Sunday, December 07, 2008

Thanks to Jan being sick and not attending and me being the oldest woman, I was able to easily take the age group award.

This fitness center is probably one of the most deluxe in the area, and I'm pretty sure the membership dues are reflected in that as well, one reason I don't belong. Everything is state of the art, but surprisingly their lap pool only has 4 lanes.

Jan has been sick with the flu all week and decided not to do the tri. I wasn't overly motivated, but at the same time was anxious to get started and get the show on the road. We were signed up for the last heat, at 9:14, but I was awake before 5:30 and pretty much just wishing I'd been able to get an earlier slot.

This was a perfect day to stay inside to work out--we probably have gotten about 8 inches of snow over the last day and a half and the temp was only in the teens this morning again with more snow predicted during the week and more cold, cold, cold weather to come.

So I got to the club earlier than I needed to for lack of anything else to do and just wanting to get going. I've done so many indoor tris now that I almost don't have to think about how things are going to go, but I decided for the first time to wear my bike shorts in the pool. Its so hard to get those things on when you're wet!

It looked to me like all the people from the earlier heats had already left, since there weren't many people in the club when I got there, and the parking lot was barely full, quite a contrast from usual when I drive past and the lot is packed all the way around the building.

I found the locker rooms, the pool, got ready, and then checked out where the bikes and treadmills were. Finally it was time to get started on the swim. The pool was colder than I'm used to and is surrounded by windows, so it was a little chilly most of the swim. And a new phenomenon here in the pool: I noticed right away that the music is piped underwater so you hear it when you swim. I thought at first it was my HR monitor chirping, but then I realized it was music! Wow, that might help with boredom doing laps or maybe even keep you moving a little faster.

The swim was easy. I worked hard but didn't push past my limits. One woman in the heat was lapping us all; the woman next to me went in fits and starts, sometimes breaststroking, other times sprinting. I lapped her once but she caught me and that was it. The other woman was ahead at first, but after 3 or 4 laps, I managed to lap her. I lost track of my laps for some reason, but with a lap counter it didn't matter. I ended up with 33. I'm not sure how this measures up to previous swims, but I was hoping to get to 32, so I was happy with that.

Then they gave us a whole 7 minutes to get from the swim to the bike. One reason I put my shorts on for the pool was to avoid the out-of-breath hustle you find yourself in during transition, but with 7 whole minutes, it was a leisurely change and walk to the bikes. We used some sort of life cycle and were instructed to put the resistance on 5. That seemed okay and again I kept within my HR limits for the most part. Don had come to watch and kept saying I should go faster. I told him I was already almost at my max heart rate and he said, oh that must be wrong. No, actually its right on. I love the fact that my monitor records on their equipment so I don't have to keep looking at my watch. The woman next to me was madly pedalling, thrashing back and forth, but she did end up with the highest bike total, so to each their own I guess! My total was 5.25 miles, with cadence in the 85-89 range, for 20 minutes.

Then it was on to the treadmills. Those were upstairs. The other women in my heat took the elevator. I took the stairs so I could stretch out some and I figured we had a whole 7 minutes to kill. So I was surprised when I got to the treadmill to find out we had less than a minute to transition. I didn't need the whole 7 minutes but I would have liked a couple of more minutes!

The treadmills were very, very nice, with built in TV screen and all the bells and whistles you can imagine. They even had these straps to hold you on if needed! What is the point of working out so hard that you get flung off?? Here again, I told myself I had to stay within my HR zone until the last few minutes and then I would crank it up and hold on for dear life. I have noticed its getting easier and easier to go from the bike to the run. I've been doing this for a while after spinning, if only for a mile, and being on the treadmill you can also control and maintain speed. So that's pretty much what I did but probably should have just cranked it up sooner to get in a whole 2 miles rather than the 1.89 I ended up with. Still, it was slightly better than I expected, which was 1.8. But, I didn't want to have to hang on the whole time and wanted to be able to run a pace I could hold for a few minutes at least.

After, there were free massages but very little else for the money we paid--orange slices, power bars, and an ugly green shirt. But I did get a nice AG medal!

And the race director then invited me (and others, I'm not thinking I all that special!) to join them on their training runs starting in January for the 25k in the spring. Just this morning I was thinking I really should join a group this year and try to break that 3 hour mark again by starting the training sooner rather than later, and trying to accomplish this in outdoor runs instead of all treadmill runs. I guess I'll have to see what kind of group shows up. If they're all gazelles, I'm not sure I want to pay for the humiliation of being the last one to finish all the time. But if I see a few older and slower women like me, then it might just be the thing I'm looking for. I have the impression that women who belong to this club are all fast, so we'll have to see how it goes.


Calyx Meredith said...

Congratulations!! An AG medal and a potential new running group. Thanks for explaining how an indoor tri like that worked. Sounds like fun.

bunnygirl said...

Free massage, AG medal (no matter how acquired) and some potential new running mates. Sounds like a fantastic outcome to me! Congrats!

WADDLER26.2 said...

Sounds like it was all good. Congrats.

Sunshine said...

Congratulations!! I can't even imagine those indoor events you do.
Good luck with the training. I agree.. it is not fun to be last.. but maybe it depends on how much behind you are.

We ran on an indoor university track today.. while it snowed outside.

Lily on the Road said...

Way to go Vickie, nice job on getting out there and doing it! Sorry to hear that Jan has the flu, say hi and wish her well!

Anne said...

It sounds like you certainly earned that AG award with a measured effort that put you ahead of your benchmarked goals for each event. Interesting about the music in the water. Never been to a pool that fancy to experience it.