Square Lake Triathlon, the last race of the season, one of the longer sprint distances at .5 mile swim, 18 mile bike, and 5 mile run. I do not even know where to start on this race, so how about the beginning?
Heather and I were going to register for this as our last tri of the season due to the longer distance and training for her 10 mile race and my marathon, mostly for her and another tri for me. We were going to do the race with a few of my co-workers, and were even trying to get my father-in-law to do it as well. It did not take us long to figure out he would not be doing the race as he travels a lot for work and did not get in the pool nearly as much as he needed to be comfortable. We procrastinated and my co-workers registered, and then the day I went to register the webpage was down. 3 days of downtime, and when it came back up, it was listed as full.
I spent some time trying to find other races around that weekend but were not very successful. About two weeks before the race it came out that one of the guys I work with, Adam, was probably not going to do the race, so being the nice guy I was, I offered to give him an out and take his place. We agreed, and I was going to be Adam for a day. Heather decided to voulenteer for the race and got a free entry to a future Vacation Sports race (next year.)
I show up plenty after transition opens and packet pickup is supposed to start, and they were still getting stuff setup for transition. This made it difficult to setup transition so I tracked down someone who was helping and asked which entry was bike in/out and run out. He told me, so I picked my spot and setup. 15 minutes later I notice signs on the in/out, yep opposite of what he told me, time to change my location.
I get things settled in as Heather goes and checks in to help do body marking to start, or course I went to her line after picking up my packet. I went back up to stretch and get some things organized a bit more. I saw the person I was playing for the day, and his girlfriend who also works with us and was doing the tri. We walked down and got their packet and headed back up. I slipped into the wetsuit, ok it is a little more work than that, but then we headed down to the lake.
I got in the water after getting Adam to hold my cap and Garmin while I warmed up. I was in wave 1 with elites and males under 30 and teams. I must say the lake was very clear and fun to swim in. I settled into my groove quickly feeling strong in the water. That would be great if I was applying that strength in the right direction!
I had started a bit to the left of other racers to take the outside and get past some of the people who would be slower than me. Well I did not converge into the line as well as I would have liked, in fact circle number on the left side shows my big oops.
This is where I decided to cut inside the markers, I do not know how I went so far without noticing it, looks like I need to work on sighting a bit better. I was even breathing on both sides and was still all goofed up. The other marks on the way back show some areas I was doing the water slalom, only I was not skiing. A lot of poor swimming on my behalf. Garmin says .56 miles, in 16:32. Not too bad, if only I would have swam in a bit straighter line.
Transition 1 – ICK it starts with 68 steps from the lake to the parking lot, son of a… Heartrate does not not take well to climbing steps. It looks like my transition time was about 2:24, fair I suppose for climbing steps.
Out on the bike I go, oh but wait, when I hit lap on the Garmin, it says Transition… SHIT! Somehow my bike segment got skipped very fast and was all of about 18 seconds covering 100 feet. After screwing around with it a few seconds I got it to start recording something at least. It looked like between 16.5 and 17 miles. I averaged 18.8 on the Garmin, will be interesting to see what the results show. This is where reality sets in. I was not ready for this race. There were more hills on this course than I could imagine. I must also add that hills are my weakness and I have got to train harder on some inclines. They were rolling hills so I could just not get set in a gear and comfortable in my aero bars. (One advantage to the new bike will be bar end shifters and not road shifters.) I still need some significant effort building the motor. I learned my lesson at this race, sunglasses are probably more of a help than a pain. Because fishing gnats out of your eyes after running into a cloud of a million of those little things slows you down.
Pop into T2 and swap out shoes and out I go on the run. I took water right out of transition as I felt like I had been sweating out more than I had taken in on the bike because of the humidity. About a mile into the run my stomach starts to slosh around. My first thought was “Go make yourself get sick and forget it now” I should have listened to myself but did not. The course was a mix of pavement and gravel roads with some more… yep you guessed it… rolling hills. About mile 3 it hit and I felt like I hit the wall. Most of my run was in Z4 at least how I have it configured right now. I struggled up a few more hills and finally came up on the last stretch up a hill, sweet! The best I felt on the run was as I knew where I was in the park and heading towards the finish line.
Needless to say I was not expecting anything significant from this race. I ran across in 1:55:16, far from what I wanted. Averaged 8:45 minute miles on the run, not quite the 7:30s I was hoping to achieve. The unofficial results I saw said 107th overall and 10/21 in AG. Nothing spectacular, but now I have the winter to train hard and come back strong in the spring ready to podium.
I am still a bit upset the results have not been posted online, but should know better coming from Vacation Sports. I will probably do New Brighton since that was our first tri and St Paul since it is a bit larger and a pretty good course next year.
Sorry for the lack of pictures, no dedicated photo person means not many pictures. This week needs to have some good runs ending the week with an 18 miler! Hopefully my P2 shows up at the shop this week and they can get it put together and ready to send out to me by early next week!
This was the first race I used the Podium Quest Aero Bottle, look for a review very soon!