Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Rev3 In The Land of Waterparks and Cheese!

Wow!  What a wonderfully fun race weekend in Wisconsin Dells!  I traveled with friends Jason, Genna, and Jackson to participate in Rev3-Wisconsin Dells Olympic distance triathlon. We started our trek Friday afternoon and arrived at the Hilton Garden Inn that evening. After a good night of rest, we had Saturday to enjoy the Waterpark Capital of the World!  

Breakfast was first thing in the morning, and then a game of checkers was in order with Jackson (and boy does that 11 year old rule the checker board)!  Next, we walked to the race expo and packet pickup.  Endless Pools had a swimming machine set up that Jason and I tried (think a swimming treadmill), which was an unique experience.

Noah's Ark Waterpark was our next destination (also within walking distance of hotel). Rev3 teamed up with Noah's Ark to give us 25% off admission as well!  My first activity on the zip line at the park was a bust, as I fell into the water right after leaving the platform.  I certainly didn't want to try again as I might get sore arms for my 0.9 mile swim the next day! ;)  The other memorable water ride of the day was the Stingray. I see now that it has been rated one of the scariest rides on the park--I certainly understand why!!  The half pipe water slide created quite a rush and my heart rate still increases when I see pictures of it.  Thanks Jason for talking me into that one!!  The Moosejaw Pizza Company provided our pre-race meal and a few tastes of microbrews!

Now onto race day!  Once again our hotel was in a wonderful location, within walking distance of transition and the finish line. Due to the close proximity, the race morning was very relaxed.  We could set up our transition area and then head back to the hotel before race start.  This race was only my second official Olympic Distance race, so I appreciated the relaxed morning. 

The time trial start swim started off the Tommy Bartlett stage, into Lake Delton.  I struggled a little bit with sighting on the 0.9 mile swim, as there were not many intermediary buoys between the large buoys. I was very thankful to get the swim out of the way and jump on my bike.  However, once on the bike I realized I was in for quite a hilly, challenging course as well. Thankfully, cycling was my strongest discipline at the moment!  The course headed around Lake Delton and then out into the quiet Wisconsin countryside.  After 25 miles, a 6.2 mile run was ALL I had left...and also about ALL I could handle. Uff da!  I dug pretty deep on the bike traversing hill upon hill, and realized I had left next to nothing for my run.  The run course was also hilly, hilly, and more hilly!  I decided my strategy was going to be to walk up the hills and run was much as I could on the downhills and flats. There was no sense using the little energy I had left to run uphill. After a lot of walk/running (sometimes much more walking than running), I came up to the final corner to see my friends Jason and Genna cheering and running with me into the final stretch.  Thanks guys, I needed that final push!  Finally, the chute was in sight and my second Olympic distance race was in the books!!!!

After crossing the finish line a volunteer immediately wrapped a wet towel, straight out of and huge ice bath, around my shoulders!  BEST POST RACE ITEM EVER!  (The day started comfortably warm and quickly went to very hot and humid with stale air on the run.)  Of course the "cheesy" medal and finisher visor were even more coveted after working so incredibly hard to earn them. 


Swim (0.9 miles):  39:24
T1:  3:24
Bike (25 miles):  1:32:07
T2:  1:36
Run (6.2 miles):   1:16:05

Total:  3:32:37

My goal was to finish the race and I did it!  I can honestly say this was the hardest race course I have participated in to date. It would be interesting to see how my results would compare on the same course if I had properly trained and had not been working my way back from an injury. Amazingly enough, I still ended up 5 of 10 in my age group. 


-I would highly recommend a Rev3 race to anyone
-Very well-organized
-An elite-feeling race experience (tattoo body marking, personalized name/number plates in transition, personalized bibs, photo from packet pickup on the big screen when crossing the finish line)
-Great swag (long-sleeve dri-fit tee, Rev3 satchel, Rev3 Buff, Rev3 finishers Headsweats visor, finisher medal, free finishline photo download, Rev3 sticker, and other race nutrition goodies)
-A fun and free photo booth with instant uploads to social media
-The course was well marked, although a few more buoys on the swim would be helpful
-Great, helpful volunteers

Thanks Rev3 and Wisconsin Dells for the positive and challenging race experience!  Also, thanks to Jason, Genna, and Jackson for allowing me to be a partner in crime in the Dells!  ;)

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Trinona: A Race To Experience!

Well folks, I believe I am safe to call Trinona my favorite race after participating the past two years!  The triathlon was this past Sunday, June 8th and was AWESOME!  The Trinona venue is a beauty to behold, in the Mississippi bluff country. The swim starts in Lake Winona, with Sugarloaf Bluff visible in the distance. The bike is an out and back format into bluff country--the way out is a bit of a climb, but after the turnaround the decreasing elevation helps to ramp up some serious speed on the way back.  Finally, the run course winds around Lake Winona and allows for an excellent view of the bluffs!  Of course, the picture perfect weather made for an even more fabulous day!  We had sun and blue skies, low 70 degree weather, little wind, and 72 degree water temps!  A huge thank you goes out to the weather gods for providing us with such a glorious day.
Posing With Sugarloaf Bluff Pre Race

As far as my race goes, I was definitely more nervous than I normally am.  The combination of healing from injury, hoping my foot would tolerate the race, and the minimal training I had done made for a few butterflies!  However, considering all those factors I had a satisfying race and FINISHED!  A goal I had started to take for granted pre-injury. 

Time Trial Start

Heading into transition from a bike in the bluffs!


Swim:  9:27 (27 seconds faster than last year)
T1:  2:00
Bike: 38:01  (41 seconds slower than last year)
T2:  1:51
Run: 32:07  (6 mins and 13 seconds slower than last year)

Finish Time:  1:23:25

I am pretty excited that my swim and bike times were very similar to last years race even with my lack of training!  I also expected my run time to be significantly slower due to injury, so that was not a surprise.  However, I still placed 10th out of 23 people in my age group.  And did I mention it felt great to be out competing again?

Mom and I post race!

Some serious hardware!

On a side note, the finisher medal we received last year had a misprint and declared the race "Battle For The Buff" (which I thought was hilarious)!  However, this year they got it right with awesome hardware declaring the race "Battle For The Bluff"!  

If you have the opportunity check this race out!  You won't be dissapointed. 

Monday, June 9, 2014

Exploring The Trails of Southeast Minnesota!

Last weekend I made the trek to Rochester to visit a life long friend, Kristi!  Since the Cannon Valley Trail was along the way, I decided to make a pit stop for a bike ride!  The trail runs from from Cannon Falls to Red Wing.  I decided to tackle the whole thing--all 19.4 miles.  A Wheel Pass is required to ride the trail, $4 daily or $25 yearly. For me, the fee was money well spent to ride on the beautiful, well maintained trail.

Along the trail there were multiple rest areas with bathroom facilities.  The small town of Welch had a huge rest area which consisted of fresh water, multiple bike racks, tables, trail information, a giant trail monument, and lots of shade. I biked into Red Wing along the river and had a wonderful refuel lunch at Bev's downtown.  The day was a squelcher and it was 92 degrees when I reached my vehicle at the end of my 44 miles.  (I added a few miles to the 19.4 by biking into downtown!). To top off my wonderful day of riding, I headed to the Cannon River Winery (which is conveniently located at the Cannon Falls trailhead).  Is there a better way to wrap up a day of riding than tasting a flight local wines?

On Saturday, my friend Kristi and I headed from Rochester to Lanesboro to explore the Root River State Trail. We rented a double recumbent bike and cruised down the trail (of course we also had quite a few laughs). Onward we went towards Whalen, roughly 5 miles from Lanesboro. We stopped at the local pie shop for a bathroom break and a strawberry soda for the ride back. (Next time pie will be in order!). What a perfect day spent on a bike, enjoying Mother Nature's majesty and catching up with a great friend!

Southwestern Minnesota is a gem for cycling. I hope to make a trip back this fall to enjoy the beautiful splendor of colors and of course visit Kristi!  

Monday, June 2, 2014

Bringing Home My First Apple....and Paycheck!

It's official, multisport season is up and running!  My first race was the Sartell Apple Duathlon. Prior to injury, I had intended to participate in the individual category. However, I decided to recruit a teammate and participate in the women-women team division. My friend Becky took on the challenge of participating in her first multisport event!  We dubbed ourselves "The Wreckless Moles".  She was the runner and I was the cyclist!  We each did our part and ended up with 3rd place in the womens division!!!!  Therefore, we each took home a coveted granite apple and our first race paycheck ($50) for a podium finish!!  Becky also won an aero Giro bike helmet during the door prizes. I guess it's time for her to invest in a bike! ;)

Becky and I (The Wreckless Moles)
Photo Courtesy of "Enhanced Memories by Chelsie Binsfeld" 

Photo Courtesy of "Steve Diamond Elements"

Apples and A Paycheck!  Can It Get Any Better?


Run 1:  22:42 (5K)
T1:   00:42
Bike:  1:06:33 (33K)
T2:  00:27
Run 2:  24:42 (5K)

Becky did some amazing running and race day was a blast with a friend!  Not only was I excited to participate in an event again (after canceling my last 4), I proved to myself that I am still somewhat competitive on the bike!  A great confidence boost after an injury!