Square Lake Tri: For the last three year, Square Lake has been my "adieu to summer" event. And, each year for the past three years, I'm completely surprised that it actually IS the end of the summer.
We have such a short tri season here in Minnesota. It really only spans about 3 1/2 months from June until about mid-September. I travel a bit for work and always look up tris and tri club information in the cities I visit. Charlotte's season runs through the end of October. Tempe's season never ends...Minnesota? Fourteen jam packed, filled to the max weeks.
I try to "stretch" the year by including Tri U Mah in to my tri season count. Tri U Mah is the indoor event held at the University of Minnesota every February. It kicks off the new year for me, but there is that long, cold and lonely stretch before open water swimming and official tris.
I tried to get in as many events as I could this year -- signed up for nine; only participated in eight. New Bri Tri was just too dang cold for me to get in to the water...But the other eight were fun and challenging in their own ways, culminating in Square Lake.
This season was not my stellar best. I really didn't train the way I should have or wanted to (see all my thousands of previous posts for my lame excuses as to WHY).. Once I got to the start line for Square Lake, I was a little sad about being so lazy during the season.
My friends Marcia and Gary also signed up for this event and our other friends, Angel and Rick volunteered as kayak supporters for the swim portion.
The water was perfect. The temp was great, it was smooth as glass before the athletes got in the water. I do feel pretty good about my swim progress this year. I felt more comfortable in the water this year than I ever have. I stayed with the pack, only got off course a little bit, but all in all, felt just fine in the water.
Even though I'd done this race twice before, I forgot how hilly it was. The good news is on the downs and the flats, I flew pretty well -- up to 31 mph in a couple spots. The bad part is that shifting the new bike still seems to confuse me and had some issues with it on the up's. At one point my chain fell off and I had to pop it back on. All in all my bike was okay. It will be great once I get my shifting worked out.
I was most fearful of the run, which has been the most difficult for me this year. Once I got out on the course, though I felt really just fine. I had more energy and pep and less stiffness than I had all year. This run was definitely a confidence builder for me. I CAN enjoy running. I DO enjoy running...
So, although no PR this year, I felt pretty good about the race.
Later that afternoon, Nat and I drove to Madison to volunteer/watch Ironman Wisconsin.
We both had been toying with the idea of signing up for IM WI 2010, but wanted to see the race first, from the up-close-and-personal view point of volunteering. I was a wetsuit peeler, Nat volunteered in the T1 area and then we both worked the water stop in Mt. Horeb.
It was incredible to watch the event, the process and especially the athletes.
Once we were done volunteering, we walked along the run course and watched the marathon.
It was amazing to watch the athletes do their thing. Very, very inspiring and invigorating.
So, the day after the event, we joined a long line of volunteers and others waiting for the chance to sign up for a spot in the 2010 event.
We are officially now in training.
I can't wait! Let the fun begin!