09082019 – Square Lake Tri

Square Lake Triathlon… I competed in it a few years ago and was a little nervous to be coming back, mostly because of the swim I guess. My swim training wasn’t consistent nor very intense and I hadn’t swam the distance yet. I also didn’t do a lot of open water swimming and on top of all that, the swim was a self-seeded time trial start.  I know how to self-seed in a age group mass start (the back) but in a time trial start with a new swimmer entering the water every 3-5 seconds this seemed a little harder to figure out.

Race morning was cool with a chance of rain that actually held off until most athletes finished. Had it rained during the race, it would have precipitated during every one of my races this year! Because of the weather I gave the family a pass on spectating and drove over early on Sunday morning arriving in the dusky morning light, checking in and getting set up in transition. I was surprised at how many people were showing up relatively close to the actual start time.  Getting there when transition opened might have been a little overkill, but I got what I thought was a good spot in the transition area. And that helped with the nerves, but then I stood around for about an hour, going to the bathroom and doing some stretching before the pre-race meeting and lining up.  About 200 people participated in the event.  I self-seeded into the front half-ish of the mid-pack. That felt like a good place to be and I probably could have gone out earlier.

The swim was two left turns for 1/2 mile in the water.  My watch showed 1,300 yards so hopefully I didn’t swim an extra 500 trying to swim in straight lines! There were 3 buoys per side, but the middle one kept moving around and we were told not to sight off it. Kind of a waste.  With the self-seeding I was passing people the whole time and getting passed by people too, so really no idea where I was at in relation to anyone in my age group. I didn’t have any trouble with the swim, I just stuck to one sided breathing and kept in the rhythm as much as possible.  I almost missed the last buoy and corrected myself, though I think some people missed it and didn’t care.  I finished the swim in 19:12 for 49th place.

T1 was 2:32.  I wore my wetsuit which is a full body one.  The water temp wasn’t bad, but the air temp was in the lower 50′.  I packed a vest and arm sleeves to wear as I wasn’t sure how it would feel.  If it was 52 and rain the vest would have been important.  I opted for just the arm sleeves and they took a little bit to get onto my wet arms!  Though they would be valuable for the bike!

Leaving transition on the bike (and run) you go up a steep hill and a little hill while leaving the parking lot. I should have spent some more time looking at the map, the course was different than last time I rode and the pavement markings were for the old course.  They didn’t put any mile markers down as it had rained over night.  My bike computer still isn’t working and I only felt my watch buzz at the 5 mile mark.  The course was about 18 miles with a fair amount of hills.  My watch said 18.5 miles with 250 feet of elevation change.  The steep hill at the start and one other short steep one in the middle section of the course were the only steep ones of not, but both were quick.  Otherwise it was a rolling course. For the first 5 miles it was a fair amount of getting passed and passing others.  After that there wasn’t much traffic, but one guy and I went back and forth a few times before I finally dropped him. Of course many of the people passing me were riding aerobikes.  Most of the course had wide shoulders with wind coming from every direction! I felt good on the bike and was pushing pretty hard on the hills. I took a gel around mile 10 on the bike and overall was feeling good.  I got passed by some older people in the last 5 miles on their aerobikes (I got some of them back in the run!). The course is a lollipop.  I finished the bike in 1:04:24 for 70th place.  The steep downhill on wet pavement into transition wasn’t ideal, but it was fine.

T2 was 1:30 and this included a quick potty break.  My bladder was super full and it was important to get it out.

The run went up the same steep hill and turned left out of the parking lot (the bike had turned right).  I was feeling my harder bike pace, ok and lack of brick workouts as we did some rolling hills.  My first mile was 8:41 which was slower than I would have liked, but I was running a steady pace and passing other runners.  I’d say overall in the run only 3-4 people passed me.  We turned around at the 1.5 mile mark/aid station. I grabbed a quick drink of water and emptied the cup on the back of my head. I should have taken the arm warmers off as I was a little warm and slipped them half way down my arms. Mid-50’s for a run is ideal temps!  Mile 2 was 8:11.  Glad to see the pace dropping!  I ended up taking my arm sleeves off and running with them in my hands.  I kept moving and trying to speed up as I went. The nice thing about an out and back is that you know what to expect!  Push this uphill… I kept trying to pick up the pace and did mile 3 in 7:33. Yea, maybe I left a little in the tank! I finished in 24:49 officially which was 51st place.

I’m surprised that I placed higher in the swimming than the running! That’s crazy to me.  It is hard to compare to my last race at Square Lake because so much was different.  Overall, I felt happy with my day!

My total time was 1:52:56 which was good enough for 49th place!  And 6th out of 16 in my age group.  I will take it!

09022019 – Bike

Probably last ride before I race on Sunday. It was cool 63 but humid when I left. I was going to do the Plymouth- Cedar Lake loop but decided to add in the Greenway. I cut over on the LRT trail. I was amazed at the amount of people living in tents along the Greenway. I wonder how many of them were living in the encampment before it was closed down.

It was overcast and unexciting.

13 miles.

08302019 – Bike

I was able to bike commute again today. It was a cool morning, in the upper 40’s! I didn’t want to overdress, but definitely didn’t want to get cold. I ended up wearing a t-shirt under a vest with arm sleeves and riding gloves and shorts. The tips of my fingers got a little chilly, but otherwise it was the perfect kit for the day. I took a different route than normal too, I just went straight up Upton all the way to Victory Memorial. It wasn’t as scenic as the parkway, but cut off about a half mile and didn’t really add any time. There was a train blocking Humboldt, but not Fremont so that worked out ok.

The ride home was in the mid-70’s so just warm enough to work up a sweat in my t-shirt and shorts. I rode home on the parkway. Nothing exciting.

Total for the day is around 10.5

08282019 – Bike

I had some time in the afternoon after my chiropractor appointment before the family would be home so I went out for a little ride. When I started out I completely forgot about the LRT construction and detours on the trail. So I headed west on the Cedar Lake Trail riding with a strong headwind before it finally veers more south. When I got to Hopkins and the Depot the trail heading back east to Minneapolis was closed. I followed the detour for a little bit and then decided that I could try and beat it, without looking at a map! Oops. I managed fairly okay but could have probably found a better route. I ended up on Excelsior Blvd which is fairly busy road during rush hour! I used the sidewalk for a bit to beat the standing still traffic. I finally stopped and looked at Google Maps and found a way to get back onto a trail. I caught back up to the detour and got to Dean Parkway off the Midtown Greenway and made it home. I stopped briefly at the Trailhead to catch up with a friend who had just finished the Weds CX races.

My total ride was 18.8 miles in about 84 minutes.

08272019 – Run

A quick run this morning to start the day.  It was still dark outside at 5:30am which was a little bit of a surprise. I’ve enjoyed sleeping in for too long! I took a fairly random route that included the 45 North trails and running the boardwalk across Wirth Lake.  I stopped to take a picture of the sunrise and noticed a deer standing in the water! It was cool, just under 60 for the run.

4 miles in 42:52.