The week leading into Minnetonka was tough, my legs were feeling pretty tight the few days prior and I wasn’t feeling great about my workouts. Saturday morning my alarm went off at 4:30am, which is approximately the time I wake up most days anyway so it didn’t feel so bad. As I started moving around the house I, surprisingly, didn’t feel too stiff or sore.
Per usual I was one of the first people in transition, as I like to have plenty of time to setup, relax and chat with some friendly folks while drinking my coffee. After taking my bike out and going for a quick run I felt pretty good, which made me nervous. I usually feel ‘bleh’ in my warm-up and then race well, so feeling good was new to me.
Everyone made the long trek over to the swim start, it was point to point which is nice, well that is if you have someone to carry your shoes back to transition for you (thanks Stopwatch Greg, my race caddy).
Finally the race was underway, I knew there were some aggressive athletes that would want to sprint at the start so I positioned myself off to the side to hopefully avoid some of that mess. I ended up swimming arm and arm with Gear West teammate Brett Lovaas for about the first half but I was able to pull away eventually. Being first out of the water and onto the bike course, I wanted to hold my lead as long as I could but I knew I had some very strong bikers behind me. The course was 7.5 miles out and back so I knew I could evaluate where I was at the halfway point. At the turn around I had over a minute on the person behind me but only about another 30 seconds on the next guys so I knew I had to stay strong if I wanted to finish in the lead. Cruising back to the Lake the police were not expecting us so soon, the barricade in the lane returning was still up and a police car behind it. I had to yell to the volunteers so that they knew we were coming. They stepped out of the way just in time for me to squeeze in the couple feet between the barricade and the curb.
Transition was fairly uneventful, Jerry MacNeil was saying something crazy about me trying to break the men’s amateur course record, but I’m no Ruth Brennan-Morrey on the run. Finally running out, still in the lead, I got a glimpse of my watch, I didn’t get my split off the swim but even if I swam poorly I knew my bike put me ahead of schedule. Leaving the run I knew there would be quite a few guys hunting after me but I didn’t want to push the pace. I got into a grove and tried to hold my pace. Brooks Grossinger, another Gear West teammate, came blazing by me around the 1 mile mark and he left me in the dust pretty quickly.
The run was also an out and back so after the turn around I had about a minute on the next guy. Coming back through downtown Excelsior someone yelled to me “No one’s behind you for at least a hundred yards you can relax,” I did just the opposite, it was time to push it the last few hundred meters and finish strong.
I got to the finish line in 1:04:53, 5:18 under the women’s record time, 5:39 faster than the year prior and about 1:10 faster than I thought I could go. It was a beautiful day for racing, everything came together very well and I was pleased with the result.
I hung out for a few hours post-race to talk to tri friends and family, cheer and of course listen to Jerry’s awards banter. I may have indulged in a free massage as well; those are the best. Check out the results. View more photos.