My Big, Fun Triathlon News

>> Thursday, April 30, 2009

Remember back in March when I took 4 current and former students of mine to do their first triathlon? It was the Indoor Triathlon at the LTF in Eagan. Here’s me acting very normal (knowing that the school might like to use this photo on their website, which they did) along with my 4 students:



Well, on Tuesday evening, there was a student council meeting at that school (the College of Visual Arts). They unanimously voted to make the “CVA Triathlon Club” official. I’m their unofficial “coach.” I’ll be taking any students, faculty, or staff at the College of Visual Arts and getting them ready to finish their first sprint triathlon at the end of July!! HOW COOL IS THAT?!?

Some people are joining the club just to “get in shape.” There might be a few students that get together and compete in the tri as a team. And I think there’ll be 5-10 students that will train do the triathlon all by themselves. We’ll meet once or twice a week over the summer to have group workouts and to talk about what to be doing the rest of the time. I’m SUPER PUMPED for this!!

Now a quick question for all of you: I’ve used BeginnerTriathlete.com as a source for workouts and training plans, but does anyone have any suggestions for sources for tri training? Or running training? Or open water swimming tips? Any resources you might have encountered in your training would be SUPER helpful!

Thanks everyone!! Friday Funny coming shortly - it’s a good one!...

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Still Moist. But Working Towards the Finish!

>> Wednesday, April 29, 2009

More photos are up from Sunday's wet Winter Begone Duathlon. Here's a good one of me that shows the "wetness" of the day. This is the last mile of the bike, when it had started raining again. I look pissed. And wet:



Here I am nearing the turn around of the 2 mile run. It was 45 degrees. And wet. And because of that combination, my nipple came out to play:



Here's Borsch hitting the turn-around, and Matt chugging a beer some Gatorade:



Pharmie and her sister Steph hitting the turn-around:



Q: Why does this woman look so pissed?



A: Because she's watching this woman cheat by NOT going around the turn-around sign:



See? She looks surprised that she got caught! I kid, I kid. I don't think she was trying to cheat. I'm sure she's a good person.

In my Race Report, I talked about nearly catching 14th place a few hundred yards before the finish. Here I am, finishing 20 feet behind him:



Great. Yet ANOTHER finishers photo of me with one leg as I'm hitting my watch:



Here's Matt and Borsch as they hit the line:



And here's Pharmie and Steph finishing:



(You can see my bum sticking out of my red car in the background of Steph's photo - I was putting the camera back because it was starting to sprinkle again...)

There are more photos in the previous post, and my full race report is in the post before that.

Back with my "big, fun triathlon news" shortly!

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Moist Duathlon Photos

The official photos are up from our wet and wild duathlon this past weekend (the Winter BeGone Duathlon near Rochester MN). Here’s transition after the rain stopped, as it was emptying out just before the start:



We all walked to the start. Here’s 115 people waiting to start:



Ready, set, go:



Here’s Steph starting her FIRST EVER MULTI-SPORT EVENT:



Here are the leaders rounding the first corner. I’m peaking through the middle:



Here’s Matt in the first run:



Here’s Pharmie:



Here’s the majority of the pack running out, and you can see Borsch and Steph side-by-side:



Here I am a few minutes later, running into transition:



My fingers were numb, and I had to fumble with the chinstrap of my helmet for a few too many seconds:



Leaving T1 in about 10th place:



Goldilocks (my bike) had 2 of her twin sisters there:



Here’s Matt headed out on the bike:



Pharmie leaving T1:



Here’s Borsch’s SWEET flying start! Both of his feet are off his pedals, and you can still see daylight under his junk. Way to go, Borsch!



And here’s Steph heading out:



Pharmie a few miles into the bike:



Borsch...



...and Steph:



Here I am AWKWARDLY getting ready to dismount:



That was one of the last photos in the album. If they put up some finishers photos, I’ll make sure to post them.

After the race, Matt, Pharmie, and I loaded up my car and headed back. We were wet and stinky. So I’ve been trying to air all the stank out of my car. I think I need to Febreeze the heck out of it.

I have some big/fun triathlon news to share with you all shortly. No, there’s no IM in my future, nor even another Half IM in my near future. I’m waiting until it becomes more official, but I’ll share the news as soon as I can. I’m pretty stoked!!...

In the meantime, if you didn’t see my race report, check out my post below. Thanks everyone!

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Winter BeGone Duathlon Report

>> Monday, April 27, 2009

Or, “I Thought the ‘Mud Run’ Was Last Weekend!”

Or, “Wow, Steph! If You Can Handle THIS As Your First Duathlon, You Can Handle ANYTHING!”

Pharmie and I got up at 4:30 yesterday morning, and we got ready for the Winter BeGone Duathlon in Oronoco, MN. We loaded our bikes, and tried to ignore the fact that it was 40-45 degrees outside. We hit the road and got to the race site PRETTY early. We were the 4th car in the lot:



Transition was pretty empty when we were ready to set up. And by “pretty empty,” I mean “completely desolate.”



When our bikes were shipped back from IM NOLA 70.3 a few days ago, Pharmie’s bike, Tony, came back with a flat back tire. So she changed it once we got set up in transition:



And then it started raining. It was cold, windy, and now it was raining. So we went back to the car to stay warm. Sarah enjoyed a packet of dry oatmeal. Gross.



I ran to the picnic shelter where the packet pick-up was held, and snapped this photo looking back towards transition:



Pharmie walked with an umbrella:



Then she stood shivering in the pouring rain:



Sitting back in the car to warm up, we started hearing “clinking” on the roof. Yep, it was hailing:



Transition was flooding:


(notice the sweet bike with the kick-stand)




Rain sheeting through transition

Matt, Steph, and Borsch showed up and got set up in transition. Then they all sat shivering and wet in the back of my car. Notice all the moisture on the windows and the camera lens:



Pharmie and I were going to do the long course duathlon: 5K run, 19.5 mile bike, 10K run. Matt, Steph, and Borsch were going to do the short course duathlon: 2.25 mile run, 13 mile bike, 2 mile run. It was going to be Steph’s FIRST MULTI-SPORT EVENT!! GO STEPH!!

To make a long story short, here’s a bullet-pointed list:

• There was lightning, so we all had to wait 30 minutes (USAT rules) to see if the race could even start.
• All 5 of us thought about NOT starting the race. Too cold, wet, windy, and stupid.
• The driving rain HURT even while jogging - the ride would be HELL.
• The rain briefly let up, and we were then told the race would start in 10 minutes. And they were shortening the race: EVERYONE would be doing the short course.
• All 5 of us were back in! Time to race!

We jogged to the starting line. I was chatting with blogger buddy and interval buddy Jeremy on the way to the start (the start was 3-4 blocks from transition). We had talked earlier, and I had told him I hoped for a top 10 finish. Now that we were all doing the short course, I told him “what the heck - I’m still shooting for top 10,” but now it was going to be harder with the bigger group.

We got lined up. The race director, Bill, did a good job of getting everyone to the start and then getting everyone started before we stood around for too long and got cold. Thanks Bill! We were ready!

Ready, set, GO!

2.25 mile run:

I found myself running in 9th place. Then I dropped back to 10th, then 11th. At the first mile marker, I got back to 10th, and my first mile split was 5:43. Good. When we hit the turn-around, I looked for my crew running out. I said hi to Pharmie and Matt (running pretty close), and to Borsch and Steph (running together).

Heading back towards transition, I caught another runner. Entering the park, I said “hi” to Mark, who was volunteering and who is the race director for next weekend’s duathlon. I smiled at Jeremy’s family who was there to cheer.

I hit T1 in 9th or 10th place.

T1:

Grabbed my bike, put on my helmet which had been sitting in a puddle, fumbled for WAY too long with the chinstrap because my fingers were numb, and was off on the ride. Oh, and I did a little “flying start” on the bike. Nice. Total time: 1:03.

13 mile bike:

One of my big goals was to push hard on the bike. So I did. The course had many turns, and on the way out, we seemed to be going MOSTLY into the wind. At least, with my pace, I had HOPED we were going into the wind! The wind SUCKED. And the hills were bigger than last year. Really. I swear. They grew.

Nearing the turn-around, the rain started again. Pelting, cold, large drops of rain. Yay. I was warm enough, but the rain just sucked. And hurt a little on my face. That’s what she said.

I hit the “turn-around cone” with a 17.7 mph average. I wanted to improve that by a lot on the ride back.

After about a mile (of pelting rain), I met Matt. Borsch was close behind. Then I saw Pharmie. Then Jeremy shouted to me, but I noticed he was smiling, waving, and STANDING behind a race vehicle. Jeremy’s chain busted during his ride!! That sucks!! They popped out a link and reattached it, but with the shortened chain, his derailleurs didn’t work. Damn it. About a mile after seeing Jeremy, I shouted words of encouragement to Steph. She was toughing out this crappy day in her first duathlon!

In the first half of the bike, I got passed by about 5 people. On the second half, I just got passed by a few. I was pushing pretty hard on the way back into town, and I was watching my average skyrocket. I blew through the 18s. I ended up hitting T2 with a 19.3 average overall. And I think I was in about 17th place overall.

T2:

Said “hi” to Mark again. Said “hi” to Mike who was volunteering (he helped set-up the half marathon in Rochester that I ran in Feb). I racked my bike, and started changing shoes. When I was pulling off my left shoe, I gave myself a HUGE Charlie Horse up my left calf. ZING! I wasn’t worried and knew it wouldn’t last. I was out of T2 in 0:46.

2 Mile Run:

In the shitty, cold, rainy, windy weather, I’m REALLY GLAD the race was shortened for the long course athletes, and we only had to run 2 miles instead of 6.2. That was NICE! The rain had pretty much stopped once I hit T2, and now it was just cold and windy.

I took off hard, and caught someone in the first few minutes. I caught someone else just before the turn-around. I had my sights set on someone running strong about a block ahead of me. I closed the gap. Entering the park (about 200-300 meters from the finish), I was right on his tail. But he never let me pass. He had a stronger kick. I had finished strong in 15th place overall.

2.25 Mile Run: 13:00 (5:47 average), tied for 9th fastest
T1: 1:03
13 Mile Bike: 41:11 (19.3 mph on my computer) 23rd fastest
T2: 0:46
2 Mile Run: 11:16 (5:38 average), 4th fastest

Total: 1:07:13

Place: 15th out of 115
Age Group: 4th out of 7



Notice I was only 1 second behind the guy I was trying to catch!

Well, 4th in your Age Group SUCKS because that’s the first “non-medal” spot. Dang. I looked at the results and 3rd in my AG was a minute in front of me, and that’s a lot of time to make up on such a short race, so I didn’t feel too bad. I would have felt worse if 3rd was the guy who just finished 1 second in front of me!

I went back to the car (which was 100 feet away - YAY for early arrival!), and grabbed my camera. Shortly after, Pharmie came riding in, all ready to start her final run:





Not far behind her was Steph, braving the elements in her FIRST duathlon!




No Steph, look FORWARD!
(You can see the finish line just past her.)


Getting ready to rack her bike next to Goldilocks

As Steph was in T2, Matt was heading towards the finishline, about 12 minutes after me:



(Matt’s hat is completely black in that photo above. The white halo is from drops of water clinging to the fabric. I noticed this while talking to him post-race. Stupid cold rain.)

Matt and I hung out near the finish, and we chatted a little with Mark, who’s the race director for next weekend’s duathlon that we’re all going to do. (We met Mark last year in Faribault.) About 5 minutes after Matt finished, Borsch was heading to the line. Here he is hitting the finish with a nice looking stride:



About 6 minutes after that, my lovely Pharmie was bringing er’ home!







And finally, about 7 minutes after Pharmie finished, her sister Steph came running by, finishing her FIRST MULTI-SPORT event!!


She just passed the woman in blue





Two hours before, NONE of us wanted to race in that crap! Now, we were all glad we did, as we all finished a tough but fun race! It wasn’t more than 2 minutes after Steph finished that is started raining big, cold drops again.

We literally just grabbed our piles of wet, heavy, stinky, muddy clothes from transition, and threw them in my trunk. We loaded up the bikes, and hit the road back to St. Paul. We did NOT want to be out in that cold any more than we had to!

Four final thoughts:

• I was able to out-bike both Matt and Borsch, which was GREAT! (and mostly unexpected.) I got Matt by 6 seconds! Next weekend, if the weather’s better, Matt will TOTALLY own me on the bike, so I must enjoy this minor victory while it lasts.
• It was really nice that all 3 portions were out-and-back. Pharmie and I both commented that we loved to be able to see everyone else in our group before or after the turn-arounds.
• Pharmie placed 4th in her AG too, so we both walked away in that annoying place. Had there still been both races (the long course and the short course), we would have placed higher because our AGs would have been smaller. Dang. Oh well. There’s always next year!
• Matt and I can’t wait for the race photos. We both think there should be some good ones of us all wet, cold, and pissed. I’ll share those when they come in!

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