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‘Tis the Season: Part 2

Posted by pjcloud9 on June 9, 2009

‘Tis the season of triathlon training.  I am now 19 days out from the first test of my current endurance: the Hy-Vee Triathlon, Sunday, June 28, West Des Moines, IA.

I have participated and finished the Hy-Vee tri the last two years.  The problem with the race is this is the third year of it and the third version of the course.  This makes it hard to gauge personal progress year over year and is annoying because of the adjustments that have to be made.

The first year it was in downtown Des Moines, swim in Gray’s Lake, with a finish line at the Iowa State Capitol.  Pretty flat, except the bike hill on Grand Ave. and the run up to the capitol at the end.  Year two, 2008, there was flooding in Iowa and Gray’s Lake was not in condition to swim in (read: bacteria infested), so they moved the venue to West Des Moines.  For several days last year, we thought it would be a “dry tri” or duathlon, with no swim leg.  We would instead run – bike – run.  But because the race was an Olympic qualifying event, not for me of course, race organizers were very eager to get the swim in.  They decided on Raccoon River Park with a finish line at Valley Freshman High School, thus two transition areas – very cumbersome, and a hilly run in comparison to the year prior.  Plus mental gymnastics in the 10 days prior trying to track all the changes and keep training.

This year, we are back at Raccoon River Park for the swim, but the bike and run courses have changed again.  We will be starting and finishing at the park, which is great, one transition area.  The issue with this third course for the Hy-Vee Tri?  This year we are running up a huge hill we biked up last year and running up a hill that we finished on last year.  UGH!

How to deal?  Train on hills and mentally prep.  I ran the actual big hill – dubbed “the Neil hill” by my family – in WDM this weekend to get the mental picture going on it.  Back at home, I have decided to train hills in Bloomington in the Hyland Park/Mt. Normandale Lake area.  For the next 19 days, the running portion of my training will happen there.  I am pretty comfortable with this plan.  The missing piece here in Minnesota is heat.  It is inevitable that by the last weekend in June in Des Moines it will be in the high 80s/low 90s.  If anyone can please order some heat for the Twin Cities (or a cool weekend in June for WDM), please call that favor in.

The good news in all of this is the Life Time Triathlon at Lake Nokomis on July 11 will be a piece of cake with all of its glorious flatness.  And a trip to The Cheesecake Factory will follow, of course!

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One Response to “‘Tis the Season: Part 2”

  1. Ann said

    I can definitely say a prayer or two and ask that the heating/cooling situation work out for the best. Personally, I thought of our swim training just before the conference meet when we would wear 4 or 5 suits during practice and rip up the top layers to create drag. This may be the stupidest question ever, but as I have never ran for exercise I will simply claim ignorance, could you possibly wear one of those silver sweat suits to simulate heat? I imagine the difference between running with one of them on versus off would be tremendous.

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