Sunday, August 19, 2007


I knew it was going to be a bad day, but I did not know how bad until I got to the lake.

Early in the day, the wind was coming in, bringing all the cold air August has in it. The temperature at race time was 55 degrees. Yeah. The lake had rollers on it, from the up to 20 miles per hour winds. We were in the fourth wave, so we had about 10 minutes to wait from the time the forst swimmers got in the water. In that time, the rollers went to white caps.

To add to that, I thought this race would be shorter than the last. I was told it would only be a 600m swim, not the 800m of last event. It was 800m. The bike was the same distance, as was the run. So, basically, it was like running the Paul Bunyan all over again, only in the rain and wind. (it started raining while I was biking)

Ben, another triathlete from Bemidji, was targeting a time of 1:08. Right before the swim, he said we could go ahead and add 10 minutes to our target times. He was pretty close, he ended up at 1:19:17.

If I added ten minutes to my target, I would have been over the time in the Bemidji tri. I was not willing to do that. I NEEDED to do better.

On the swim, I was just trying to to drown. I am not a good enough swimmer to fight whitecaps, so I did not try. I ended up going almost two minutes slower. I really thought that was it, and I would just suck the rest of the race.

But I remembered why I can to tri-I am a pretty good biker. Even with 20mph winds, I thought I could do some damage on the bike. My time at the Paul Bunyan was 37:58. For the same distance (just over 11 miles) on this race, with quite a few more hills, I put in 35:13. That balanced my porr swim, and got me right back on track.

I had discussed earlier that the run was not hard, but the first half mile killed me last time. I was hardly moving at a fast walkers pace, even though my legs were moving fast. The problem was I was not striding, and I was just letting my legs fall, hard. This time I focues on striding out, right from the gate. It worked. Old time: a horrid 27:43. New time, a 7:39 mile, 22:56. The last mile was just over 7 minutes on my watch.

My total time last time was 1:27:53. This time I put in 1:24:23! 3:30 faster, in much worse conditions, on a much harder, hillier course. I can only wonder what my time would have been on a calm day. Everyone else would have done better, too, but honsetly I am competing against my self for now.

Still, I am happy with 3 and a half minutes. I put a lot more into this one, and it showed. If I can get some calm water for the next one, I imagine my swim time will reflect that, as well.

I am thinking about trying one more this summer, but it will depend on how I feel mid-week. For now, this has been a good first season, and I look forward to an off-season of swim training (with a coach) and improving that run time (the goal is 21 flat, with a 33 bike).

Now here are some pictures:

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