This past weekend I was home in Minnesota to see family and race Lifetime Tri Minneapolis. Growing up, I ran and biked a large portion of the course so I was excited to race in my stomping grounds.
I arrived Thursday for the Saturday race and immediately did what our family is good at - work out and eat. If you're ever in the Twin Cities, check out Big Marina Grill and Deli. They had an awesome buffet of healthy, Mediterranean food. So many delicious dishes - I probably could have eaten their humus by the spoonful! As a bonus they had watermelon for dessert.
|x3 for how much we ate!|
Only in Minnesota can you spend 3 hours of a summer day in July inside a hockey rink - and not be alone or think it's weird. That's what I did Friday - watching my brother coach goalies and skate himself. After, I headed over to a soaking race site and picked up my packet and sampled some food from the expo.
The rest of the day was spent, riding, eating, running, eating, making breakfast (quinoa), driving the bike course, getting my transition bag ready and eating half a watermelon.
Race Day - Swim
The water was reported to be 74 degrees the week leading into the race. While this was below the 78 degree wetsuit-legal cutoff, I opted to race in a swimskin because 74 still seemed rather warm. After warming up, I found my wave in the corral and waited to go.
Right from the start - one guy in our wave took off like a motor boat, seriously! I later recognized him on the course as a swimmer who goes to the University of Minnesota. The rest of us formed a couple groups...I wasn't positive but I thought my positioning put me in the first group of guys from our wave.
For the bike, I was looking to watch out for Minnesota native super-biker Matthew Payne. Matt passed me a little out of transition and after getting my shoes in I followed him past the others who had gotten out ahead of us onto the course. We leapfrogged for a mile or two before he took control for a couple miles. Once we made it to river road we were flying. The course was mostly flat but the roads weren't in great condition. After partway through the bike, I wanted to see if I felt alright going faster, increased my effort on a couple hills and ended up getting a gap on Matt.
The bike course went back by the race site before heading to another lake. I got some positioning information and some cheering which was great.
|Seriously, such an awesome bike shot!|
I saw Cameron Dye tearing it up as usual at the front of the pro men's field just as I headed around Lake Calhoun.
Going back into transition I looked back and couldn't see Matt so I decided to put on socks before heading out for the two loop run course.
The run was flat and fast. The first two miles I worked to build into a good effort for the 10k. It had been since April since I race on an all-pavement course. At each aid station I must have grabbed five or six cups of sports drink or water which really seemed to impress the volunteers. The weather was pretty humid but it felt good to be sweating like crazy!
|Run lap one - covered in sticky sports drink/sweat|
The crowd support seemed to never end around the lake which was cool. By the end of the first lap, things were going well. Once I reached mile four my form still felt good so I did my best to finish strong.
After the race, I met up with EMJ Team mate Sean Cooley, caught up with some friends and cheered on the other racers
This race was another good result for me. I was most excited to get to race in my home town in front of friends and family. I really enjoyed the experience.
Huge thanks to my family for showing up and cheering/giving splits and feeding me all weekend. Thanks to...skratch labs for providing me with a great sports drink that kept me hydrated in the Minnesota humidity...team Every Man Jack sponsor Rudy Project for making me look and feel fast on the bike...MP Multisport for the coaching and preparation...and Jane Kramer for the pictures.
The next day I was fortunate enough to train with the man who first showed me the in and outs of triathlon a couple years ago. Dave is a couple weeks out from IM Canada and so we did a solid bike/run workout. I was glad to be up and moving the day after the race. Any time you can get in a workout with someone who has years of experience in a sport more than you - do it. The knowledge passed on is invaluable.
|Congrats Dave! "I may be old...but I can wear you down" - true story.|
The rest of the weekend was spent catching up on other race results: CSU triathletes and friends racing at Boulder peak and another weekend of EMJ domination!
I've decided to make the trek to Milwaukee so AG Nationals will be my next race. Until then, I'm going to enjoy my summer and training!
Thanks for reading and have a great day.