Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Lifetime Tri Minneapolis- Race Report

Wow, what a day. Woke up at 5:15 to a thunderstorm. I checked the race announcements and they had no firm update yet so my wife and I got ready to go and left the hotel around 5:30. The Elite Wave was supposed to start at 7:14, so I was a little behind where I wanted to be but with the weather the way it was, I wasn't worried. Parking for the event was atrocious. There was no parking lot of any kind, only street side parking. We parked about a mile away from transition. I think my parents parked over two miles away. By the time I got my bike to the transition, it was 6:00 and they were just opening transition.

I got my station set up then played the waiting game. I left the house on Tuesday and spent some time with the in-laws before heading up to Minneapolis. I looked at the weather and tried to pack light...needless to say I didn't bring any rain gear. I was freezing as I was waiting for an announcement about what was going to happen. I used my wetsuit as a umbrella/jacket for a while. Finally they let us know they were going to shorten the race to the sprint distance due to flooding on the course and the race would start at 9:00. I decided that I needed a little harder warm up being it was a shorter course. I ran the mile back to the truck to let my wife know what was going on with the race, then ran pretty hard back. Around 8:50, I jumped into the water and swam for a few minutes before the National Anthem.

The water was warm, so it was a no wetsuit race. I was freezing when I got out of the water to wait for my start. Being it was only a 400 meter swim, I didn't even bother with the speed suit either. At the starting corral, they told us that the Elite wave would also be starting in a time trial format which was a change from the original plan. The start crept up on my really quickly and I wasn't mentally ready for the short 400 meter sprint swim. I ran in the water quickly, dove in and quickly swam up on the group of two that started 2 seconds before me. The water was murky and I didn't really see them at all. I ran into them and tried to scoot around them but ended up getting out of the draft line. I really never got back into it. I got beat up a little at the 200 meter turn and struggled through the last 200 meters. I wasn't happy about the swim at all.

I ran through T1 pretty well. Everything went smoothly and I jumped on my bike right at the mount line. Despite everything going well, I was still one of the slower transitions out of people in the top 20. For shorter races, I need to start leaving my shoes on the bike and just grabbing my helmet and going. I'll start practicing that soon.

Because of the rain, my Power Meter was not working. I didn't really need it for pacing at all, but I have not rode all out for a 45 minute ride in a long time. I would have liked to have the data to see what kind of power I pushed. Anyway, the bike course was terribly bumpy. I think they found every pot hole in the city. I felt bad for my bike the entire time. There was a ton of drafting going on throughout the course. With the course being so short, there was not a lot of time for everyone to spread out. With about two miles left, I felt like I was fighting my bike. I was working harder than I should have been to move. I figured out I had a flat right at the end of the course. As I jumped off the bike, there were two guys in front of me who didn't have a clean dismount. They got in my way and slowed my down a bit heading into T2. I had a really clean T2 and out I went to the Run.

I felt pretty strong on the run. I hadn't ran a 5k in a long time. All of the training I have been doing has been geared towards Half and Full Ironman races. I was going to do a few Olympic races this year to use as speed training days. I didn't know how this run was going to go, especially with me have a very interrupted training schedule for the last seven weeks. I started picking off a few guys early on and it helped keep everything positive. I ended up running a 16:11 which was second fastest elite and 3rd fastest overall on the day.

Overall, I finished 7th. I was happy with the performance being it was so much different than I was expecting. This was my first experience with a Lifetime Tri event. They did a few things really well, but there was a lot about the race I wasn't impressed with. It is tough to judge overall whether the frustrations were because of the weather or other factors. It is always frustrating to pay for an Olympic race and have many people drop out because they shortened it up to the sprint. I did really like that they had the kids heat at the end. Every attempt to grow the sport is important.
This guy may have beat me, but I made him work for it! He finished a few seconds ahead of me.

My wife and I stayed overnight and ran the Color Run 5K which was at the State Fair Grounds. I had never done the event, but it was fun. I like events that get so many people out and moving. There were tons of people running/walking the event! We got to see some family on the way home as well! All-in-all an awesome, but tiring weekend!

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