IRONMAC INDOOR TRIATHLON, March 15, 2008.
This was the third and final indoor tri of the season to complete the series. Jan and I headed down to East Lansing, home of the Spartans, to compete in an indoor triathlon put on by the MSU triathlon team, held at the Michigan Athletic Club. Its a beautiful facility, with connections to not only the MSU tri team, but also Sparrow Hospital in Lansing. They have a standard 6 lane Olympic pool, but they also had another 6 lane pool and kiddie pools in a domed area that becomes an outdoor water park in warm weather, with water slides and a sprinkle park for the little kids.
I have to admit, I was not all that geeked about going this time. I was tired, stiff, sore, and felt dragged out after having worked all last weekend, going through the time change, getting an 8 mile run in on the treadmill (because the windchill once again was about 7 degrees), and then battling the ITB problem all week and missing some key workouts. And, to further confess, I was a little ticked off at Jan, for reasons best left unsaid.
But I showed up, hoping for the best. My hip and ITB were still somewhat sore, but nothing as painful as earlier in the week, but I was still concerned about the run, especially when it would be on an inside track. I decided ahead of time to give it my all on the swim and bike and get through the run as best as possible. Each event was only 20 minutes, so that should seem like a walk in the park after my recent long runs.
The swim went well enough, but dummy here didn't hear the start whistle so there I was, standing in the pool looking stupid while everyone else started out. I was going to have to play catchup.
I will say only one thing about my irked feelings about Jan lately and that has to do with the swim. Jan started masters swim classes in January, and since then has had a very superior attitude about her swimming ability. Suffice it to say, she has improved, but to put it nicely, there's no way she was going to beat me in the swim if I could help it!
So there I was, lagging behind immediately. I decided just to relax and not worry about it. Jan was keeping even with me, but after about 5 laps, I passed her, and everyone else in my heat. Whew! That made me feel better! LOL!
I managed to finish with a little over a half mile, so I was pretty much on my mark. Then it was the usual 5 minute transition, and on to the bikes.
They had the whole setup fairly close to the pool, with the bikes in between the pool and the inside track. We used upright Precors, not my favorite, but whatever, you do what you can do. And y0u never know what they will have for you to use.
When I got out of the pool, I immediately took my things and went to the bikes to get ready and picked one where the seat needed the least adjustment. Then Jan showed up, but none of the others in our heat showed up. I wondered out loud where they were, but at the 5 min. transition, they had us start the bike--just Jan and I. Over a minute went by before the other 4 in our heat showed up, walking like they were in no particular hurry, until they found out we had already started! How could that be? they asked. We still have over a minute left! Well, not according to the timer's watch. I don't know who was right, but I have had that happen to me just once and you live and learn. No lollygagging between events.
The bike didn't go well at first. The seat was uncomfortable, my shorts were wet and I kept sliding, and just couldn't get my speed up. I adjusted the resistance, trying to bring my speed up, but my cadence immediately went down, so I had to keep backing off, adding resistance, backing off, etc. Finally, after almost the halfway point, I just went by distance and kept track there, but I was below my hoped for goal distance by about a quarter of a mile. I just barely cleared 4 miles, and had hoped for more of course. And this was by far my slowest bike of the 3 races this year. It had to be the bikes, right? LOL!
Then it was on to the run. The 4 who were late on the bikes were still griping, and I know their late start cost them a lot of distance, so I understand them being upset, but they had warned us from the minute we picked up our packets to not be late for any event, because the timers were instructed to start on time whether you were there or not.
The run was on an indoor track, 5 laps to a mile, which surrounded 4 indoor tennis courts. That should definitely be easier mentally, if not physically, than a treadmill or a 20 laps to the mile track. I had to stretch out the ITB again after the bike. The seat definitely irritated something, so I was trying to make myself hold back on the run. I had nothing to prove here. The whistle blew and we started. My first steps were painful. The ITB and hip hurt and were stiff, but after a lap or two, it stopped, and I think I made a mistake here and picked up the pace. I wasn't hurting or struggling, and I definitely was running faster than lately, and definitely faster than on a treadmill. I had no one to pace myself off from, so just went lap by lap in my mind to keep myself going. I was glad to see Jan was passing everyone, as I expected she would. I even had managed to keep in 3rd place. Until I hit lap 7, and then things fell apart. I had hit the 1 mile mark well under 10 minutes, way too fast for me right now, and by lap 7, I was feeling dizzy. I slowed for a moment and staggered a little, walked to the turn, and then started again. By lap 8, I was struggling still, and falling behind. I was mentally falling apart. I wanted to get 10 laps in at least, and knew it would be a stretch now, but I pushed on. In lap 9, I again had to slow and walk a moment, still dizzy, and then when they blew the 1 minute whistle, I had to dig in and push for lap 10.
I am a good sprinter, and pretty much sprinted the entire last lap, just missing the full lap when the blew the stop whistle. However--if you passed the halfway point on the last lap, they counted it, so my sprinting probably was for nothing, but at least I felt like I earned the last lap instead of getting it by default.
And surprisingly, once I cooled down some and walked part of a lap, I wasn't that tired or sore. My hip and ITB were only slightly tight, probably no worse than usual, and stretching produced no real pain or tightness. I had hoped to do better on the run, and where I messed up was in starting too fast. Live and learn there. But for me, it is always hard to hold back on the track, even though I realize it was no blazing speed.
We don't have results yet, and I'm waiting for pictures another friend took who was there. They had heats going until late in the day, and the last time I checked, they weren't up yet. I don't expect to beat anyone in my AG, but its still fun to compete.