Brrrrr....Saturday I did my first triathlon of the year. It was also my first triathlon with a pool swim. I wasn't sure what to expect doing a pool swim. I also wasn't sure what to expect doing a triathlon on May 1 in Minnesota. I kind of expected cold weather, and that's exactly what I got.
I chose this race because it was in Alexandria, MN which is where Courtney is from. Her family is still there, so I figured we could visit her family and I could get a race in. Kill two birds with one stone, and if you know how much I dislike birds you can imagine how much I enjoy killing two with one shot. With Courtney being in town, her sister decided that would be a good time to get her baby baptized. It was a busy weekend. Good busy, but busy.
Anyway, the temps were in the mid 40s and the winds were above 20 mph. The skies were gray and there was a chance of thunderstorms. Not exactly the type of weather that makes you want to ride 12.5 miles then run 2.8 in wet gear.
They had an elite heat for anyone expecting to finish the race in under 1:12 minutes so I signed up for that. Elite heats typically go first so I figured I'd be going at 9 am. I had a snack about 7:45 and did a warm up on the bike a little after 8. Then I got in the pool and swam some laps. Then I waited....and waited....and waited.
The elite heat was last. I went at 11:00 am. The swim was 600 yards and was decent. Not great, but decent. I was hoping for an 8:30 swim and hopped out of the water in 9 minutes. I'm not too disappointed because I wasn't quite sure what to expect since I've never swam in a pool in tri gear before. And we all know timing chips create massive amounts of drag so my slower than expected time can clearly be blamed on that.
I'm in the green cap.
The bike was cold. I put my vest on, but that was it so I was in wet shorts and my arms and legs were exposed. It was about 48 degrees at the time I was out there and the winds were horrible. I was hoping to average about 280 watts on the bike and only managed 265. The weather made the bike really tough and my only real motivation to push hard was to get off the bike sooner and get the event over with so I could warm up. I was doing my best to focus on the race, but I found my mind constantly thinking about getting the whole thing over with. It's a shame because the course was great and the event was really well run.
The beginning of the run was terrible. I was cold, very cold, and the run started into the wind which didn't help the situation. I also realized early into the run that my boys had gone numb on the bike and this time my saddle wasn't to blame. Wet shorts and 48 degrees is a bad combo. I was uncomfortable to say the least. My toes were also numb (that's what I get for not wearing socks) so I felt like I was running funny even though I don't think I was.
In the end, I had fun even though I was freezing the whole time. I wanted to break an hour and finished in 1:02:01 so I came close. I think under better conditions I may have broken an hour so I'm happy with my performance. I finished 4th overall and 2nd in my age group so I got an award. It's a little trophy that appropriately enough looks a bit like an ice sculpture.
Later in the day was the baptism...
Courtney, Rachael and baby Diem.
Sunday morning I went for a 10.5 mile run from Courtney's parent's house. They live in rural MN which apparently means gravel roads. Wisconsin doesn't have many gravel roads so it's a little strange to me to see them. I'm not sure why, but the idea of a long run in the country on gravel roads is very appealing to me. There weren't enough gravel roads for me to do the whole run on gravel, but I did get in several miles of gravel which was cool. Unfortunately, I didn't dress warm enough and it was very cold and windy again.
Minnesota is cold. Brrrr...