So far this year has had a common theme, I call it the "shoot from the hip" STRATEGY. No real plans, no real schedule and of course, no coaching! With that, YOUNG LIFE Triathlon is likely the last big tri of the year. Might find another small race like the 20/4/7 duathlon in Fergus but time will tell. With that, one last race to crush it at. My bike speed had increased a good amount this year and my run pace also improved. Wish we could discuss an improvement with the swim but I just don't put in the effort and will be next years goal!
To keep things standardized, my friday night consisted of the normal 3 items: a cheeseburger, a beer and an early bedtime! Just another reason why one should not follow my training plan! So there I was, alarm going off at 4am and I got my typical race day morning routine out of the way and was off to DL.
Detroit Lakes isn't too far away so I could take my time and relax a little bit. By relax I guess that means pulling a u-turn on the highway to capture this bad boy! Like, how does someone with a passion in photography not stop on the side of the road at like 5:45A!? The day was off to a great start!
Back to the swim, bike and run thing. I pulled into DL and took the back way to the PAVILION and sure enough, spotted the Scheel crew! Funny how things work out, for whatever reason took a different route than i normally do and crossed paths with them, what a great surprise! I continued with my morning, parked, got body marked and went to pick out a spot on the racks. I figured an opening by the Scheel's bikes was a good spot and racked Stealth. As we neared the time of transition closing, a lady pulls up with her bike and parks it between our bikes. I say "park" because she used her kickstand rather than racking her bike. I get it, not everyone has a TT or nice roadie and it could have been her first triathlon. But what happened next sealed the deal. She makes room for her cooler. Anyone familiar with a triathlon knows that the bare minimum is allow in transition and at larger races you are only allowed to rack you bike and your gear is in a SEPARATE area! As I was putting on my wetsuit she opened the cooler, again, assuming I would see a sports drink, yogurt or maybe an orange? Bud Light...the cooler was filled with Bud Light. Jebus!
Upon the completion of the national anthem, a short prayer and course briefing, we entered the water and got this race going! I made it about 50 feet before someone behind me grabbed my leg and yanked me back. Not a huge deal, used to it from the IRONMAN races but they basically used my timing chip as a handle to do so thus I had to stop and secure that back around my ankle. Great start right? I thought the swim was going ok and seemed to be at a slighter faster than normal pace. I made the final left hand turn and sighted the shoreline which was a pain in the ass with the sun and glare. Speaking of pain, about 500 yards from the shore I got the worst Charley Horse I have ever had in my right leg. Like, i could not move my leg to save my life and after a big drink of lake water, I was just trying not to meet a LIFEGUARD! I limped it to shore and after a few strides on land my calf muscle loosened up, on to t1.
I hadn't worn a wetsuit the last two races so I was pumped to be able to peel it off in one quick motion. Threw on my helmet, shades and shoes and grabbed Stealth for a quick 25 mile ride. Sure shit, hung a quick right out of TRANSITION still running with my bike and bam! Charley horse again. Was angry enough to punt a puppy at this point. I threw 2 Clif Bloks in my mount and slammed some gatorade and told Stealth she better be fast today, we had some time to make up!
The bike is a 2 loop course around the lake and I PEDALED my ass off. I passed a pile of people on the bike and managed the 6th fastest bike split averaging over 22MPH and by this point, was a hurting unit. A little wardrobe change in t2 and I was off on the run course. A nice little out and back along the lake and through the woods a bit which meant one thing. The sun was beating down on us basically the whole time! I was hoping for sub 7:00 miles but after the charley horse debacle and giving Stealth the full throttle, I just didn't have it in me. Again, a hurting unit. I had a few guys in front of me to use for motivation. I make a much better hunter than leader. It took about a mile but I made a pass and had the next guy in sight which I passed around the 3rd mile. At about the 4th mile I made my last pass and at that point, was just trying to keep from blowing up! I came into the finisher chute and was beyond excited to be done. I somehow managed 7:13 miles and good enough for the 5th fastest run split on the day. By far one of the most CHALLENGING days I've had this year, was a mental and physical battle the whole freakin' day!
Brutal age group right!? 6th overall finish and 4th age group. After the day I had, more than thrilled with those results. Regardless of the results, another great day filled with swim, bike and run. another day spent with the greatest group of people around, triathletes and I got to see the Scheel clan. Special day for them as it was Miranda's first triathlon and I can only assume she will excell in the sport if Brandon has anything to do with it! We also raised some money for the YoungLife organization and also hopefully brought some awareness to thier cause.
Up next is the Dick Beardsley half marathon where I hope to set a new 13.1 PR. Just need to figure out these muscle cramps/spasms.
Again, huge thank you to Wattie Ink for giving me the opportunity to race in the best clothing out there as a member of the Hit Squad team. Huge kudos to Tribe Racing and all their support along with Jake's Bikes for keeping Stealth a fine tuned machine. Thanks to everyone who knows I am partially if not completely INSANE yet choose to support me anyways. Peace out!
With COLT (Chain of Lakes Triathlon) and the Harvest Duathlon a thing of the past, the Minnewaska Triathlon is now my local race. Just a short 15 miles or so down the road to GLenwood I get to support a local event. So yes, of course it is on my schedule every year! I got to race with the kona kid the week prior and this week I got to race with Mike who is a rockstar human. Not really sure what race we crossed paths at but he's one of those people I'm glad to have in my life. We've had a pretty solid yet healthy competition between us as our performances are usually pretty equal. I went out on a little training ride with him and twisted him arm just slightly to get him to sign up for Waska.
The race starts early, 7:30a to be exact and I like to be there early so I can relax, eat some breakfast and get in a short warm up run in. Being a local race, I even got to bring mom with which means a lot for both of us! With the pre race meeting over we walked down the beach to the swim start and we were quickly off. Just as quick as the race started we all realized just what a weedy mess Lake Minnewaska is! One could barely get in a full swim stroke in with all the weeds and being only a 400 yard swim, it wasn't really worth going further away from shore to avoid the weeds. At one point, I literally stood up and pulled weeds off of me. Yes, the water is also a little shallow haha. Being a shit swimmer, I was pretty stoked to exit the water and see Mike right in front of me. THis meant I had a decent swim for once! With no wetsuit, It made for a speedy T1 and I was off to chase down the leaders.
We leave town and the first half of the bike course is generally uphill so I had to go easy for just a bit to bring my heart rate back to a normal level. I pushed on and was chipping away at the bikers at a pretty solid pace. Once half way through the bike course I could only see a few cyclist ahead of me and had no idea what position i was in. Like normal, what goes up must come down so the the last part of the bike had its fair share of downhill portions but yet still had a few annoying climbs. I came around the last corner and entered T2 and there was only a few bikes on the racks. That was a great feeling!
I HAD REMEMBERED TO SWITCH OUT MY LACES TO MY ELASTIC ONES AND THAT MADE FOR A SPEEDY T2 AND I WAS OFF TO CHASE DOWN THE LEADERS! Having no idea how many guys were ahead of me, I tried for a 6:30 pace and about 1 mile into the run meet Zabel on his way back to the finish line and knew he was in 1st. Hoping to only see a few more guys, I meet the another "retro" athlete Spencer. For those new to the triathlon world, when I say retro I mean old school and my that I mean he rocks a speedo the whole race and is fast! I got to the turnaround point, threw some water on myself and made a beeline for the finish knowing I was in 3rd. I had maybe ran about 100 yards and realized the next pack of guys were hot on my tail. Sure enough, Mike was in the group which was exciting. He was having a killer race! Nearing the finish line I thought I could hear the pounding of a runner behind me so I had to find one more gear and push on. I generally have a rule for myself to not look back so I had no idea if someone was actually close behind and crossed the finish line completely gased. I finished the last half mile at a sub 6 minute pace and had 3rd place overall wrapped up with some time to spare.
So there you have it. A crap load of training and I found myself on the podium with a 3rd place overall finish. Mike also dominated the day with a top 5 finish. Sure it was amazing to finish 3rd but months or years from now I probably won't remember what place I was. What I will remember is how I had to pull weeds off myself during the swim. I will remember the size of my medal I received and the fact that Mike's was like 4 times the size! I will remember the picture perfect weather we had to race and how I got to spend another morning doing what I love with some great people. I'm beyond thankful to be able to wake up each day and be able to swim, bike and run!
Kudos to: Jake's Bikes - Wattie Ink - Trek Bikes - Tribe Multisport / Tribe Racing and all those who support my crazy journey
HOLT, short for Heart of the Lakes Triathlon which is in lovely Annandale, MN is a great race. THis race brings out the best of the best as it plays host to the Minnesota State Championships. You can absolutely crush it hear and get your ass kicked. Well, that is what happened but I'm ok with that. I went into the race just trying to push myself, race with a little discomfort and see what would happen. After that peaceful 4am alarm and some breakfast, I was off to the race on what was a perfect day. Things were looking good, it's always a bonus when Mother Nature decides to play nice! After the usually racking of the bike, getting transition set up and body marked, it was time for a quick snack and the gun to sound.
We all know I suck at swimming which yes, one day I'll put the effort into learning better technique so it was a slow 1:51/100YD swim followed by a piss poor attempt at removing my wetsuit. Like 3 minutes later I was off on the bike and had to put the hammer down. The bike course was about 21 miles and a great course around Clearwater lake. It was a pretty uneventful ride which is fine with me and managed 23.5 MPH average on the bike which was still only the 31st fastest split! The run, my specialty! I survive the swim, chip away on the bike and then chase people down on the run. A terrible game plan but that's how I swim, bike and run! So, the run, a 5.3 mile loop around lake Pleasant. While I would call it less than pleasant, I layed down a 6:55/Mile pace. Sure shit, only the 31st fasted run split. These boys and girls are good here!
After a hards day work I enjoyed my cookies and soaked up the sun a bit for the awards. While I had no chance of getting any AG award, I like to hang around and support the rockstars in our sport. We are generally a pretty laid back group of people and over the top supportive of each other especially being most of us are total strangers! On the plus side, I got that killer shirt to add to my collection.
Hanging with the Kona Kid
The kid, the myth, the legend...Corey Flippin' Nygaard. That retro young buck who rocks a speedo and for this race, a retro bike! All else, was a blast to hang out with the Nygaard clan, super nice family and beyond blessed to have people like that in my life. Heck, they even bought me ice cream! I'll return the favor in Kona guys...no pressure Corey!
The race is a short course (1/4 mile swim, 16 mile bike and 3.3 mile run) put on by the Fergus Falls YMCA. While small, it is a well ran event and fun location. Well, minus that damn hill leaving transition...what the fork man! The morning was the basic 4am alarm, breakfast and a car ride. Just about an hour to get to the race so not a real big deal. Got parked, racked the bike and got body marked. Again, Mother Nature blessed us with a perfect day and after chatting with Corey and his mom and dad for a bit, it was time to race!
I bet you know how this goes already, the swim...what the shit. I elected to not wear a wetsuit given the fact is was only a 1/4 mile swim. For whatever reason, it felt like I had weights around my waist. After the worlds worst swim, I was beyond excited to grab Stealth and take off on the bike. With doggy paddle performance, I had a pile of people to pass on the bike which if nothing else, was fun making all those passes! Managed the 9th fastest bike split and was again, pumped to lace up the shoes and fly.
I was thinking I would catch Corey on his return to transition but the course loops back pretty close to the beginning so I didn't see where he was or if he was winning. There were two guys I tried to catch on the bike but just couldn't pull it off. About a half mile into the run I caught them and made the passes and focused on the next guy to chase down. It may sound strange but I really enjoy having those people in front of me and chasing them down. I would rather chase than be chased and with my swimming, that fits my plan perfectly! So, that hill leaving transition also makes for a good final climb but then downhill finish. If you have ever watched the Island House Tri, basically the same set up exept it's Fergus Falls instead of the Bahamas...same but different! back on track here, downhill finish on what at this point is jello legs makes it interesting. I managed a 6:58/Mile pace good for the 6th fastest run split!
So, doggy paddle swim, solid bike and a crushed run brings us to a 9th place overall finish and a new course PR. Corey, using a retro bike with handlebars that were loose took 2nd place overall and continues to be a freak! I mean that in the best way possible bud, I promise.
Up next, Minnewaska! Like the only local race left so of course I am racing it. Going to be a blast and going to really put the hammer down. This one I get to race with Mike Loween! You got this little buddy.
WORK HARD. STAY HUMBLE. A LIFE FILLED WITH SWIM, BIKE & RUN. 5Ks TO MARATHONS, SPRINT TO IRONMAN 140.6