Friday, July 22, 2011

Lifetime Fitness Triathlon Race Report: I DID IT! Part 1

Well I am a little late with my RR but as soon as I finished the race we packed up and headed on vacation, so I was gone for the next 9 days for some fun in California!  This week coming back has been LOOONNNGGG and BUSY to say the least.  Plus it seems I always take longer to write my RR, probably because it takes me a long time to think of witty/funny things to say.  I'm slow :-)

I headed to the Minneapolis convention center downtown to pick up my race packet with my friend, Paul, who also was doing the Tri.  We parked ($10 for parking? really?) across the street and made our way inside and found the LTF Triathlon Expo and packet pickup, the doors were flanked with these pillars:

OWN IT! It also reminds me of Picard, "Make It So..."
 I was expecting a big expo....what I saw was somewhat mediocre.  There were some vendors there selling Tri equipment, etc but not much of anything else.  We listened to a course chat, which was pretty informative, and then went to pick our bibs.  Here's where I nearly had a heart attack: I presented my ID and the volunteer went and returned with my packet, checked the ID again and said "Mr. Wood you are signed up for the international distance, correct?" Me: "Whaaa?" "Oh hell no I ain't!" Volunteer: "Well, you need to go down to the Trouble Table, they will take care of you." Yes that's right I was in T-R-O-U-B-L-E.  So I go down there and theres a younger guy there with some of his buddies, and I overheard he had the same issue!  The staff at the table were flummoxed and were pretty frazzled, but made a switch and put him in the correct short distance wave and gave him a new number.  As I waited for hopefully the same thing done for me, someone else came up to the table with the same problem....and another, and when Paul came by to ask what was going on, I told him, and lo and behold he also was signed up for the wrong distance! (His volunteer wasn't as good as mine I guess and inform him of it).  So there I was with 5 other guys all with the same issue, so at least I felt better.  The woman staffer, however was not pleased.  She started bitching to another staffer and was pretty unprofessional.  Again I was expecting more from Lifetime Fitness....but apparently signing up through Lifetime (one of their locations, not online) was what all 6 of us had in common.  They fixed me up with a new number, and wave time (8:48AM) and I was done.  I waited for Paul and we cruised quickly through the rest of the expo (no good deals unfortunately) and drove home and discussed what to put in our bags for the race.
When I got home I went and got all my stuff ready and went through my checklist. Got the shoes, got the body glide, got the baby powder, nutrition, gatorade, etc...check check check! I got all my tri gear out, got my bike ready, and I was set.  I then stared at my bag and gear and mentally went thru what I had like 10 times!  OCD yes!

Then I began getting all our stuff ready for our California trip!  After the race we were headed down to Iowa to drop the kids off with Grandma and Grandpa, then we were flying to CA on Monday for vacation! It was definitely a win win situation.  Race my first Triathlon, then relax in California!
I managed to go to by by 11 or so, and set my clock for 4:15am...and got some sleep (mostly).

Saturday: Day of race.
I got up at 4:15, showered slathered myself in body glide, dressed, and had a bagel with cream cheese and a banana.  I washed it down with a cup of coffee and some water.  Paul, and his daughter, Courtney, were going to pick me up at 5am, so I went to the garage and got the gear out and the bike ready.  When they arrived we loaded up my bike and we drove to Lake Nokomis.  Since we were early we got a great parking spot right by Fat Lorenzo's.  We unloaded our bikes and loaded up our gear and biked to the transition area. People were slowly tricking in, we joined them and showed our wristbands and entered into transition to find our spots and rack our bikes and then go get marked.  I was very lucky and was 2 racks from the bike out, Paul was in the middle, and our other friend, Teresa, was 5 racks down from me.  After we all got marked we each setup our transition area. One big question was the weather, their were some possibility of rain, and there was a strong wind as well, so it was blessedly cool, but the USAT officials said rain was coming soon.  So I left my shoes and other gear in my bag in case it rained. Once I had everything setup this is what transition looked like:
And that wasn't with everyone there! So many people racing.
I chatted with Teresa and her husband, then with Paul made my way down to the shore to check out the water.  I knew this would be my challenge today, I hadn't really swam ever until I started taking lessons 4 months ago.  The pic below is before they got the buoys setup, but there were some strong waves because of the wind.

Before all the madness...the buoys were being blown by the wind.

I was of course getting some jitters, but there were somewhat alleviated when they announced the water temp was 82.5. Whew! I could still wear my wetsuit! I didn't care if I wasn't able to place in my AG, b/c I knew I wasn't going to win anyway.  The wetsuit would give me some confidence that I at least wouldn't drown (those things are the best! and thanks to Urban Tri for the rental!).  So I gathered up my wetsuit, cap, and goggles, and left transition at 6:45 to see the pros line up.....

Part 2 coming soon!


  1. This. I love how your blogs are "to be continued". you're making sure I'm coming back for more! HAHAHAHA!

  2. Hope to see you in the International Distance Run, Next Time :-)

  3. Welcome to the club, Triathlete, A title that less then 0.02 of the world has ever earned and something that can never be taken away from you.

    You need to post the bike and run to finish your race report out