Monday, February 19, 2007

BORGESS INDOOR TRIATHLON, Sun., February 19, 2007

Jan and me again. Here we are before the swim. My camera batteries crapped out so this is it for pictures.

From the little you can see, it is a very nice facility, about 50 miles from GR, down through the snow belt to get there! (Jeez, will it ever quit?? Another storm the day before.) Anyway, this event is way low key compared to our last indoor tri.

Our start time was 10:30, but we got there more than an hour ahead, giving us a little time to get organized and watch some of the other participants. When I say low key, I mean just that.

For example, each event is 20 minutes long, with a 5 minute transition between each. If you don't make the 5 minute cutoff, they just wait until you're ready! Second, no awards were given out--they will mail you something if you get something. So you do your event and leave. Not so bad really, except waiting to see how we did.

This time I did something different in what I wore--I wore a new swim suit and a bike jersey and bike shorts for the rest. Last time, I had a very worn out suit, which bagged horribly (and probably slowed me down, right?:)), I tried to put a running top on over my dripping suit, and wasted a lot of time getting it situated correctly, and then it looked awful with the bagging suit. This time, I wanted to be more streamlined.

Since we had so much time before the event, we took the time to loosen up and stretch, get our things organized, and then watched a few of the swim heats. It was pretty comical, really, and it gave us hope that we might actually do okay. In the heat before ours, not one of the women could really swim. Now, I'm not knocking their effort, it was just amusing to watch. Two did the back float for the whole 20 minutes, with one wearing a strapless suit, two did the Tarzan swim (heads and shoulders out of the water--that must have hurt for 20 minutes!), and one did a side stroke or walked/dog paddled. But hey, they got through it. Where there's a will, there's a way.

My goals for the day were pretty simple: for the swim, get at least 1/2 mile; for the bike, get at least 5.50 miles; for the run, get at least 2 miles. I'm happy to report I made all my goals.

Swim: It was a very nice pool, and this time the water was comfortable, not too warm. I knew I had improved my swim time over the past 10 days, so I was fairly confident I would make my goal. I chose the lane with the clock, however, to be sure. There were five of us in our heat, even though we started with four. I have no idea where the 5th person came from or when, I just remember seeing another man swimming a few lanes over about half-way through. It was Jan, me, a younger guy next to me, and a very large woman next to Jan. The guy keeping score for me noticed my swim cap (or maybe he noticed my bike jersey I had on earlier) and asked if I had done the Three Rivers Triathlon (my last one last summer), and I said I had. "If you did that, you can do this." Yeah, I'm pretty sure I can swim 20 minutes, I thought. But I thanked him for the encouragement. The swim went smoothly, my stroke count was even on each length, so I was sure I would make the distance. On my last length, I still had 40 seconds left, but wondered whether they would count anything after the lap, so I almost stopped at the end of the lane, but then decided to keep going. I'm glad I did, since they did count the difference. So I still got another 1/2 length, for a total of 36 1/2. Jan did 27 1/2.

Bike: We were able to go to the locker room, change, and go to the bathroom without worry of them starting the bike before we were ready. I didn't even worry about the time, but nonetheless, I did hustle. I didn't want to tempt fate. The bike was on Cybex stationary bikes. After a few adjustments and a quick review of the operating instructions, we started. One instruction was: stop at 20 minutes. Apparently, you were your own timer. Laid back. It took me a few minutes again to figure out the distance mode, and once I did, I was able to break down the segments: every 5 minutes I needed to do at least 1.35 to get to 5:50. The only sure way to do this was increase resistance and pedal your guts out. The guy next to me, who was very fast in the pool but a major thrasher, was just as bad on the bike, grunting, moaning, standing, etc. Then his bike shut off for some odd reason and he was really freaked out. I just tuned him out as best I could. I was getting close to my goal in the last couple of minutes so decided to crank up the resistance more and pedal as hard as I could. The end result: 5:67. An okay distance. Jan did 6.34.

Run: The run was right next to the bike, on treadmills, so we didn't have to go through the rat maze of steps we had to do at the Y last time. It was a leisurely transition. I talked with the very heavy woman in our heat (who incidentally did 29 laps on the swim and 4.47 on the bike), who was saying she was entered in another Y indoor tri event that was 30 minutes for each segment! She said she was afraid to enter any of the outdoor tris because of the "cut off." I assured her there were a few sprint triathlons with no cutoffs and to pursue those if she really was interested. I also pointed out that if she could swim a full 30 minutes, she shouldn't worry. She did okay on the swim and said she was a biker, so I figured she would be okay. I also pointed out to her that I have been last in more triathlons than I care to admit, and they haven't closed the course on me yet and I still keep coming back for more abuse! :) So I think I convinced her to give it a shot.

Again, laid back instructions for the run: hit the quick start to get going and the stop button at 20 minutes. So we were off, with Jan next to me, the other woman on the other side, and the young guy a couple of treadmills down. I have no idea what happened to the 5th person, or whether there ever was a 5th person. I never saw him again. Jan was cranking up the speed to 7:30s, the other woman was walking, the young guy sounded like he was roping cattle, with his ye has! and whoas throughout. It was all I could do to keep from laughing or saying something out loud like get along little doggie! I started out at a modest 10:20 pace which felt easy enough yet challenging. After a few minutes, I upped the speed so I was doing 10:10, then on to 10:00, 9:49, 9:20, and finally ended at 9:13! I was really okay until maybe the last 2 minutes, and I steadied myself from time to time, but didn't hang on for more than a second or two, so I knew I could keep the pace at least for a while. Jan, on the other hand, started backing down. She said later she just couldn't hold the 7:30 pace (no wonder!), but did hold it at about 8:10. I felt like it was a hard run. I felt like I was pounding. It seemed harder than running on a track like last time, yet easier too. Hard to explain. I felt like I was being conservative in my approach to increasing my speed, and while I don't want to second guess myself, I do know I hold back. I just can't let myself go all out and see what happens. I figured I didn't need to use it all up that day on that event, yet I felt like I had a very good workout. So I ended up with 2:03, and Jan had 2:23.

And its amazing how good a good workout makes you feel! After we spent about 15 minutes cooling down, stretching, and recovering, we showered and I felt really good. I still feel really good today, much better than last week. So now we just wait for results, and hopefully those will be in the next few days.

I started getting really excited about the upcoming triathlon season and can't wait for it to start!


Fe-lady said...

You have raced more already this year than any triathlete I know- I you live in snow country and are coming off an injury (or two)! You are truly amazing and focused!

Flo said...

fe-lady is right, you are doing amazing. Here in Hawaii we haven't had any tris yet and you've got 2 under your belt. That's just awesome.

WADDLER26.2 said...

Great job an the tri! It sounds like fun although I'd sink in the pool. What a workout too luckily indoors.

TriFeist said...

And you should be excited for the tri season. You're ready to go and it's only February. Great job on the indoor tri.

TxSkatemom said...

"Tarzan swim" -- I like that! Finally I have a name for what I do! It's a bad habit, I know, but at least I know I'm not alone in my flailing!

Great job on the event!