This morning I raced the Lake Country Triathlon in Baxter for the second year in a row. Last year, I signed up with two of my friends after we caughter the tri bug and had such a blast at the Chisago Tri. We loved this race so much last year, we decided to do it again. This year, we made a weekend of it and brought the kids - had a great time hanging at the waterpark.
Our hotel was pretty close to the race site, so I was able to sleep in until 6:30, which felt late for a race morning! Once we got to the lake I quickly set up my transition area. It is amazing to me what people drag into transition - a guy near me actually brought a chair! At the Chisago tri, you rack in transition according to race number and I swear everybody has about 3 inches of space. Of course, this forces you to use only your 3 inches and respect everybody's space. At this tri, not so much. People are all over the place, taking up several feet for their transition area. Oh well.
After getting set up, we snapped a quick pic in transition.
We then ventured down to the water to check out the swim course. Yep, looked longer than I remembered.
After a quick pre-race meeting, we were off. Or rather, the 20 to 29 year old men were off. I waited around for about 15 minutes until my wave (wave 6) went off.
Swim - 1/2 mile
Last year, the water was very choppy and the swim nearly killed me. The water today was very calm, so I really wanted to improve on my 27:ish swim time from last year. (I know, slow - I am a very slow swimmer!) I stuck close to the buoys and after the second buoy, was with the "slow" people in my wave. By the third buoy, the fast ladies from the wave behind mine were on me. By the time I reached the fifth buoy (and started turning back to shore), it was just me and the slow pokes. I just kept swimming. Swimming is so weird to me - I feel like I am in a complete time warp and have no clue as to how much time has passed. Could be five minutes, could be six days. Finally I was back on shore and running up to transition. 24:46 - still slow, but an improvement from last year so I am happy!
T1 - 3:21
I am so slow in T1. I should have borrowed that guy's chair and sat down to get my socks and bike shoes on. My post-swim dizziness combined with my usual clutziness makes putting on socks and shoes very difficult. I managed without any head injuries, so I'll call it a success.
Bike - 17.3 miles
Last year, I did this bike in 1:00:40. So my main goal for today was to break an hour in the bike. I started out and felt strong right away. I quickly reeled in some ladies from my age group and from the wave the started before and after me. From about the 6-7 mile mark until mile 12 or so there are some pretty decent hills on the bike course and I picked people off on the hills. During the whole bike, I was only passed twice - once by a guy (who started two waves before me, not sure what that was about) and once by a gal in my age group, who I passed back two miles from the end). I took a Gu Roctane at about mile 13 and really felt a boost. Pretty sure there were flames shooting out of the back of my bike the last couple of miles. :) Finished the bike in 58:08 and met my goal!
T2 - 1:56
Apparently I am not much better changing shoes after biking than I am putting shoes on after swimming. I wonder if I can improve this by spinning around in circles in my driveway and then trying to change shoes?
Run - 3.9 miles
Last year, I sort of died on the run. I remember taking walk breaks. My goal this year was to finish the run without any walking. As I was running out, I saw both of my friends and was able to cheer them on. I stuck my headphones in, listened to music and just focused on putting one foot in front of the other. I had a very steady (if not very speedy) run - never quit running. I picked up the pace as I came around the corner to the finish and was done in 36:51. An improvement of about a minute from last year's time.
My overall time was 2:05:01 - more than five minutes faster than last year. After kind of a strange summer training-wise, I am very happy with those results. Better yet, I definitely remembered why I fell in love with triathlon. Today left me excited for the last tri I am signed up for this year - the One Last Tri on September 19th.
Thanks for reading, hope you all had a great weekend!