Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Soobegon Lakes 100

This past weekend marked the second year I have participated in the Soobegon Lakes 100 bike touring weekend. The tour takes us through the heart of Minnesota, 106 miles from Bowlus to Fergus Falls on continuous bike trail. The name originates from the three trail systems we ride:  the Soo Line, Wobegon, and Central Lakes Trail.

Ready to hit the trail!

We began our journey early Friday morning, leaving Bowlus at 6:45 AM.  Of the six cyclists in our group, three towed B.O.B.s and three hauled panniers. Our first major rest stop was just under the 40 mile mark at Jitters in Sauk Centre. (One of my favorite coffee shops!). After refueling with some breakfast and getting our caffeine fix we hit the trail again.  


We battled a strong headwind all day and also rode through multiple rain showers. Alexandria, Evansville, and Ashby were two of our longer rest stops. 

Gotta stop and visit Ole in Alexandria!

All smiles around mile 60!

Fueling up in Ashby!

Outside of Dalton our friend Jen met us on her bike and rode with us the last stretch of 8-9 miles to the DeLagoon Campground.  It was wonderful to see a smiling face as the wind had worn us down throughout the day. We arrived at our campsite around 7:30 Friday evening with a total of 8 hours and 30 minutes of saddle time on our bikes and an average pace of 12 mph. The wind played a large part in slowing us down besides all the added weight we were carrying.  

Once at the campground we were lucky enough to be greeted by cold beer that Jen had picked up for us. We cyclists enjoy our beer, especially after a long day of riding!  :)  Pizza delivery to the campground was also a necessity as we had worked up quite the appetite. After our beer was drank, tents were pitched, and pizza eaten it was time to call it a day!

Gotta love a pair of dual purpose Reef sandals with the bottle opener on the bottom!

The crew after an exhausting 106.5 miles on Friday.

Saturday was a rest day and a rather cool one at that, with a high of 70 degrees in July!  We hit up the Viking Cafe in Fergus for a late breakfast, visited the otter statue, bathed in the lake, took naps, and enjoyed an evening campfire.

Working on our Abby Road impression in downtown Fergus!

What a statue...not really sure of the meaning but fun to impersonate!

A visit to the otter.

Sunday rolled around very quickly and the morning brought with it the packing up of our gear. I personally feel a great sense of accomplishment when I can get my 4lb tent packed back into its original bag!  :)  Although, I don't have many other options when I have to haul it on my bike.  By 8 AM we were on the trail again.  We stopped in the small town of Ashby, about 16 miles down the trail, for a delicious breakfast at Ruby's. Alexandria brought with it a quick stop at Jake's Bike Shop (highly recommended) and a pit stop at Caribou Coffee!  As the day went on we checked off and said farewell to each town we passed through. The wind gods were in our favor with nice tail and cross winds. Melrose and Holdingford were the last of our major stops before we made it 106 miles to Bowlus!  On our way back we decreased our riding time by almost an hour with a total of 7 hours and 40 minutes.  We averaged just under 14 mph and returned to Bowlus around 8 PM. 

Another successful Soobegon Lakes 100-and yes I felt as rough as I look in this picture!

Thankfully we had few mechanical issues on the trail, just one flat tire!  The weather overall was great and even a little on the cool side with little humidity. I certainly did not mind this for sleeping.  My legs feel surprisingly good and the ride seemed much easier than last year.  Well, I now have two century rides accomplished this year with a total of six in my lifetime. I have one more to come in September, the Headwaters 100!! 

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Tri Team Championship Race

Yesterday I competed in Tri For A Cause in Crosby, MN and it was also a Tri Team Championship Race. My multisport team The Pack had great representation with 11 racers-not too shabby for a not so local race.  The morning was refreshingly cool with very low humidity and partly cloudy/overcast skies. The hi temp for the day was 72 degrees.  My body was in heaven with these race conditions as the heat and humidity really take their toll.

Race Results

Swim:  12:31 (600 yards)
T1:  0:51
Bike:  51:16 (16.3 miles)
T2:  0:53
Run:  34:18 (4 miles)

Total Time:  1:39:47

The Pack representation at the Tri Team Championship

Race Highlights:
  • The race was held right in the beautiful Crosby Memorial Park on Serpent Lake
  • The bike course was beautiful, following rolling hills past several lakes, forests, and Cuyuna
  • Half of the run course was on a paved trail enclosed by trees on all sides and offered stunning views of multiple lakes
  • The post race food was spectacular and all racers received a complimentary beer from the Jack Pine Brewery in Baxter
  • I placed 6th in my age group which was the 30-39 range
  • Our team placed second in the Tri Team Championship to the Brainard Area Lakes Club which had over 30 racers
  • My mom and her cousin Sylvia made the trip to come support and cheer me on
  • Proceeds from the race are given to the Masonic Cancer Center and other local charities
  • The race was established three years ago to honor an individual with small cell carcinoma, the same type of cancer my father was diagnosed with just over a year ago
  • A race for a cause near and dear to my heart 

My cheering section
I now have a few weeks off before the Northwoods Triathlon!

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Sunrise Yoga

I had an amazing opportunity to take part in a "sunrise yoga" class overlooking the Mississippi River this morning.  Chad, a friend/coworker and newly acclaimed yoga instructor came and taught our class!  He scoped out an ideal spot right on the river bank that was perfectly serene.  

As we progressed through our poses, the glorious sun rose, the fish surfaced out of the river, the birds chirped, and the ducks gathered!   SIMPLY AWESOME!!!!

Yoga is great for the inner and outer being.

A wonderful start to the day!!  Thanks Chad for arranging and instructing this great class!!

Saturday, July 13, 2013

YES!!!! I finally made it on the podium......just kidding...

Today was almost a perfect weather day for racing Graniteman Clearwater, in my opinion at least!  The skies were overcast, the humidity was lower, and the temperature was 71-73 degrees. The only negative part was the 15-20+ mile per hour winds.

Overall Results

Swim:  15:40 (0.46 mile)
T1:  1:22 
Bike:  50:07 (15 miles)
T2:  1:34
Run:  28:52 (3.1 miles)

Total Time:  1:37:33

The swim portion of the race is very unique as it was a swim across the lake...no triangles, squares, circles or isosceles triangles.  I also was very comfortable in the lake as this is where I do the majority of my open water swim training.

The exit chute on the swim.  The start is on the beach at the opposite side. 

Out of the water!

The bike was a nice flat and fast route, especially when the wind was at my back. When it wasn't it was a bit of a different story. The headwinds and crosswinds put my legs to the test. 

Finally, the run was an out and back which included trail and road. I was ill prepared for the trail run...yikes!  The first mile seemed to be nothing but uphill on the trail. I thought I had lost my legs from the bike.  Picking my line was important as there was sand, mud, and grass to contend with.  The road was a brilliant sight as I was excited for the change in terrain. 

Heading out on the run with Packmate Jesse!

After the race I headed over to check out my results.  As I looked I saw I was 3/9 in my age group, I was pumped!  FINALLY, I made it on the podium!!!!  And then about 30-40 minutes later, the let down came...I was told that the results were wrong and I came in 4th. Of course I was a little bummed, but thought at least maybe I could win a door prize.  No such luck!  Oh well, the race was still very enjoyable.  I will continue to train hard and the results will come. 

Stop back next week for an update from Tri For A Cause! 

Sunday, July 7, 2013

A Heavenly Little Ride

At the last minute yesterday, I decided to tackle the Tour of Saints 50 mile route this morning and use it as a training ride.  The month of July pulled through again with another hot, humid, and sunny day!  The ride was beautiful and highlighted the rolling countryside of central Minnesota...St. Joseph, Cold Spring, Collegeville, St. Johns University, and Avon.


The hills were great for training and my Garmin calculated I climbed over 2000 feet.  It was also great to get some much needed time on the aero bars and seat on my tri bike.
Representing the Central Minnesota Bike Club on the ride!
I have done the Tour of Saints three years now and am thankful that each time the hills become easier.
A flashback to Tour of Saints 2009 with friend Bryana!

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Running For Independence

Well, the Original 13 Half Marathon is officially in the books!  The race started at 8:30 this morning, which allowed us to beat some of the heat but not all.

The Pack Runners

Today I was completely spoiled by race spectators and I am very thankful!  Throughout the event another racer, who was 4 months pregnant, was at a similar pace. Her husband would stop every mile to support her and ensure she was hydrated, etc.  From miles 6-10, I was spoiled by him also receiving ice cubes and freezer pops!  These made all the difference in the world and kept me cool!  This is just another reason I love the running world, everyone is so friendly and willing to help out complete strangers. I still took full advantage of all the water stops and my hydration belt, I needed the fluids.  My official time was 2:04:55, which I was extremely happy about with the heat, humidity, and very little shade!  The temperature was 81 degrees when I finished.  My body held up well during the race, my main struggle was with my feet.  I ended up with a large blister on each arch from my orthotics (which hasn't happened in my half marathons before) and have a classic runners toe.  Oh the joys of endurance sports!  :)

The finish feels great, even if my toe doesn't!

Happy 4th of July to everyone. 

Graniteman Clearwater is up next on the event list!