Lake Marion Triathlon Race Report (with Matt and Newbie Justin!)

>> Monday, August 22, 2011

Yesterday was the Lake Marion Triathlon in Lakeville, MN. Matt and I were planning on doing it, and my friend Justin was going to do it as his FIRST triathlon! (Justin is the hubby of one of Pharmie's college friends.)

There were a few sprinkles off-and-on all morning, and that led to a rainbow which ended at 2 porta-potties:

Traditional pre-race shot in a "pot-o-gold" porta-potty

Justin said he took that rainbow as a covenant between him and God that he wasn't going to die in the swim. Ha!

We got down to the water and grabbed a photo before our start:

Me, Matt, and first-timer Justin!

Note: That's the first I wore my wetsuit in a race this year, and the first time EVER in a sprint tri. I've always said "It takes me longer to get it off in T1 than it benefits me in the swim in a short race." But I've never really tested that. So I thought I'd try it out at yesterday's race. More on the outcome of that in a later post.

Chatting at the water's edge, watching some earlier waves take off

Matt took off in the wave before Justin and I, so he had a 3 minute lead. Justin and I wished each other luck one more time, and lined up for the start.

"10 SECONDS............" *bull horn noises* *lots of splashing*


I started to the outside, but near the front. Pharmie got a shot of me through the pack of racers:

The swim was triangular: we swam out to a buoy, made a sharp turn and swam parallel to shore, and made a sharp turn to head back. I was too far to the outside at the first turn (what's new?), but I swam SUCH a great line rounding the second buoy.

Coming to shore, I saw someone standing up and starting to run in chest-deep water. IT WAS MATT! I gave a quick "hi" between breaths and swam a few more strokes before popping upright myself. I said "hi" to Kerry Y at the water's edge, and ran up the beach.


I knew Matt was right behind me. Pharmie was there to get a photo of me running up with Matt hot on my tail (to the left):

My boobs look nice here

Matt running in just behind me

In T1, I grabbed my stuff and ran past Matt. "NICE swim, Matt!" He replied "See you on the bike." I laughed and said "Oh, you'll see me QUITE soon out there!" I knew he'd be passing me in a matter of minutes once he hit the bike.


Pharmie missed getting a photo of Matt starting the bike (she shot photos of someone who WASN'T Matt). But for some reason she could easily spot me across the park as I started the bike:

It's the white helmet - it stands out ;)

Once I got out of the park, I noticed I was going 26+ mph. "Shoot... there must be a wind." A bit later, I was going 22.5 mph, and my computer said I was lowering my average. I tried to make sure I wasn't going too hard... but if there WAS a tailwind, I wanted to be using it!

About 10:00 into the ride, Matt went flying by. Shortly after, I passed Scuff (someone I know from BT). I kept Matt in my sights for most of the race. I got within a block of him after a big climb around mile 13ish. The funny thing was I rode right through a loogie at the top of the hill. I immediately laughed and thought "that's probably Matt's." Matt pulled away and was out of sight (or at least hard to spot) by the end of the bike.

I also kept "leap-frogging" another biker who told me he liked my shorts on the 2nd or 3rd leap-frog. He was a nice guy, and we laughed and always said "hi" as one of us went past the other.

As many of you know, I like to "check-in on my splits" throughout a race as a way to keep going hard. Here's what I had for my overall MPH throughout the race:

- Mile 05: 22.4 (wind at my back)
- Mile 10: 21.3 (into the wind, slowing...)
- Mile 15: 21.1 (...still slowing)
- Mile 17: 21.3 (wind-aided again, nearly back at the park)


Matt got back to transition under a minute before me. Here are some photos that show how it all went down:

Matt running in

VERY few bikes back in T2!

Me running in (I don't think I had noticed Matt right there yet!)

Turning, saying "NICE WORK" to Matt, and getting ready to rack my bike

Matt buckling his number as he runs out of T2

Monkeying with my heel lifts in my shoe

Quick side story on that last photo: I'm still wearing small heel lifts in my shoes from my heel injury this past winter. When I slid my left foot in my shoe, my heel lift slid way forward. As I pulled my foot out of the shoe to readjust, my calf went ZING as I got a nice charlie horse. Damn it. You can see in that photo that I'm standing a little "gingerly" as I'm fixing my heel lift. Oh, and in a close-up, you can see the smiley face I asked the body-marker to draw on my calf:

(Sheesh... that's one of my longest T2 write-ups in a long time!....)


Side note: I knew this race had a special award for fastest stand-alone swim, bike, and run splits. I've had the fastest run split once before in a duathlon, but never in a tri. I'm usually "up there" in my run split, and I figured I'd be in the top 5 in run times. I thought I'd "give it a go" and shoot for the fastest run split! Who knows - maybe I could do it!

Matt and I hit the run, and I reeled him in after a few hundred meters:

Matt and me just out of transition

Smiling at Sarah (someone I know from the Y) who was cheering for my shorts! :)

Justin "floating" through the run (#393)

It may be his first tri, but he's already got the
"hey-babe-this-run-is-dedicated-to-you point" down pat. Ha!

The run was mostly on a paved bike trail. It starts flat-ish, and then slowly works its way up. There was a nice longer climb (and by "nice," I mean "brutal") up to the first mile-marker. I passed Matt and a few other guys early in the first mile. I hit the marker at 6:02.

We started down a hill, and then turned to do a small loop in a small neighborhood before heading back. That little loop had a SHORT but NASTY little climb! I passed another runner, and then spotted Matt on his way out as I was heading back. I had upped the pace a bit and hit the mile 2 marker at 5:59.

After turning off the "main road," we had to do a little loop through a cul-de-sac. I FINALLY passed someone in my age group! I had 2 guys in my age group go flying by me on the bike, and I finally got one of them back! I held him off through the cul-de-sac, and ran HARD from there. (I ended holding him off by 20 seconds by the end of the run.) I KNEW I had another guy in front of me in my age group, and I went hard after him! I closed the gap to just a few seconds up to the mile 3 marker, but at that point he took off FAST for the finish. He was gone. I ran the final full mile HARD in 5:30.

We came through the trees, onto the road, and up 2 small curves to the finish. Here I am just before those 2 quick curves, trying to pass the guy I was gaining on:

Working to the finish

Big stride, frightening small children

Up to the finish line!

#434, Steve Stenzel, 30, M, St. Paul

- 400 M Swim: 6:49 (1:33 pace, 20th overall, 1st in AG)
- T1: 2:16
- 17.3 Mile Bike: 48:31 (21.0 mph, 19th overall, 6th in AG)
- T2: 0:56
- 5K Run: 18:23 (5:56 pace, 2nd overall, 1st in AG)

- Total: 1:16:53

Age Group: 3rd out of 20
Overall: 6th out of 314


- 20th fastest swim!?!? And FIRST in my AG?!? That wetsuit must have helped!....

- My bike was solid; I can't complain. Pretty happy with my effort there. (I maybe could have pushed it a little more around miles 10-15, but whatever.)

- 2nd fastest run! Yay! But that means I missed the award for fastest run by ONE spot! D'oh! However, I'm OK with that because it's not like I just missed it by a few seconds. The guy with the fastest run split did the 5K in 17:41 (which was 42 seconds faster than me). I take slight comfort in knowing that he finished a few spots behind me overall. ;)

Me, Pharmie, and Cranky Hank shortly after I finished!

Back with more from the race shortly, including more of Matt and Justin finishing the race. In the meantime, check out Justin's first triathlon race report!! There's something fun about being an "old pro" and reading someone's first experience with this strange sport. So stop by Justin's Blog where his profile states "Family physician, triathlete, husband, and father. Advocate for natural family planning, ecological breastfeeding, the family bed, and natural running. Follower of Jesus Christ."

Happy Monday everyone!! Back with more soon!


Anonymous,  9:26 AM, August 22, 2011  

I really enjoy reading your race recaps! They make me laugh out loud!

Way to kick some ass on this one - great job!!

Judy 10:07 PM, August 22, 2011  

I just linked to an awesome triathlon race report I think you'll like:

Online Viagra 7:10 AM, August 23, 2011  

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Steve Stenzel 7:12 AM, August 23, 2011  

Umm... thanks "Online Viagra."

Devon 12:36 PM, August 23, 2011  

I'm really glad you choose to subtly stand out with the white helmet...

Awesome job Steve!

Love reading your posts, you are hilarious.

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