Race Recap: 2017 Get in Gear 5K

Note to self: remember to drink water the morning before a race. I had no problem crushing some peanut butter toast and a cup of coffee when I woke up. But water, that I forgot. 

Don’t worry, I eventually remembered the water thing about a half-mile into the race when my right calf cramped up. That’s when I said, “Oh yeah, now I remember what I was supposed to do: hydrate.” By then, it was too late. Besides, I knew the only water I’d get would be post-race. The stiff cramp tagged along for the rest of the run, but I did a pretty good job of using mind power to block it out and power through to the finish line. 

The Get in Gear 5K takes place at Minnehaha Falls in Minneapolis, MN. The views there are beuatiful. And once you break away into the course, the surrounding neighborhood is quite pleasant too. 

I was extremely happy with my results. And quite surprised too given the stiff leg. I guess it’s another reminder that when you want to achieve something, stick with it and power through. That’s a pretty solid thought heading into tri season. 

Here’s the details:

  • Distance: 3.10 miles
  • Total time: 23:15
  • Average pace: 7:29/mile
  • Overall place: 67 out of 1425

The Need for Speed

NewBike

As someone who’s not the strongest of swimmers, the bike leg of a triathlon is a perfect opportunity for me to make-up some time and build momentum. I’m even more excited about that possibility now that, thanks to my dad, I’ve added a road bike to my race day gear.

Last year, I completed all three triathlons using my mountain bike. Sure, I swapped out the knobby tires for thinner, smooth road tires to reduce rolling resistance. But I could still only go so fast. I felt like I knocked out some respectable bike times, averaging over 17mph in two of the tree races. But I vividly remember being maxed-out on gears and pedaling as hard as I could, hitting about 19mph max on smooth straightaways, and getting passed by guys on road bikes going so fast that I felt like I was standing still. There was literally nothing more I could do. I was going as fast as I possibly could.

Split Time Split Pace Distance
Trinona

43m 40s

15.12 mph 11 miles
MPLS Tri

51m 4s

17.63 mph 15 miles
Maple Grove Tri

37m 58s

17.39 mph 11.5 miles

Bike times from my three 2016 triathlons

Excited turn the pedals and shift some gears, I took the new bike out for its maiden voyage last weekend and boy was it a night and day difference from my mountain bike. I was hitting 17mph with a steady pedal. I continued pushing, reaching 19mph, realizing I still had a couple gears left. Reaching 21mph on a smooth straightaway was a joy. Then maybe a little more scary, mixed with fun, was speeding 32mph down a winding hill. Don’g get me wrong, flying down the hill was a thrill, but I was still getting used to the caliper brakes. The mountain bike I had rode for years to had disc brakes that stopped on a dime. The caliper pads on the new ride still needed to be broken-in. But all went well. The 14 mile ride was over before I knew it. The first ride was a success.

I’m pumped about the possibilities this bike will bring this year. It’s light. It’s geared for faster speeds. The tires are thinner and capable of holding higher air pressures. I should definitely see some improvements in my times.

But I also know that equipment can only take you so far. And Trinona is only a little more than six weeks away. Time to get back to training!

 

My Stretching Partner and I

JoshNellie

I’m certainly no expert on stretching, but one of my favorite ways to keep the legs moving after a good run is going for a walk with my dogs. It’s hard to want to do much of anything on tired legs. It’s also hard to resist a dog’s stare and wagging tail that greets you when you walk in the door. After tonight’s run, my dog Nellie and I went for walk, which helped her stretch her legs after a day in the house and it helped me stretch mine too.  It was a win-win really!

Spring has sprung here in Minnesota and the warmer weather is certainly welcomed for spending more time outside. I’ve been able to get three good workouts in during the last five days – two outdoor runs and a brick on a rainy day at the gym.

You might be wondering what exactly a brick is. In triathlon talk, a brick is where you practice two of sport’s three activities in succession to help prepare not only your muscles but also your mind for that weird feeling you get transitioning during a race. For example, after biking many miles, your legs are quite confused when you hop off the bike, rack it in transition, and immediately start running. It’s definitely a challenge to run when all your legs want to do is pedal circles. I can remember each of my T2 transitions from last year’s races. If I didn’t have my bike to lean as I jogged it back to the rack, I probably would’ve tumbled immediately after the dismount line. So, with all that being said, I spent 35 minutes on the bike at the gym and immediately went into a ten-minute run on the treadmill. My legs felt surprisingly good making transition, but then again, the gym bikes aren’t quite like the real bikes one would ride outside and the treadmill isn’t quite like actually running. It still makes for good training though, I hope!

Here’s the details on my two recent outdoor runs:

Monday

  • Distance: 3.04 miles
  • Total time: 24:40
  • Average pace: 8:07/mile

Friday

  • Distance: 2.90 miles
  • Total time: 23:17
  • Average pace: 8:02/mile

I’m quickly approaching a sub eight-minute mile and not far off of the seven-and-a-half-minute miles I averaged during last fall’s training runs. For further context, at this time last year, I don’t think I had even started running yet. Looking back in my Nike+ Run Club app (that app wails by the way!), my first run of 2016 was at the end of April with nine-minute-plus miles. I used to think keeping track of all these running activities might be silly, but now I see the value in being able to track progress. Luckily the app makes the tracking part easy.

Trinona is only nine weeks away. I’m happy to be ahead of the game compared to last year. I also know now that April is here, it’s time to pick up the pace. My goal for next week: get back in the pool!