a home-grown North Dakotan. I wasn't about to bow out simply because of a little challenge. I have come so far since the injury that the challenge of this big hill has brought out the 'take no prisoners' mentality even more. Hey, I was a member of the 1977 & 1978 North Dakota Boys Cross Country champions for Jamestown. Member of the 1979 North Dakota State Indoor mile relay champions. My North Dakota sports history shows pain is nothing. 

So, it was time to ramp up the ol' hill training. While I am not a good climber on the bike, I am the polar opposite when running hills. I love 'em. I intend to tackle this challenge like any other, straight on. This past Saturday (8/20), I headed out to Baker Park where I usually do all my cycling. From my riding, I knew a good hill that was about the same grade, only a bit shorter (0.65 miles) that would be perfect for some hill training. The day was beautiful, about 74F and light winds and blue sky. 

I did a little warm up and then hit the elevation. Here is the elevation map:

My intention was to do at least 3 repeats and then assess. I felt good after the third and ended up doing two more. So a total of 5x0.65mi hills with easy recovery in between and easy warm down after. I wanted to attack the hill at about 10-20 seconds faster than race pace. The splits below show the hills being attacked in Splits 2-4-6-8-10:

 I would have liked to have been under 6:30 pace for all five repeats, but this is a good start. And I ended up finding a dandy hill for repeats. Eight miles just flew by.

The other great thing about the Bismarck event: This will be the first running race in which I will be wearing the colors of the Fargo Running Company race team. I'm pretty excited about this opportunity and I thank Cley Twigg and Mark Knutson for allowing me to race with their team! My team uniform arrived this past week and it looks and feels great.

 So, yes. I'm looking past the next few events to September 17. Still plenty of time to sign up if you want to join me out in North Dakota. The Boy® and the Well Kept Wife© are even getting in on the action by competing in the 5K event. Should be a grand day out for all of us.

Speaking of future events, I may have lied when I said the Turtleman and Maple Grove events would be my last multisport events of 2011. It could still turn out that way, but the current calendar (including confirmed and tentative events) now looks like this:

Aug 27 (signed up) - Maple Grove Sprint Triathlon; Maple Grove, MN (USAT) - 0.3mi swim, 14mi bike, 3mi run

Ended up 7th overall (301 total) & 2nd in 45-49 AG (16 total) last year. Hope to improve in the overall standing and also make podium in the 50-54 AG.

Sep 11 - CyMan Triathlon, Polk City, IA - 500yd swim, 14.3mi bike, 5K run

Last year I was 17th overall (204 total) & 1st in 45-49 AG (11 total). It was a VERY windy day. I would say its about 70% certain I sign up for this one, pending the Maple Grove result. I may need another high USAT score to have an outside chance of a national honorable mention.

Sep 17 (signed up) - Bismarck Half-Marathon

As above, this one is high on my A-Race priority ranking.

Sep 24 - Plymouth Fire Fighters 5K

Third overall the last two years. Would like to try for a Three Three-peat! And Plymouth is our home. Last year, I led for the first mile+ before finishing 3rd overall (401 total). 18:48 (6:03 per mile). It may be race day before I decide to go or not. Depends if I have recoved from Bismarck in time or not.

Oct 2 - Du the Bear Duathlon, Houston, TX 2mi run, 10mi bike, 2mi run

Really, really want to do this. Same course as Frost 'Yer Fanny that I did in January. Flat, flat, flat. And everyone is so fast you just get dragged along. I may need another high USAT score here depending on how my par score from Turtleman ends up in order to get into that elite top 10% nationally. I'd say it is 50-50 right now whether I do or not.

Oct 8 (signed up) - Fargo Mini Marathon 5K

Last year, I did the 10K Run and was 4th overall (637 total). 1st in 45-49 AG (15 total). 39:40 (6:23 per mile). This year, I'm opting for the 5K to run with not only the Boy® and the Well Kept Wife© but also my father. My day turns 70 in August. I have entered him (he doesn't know yet!) and will find out on his BD in a few weeks. He is always talking about his walking prowess and how many steps he takes.....now it is put up or shut up time!

Oct 22 (signed up) - Lincoln Family Downtown 5K; Phoenix, AZ

Another running event with a bit of a hill! Last year, I was 10th overall (367 total). 1st in 45-49 AG (12 total). 20:09 (6:30 per mile). We are all signed up again this year, & I intend to get it under 20-minutes this time on a very tough course.

Nov 12 - The Speedway Run, Ft. Worth, TX - 5K/10K

Last year, I jumped into the 10K on whim. Had gone down for Bronda's Du at the same venue (Texas Motor Speedway) held the following day. Ran easy at 39:55 (6:25/mi pace). 6th overall (121 total). 1st in 45-49 AG (9 total). Probably about a 25% chance of a return this year. If I do, I will opt for the 5K and save some legs for the du the next day. It all depends on money, available time off, and if Tim 'Buckwheat' Carroll is in Spain or not. Tim is my long-time Texas training partner. If he is not in Spain, then I say the chances of doing this double event weekend goes up to 50%.

Nov 13 - Bronda's Du (USAT), Fort Worth, TX - 2 mi run-15 mi bike-2 mi run

The day after the Speedway Run last year, I ended up 12th overall (212 total). 1st in 45-49 AG (20 total). Another flat and fast course with great depth in the lineup. I came away with a 87.94644 par score there last year.

Dec 11 - BCS Half-Marathon; Bryan-College Station, TX

The inaugural Full and Half Marathon for the place in which I spent three years of my life from 1987-1989 and started doing triathlons! It would be nice for a visit and also end the 2011 race season here doing a half-marathon. Home of the aforementioned Buckwheat. Probably 50-50 chance.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Race Result: 2011 Turtleman Duathlon

Event: 2011 Turtleman Duathlon (USAT)
Date: Saturday, August 13, 2011
Location: Shoreview, MN
Hotel: Home, sweet home
Weather: 64F at start with showers which stopped right before the gun; wind from NNW at 6-7MPH
Official Results: Results

Personal Results

Goal: 01:43.57
Official Time: 01:41.35
Overall: 16th overall (139 total); 16th in Males (106 total); 3rd in 50-54 AG (13 total)

I end my duathlon season the same way I started it. Back in January I had a very satisfying race in Houston where I was completely happy with my effort, losing only to two speedsters in my age group. It was the same at Turtleman as I ran and biked well, only to come up short to Thomas Krenz and Charlie Roach. Nothing to be ashamed about there!

It was an auspicious start to the morning. At 2 AM I had been awoken by lightening, thunder, and heavy rain. When I finally got up at 4:20 AM, it was still raining. This was perhaps a nod to Turtleman as this event is a triathlon that was converted to a duathlon for the 2011 version due to low lake levels. So a touch of water meant we'd be getting wet anyway.

As I drove to the race site, the clouds were very dark and I was beginning to wonder if this would be a soggy shoe event. But by the time I had set up in transition the rain had stopped and would stay away. Perfect.

The transition setup was weird in that it utilized two adjoining parking lots. I spied Chris Hawes and he waved me over to where he had set up. Basically, one had two choices. You could set up in Lot A and have quick access to Bike Out but have to then go through Lot B and make a U-turn to get back to your rack on Bike In. Or the opposite. Chris theorized, and I think correctly, that to set up in Lot B you would be closer on Bike In and Run Out. In the end, I think that saved me a few seconds. To-MAY-toe, To-MAH-toe.

To the personal report! Please note that I am listing my own Garmin times along with the official race times. I'm not sure how the race timer calculated the average speeds...but they are way off!

It was a great course. And the elevation map was to die for. Just the way I like it! I hope the race organizer keeps the event as a duathlon and does not return to a triathlon format. It is so hard to find USAT sanctioned duathlons here in the Tundra. Dime a dozen down in Texas, but this is only the other USAT du we had offered this year (Apple was the other).

Elevation map from Turtleman

Run One - 1.8 miles

Goal: 11:18 (6:17 per mile)
Official Time: 10:46 (5:47 per mile); 2nd in AG (13 total)
Garmin Time: 10:47 (5:58 per mile)

I have a million dollar idea for Garmin. A large-faced watch for those who have reached the age of requiring reading glasses. Or the option of displaying current pace only in large format. I'll explain in a moment.

Elites were started as a group. Thereafter it was a time-trail start by order of bib number every 3 seconds. That was OK, save for the fact you had no idea of your position to your main competitors. I was number 80 and it seemed I was up in no time flat. I have been pounding a lot of running miles as of late in hopes of returning to form after the pelvic stress fracture earlier this spring. So I wanted a fast time.

I shot out very strong and within the first 20-yards I felt a twinge in the right upper quad. But for the moment, that is all it was. Just a twinge. I kept on hammering and glanced at the Garmin every few yards to see my pace. I wanted to be under 6:17 per mile. But it kept saying 6:30.....then 6:25..then 6:20. I'm now over 1/4 mile in and I'm pushing like crazy to get under 6:17 pace and wondering why the hell I can't! I had blown by Thomas Krenz early and knew Charlie was starting about 100-spots after me and would be charging.

This should be e-a-s-y for me to get under 6:17. Keep in mind it is overcast and dark. Keep in mind I now require reading glasses. Can you guess what I was actually running?

At one point I glance at the Garmin and the light must have been right or I was holding my arm far enough away to get a good sighting.....I've been running 5:20 per mile pace all this time! Holy merde! I ease up instantly. Now I'm glancing at my watch to make sure I'm not going too fast. I keep it in check at just under 6 minutes per mile and take it into T1 well under my goal and feeling good.


Goal: 01:00
Official Time: 01:07
Garmin Time: 01:08

I was a little cooked, so I took a few deep breaths to relax myself down. I've not been biking a lot as of late and was sort of dreading the bike. T1 in a du is always so much better than a tri. No stripping of the wetsuit and fumbling with goggles, etc. I grabbed the bike and made the U-turn for Lot A to get to Bike Out.

Bike - 21.2 miles

Goal: 59:26 (21.8 MPH avg)
Official Time: 55:47 (24.1 MPH); 3rd in AG (13 total)
Garmin Time: 55:44 (22.8 MPH avg)

I really liked this bike course. It is fairly flat with the only downside of having a lot of tight 90-degree turns. Had it not been for so many turns, I probably average over 23 MPH.

I get dialed in and start to slowly hammer away. Very early on Krenz passes me. He is a very good cyclist and there was no way I was going to stay close to him. So I start waiting for Charlie to pass me. The roads are still pretty wet and I'm slowing waaayyyy down for the turns.

Around mile five I get passed by a person (never got his bib number so not sure of his name). I get stuck in his rooster tail and I'm getting a steady stream of water in the kisser. This sort of awakens me and I pass him back and make him taste water for a while. It goes like this the rest of the bike.

Around the halfway point, we pass eventual female winner Tina Hjeltman. Let me tell you something about Tina (age 41). She has awesome calf muscles. After we passed her, she starts to hang with us as well. So we have something of a 3-person train going. Let me stress: We are doing everything in our power to not be illegally drafting. We stay out of the others draft. We are staying the required distance back. We just keep passing each other.

Each of us makes multiple attempts to break away. At one point, I put in a big effort and open up a good 200-yd gap only to get passed by one and then the other. It was like we were joined at the hip.

We make the stretch for home and we are relegated to a narrow strip along a busy road separated by roaring traffic via orange cones. Tina tries to pass a bike hog. I can hear her yelling, "LEFT, LEFT, LEFT"...and the offender does not move right. She hits an orange cone as a car is also passing on her left. I don't know how she stayed up, but she did. It could have been really ugly.

I see I'm way under my goal, in the upper 22 MPH range. And I'm extremely happy with the way my day is going.

And I'm extremely pooped and still have a long run to go.


Goal: 01:00
Official Time: 00:47
Garmin Time: 00:45

Thanks to the advice of Mr. Hawes, I'm in and out of T2 super fast and hitting the run, trying to find my run legs. I'm thinking how nice and cool the weather is, if not a little bit humid. But nothing like the Guam like jungle scene from Heart of the Lakes where I had to walk most of the run. "That's not going to happen today", is what I tell myself.

Run - 5 miles

Goal: 31:42 (6:30 pace) -note, based on advertised 8K (4.8mi) route
Official Time: 33:10 (6:41 pace); 3rd in AG (13 total)
Garmin Time: 33:08 (6:34 pace)

The run was suppose to be a 8K which equates to a 4.8 mile route. But I knew it was over five miles as I saw the 5-mile mark on the sidewalk as we were coming back from the first run. Early on I'm running just a tad over 7-minutes a mile (now that I could see the readout better!) and I had that down into the 6:30's by the time I reached the first mile marker.

I passed Suzie Finger shortly thereafter. Suzie was my marker for the first part of the run. Someone to run after and hunt down. After that, I was in No Man's Land. There was no one visible for me to catch and I could not hear any footsteps behind me. That hurt my overall time in the second run as I got into a hard, but comfy, pace and never really broke from it. Yeah, I could have gone under 6:30 a mile but had little incentive to do so. And I kept waiting for Charlie to pass. It never happened.

After the race, Charlie told me he had issues with his helmet. He has a helmet similar to my Lazer Tardiz Aero Helmet where you just adjust the fit by turning a wheel in the back. Charlie's has a lever. Somehow that broke. So he actually had to stop his bike and address it, losing valuable time. Otherwise, you don't see me finishing within 1-minute of him, like I did today.

So, Charlie finished behind me. He caught Suzie on the run but never saw me. But he had made up time from the time-trail start to finish ahead of me in the final standings.

So, overall I was pretty darn happy with my effort. I especially am pleased with the current state of my run. The quad is a bit worrisome, but I intend to have an easy recovery week before starting some speed work for the Maple Grove triathlon.

For my efforts, I joined Thomas and Charlie on the podium to receive a nice mug.

Next Event:

Aug 27 - Maple Grove Sprint Triathlon; Maple Grove, MN (USAT) - 0.3mi swim, 14mi bike, 3mi run

As of now, I believe this will be my final triathlon of the season as I turn my attention to fall running events.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Totals: Month Ending July 2011

That was one humid July, wasn't it? I can't recall training in such conditions since I left Texas in 1989 to head to the Tundra. I hope August is not the same. Sort of felt and looked like this on most days.

July 2011 Total Numbers

Total Workout Hours: 46:53:12
Swim Yards - 19700
Bike Miles - 502.28
Run Miles - 106.43 (8:08 per mile avg)
Days Missed to Weather, Injury or Planned Rest - 2

Compare to last year -

July 2010 Total Numbers

Total Workout Hours: 46:19:51
Swim Yards - 24000
Bike Miles - 454.68
Run Miles - 106.6 (7:51 per mile pace)
Days Missed to Weather, Injury or Planned Rest - 2

Compare to last month -

Total Workout Hours: 31:54:57
Swim Yards - 20200
Bike Miles - 313.84
Run Miles - 68.18 (7:58 per mile avg)
Days Missed to Weather, Injury or Planned Rest - 4

August Events

Aug 13 - Turtleman Duathlon; Shoreview,MN (USAT) - 3K run, 36K bike, 8K run
Aug 27 - Maple Grove Sprint Triathlon; Maple Grove, MN (USAT) - 0.3mi swim, 14mi bike, 3mi run

Monday, August 1, 2011

Race Result: 2011 Lindenwood 10K & Minnesota State Long Course Swim Championship

Event: 2011 Lindenwood 10K hosted by the Lake Agassiz Pacers (USATF)
Date: Saturday, July 30, 2011
Location: Lindenwood Park, Fargo, ND
Hotel: Courtyard by Marriott, Moorhead, MN (recommended!)
Weather: 68F, muggy (dew point 64F) with showers and lightening. Wind from SSE at 10MPH
Official Results: 10K Results
Personal Results

Goal: 39:59 (6:26 per mile)
Official Time: 40:45 (6:33 per mile)
Overall: 7th overall (57 total); 2nd in 50-59 AG (8 total); 3rd in Age Graded Performance

This was fun. I love going back to North Dakota to run in the towns of my youth. Fargo is where I attended university. I ran those streets, backways, and parks a lot. Including Lindenwood Park, which is where this 10K was hosted.

The other nice thing about Fargo...try to find a hill! Here is the elevation from the 10K:

We had a total of 60 feet of elevation gain. 61 feet of elevation loss. Like running on a treadmill. Except this was a muddy treadmill. See back of shirt post event:

The course snakes along the Red River. The river that has been causing so many flood issues recently. Same this year, but not quite as bad as last. Still, the course for this event was to have been a out-and-back. Because the river is still reeking havoc, the course was altered from going out 5K and back 5K to a out 2.5K, return....then repeat. This meant we had to slow to make a 180-degree turn not once, but thrice. Tough to build that speed back up again!

The river has left a lot of mud on the pathways in this park and it was a bit sloppy at times.Combine mud with intermittent showers, and high humidity and it was somewhat slick! In the opening pack of runners, one person almost went down as we made one of the initial turns. A number of times, it felt like I had zero traction. But really, it was fine. Here is the course, courtesy of my Garmin:

I had hoped to go sub 40-minutes, as I had been doing last year. But July is the first month since February that I have actually gotten in decent run mileage (> 100 miles) as I put the pelvic stress fracture further behind me. I came close, just have a little more work to do. My splits:

I felt really good the whole way. I just need to build the endurance back up and I'll be back on my game. My Dad was once again able to come and watch me race. After missing most of my high school and college races as I grew up due to his work schedule, he has been turning up at event after event as much as he can.
And best of all, this was an Age Graded running event! My first and it certainly will not be my last. Age grading is a way of putting all race participants on a level playing field, regardless of age or gender. Age-graded scores let you compare your race times to those of different runners, as well as to the standard for your age and gender. An age graded calculator is used to determine an overall score.

Age-graded information allows you to adjust your performance to what it theoretically would have been during your prime running years (your 20's and a portion of your 30's depending on the race distance). Judge your performance, using an achievement percentile, without bias for gender or the aging process (in other words, you are measured against a specific standard for your age and sex). These percentiles can be interpreted as follows:
  • Over 90% --- World Class
  • Over 80% --- National Class
  • Over 70% --- Regional Class
  • Over 60% --- Local Class
I ended up 3rd overall based on this calculation. To give you a rough idea, the top 3 males were:
  1. 80.20 - Ken Hammer, age 58 (40:08)
  2. 74.08 - Ben Bitter, age 14 (38:36)
  3. 73.87 - Brian Maas, age 50 (40:45) - This equates to a 35:39 age graded time, meaning what I would have run in my prime.
So as you see, not only is old age benefited, but the early youth is as well. That was an awesome time by the 14-yo runner out of Fargo. We'll have to watch that name in the future.

So, I scored two awards. One for the AG finish and one for the Age Graded performance:

The Lake Agassiz Pacers club put on a very high quality event for very little cost. $20 got me a great race, a customized, 25 oz, BPA Free, Eco-friendlyStainless Steel Water Bottle with Carabiner, and two nice awards.

All told, I was in Fargo for 10 1/2 hrs. Had to get back to homebase for another important event going on.

The Boy® (all way on right) and his relay mates
This was also the same weekend that the Boy® had his Minnesota State Long Course Championship meet (more specifics on this event here). He swam four relays. On Friday he swam the freestyle leg on the Boys 11-12 400 Medley Relay as seen here:

The team took 2nd in the heat. He PR'd for the 100 meter free with a split time of 1:27.89. His 50 meter splits were 41.19 & 46.70. Significant as his previous best was 1:31 and change. Plus his splits are getting more balanced.

His event was at 3:30, then we rushed home from the University of Minnesota Aquatic Center and I fought traffic to Fargo. Up at 4 AM on Saturday I ran the race (7 AM start), showered, and hurried back for his first relay on Saturday at 2:30 PM which was the Boys 11-12 200 Medley. Again, the Boy® swam freestyle:

His 50 meter split was 40.02, another PR. The team finished 4th in their heat.

Then four hours later (the sufferings of a swim meet!), he swam second leg on the Boys 11-12 400 Freestyle Relay:

I had a feeling he might be not at his best for this relay, and he wasn't. He swam second leg and posted a 1:31.91 split. The team finished 7th in their heat.

On Sunday, we were back as the Boy® swam 3rd leg on the Boys 11-12 200 Freestyle relay:

Here, the Boy® swam third leg and I could tell from the first few strokes he was in good form and would have a good split. I just hoped he would not run out of steam and come in under 40-seconds for his 50 meter split. And he did, with a 39.97.

He had a great opportunity to go to the State Meet and used his experience to build valuable lessons. I thank his coaches immensely for giving him this golden opportunity!

Next Event:

Aug 13 - Turtleman Duathlon; Shoreview, MN (USAT) - 3K run, 36K bike, 8K run