I’m at triathlete!
Well, kind of.
Does finishing an indoor triathlon count? I somewhat feel like it’s cheating. Maybe I’m an almost triathlete.
This weekend I completed the Lifetime Fitness Indoor Triathlon. They have them all over the country from February through April.
Completing this event definitely has given me confidence that I can do the outdoor one in August. I just have to master that whole open water situation.
Backing up to the morning of the race. After enjoying my standard pre-race eats of oatmeal/banana/almond milk, I received a great surprise. My number one fan, the husband, announced he was coming along to be my support! I can’t imagine watching an indoor tri is all that exciting, but I was thrilled he was coming. It definitely tamed my anxiety.
Ready to be escorted to the race!
I got to the gym with plenty of time to check out the pool and the spin bikes. I’ve never been to this actual Lifetime location before and I wanted to get my bearings.
I checked in and got body marked. I was bummed they didn’t write any numbers on my calves or upper arms. They just went for the hands.
Wave 7, Number 61.
After assessing the grounds, it was time for action. I lined up everything I needed in my locker so that when I came out of the swim, I could change quickly and get to the spin studio quickly. Even though the transitions are set times, I knew they would go quickly.
I headed to pool and met a nice man named Les who was also doing his first tri. We were each other’s cheerleaders the rest of the day. It’s nice to have fellow triathletes who have your back. I did a few warm-up laps and before I knew it, it was time to start!
Here’s my breakdown along with unofficial results as the actuals have not been posted.
This was a metered pool so the lengths were a bit longer than what I was used to. It was noticeable but not problematic. My goal was to swim a consistent stroke and just learn what swimming 10 minutes straight felt like. Turns out, it felt pretty easy. Brette was timing my lengths and they were all with a few seconds of each other. Consistent. Goal achieved! I finished 14 or 15 lengths in 10 minutes.
What did I learn? I can push harder. Now that I know what I know, I can definitely go harder. The best part about swimming is that it’s 90% upper body work so your legs aren’t destroyed when you are done.
The bike was much harder than I expected.
These spin bikes were a bit different than what I’m used to. That wasn’t a problem as far as fit goes. What I struggled with was their distance measurement. Everything was based on wattage. In order to log a lot of miles, you were better off cranking up the resistance and grinding at super low cadence. Hello knees! That calculated more miles than my normal quick cadence with a fair amount of resistance. To me it was not realistic to riding outdoors at all. Unless you are riding up a steep hill for 30 minutes. I was next to Les and the one other woman who was in our heat. We cheered each other along and pushed each other in the final minutes. FYI – Les kicked our butts. Big time. Go Les! I was gassed at the end. I’m not sure my actual miles completed because there was a problem with my computer at the beginning and the race officials were going to be adding extra mileage. I think it’ll end up around 9 miles.
What did I learn? My body prefers a quicker cadence. And that even though I’m a confident biker, I can still have my ass handed to me.
The bike left me much more exhausted than I anticipated. I downed as much water as I could and started at a 6.0 (10 minute mile pace). I had my ipod with me to tune out the sound of my breathing. It can be so distracting. Brette was also milling around which, thankfully, was very calming. I felt pretty good so I would up the pace for a minute, then drop it down for a minute. Eventually I just left the pace on the high end. For the first time in my life I ran a negative split with the second half of the run faster than the first half. I completed 2.07 miles in those 20 minutes, an average pace of 9:39. I was thrilled – I killed my goal here! But, guess what? I totally could have pushed harder. I played it conservative because I really didn’t want to exhaust myself and end up walking. In the end, I think I could have stayed on the quicker side the whole time. I’m still thrilled. Again, I was next to my wave-mates and their encouragement was definitely helpful. Yay for wave-mates!
What did I learn? Push my limits. Don’t be afraid to push yourself a little early.
You are stronger thank you think.
This was a great warm-up tri. I definitely felt properly trained and now I’m even more excited to continue training leading up to the YWCA Women’s Tri in August.
Next on the list? The Gear-West Duathlon on May 20th. Both Brette and I are competing along with some friends. It’s a new-to-us race with different distances than any other du I’ve done. I can’t wait!
What’s going on in your race world?