It’s racing season!
Now that the lakes are finally thawed, triathlons are in full swing around Minnesota. I decided to forego the Buffalo Triathlon this year (which was my first tri ever last summer), since I’m a huge chicken and the water was FREEEZING. It’s worth mentioning the Buffalo Tri, however, as my rockstar buddy Jared WON the dang thing. First place, people! So impressed by him.
The Graniteman is a series of 3 different triathlons in MN and is now in its 10th year. I managed to convince my sis-in-law to “try a tri” with me. She lives in St. Cloud, so the Graniteman was a logical choice. It’s fun to have someone to do these kinds of races with (and of course, to celebrate with and drink beer afterwards).
We have been getting some very serious storms this year and when my alarm went off at 5:15 AM the day of the race, it was raining cats and dogs with high winds and lightning. Not promising. But it looked like the severe weather was going to subside and the race was only delayed by ½ hour.
Swim – 1/3 mile : 13:18
The water temp in Lake George was a bit shocking, but with a wetsuit (albeit a sleeveless one), not too horrible. I managed to cut my foot on a rock right as I was running into the water, and ended up plucking rock chunks out of my cut foot later on that night. This was my very first open water swim of the season. I have been feeling much more confident in my swimming since I took a total immersion class at the YWCA this winter, however, the pool just can’t fully prepare you for the open water. Overall, I felt as though this swim went much more smoothly than the 2 other tris I did last summer. Baby steps, right? It was also further than normal– 1/3 mile vs the standard 1/4 mile which is standard for a sprint distance triathlon.
T1 – 2:21
Out of the water and into the transition area. A bit sluggish in getting myself in order. Wetsuit off, goggles and cap off, feet wiped, socks & shoes on, helmet on, sunglasses on, hair in a ponytail, go. Looking like a drowned rat on a bike.
Bike – 15.? Miles: 53:28
The ride was out of St. Cloud and onto County Rd. 8 and back. The whole ride out was a gradual incline, which was a bit of a rough way to start (but would’ve been a much worse way to finish). The way out was also against a pretty fierce wind. I struggled to stay above 15mph, until the turnaround – then the wind was at our backs and we were on a gradual decline the way back. I was able to stay between 19 and 22 mph pretty much the whole way back into town. My overall average speed was 17.6 mph.
They claim it was a 15 mile ride, but my bike computer (and their official course map) told me more like 15.5. hmmmm…
T2 – 1:42
Switched into my new running shoes, grabbed a Gu, and headed out for the run. The transition area was pretty huge – quite some distance between the timing mats considering the number of participants. On a positive note, there was plenty of space for bikes and you weren’t running into people during transition.
Run – 3.1 Miles: 25:25
The run was pretty uneventful, and per the norm, my legs felt like they just wouldn’t move as fast as my brain was telling them to. I kept a pace of 8:46 per mile, which I’m content with. With about ¼ mile left to go, I spotted a girl up ahead with a “4” on her right calf (my age group) and decided there was no way I was going to let her beat me…. so I sped up and passed her about 2 minutes before crossing the finish. On the final stretch I started to sprint and was neck and neck with some guy – I looked at him and smiled and asked, “So… wanna race?”. We both sped up and sprinted across the finish line… Yep, I kicked his butt 🙂
I finished the race in 1:36 – I’m happy with my results personally, but in the grand scheme of things, I got schooled. I think a lot of the “average joes” like me probably decided to bail on the race last-minute due to weather (there were over 100 no-shows)….leaving me to contend with the die-hards. I missed placing in my age group by 2 minutes. There’s always next year!
This was a fun and well-supported race, and I actually liked that it was much smaller than the others I’ve done. I wouldn’t hesitate to do another Graniteman event in the future.