Saturday, July 31, 2010

Medical Lake Kiwanis (mini) Tri

This is the third time I've done this race and each time it seems to be bring new suprises. The first time was full of suprises as it was my first ever race. Last year I ended up following someone doing a seperate bike race and doing the entire bike leg backwards. That made me a little leary of this year. The biggest unknown for me was whether or not my hamstring and calf would make it through the run.

Pre race- I went into the Dr. on Wednesday to talk about relieving some of the tightness I’ve been having in my left hamstring and calf. I ran 2 seven milers the week before and felt worse after each one than I had before. Those were my first 2 runs since Ironman. The plan the Dr. and I came up with was that I could run up to the time I start to become symptomatic, which seems to be at about 5-5.5 miles. So this race was cleared. Coeur d’ Alene Olympic however has been bagged.

Anyway I arrived at the race to register and ran into a few other tri-fusion folks and chatted with them before the start. I headed down to the water with about 5 minutes to go to see the extremely short swim. For those that don’t know this swim is advertised as a 400 yards swim. It’s actually about 280ish. I swam out to the turn around and came back just in time to hear the countdown.

Swim- 3:30

That’s right it was a 3:30 swim. It felt more like a 1:30. I started towards the front and after about 20 yards it was only Michael Berquist ahead of me (a theme for the rest of the race). He had a wetsuit on so I thought the time he made up on me in the swim would be lost in transition. This was not the case. I’m pretty sure he’s just plain a better swimmer than I am wetsuit of not. The swim was uneventful. I saw him get out of the water about :30-:45 seconds ahead of me and continued at my pace.

T1-By the time I got to my bike Michael was already heading up the hill out of transition. I wasn’t sure how he got out of the wetsuit so fast but he was gone. I later found out that the wetsuit was some crazy “zip all the way to the ankles” thing. That thing would perfect for a short race like this.

Bike- 25:15

The bike is a 10.2 mile loop around clear lake. I wasn’t sure how far ahead of me he was but I could still see him as I tried to get my shoes all strapped up. (I really need to work on my transitions!) I tried to push on the bike, but before the race started I discovered my Garmin had been left on the night before and was completely dead. I had no speedometer, and more importantly no cadence. I really like to use my cadence to gauge my effort.

This course has a lot of turns in the first half so I lost site of Michael, and I had know idea who was behind me. I made sure I made the turn that I missed last year and continued to try and push it. We made the turn around and I could see him again and could also see that someone was behind me. I figured that I was about right in the middle “distance wise” between the two. The headwind and false flat on the way back to Medical Lake were a little discouraging, but I could tell he wasn’t putting much time into me. (Unfortunately I knew that race was pretty much over as he rolled into T2 about 1 minute ahead of me.)

I had decided not to push the run at all. I have a fairly big race coming up in October that I’m trying pretty hard not to derail.

T2- Racked the bike and threw my shoes on. Nathan Duncan informed that I was about 1 minute back. Then on my way out someone else told me I was about :35 seconds back. Someone was wrong. Unfortunately it wasn’t Nathan.

Run- 18:03

The run is advertised as a 3.4 mile run. It’s actually about 2.8. My strategy was go out easy and then taper off. I kept him in site and the guy behind me at bay. The run was actually really easy effort wise. I didn’t want to injure myself further so I settled into a 6:15ish pace and just cruised around the lake until I hit the trail that goes through the trees. At that point I looked back and could see I had pretty good lead on third and I wasn’t going to try and catch Michael. I just kind of shut it down and ran a 7:00ish minute mile back to the finish. The undulating nature of that last mile started to cause some problems with my leg so I’m glad the race ended when it did.

My final time was 48:35, about 1:40 back from Michael and :50 ahead of third. Although this wasn’t the race I wanted to be doing this weekend I still really had fun! It’s a first triathlon for so many people and it’s awesome to see the nervousness at the start and the excitement at the finish. I hope that this will be the start of a long triathlon career for most of them.
Next on the docket for me is the Long Bridge Swim in Sandpoint next weekend. I’ve never been in a swim race. I fully expect to get thumped by the real swimmers, but I plan on swimming without a wetsuit to get used to the kind of distance I will be swimming in Kona. It should be a lot of fun and Rumor has it there are huckleberries and chocolate milk at the finish.
P.S. sorry about the lack of pictures but I was there by myself. I promise to have plenty of pictures at my race from here on out.


  1. Nice work. Wish I could run 6:15ish pace and it was just a cruise :)

    Hope you heal up soon and can get back to some serious IM training.

  2. Well done! I've seen Michael's wetsuit/swim skin deal, it's pretty slick for this kind of short race.