On Sat I had my third and final triathlon I scheduled for the season which was the Young Life Triathlon in Detroit Lakes, MN. Being this was my first season of triathlons and my first Oly I was a little nervous especially since I totally bonked on the long brick that I did the week before.
I have been anxiously awaiting this race for quite some time and had scoped out my completion. I also laid out three goals for this race, 1) Go Under 2:16:00 2) Top 10 Overall 3) Podium in My Age Group (30-39). Through my scouting I know that there were going to be 3 or 4 guys competing that would be in the 2:05 -2:10 range but the race was fairly small so I thought I had a good shot at reaching all three.
Since the race was a 3 1/2 hour drive from home, my family and I decided to go up the day before and tent camp at a local RV Campground. Unfortunately we had a major thunderstorm come through the area at about 10:00 pm Friday night which made for a fairly sleepless night, not that I sleep well the night before a race anyway.
Pre-Race: I woke-up/got-up at 5:00 to start getting ready, had my pre-race oatmeal and banana, and loaded up the car to head to the race start. While setting up my transition area I couldn’t help but glance around at the other athletes and their equipment and wonder if the competition was what I thought it was going to be. I am new to the sport and have not been able, yet, to purchase a tricked out tri bike and often forget that the cost of the bike is not indicative of the ability of the athlete.
Swim: I was really excited for the swim because I am a strong swimmer and planned on being one of the first if not the first out of the water. The wind at the start of the race really started to kick up and the water was really choppy but I was determined to make the best of it. The course was a very large triangle and unfortunately there were only 4 buoys total to mark the course so sighting was tough. At the first turn I was third and feeling strong so I continued to push hard and found myself in second halfway down the back stretch. I kept trying to catch the leader but we were pretty evenly matched for ability and I came out of the water 5 seconds behind him. 24:27 (1:30/100 yd avg.)
Bike: I knew if I was going to place high overall I was going to have to work hard on the bike. However, I have not made the transition to a tri bike yet, I am riding a road bike, and within the first five miles I just got rocked by 3 guys on tri bikes and another one on the second loop who ended up averaging 24-25 mph. Other than that the bike was fairly uneventful, I tried to keep a good steady pace and keep my perceived exertion moderate so I had something for the run. 1:08.25 (21.8 mph avg.)
Run: The run has been my most trying discipline to get back into so I was nervous for it. Fortunately though as I started the run it started to sprinkle/rain and I have always been a good foul weather runner. As I left the transition area my legs actually felt good, this was the first tri where I didn’t feel like I was picking up and putting down lead weights as I ran. This gave me some confidence. At the half-way point it really started to rain hard, I felt sorry for all the volunteers, my shoes were getting pretty heavy from the water but I was determined to not let it affect my performance. With 1 ¼ miles to the finish I kind of got a second wind and pushed for the finish with my wife, kids, and parents standing in the rain to cheer me on to the finish. 42.03 (6.46/mile avg.)
Race Results: 2:16:53 (5th Place Overall, 4th Place AG)
I am pretty happy with my performance at this race, yes I only accomplished one of the three goals I set out but that are what goals are for. If you don’t place that bar up there high enough to push the limits of your ability you never grow as an individual and I need that bar placed just slightly out of my reach so that I have something to motivate me to get out there on those days when it would be easier to just stay in bed and say there is always tomorrow. I can’t wait for next year!!!