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!
WORK HARD. STAY HUMBLE. A LIFE FILLED WITH SWIM, BIKE & RUN. 5Ks TO MARATHONS, SPRINT TO IRONMAN 140.6