This Penny Tris

a blog about a mom who tris (swim, bike, run, parent and more)

Maple Grove Triathlon (and vacation too!) August 24, 2014

Filed under: Uncategorized — pennyverdeck @ 9:40 pm

It’s been a busy couple of weeks around here, but as you probably know, we are pretty used to that.

After my 2nd (aweful) 12 mile run, we left for vacation to Kamp Dels in Waterville, MN. Ryan and I tried to decide if we have been going there for 10 or 11 years and we can’t decide. Regardless, it’s been a long time. They have a ton of stuff to do to keep us all busy for the 9 days we stay. 3 parks, mini golf, fishing pond, petting zoo, waterpark, swimming pool, tennis, pony or horse rides, organized activities and table tennis, just to name some of them. This trip, we didn’t do a pony ride (this is the first time ever for us) or a trail ride, but instead, we went to the state park across the lake and rented stand up paddleboards. That was a really good idea, because we had so much fun!!

Ryan and Morgan rode together and Claire and I rode together. Claire was nervous I was going to tip us over (I didn’t), but we had some serious fun on them. Morgan also tried by herself some and so did Ryan and I. Claire wasn’t quite big enough to try by herself – next time I bet she’ll want to try.




I had to add Morgan’s photo bomb!

We won both of the scavenger hunts that the campground puts on – that was fun too.  There was some quick moving children to get what we needed and turn it in!

The catch and release pond is fun.



The week we spend at the campground is always Halloween Week. They end the week with Trick or Treating around the campground on Saturday night. Summer trick or treating is so much nicer than the regualr time of year for cosutmes. No bundling up needed. I was hoping for a super hero themed family, but I could only get Morgan to go with the deal.

Morgan is hidden back there a little, but she is Batgirl, Claire is a 50’s girl, I am Supergirl, and Ryan is Erin, one of the campground owners that is super nice. It was a good time!! As always.

The day after we got home, Morgan started volleyball practice, which means, we are close to school starting. We get home a little later now and the evenings seem to fly right by.

And that brings us up to yesterday and race number 14 in my qwest for 14 in 2014!!!

The Maple Grove Triathlon celebrated it’s 5th anniversary this year, so they gave us all a visor to celebrate – it’s a really cute visor. I have done this race for the last 2 years and have loved it every time. My only complaints are that I have to get up very early (3:30) to get there and walk to the race from the parking area and get my packet all in the very dark morning. The sun finally comes up around the time they are getting ready to close transition. The good news is, I am fully awake by the time I head over to the pre race meeting.

Ryan’s high school/fishing friend Scott does this race too and I always get to talk to him a little and usually some of his other friends too, which makes it fun. This time I made some friends (shocking I know, I usually make a friend or two at each race) in the transition area and at the starting area. Sue was a really nice lady who did this series also. She is in her 50s and she was fun to talk to. She runs the Twin Cities 10 mile every year, so we talked about that a little while too. Karyn is the lady that I talked to in the start area and who I started swimming with. She had taken a break from tris while her children were smaller, but this was her first race back and I think she did great. I didn’t see her after, but I noticed her name in the results. She was pretty fast for having taken a 8 year break!

This race had an International and Sprint distance, which makes for some waiting around, but visiting with new friends makes the time go quickly.

The man who sang the National Anthem did a great job. I think they have the same man each year – the first year, I cried, but I think I was expecting it this year, so I controlled myself better.

I always get nervous, but this time I actually thought the bouys weren’t so far away. I hadn’t been swimming or biking since the Minneapolis  Tri, so I wasn’t sure what to expect. I’ve been running, so if nothing else, I had that going for me.

As we started swimming, about 3 strokes in, I had water in my left goggle. UGH! I just had to go with it. I kept swimming and thankfully I prefer breathing to the right, so the goggle with water always stays pretty much in the water. I didn’t have too much trouble sighting with one eye and before I knew it, I made the final turn and worked my way to shore. As I was swimming, I was trying to figure out what I was going to do. I freaked out a little wondering if my contact had fallen out in all of the water in my goggle. I decided to keep my googles on until I was back to my bike. I leaned forward so that my goggles were flat and slowly took the straps off my head. I moved my eyes away from my goggles and blinked and YIPEE, I could see out of both eyes!! Thank goodness. I dumped the water out and it made a huge splat – the whole lense must have been full because I couldn’t see a thing out of my left eye all the way back to transition. I can’t say the last time I was so thankful at a race.

Since that tragedy was averted, I might as well get my bike on! Off I go. The bike course is some rolling hills. I started out on my large chain wheel and about half way in, I shifted down to the middle one. I was having a hard time calming my breath. It was thick air, but kind of sprinkling and foggy. As I went on, I calmed a little. I took the advise of a blog reader and tried my best to drink more water out there in hopes of avoiding a headache later in the day – it worked. I almost emptied my water and also drank some Gatorade. As we were nearing the end of the bike, I was playing cat and mouse with a lady and near the final turn, she commented that I just had to pass her – well, actually I was hoping to see her while running so I could say “actually, it’s all about me giving what I have today and if I let you go ahead and fall I  fall back, I’ll never know what my all was” so I cruised back into transition and headed out running.

This run starts out up a hill. I always forget that until I get there on race day. I had my Island Boost in my hand and told myself I couldn’t drink it until I cleared that hill. I was in luck, because there was also a water stop right at the top of the hill too. I drank some water and started back out running. I actually passed a lot of people on this run. I could hear my breathing was loud, but I also knew I was trying hard and so each time I did the little “system check” I tried to calm my breathing by taking deep breaths. It seemed to work. This run goes through neighborhoods that are full of rolling hills. It is a tough run, but Stacy has really taught me good hill running skills and it probably doesn’t hurt that I have been doing hills for my training plan too. I just kept running. I walked through each water station and when it was time to round the u turn into the park, I gave what I had left. I high-fived a lady that was cheering and finished strong and felt like I left it all out there. I gave a good effort and I am very happy with it.

My finish time was 1:23:14

That is 7 minutes faster than last year at this same race. I improved 18 seconds swimming, my bike pace went from 17.5 mph up to 18.4 mph (woo hoo!) and my 5k was 25:47, which is a pace of 8:18 improved from 27:25 last year! The bike was the most improved, but I think that may be my fastest 5k on record and it was after swimming and biking – SWEET!!

I ended up finishing 15th in my age group of 70+ and 72nd woman overall. That is not bad considering there were at least 284 women. I couldn’t get the full results to load, so the total number of participants is what I had on my results tape before everyone was done racing. I will definetly take 15th in my age group, but one of these years, I am going to take home a trophy – I hope!!!

I couldn’t be happier with my performance Saturday. I am very happy that I did the whole series and I hope I can work it out to do it again next year. I loved being racked by the same people each race (although, being racked by women only would be kind of nice) and I liked having the same number each race too. Life Time Events does a great job putting on top notch events. It makes me kind of sad that the tri season is over, but there is always next year……maybe I’ll move up in numbers in my new age group – maybe the 40-45 age group will be my ticket to a trophy!! You can’t blame a girl for dreaming!!
(they had a little snapyourself booth after the finish)

Sunday morning I decided I would still do my long run so that my body would get used to racing 2 days in a row. I got up at 6:30 and headed out. It was scheduled to be middle 5 miles at race pace (between 8:47 and 9:00) I hit the paces, some were even a little faster for the 5 miles, but the last 5 miles were kind of tough. I did intervals of run 3, 4, or 5 minutes and walk 1 minute. It worked out pretty well and the last 5 were mostly faster than the first 5. Maybe there is something to that whole run/walk theory. After that, I sat in a cold bath for a little while and wore my compression socks for a couple hours to recover. It’s been 12 hours since I got home and I actually feel pretty good. I’m not too tired, my legs and knees feel pretty good too. I’m hapy with my weekend workouts. Who knows, maybe I’m stronger than I give myself credit for after all!


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