Saturday, July 09, 2011

Graniteman Clearlake Triathlon

Well, I never imagined that this triathlon would be so much fun! It truly was. I really thought that all of the fussiness would take away from the fun in moving. It didn't.

I completed my first and only 'open swim' up at the cabin over the holiday earlier this week. My sister Laurie and I, along with a cabin neighbor who swims the bay every day, Gabbi, swam the bay together. It was quite nice. Gabbi's husband followed along in the pontoon incase we needed help. This took away any panic I might feel.

No panic was necessary. We glided across Wolf Bay on Lake Vermilion effortlessly. It was great fun.

I've felt a bit dehydrated from the Afton 50K I completed last Saturday. I felt like I was coming around just in time for this race. Good thing.

This morning I loaded up all of my gear-so much stuff: bike, helmet, gels, HEED, iPod, run shoes, flip flops, swim cap, goggles. Man alive. I decided to complete the whole tri in the same clothing: run shorts, run top. Easy peasy. I'd bike in my running shoes and run in them. Double duty.

My first impression was that I was impressed and that I was wrong with the stereotype I have of triathlon races. This was VERY laid back. The race was full so I thought it would be crowded. It wasn't.

I was directed to a perfect parking place under a tree, near the lake and then wandered up to the visitor center to check in. I learned that I was in Heat 1. This couldn't be! Heat 1 was for the Elites, I had read this online. OK, I went to get my shirt, bag, number, visor, towel, cap, all this stuff and to be marked. They marked me in Heat 1.

I went back to my car and looked at my iPhone. Yup, Heat 1 is for the Elite. Not me. Back I went explaining that I am not Elite and that I think I should be in Heat 10. OK, back to marking and please add a ZERO to the ONE you marked upon my leg thank you very much :)

I packed two bags. 1 with bike stuff, 1 with run stuff. I hauled both bags, bike and helmet to the transition area. I saw a bunch of bikes and asked someone if I could just make any place my home. Sure thing. I put my bike upon the rack, laid out a towel to place my bags. Bike bag: run shoes, socks, bottle with 3xHeed, gel, helmet. Run bag: 2xHeed, gel, iPod, sunglasses.

OK, I'm ok with this. Feeling good, not rushed, not the cluster f+ck I imagined a triathlon would be. Yay!

I see my friend Susan! She is uber triathlete. It was cool to see her here. I wander down to the lake area in my flip flops. There is a good .5 mile walk to the beach where we start. I realize I am the only one with my race number pinned to my shorts. I realize I am the only one wearing running shorts. Oh well. I am a runner.

I ask someone near me if we should have numbers on at this point. Nope, it causes drag in the water. OK. I unpin myself and tuck my number into my gel alley of my cleavage in my top. Good storage area.

Continue walking on to the beach area. I removed my flip flops and place in Bin 10, for heat 10. So glad I have the correct heat number upon my engorged calf as I lifted calves and back yesterday.

OK, here is the deal: Heat 1 goes first in the water, they start, then we wait three minutes and Heat 2 goes. AWESOME! Plenty of spacing between us. I'm liking this.

I hear two women in back of me speaking of Brook who is training for IM WI. I have to ask "Brook Wheeler" OMG, yes! So cool. We chat for a while and become friends. They are in my heat 10, too. Heat 10 is women 40-49 I believe.

OK, so the heats are taking off and 10 is up. Into the water I go. It is warm!! GO! We are off swimming. I'm doing my tri, baby! I swim along, just as happy as a damn clam. Nobody is near me, I can clearly see the big pink banner on the other side of the lake .52 miles away that I am aiming for me. Piece of cake. Really.

18 minutes.

Pretty soon I am to the shore. Out of the water, run! To the bike area. Heats 1-9 are already out of here and there are only 11 heats. It's pretty empty. I go to my bike, wipe off my muddy feet, towel off, put on socks and run shoes, chug a LOT of my 3x Heed (3 scoops-super strong), eat a gel, place the helmet upon my head and walk my bike out to the OUT BIKE sign. I'm off to bike! This is really cool. I am just one big smile.

4 minutes.

I pedal along, it's windy. Real windy. I pass a few people, know that I have 15 miles so take it easy. I don't want to tire out. IT's really hilly. It is SUPER windy! Up some hills, an overpass over 94 in St Cloud, buzzing around, me and my bike. So fun. I love it, totally love it.

I chug off my HEED and see I'm at Mile 10 already. Wow. That was fun. A few more miles and it's time to run baby.

15 miles biking.

1 hour, 2 minutes.

I walk my bike back to it's home in the transition area and don't have to do too much. Take off the helmet, chug my HEED, eat a gel, feet are great, grab iPod. I'm outa here! Run baby run!

1 minute, 17 seconds

We run up a huge hill, past a few farms and guess what I see? A TOPAZ in horse form! A pinto with black ears, brown over the eye, white face and yes, merle eyes. I couldn't believe it! I went back to get a photo but Topaz Horsey was gone. Boo. Soo cool.

We run off the pavement and hit some gravel. Water at the turnaround and do it again. So awesome.

Alright, here is the finish line: "Julie Berg from Big Lake and she is smiling" darn right, that was a blast!

29 minutes.

I see the two women I met at the swim, they congratulate me and say they saw me on the course and comment that I was smiling the whole way. Oh yeah, that was great fun.

Final finish: 1:54

Julie Berg 239th/331entrants Group: 22/30 109/147 Swim: 18:07 T1: 4:03
Bike: 1:02:30 T2: 1:17 Run: 29:00 Final Time: 1:54:00

Yup, total blast. Graniteman Big Lake is August 6, then the Olympic distance at Lake Marian Oly Triathlon.

Next up is BETA VI!! It's BETA time again up on the Superior Hiking Trail :)


suzi said...

Good job, Julie! Miss you.

Suzanne H

A Prelude To... said...

Great job, Julie - Aren't triathlons a blast?? You sound like you had an amazing time!! Lovin it!

Laurie Leciejewski said...

I love the part where you say "0h well. I am a runner."

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Julie B said...

Well hello, Suzanne!! I miss you too. I was floored when I realized you had moved away. I hope all is well :)

Julie, yes, and absolute blast!

Hey Lor, yup, I am a runner!

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