Around the country, many of the Lifetime Fitness centers hold this indoor triathlon on the same day. You race for distance, not time. The races consists of a 10 minute swim, 10 minute T1, 30 minute bike, 5 minute T2, and 20 minute run.
Weirdly, I tossed and turned a lot the previous night. I woke up feeling a little nervous (what there was to be honestly nervous about, i don't know) but ate the usual Thomas blueberry bagel and peanut butter. My ever-supportive family came with me to watch. There were literally 3 other people watching, so my family comprised 50% of the total spectators, making me one lucky girl.
After watching the 8th heat of the swim, all 10 of us in the heat (2 to a lane) jumped in and warmed up for a few minutes. Turns out, the woman next to me had done 5 ironmans - including Louisville - so we chatted for a few minutes. If the weather is decent in October, it sounds like it could be a great race for me.
Ready, set, go. Started swimming - hauled ass for the first few minutes, then got a little tired. My body doesn't remember how to swim fast. In my head, I felt like I was flying, but I was a little concerned that to the rest of the world, I resembled a sea slug. Finished in 625m. I was a little disappointed - I feel like I should be able to swim faster than that.
Momma P followed me into the locker room and proceeded with a photo shoot which I'm sure the other patrons appreciated. I secretly enjoyed it. My parents are SO supportive in everything I do but not overbearing about it. I appreciated their enthusiasm for this little tri that I was just doing on a whim. Changed from swim suit to SOAS gear (I seriously LOVE the retro kit) to go onto the bike. Kind of dilly-dallied in the locker room with mom. 10 minute T1? Hell, that's the average length of my transitions normally... ha, you think I'm kidding...
The bike was on spin bikes set up in the corner of one of the gyms. Ready, set, go #2. Shoes were super loose in the clips (the women next to me was quite displeased with the situation) but what are you gonna do? Started pedaling, started to tire quickly. It seemed no matter what I did, I was barely maintaining 19 mph. Good GOD I don't think I have pedaled that hard or fast in any race whatsoever. That probably explains my inability to do sprint tris well. Seriously, one-speed-wonder. I really need to work on that this year. I digress.
Sweated my ass off for 30 minutes only to "travel" 9.6 miles. In my head, I was convinced that I would win this race... however, after seeing that number, I figured I better run my little heart out if I was going to have a chance of winning.
5 min T2. Took my time putting on socks and running shoes only to walk through the doors to the sounds of a fire alarm. Drill? Judging by the quick pace of the people walking toward the door and the smokey smell in the air, my first thought was "DAMN IT, ARE YOU SERIOUS?"
It was not only the race interference that ticked me off, but also the fact that it was snowing and I was wearing a sweaty tri kit. Things took a turn for the exciting when four fire trucks pulled up and a handful of attractive fire fighters came in to save the day, but by then I was too cold to care, though I may have watched them for a minute or two... The lifetime crew couldn't decide where they wanted us to stand, so we transitioned between the lobby, vestibule, and outdoors until I said screw it, I'm sitting in the car.
After 30 odd minutes or so, the firemen filed out, so we returned inside to see if we were going to finish the race. Sure enough, after a few minutes, we were on the treadmills about to hit start.
Ready, set, go #3. This was odd to me since you have to manually set the pace. I wasn't entirely sure how fast I could go, but I estimated maybe 7:15 min/mi? I started out at 7:18 and worked my way to 6:58 after a short while. I held that pace through the end, though I started to get a little light headed and my legs felt slightly ataxic but I willed them to keep running and finish the time. It was weird because I know I can do that outside, but I've never run that fast on a treadmill before for a sustained period of time, so maybe that had something to do with it? I have no idea.
FInished the 20 min run in 2.82, which figures to be 7:05 average. Not terrible, but wasn't convinced that would make up for the subpar bike distance. After a few minutes off the treadmill, I felt back to normal and was ready to keep running for awhile but family insisted on leaving, obviously.
Overall, it was a fun experience, but it definitely does not play on my strengths as an athlete. I know I'm cut out for long, endurance-type races - conveniently, I have fallen in love with races that take well over 3+ hours. I would say the longer the better, but some of these ultra races just seem insane. Many, many cheers to those who complete them, but not sure they interest me all that much. Its a little funny because I was looking up the USAT rankings (something I don't altogether understand, but someone was talking about them so I looked it up) - my ranking in short races was in the low 80's but throw the full and half IMs in the mix and the scores jump up to 87 and even 94 for wisconsin.
I'm SO excited to be doing two IMs this year, Im ready to try to race one now! Last year was more an experiment to see what I was capable of doing - I definintely took my time on the bike because I was scared I would have no legs to run on. Later, I felt awesome running but again, I was scared to push it because I wasn't sure how long the legs would last. Apparently they lasted until the end and I finished with energy to spare - obviously I need to change many things in future races.
I.E. learning to ride a bike better. and to stop taking naps in transition. I can't figure out what takes me so long when I'm not even changing!
Results were posted a couple days later - I beat all the women which was my goal - not a bad way to start the year! Makes me excited to start training for real and start racing again. Can't WAIT to sport the new SOAS gear and meet some of the ladies on the team also - its going to be a lovely 2015!