TRI Lakes Triathlon – Columbia City, IN

Tri Lakes TRI_logo

On Saturday, I participated in the Olympic distance Tri Lakes Triathlon for the very first time.  1500m swim, 25 mi bike, 6.2 mi run.  First Olympic distance race for me since 2008!  Tri Lakes is a local race, about 35 minutes from my house.  About 10 members of my triathlon team were participating,  I figured since I wear their kit, but rarely see anyone when I race, I’d join in the fun.  Go Team Tritaniaum!!

The race was small, 55 participants, at a very out of the way location on Skinner Lake.  Parking was at the Tri Lakes Tavern.  The tavern was kind enough to not only let us use their parking lot but they also opened early so we could use their facilities.  Love the hospitality of small community races! 

Small transition.  Close to the water & parking area.  Nice setup.


Open water, 1500m swim in Skinner Lake.  Water temp was 82 degrees.  No wetsuits.  Easy, calm, out & back around a line of buoys, 2x.  Men started first, women followed 10 minutes later.


I’m a slow swimmer and that was really amplified with such a small field.  Almost last out of the water.  But it was a smooth, easy swim for me.  Not stress or anxiety so that’s a win!  2:14 average per 100yd.  Right where I normally am, you’d think I’d eventually get faster, right?  Nah!  On to the bike.  Photo courtesy of TRI Lakes Triathlon.


The bike is where I’ve really been struggling this year.  I’ve taken so much down time, that at this point, I’m starting to worry if my fitness is suffering.  The bike was 25 miles.  Should have been easy, even with the searing temps.  No.   It was a struggle.  I had hoped I could pick off some of the people who had passed me on swim.  No.  I had hoped that the rest I had taken would bring my legs back. No.  Dead legs.  The course had some hills, nothing noteworthy unless your legs are shot.  I could barely get up the hills.  I’m not a great hill rider anyhow but this was just insane.  16.1mph average on the bike.  Took me forever and I’m pretty sure I did better on my very first TRI.  I have better equipment (by far) now and I know what to expect.  I just can’t go any faster right now.  Super frustrating.

Run.  Heat & Hills.   That’s the theme of 2016 and I think it was the theme of most of 2015 too.  Everyone was walking.  I had grandiose plans of running the entire 6.2 miles.  No.  I walked up the hills.  Aid stations were pretty far apart considering the temps, there were 3 on route, plus a homeowner that was so kind as to give out water & ice!!  I think it was over 91 by the time we finished.  Most of the run was in the open, full sun.  Aid station at the turn around ran out of water but at least they had ice.  Athletes were just crabby and miserable & ready to finish.  Shout out to the 2 residents who put out their sprinklers for us!  Life saver!  Run:  12:09 min/mi average. 

Finished my first Olympic triathlon since 2008.   I was “almost” last and I anticipated it being way more fun than what reality delivered.  Summer racing, is always a wildcard.  Nice small town race.  Community members weren’t real active with the race but the few who were, really went out of their way to help us.  Another one in the DONE column.

At this point, I’m not really sure what to do about the fatigue in my legs.  I’d like to take a month off and lounge on a beach in Hawaii but that’s not my reality.  I’m heading up to ride the Steelhead course tomorrow since that’s my “A” race & approaching fast.  My legs still feel like poop from SAT.  I’m just not sure how to bring them back.  My nutrition is on point.  I’m definitely resting more.  Trying to get extra sleep.  Avoiding alcohol & sugar.  Adding in tart cherry juice & turmeric to help with inflammation.  Seeing the Chiro to help my damaged back.  So I’m focused on ME.  Just struggling a bit with the quad fatigue.  Hmmmm….  If you have any ideas (other than take a month off and sleep on the beach in Hawaii), let me know.

** Keep TRIing ** Amanda – TooTallFritz

2 thoughts on “TRI Lakes Triathlon – Columbia City, IN

  1. I like the take a month off idea and lay on the beach in Hawaii A LOT.
    But also know not a option……I would have Bernie check out your alignment on the bike and make a double check that everything is good. He might be able to help with the seat issue and there could be something wrong on your setup. I’d even have you go through quick half hour computrainer with him to see if he sees something or have him do a FTP on you. There has to be an answer in there somewhere. Stay tough!!

  2. TTF…in a race with a total field of 55…being nearly last is not a big deal…you just in a race with a field that competitively better. No big deal. You cite 16.1 AVS for bike ride…geez….that’s nothing to slough about on a bike over 25-mi distance in heat and assuming hilly terrain. Sounds like you really beaten in the 10k run and with a 12-min something pace…that seems like if you could have fared far better and maybe something like a 10-ish pace….you might have gained some ground on the swimmers that passed you. In my humble opinion….an average speed of 16 mph on bike is not something to be worried about given the environ conditions and temps. You mention “fatigue” and “dead legs” but I don’t know exactly what that means if you coming into race feeling like that or it just a by-product of the conditions in the race? If you are training and balancing recovery properly…no reason to come up feeling lame or restricted or sub-par in race…even with extreme conditions. Something else must be going on that suggestive of just not enough downtime to recover fully…in other words…over-training syndrome. Even with the extreme conditions…and athelete of your experience and caliber should not be feeling you faltered and did not do well as you expect…in a triatholon of Olympic Distance. I have no answers cause you not give enough detail of what that fatigue actually is and when and where you experience it in course. Can also involve mental…you just beating yourself down. I dunno….but feel free to email me and we can go into details and try to sort some of it out so you can decide how you want to move on. But starting to think OTS….but then that involves just how many races and such you do each year and how you approach and what the load is training for them. Maybe you training too hard? Try falling back…you just do training…save yourself to race the race? I am the reverse of you…usually suck in training…cause most of the time my brain recognizes….just doing training…doesn’t have to be the best or fastest…just do the time and effort that training schedule demands (with respect to intensity)….but typically I run my races to best I can and usually come up with some good FT’s. Maybe we need to hash over some emails and maybe I can help get you back on track…but everything I hear points to OTS and you need to have some lay-back periods where you lay-off and maybe cross-train with non-running-biking-swimming routines…and sometimes this means 2-weeks doing none of them. In other words…I like to view it as you have to “recalibrate” both your brain and physiology….what most runners or triathelets don’t like to hear when they always doing so many events and training for them continuously all year long….start all over…starting with building base. You may have some injury stuff there in making….but not clear…but another sign….you got to take time off…start all over again?

Thoughts? Comments? Tell me!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s