Monday, July 16, 2007

Good Weekend Race Results for All

LifeTime Triathlon was last Saturday. The event was great fun, combined with some work, some sweat and some unusual occurrences.

Minneapolis has hosted the event for several years. The event includes both an Olympic distance and a Sprint distance tri. It attracts professional tri people, who are racing for big money (the winner received $120,000 this year) along with Elite athletes and several thousand other regular Janes and Joes like me.

I raced in the Olympic distance event: swim = 0.9 miles/bike = 24.8 miles/ run = 6.2 miles.

This was the third year I participated -- my second year doing the Olympic, or Oly, distance.

Last year, the event was held on the hottest day of the summer. The temps reached the high 90's by early morning, along with drenching humidity. The race officials shortened the course last year for the Oly distance. We swam 0.9, biked about 20 miles and ran a 5k (3.1 miles).

This year, the weather gods smiled kindly upon us, so there was no reason to shorten the course. The temps were in the low 60's in the morning and the dew point was very reasonable. The lake temp was low enough to make the event "wet suit legal", which was music to my ears.

I also got to participate as a Team Toyota sponsored athlete. There were nine of us in total on the Team. We all got to meet each other the day prior to the event at the event's Expo. Each of them were very nice people and it was fun to spend part of the day with them.

Last year, the lake temp was in the low 80's -- pretty much tepid bath water. Wet suits were not allowed. It took me one hour to cover the distance swim distance. (I obviously take my time during the swim. The distance is one reason. The "water over my head" is another reason.)

This year, I got out of the water in just over 50 minutes -- a 10 minute gain over last year. The buoyancy of the wet suit helped boost my confidence in ability handling the deep and choppy water. I still stopped more than I probably should have, but still had a good swim time.

I did have some cramping in my calves during the swim (unusual occurrence number one) and my goggles leaked a bit, but neither of those events were distressing enough for me to quit.

My transition was pretty smooth, although I had to stop at the porta-potty before hitting the bike course. That was unusual occurrence number two: the number of times I had to pee* during this event.

(* Runners who read this blog will know that we spend an enormous amount of time detailing our bathroom habits with each other. The "natural" topic ranks as one of our top 10 race day concerns... Non-running friends, I promise that that will be the last reference to it in this entry. Just know I had to go a lot.)

The bike course winds through the Parkway system and is beautiful. It was very windy on the course, which was sometimes helpful (tailwind) and other times, not so much (headwind). I also dropped my chain about 4 miles before the end, which was a big drag. Fortunately, I could fix this quickly, but I did lose some time.

Transition to run was easy and I felt pretty good going out. The course was two loops around the Lake. I kept an eye on my heart rate and just plugged along. It helped that Hubby was out on on the course way and I also saw my very good friends Dori, Marcia, Sarah and AmyK who all came out to watch the event.

I finished in 3:40:09.
Swim = 50:50 (3.23 min/100 yds)
T1 = 5:34 (the "P" factor...)
Bike = 1:35 (15.6 mph)
T2= 2:37
Run = 1:05 (10:31/mile)

Overall, sort of on the slow side, but DONE! And much better than last year, where my swim was a 4.03 min/100 yds, my bike was 14.9 mph and my run was 13.14/mile.

I also won my second-ever event award. Last year, I won 1st place for Athena's 40 - 49. (There was only one of us -- me).

This year, I came in 2nd in that category (of 3...but still SECOND!). Hubby got my stats breakdown after the event and it indicated that I won 2nd place. We were getting ready to leave and I looked at the awards board and saw my name in lights! That was (honestly) pretty cool.

My friends Marcia and Nat had their triathlon event the next day. They both participated in the Heart of the Lakes triathlon, located in a town about an hour outside of the Twin Cities.

I drove down to watch my friends and the event. The event was very well organized, had over 1,000 participants and the course looked interesting. It was a beautiful day to race.

Both of my friends were slated for later heats and came out of the water looking strong. Nat kicked some major butt during the bike event and finished with a very strong run. She took 10th place in her age category.

I didn't see Marcia during the bike portion, but did get to see her hammer towards the run finish, with her omnipresent smile stretching from ear to ear. She placed 6th in her bracket.

I really am lucky to run and train with such wonderful women, who inspire me on a daily basis. They don't know this, but many times while I'm out on a course and in a tough moment, I think of them and they help push me through every time.

Cheers to them.


Dori said...

You're awesome! Congratulations on a great race.

peter said...

Congratulations on such a fine race, and nice race report! I laughed at your discussion of porta-potty habits, well put, runners are always obsessing about that, it's part of the race. Non-runners wouldn't understand. And taking an age group award, well, what a topper to a great day! Nice time in the 10K after already doing all that other stuff.

Marcia L said...

What an inspiring performance, Ms. Toyota!!! Congrats on your great finish time and way to go with this pee-ing on the run thing! I LOVE training with you too!!!

Nat said...

Amy, you rock. It's just that simple. You're kicking butt this year and I'm so proud!

Dori said...

I heard you had another PR recently. Can't wait to hear about it!