Monday, June 25, 2012

Race Result: 2012 GraniteKids & GraniteMan St. Cloud

Event: 2012 GraniteKids & GraniteMan St. Cloud Triathlons (non-USAT)
Date: Saturday June 23; Sunday June 23, 2012
Location: St. Cloud, MN (Lake George)
Hotel: Home, sweet home
Weather: 80F & sunny for GraniteKids (6PM start); 67 & sunny with wind from NNE at 8-10
Official Results: 2012 GraniteMan St. Cloud Overall results; 2012 GraniteKids Results

Sort of a low-key race report on one hand, super excited on the other. I raced despite the tibial stress fracture which meant I simply jogged the run. On the other hand, the Boy made the podium on his very first open-water chipped event. So this is a 2 fer 1 race recap!

The Boy and the Old Man

The Graniteman race series has expanded to three events this year. The first was held this past weekend in St. Cloud. It combined the kids events on Saturday evening with the adult event on Sunday morning. For a first time event, there are some course kinks to work out, but I highly recommend this race. If you are looking for a alternative to racing the madness of Lake Waconia, scheduled on the same weekend, I would give this event a big thumbs up.

Boy's Results

Goal: IronKids tune-up race
Actual: 23:28
Overall: 6th overall (85 total); 3rd in Boys 9-15 age group (38 total)

Personal Results

Goal: None. With the stress fracture, it was just to get in a good swim and bike
Actual: 01:17:31
Overall: 35th overall (211 total); 3rd in 50-54 AG (8 total)

It truly was joy to see the Boy compete so well in his first official open water swim. He had done one last year that was really a joke as it ran parallel to the shoreline and kids just ended up running thru the water. When we arrived at Lake George, our first thought was this is not a lake but rather a pond. Okay, maybe a boutique lake. Let's call it that.

I was slightly annoyed that when we signed up the age groups were designated as 5-8, 9-12 and 13 & over. When we got to the race we learned that the 9-12 and 13 & over groups had been made into one. I gave the Boy little chance of getting top 3 males after seeing the size of some of the kids. But we were using this race simply as a tune-up for two upcoming IronKids events in July. So it was all about getting in a solid performance and just working out the kinks, if any.

The kids event started at one end of the lake and finished on the other side. Straight 200 yards which was perfectly lined by noodles. Kids were allowed to hang onto the noodles if they needed to. The Boy, being on a swim team, did not require any such comfort. He was off and flying and never looked back.

Boy can be seen along upper most noodle line, leading that line of swimmers
For the adults, because of the size of the boutique lake, we had to do a zig here and a zog there. But it was perfectly fine and was a enjoyable swim. Okay clarity in the lake, a slightly weedy start at the onset, but a really nice swim course. With this size lake, one never need worry about fighting a chop no matter the wind speed.

Adult swim course
Please note that for the kids events they did not have the chip mats set up at transition so the times are approximate based off my own watch and memory.

Swim - Kids 200 yds, Adults 500 yards

Boy Goal - Under 3 minutes
UnOfficial Time - 2:48

Dad Goal - No goal
Official Time - 8:28; 4th in AG (8 total); 42nd overall fastest


Boy Goal - 1:30
UnOfficial Time - 1:29

Dad Goal - None
Official Time - 1:45

The Boy had to hold up on the way to T1 as there was a ppoint where the swimmers exiting had to cross the bike path. So swimmers were held back if bikes were approaching, as was the case here.

For me, it was much better stripping of the wet suit than at Buffalo. However as I went to do my flying mount my leg hit the back of the saddle and I fell. Elbow bloodied, I hopped back on. Day after my arm, shoulder and hip feel pretty beat up. Stupid, stupid, stupid.

Bike - Kids 3 miles, Adults 15 miles

Boy Goal - Under 12 minutes
Official Time- 11:20 (16.07 MPH average)

Dad Goal - None
Official Time- 41:58 (21.4 MPH); 4th in AG (8 total); 36th fastest overall

The 5-8 yo kids had a two lap ride and the older kids had a four lap ride all within the confines of the park on the bike path. This did mean there was some congestion to deal with, but it came off without a hitch and also allowed the parents to see their child come around multiple times.

The Boy and I anticipated this congestion and opted to leave his race road bike at home and give him some confort with using his neighborhood bike for mobility sake. We're glad we made this decision as there were little ones on training rules with not a care in the world for where they were positioned on the path and 15 yo kids on regular road bikes.

For me, I enjoyed the rolling bike course. It was a little technical to begin with as we rode thru city streets to eventually hit the country side. And there was a stretch of very bumpy road that was used for the turn-around. But all-in-all a good challenging bike course.

I hate really tight turn-arounds on out-and-back bike courses due to the simple reason that my calf muscles will choose that time to cramp up on me. Something about slowing down, not spinning, and making that tight turn do it to me every time. Such was the case here. Cramped up in my right calf. And about 2 miles from the end of the bike, the left calf cramped up. Hurt my bike split a lot to have those ill timed cramps.


Boy Goal - 1:00
Official Time - 0:54

Dad Goal - None
Official Time - 1:06

Here I was really proud of the Boy. Parents were allowed in transition to assist. I had the Boy do most everything himself to get him ready for the more strict IronKids events. Here, I grabbed his bike and told him to 'go!' and he said, "but Dad, I need to put on my race number belt". Here I was about to send him off without his race number belt and he had the right frame of mind to not overlook it.

Run - Kids 1 mile, Adults 5K

Boy Goal- Under 7 minutes
Official Time - 6:57

Dad Goal- None
Official Time - 24:17 (7:50 per mile); 3rd in AG (8 total); 43rd fastest overall
The Boy is in the best run shape of his life as he is currently in summer training for the fall cross country season. So I knew he could bust one. What was unknown to us is how his legs would respond after a hard swim and bike as he's only done a couple of bricks this summer. We set of goal of going under 7 minutes based off a 6:45 mile test held at school a few weeks earlier. So for him to come under 7 minutes after swimming and biking was real gutsy. And since he made 3rd place by a mere 10-seconds brought home the importance of gutting it out.


We eached received very nice, and quite heavy, granite plaques for our 3rd place age group finishes.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Hey! A Medal! Hooray!

I received a rather nice surprise in the mail this past Friday. A lovely way to begin the weekend. It was a medal for my second place overall finish (age graded) at the 2012 Treadmill 1 Mile World Championship held this past winter.

A few weeks ago I had been contacted by Dr. Bill Misner who also participated and was third. We exchanged pleasantries and war stories. You could say each of us has a rather high pain threshold. You can read Bill's race recap by clicking on each icon below:

Bill's Recap Page 1

Bill's Recap Page 2
I'd like to thank Bill for being so gracious as to provide these awards for the top three finishers of that event! It certainly was an experience that I won't soon forget.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Official Diagnosis: Tibia Stress Fracture

I promised I would deliver the results of the MRI. Not exactly what I wanted to share but the MRI did show a tibia stress fracture. The tibia is the larger of the two shin bones and as a weight bearing bone is more susceptible to stress fractures, particularly in the lower third.

Symptoms of a Stress Fracture Include:
  • Pain (usually on the lower third of the tibia) that occurs after running long distances.
  • Tenderness and swelling over the site of the fracture.
  • Pain when you press into the shin. An X ray of the injured leg will often not show any sign of a fracture. Another X ray must be taken 4 weeks after the first and often the new bone can be seen where it has started to heal.

We did an X ray back in April and it showed no fracture. My doc and I had decided to just wait it out 8 weeks or so. Over that time I have improved so that I can walk normally, but still could not run. That is when I decided to push for a MRI.  

The two bones of the lower leg are called the tibia and fibula. The tibia is the larger of the two and its role is load bearing. The fibula is the smaller of the two and its role is mainly for muscle attachment. Either of these bones can have stress fractures. The most common site however is two to three inches above the bony bit on the inside of the ankle (medial malleolus) on the tibia bone.


Causes include:  
  • Overloading the bone by continuous muscle contractions for example in running. 
  • Stress distribution in the bone altered because of continuing to run when the muscles are particularly fatigued. (Muscles are unable to take some of the stress so rely more on the bone).  
  • A sudden change in running surface for example going from grass training to lots of track or road running.  
  • Lots of small impacts on the bone even though they may be very small, a cumulative effect can build up.

As with the hip stress fracture, I'm sure this is just another over-use injury. But that is the head-scratcher, as I wasn't really running like an idiot. Here are my run miles from late fall up to the time of injury:
October 2011 - 170 miles
November 2011 - 200 miles
December 2011 - 11 miles
January 2012 - 36 miles
February 2012 - 91 miles
March 2012 (first half only) - 42 miles
I had put in some heavy mileage towards the end of last year, but I was also coming off some of my most successful running in recent memory.
Sep 17 - Bismarck Half-Marathon 4th overall (419 total); 1st overall in Male Masters (40 & over); 1st in 50-54 AG (17 total). Time 1:25.04 

Sep 24 - Plymouth Fire Fighters 5K - 3rd overall (359 total) 18:41, course PR

Oct 2 - Du the Bear Duathlon, Houston, TX - 9th overall (259 total); 1st 50-54 AG (13 total)

Oct 8 - Fargo Mini Marathon 5K - 4th overall (695 total) 18:03, 1st 50-54 (16 total)

Oct 22 - Lincoln Family Downtown 5K; Phoenix, AZ 11th overall (296 total); 1st 50-59 (16 total)

Oct 29 - 37th Annual Red River Run; Moorhead, MN - 1st overall (84 total); 1st in 50-59 (15 total). Time 59:03

I then took time off in December to recharge the batteries. I slowly started up again in January and then brought the run mileage back to where I wanted it to be in February. That may have been too big a jump too early, though. By mid-March, the injury had occurred and I am sure I did myself in even further by jumping into the 10K when we visited London the first week of April.

So, how long will I be out? It is anyone's guess. I read anywhere from 4 weeks to 6 months. Since it has been 11-weeks since the London 10K my initial guess is up to another three months. So, perhaps in September. And begin to gear up for 2013.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Blog Enters "Jeremiah Johnson" Status

Jeremiah Johnson is a jaded veteran of the Mexican/American war. He turns his back on the life he has previously led to become a mountain man up in the Colorado Rockies. His first winter is a difficult one which almost ends in starvation.

Because of the latest injury, I have nothing to post. I have been unable to run since April 1. My bike and swim mileage is half of what it should be as I wait out recovery. Therefore, I am not really competing. I have disconnected myself from Facebook and Twitter association with those people who are really just minor personal athletic acquaintances. If you are still connected to me via one or both of those social media, you are then in my thoughts and I have elected to stay connected from afar. I may even respond to one of your postings from time to time.

Just like any trapper, I will need to head to the trading post from time to time. In this analogy, it means I will post one of two things on this blog until such time I am fully recovered and racing again. One, anything on my injury. There should be a posting coming in 7-10 days when I receive the results of my MRI.

Two, a race result from the Boy®. He will be competing in three triathlons over the next few weeks:

Jun 23 (signed up) - GraniteKids Triathlon - St. Cloud, MN - 150yd swim, 3mi bike, 0.75mi run

Jul 7 (signed up) - Hy-Vee IronKids Waterloo - 300yd open water swim, 8mi bike, 2mi run

Jul 21 (signed up) - Hy-Vee IronKids - Rochester, MN - 300yd pool swim, 8mi bike, 2mi run

I bid you all the best of luck in your racing endeavors in 2012. Hopefully, I will see you on some course in 2013.