Monday, August 22, 2011

2011 Young Life Triathlon

After my disappointing half ironman at liberty this year I was left with a desire to finish a triathlon that was longer then a sprint.  Young life in Detroit Lakes offered me a chance to test myself with the Olympic distance.

The night before the event I drove out to DL with Ray who wanted to pick up packets early.  We left town right around 5:00 and fought some traffic on the way out.  After picking up our packets we stopped at the Lakeside Tavern for supper. We both ordered a patty melt and the food was very good. On the way back we chatted some more and made plans for meeting up the next day.

The morning of the event I woke up a little early.  I realized I was dreaming about getting ready when I noticed my Garmin on my wrist.  I figured I might as well get up and start getting ready for real. Most of my stuff was already packed and I just needed to throw some clothes on and grab my bike.  Erin and I stopped for gas and feed that cats that we're watching for some friends and then picked Ray up for the drive out. We were a little bit early picking Ray up, but I guess he's getting used to us being a little early.

After picking up Ray I realized I had forgotten my swim goggles.  We were already far enough down the road that it didn't make sense to drive back for them.  I hoped that the Walmart in DL was open 24x7.  When we got to DL we found that it was open and I was able to buy some goggles. It wasn't the way I wanted to start the day, but things could have been worse.  We found a good parking spot in the park, grabbed our gear and headed into the transition area.  We found a nice area by a tree that had a little extra room for our stuff and started setting up. We got ready rather leisurely and then headed down to the lake to check the water, which was pleasantly warm.

After some race announcements we were ready to begin.  I was in the first wave of the swimmers.  I quickly fell to the back of the pack in the swim.  Since the lake was fairly shallow from time to time I could stop and clear off my goggles which were having some fogging issues.  The course could have used more markers.  After the first turn I couldn't see the next buoy and had just take my best guess as to which of the swimmers ahead of me were going the right direction.  This was by far the best swim I've had this year.  I didn't have much problem with my breathing and was able to swim properly for large chunks.  When I finally finished the swim I was feeling light headed and struggled though my first few steps towards the transition area.

My transition went smoothly and I soon after I left the lake I was cruising on the bike. The course was well marked and had friendly volunteers at every turn. My first issue on the bike came around mile 9.  As I was starting up the biggest hill on the course my chain slipped off.  I didn't have enough momentum to stay clipped in and get the chain back on, so I had to stop and put it back on.  Then I was far enough up the hill that I couldn't get going again and get clipped in, so I had to run the bike up to the top.  It didn't kill my time too much, but it was frustrating.  I saw Erin after the first loop around the lake and showed her my greasy hand from putting the chain back on.  As I was getting close to the end of the second loop I noticed that my rear tire had gone flat. It was disappointing, but I had a spare tube with me and after a few minutes I had it changed.  Shortly after I had it changed I noticed it had gone flat again.  I'm not sure if I pinched it while changing it, or there was something sharp in the tire, but my race was over. A couple of women were out walking with strollers and I asked to borrow a cell phone. As I was calling Erin a car stopped by and asked if I needed a rider. It was another racer who had bike problems along the way.

When I got back to the park I started to pack my stuff up.  Erin told me that Ray was doing well and should be finishing soon.  We walked over to the finish line just in time to see him.  After we had everything packed up we went over to Zorbaz for some pizza and nachos.  It was a fun day, just disappointing with how the event went for me.

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