Sunday, February 15, 2009


This was a new event this year, replacing the old standby of 15 years. Comparing the two events, the new location wins hands down. The Aquatic Center as its called is part of a high school complex near the lakeshore that is less than 10 years old. This school is a rival of the school my kids went to and have always had a very competitive swim and diving program. I observed all the trophies and awards won by both the boys' and girls' teams over the years. The pool is fairly new, 10 lanes, and has a big spectating area. The bike area was down the hall a ways from the pool in a "practice gym, but it was on the same level as the pool and locker rooms. And the run was right across the hall in the main gym.

Somehow, Jan and I did not get in the same heat this year, starting an hour apart. So I watched her start her swim, bike, and run and then went and got myself ready.

Being in a different venue, I didn't see too many of the old familiar faces from past years and noticed it was a considerably older crowd, as opposed to many more young adults and/or teens at the old location, maybe because it was held at a YMCA.

I hadn't spent too much time thinking about what I wanted to do goalwise with this event. I hesitate to use the word "race" because I participate, rarely race. Each leg was 15 minutes. But once I started getting focused on the task at hand, I figured I could do between 13 and 15 laps on the swim, 5 miles on the bike, and 15 laps on the run (10 to the mile).

The water was colder in the pool once I got in than it felt on my hand before starting, so it pretty much took my breath away jumping in. There were 4 men and 2 women in my heat, and the guys were all pretty fast. I just stayed steady and kept count to stay focused. Increasing my swim frequency and distance during January has certainly helped put me over the hump on the swim. I never have had a problem with swimming, but moving on to the next event was much easier this year than ever before. I finished 13 laps even on the ending whistle, 650 yards. More than the last two years.

Transition is always a challenge for me, and today was no different. To help alleviate some of the stress I get into trying to hustle to the bike, get the shoes, socks, and shirt on, get the bike set up, etc. all in 5 minutes, I wore my bike shorts over my suit for a change. I was glad I did, since I had to muscle my way onto the bike I had chosen earlier because of bike size. No way did I want a bike with too big a frame and a seat that could not be lowered! So I had to tell one of the male participants that another bike would be a better choice for him and please let me have this one because its smaller. And fortunately for me, the seat was perfect because time ran out to get prepared and it was time to pedal.

So the bike began and I see that I am spinning very easily, almost too easily and I realize after more than 3 minutes that that's basically what I am doing: spinning easily. So I try to add some gears, only to not be able to figure this particular bike out. After a few attempts and ending up with less gears than I thought I was putting on, I asked for help. Of course it was an easy fix, and I put on some more gears, but figuring my legs would pay for it on the run. The damage was done for my goal distance, however, because I did not begin adding gears fast enough to make a difference without practically killing myself. But I did reach 4.99 miles. Try as I might, I could not get that odometer to turn over to the 5 mile mark. (I think I did better than this on the bike last year.)

T2 was easy: just walk across the hallway, make a connection with your lap counter, get some water, stretch if time, etc. Nothing too hard here.

The run then was done on an inside track on the basketball court. On, not above like past years. And on the same level, too. No more climbing steps to the third floor!

We finally started, and round and round we go. It was 10 laps to the mile, so once I got started I decided I wanted to do 15 laps at least. The air was dry just like my contacts were, so I was finding myself squinting to be able to see. I've never had this much trouble with contacts at an indoor tri, and the contacts were starting to get so dry I was afraid they would blink out, so I pretty much partially kept my eyes shut and just ran. One thing on a track is the momentum carries you around easier than if on a treadmill, so the only part of the run that was tough was the dry air--my throat was now getting so dry I could barely swallow. The last few laps got pretty tough because of the throat thing, but I did make a quick dash off to a drinking fountain close by and was able to merge back onto the track and with the others in my heat easily enough. They called the one minute warning and I knew I would make my goal of 15 laps, but then I realized in the last 10 seconds that if I could kick it in some I could make it to the 1/4 lap mark and pick that up as well. So I met my goal distance and then just a little: 15 1/4 laps.
The awards were after the last two heats, so we had a while to wait. I was into my usual dry coughing because of the throat irritation from the dry air. I always chew gum during the bike and run, but it didn't help at all this time. It was at least 3 hours before I could get the throat thing under control.
On to the awards. Age groups were 10 year spans, so I wasn't that hopeful of winning anything, but fortunately took 3rd in my age group, with Jan first, and we have no idea who 2nd place was. She wasn't there to collect her medal and we didn't recognize her name. We don't know our totals, so I don't know how they compare to last year or how I measured up against the others in my age group. I'm fairly certain that the bike probably kept me from taking 2nd place, but of course don't know for sure.
Now for the weekly wrapup: Week 6 (last week):
  • Sunday: Run 3 miles; swim 1 mile; baby day
  • Monday: Spin class; visit baby
  • Tuesday: Run 3.5 miles;
  • Wednesday: Spin class; weight class; visit baby at home;
  • Thursday: Run 2 miles;
  • Friday: Swim 3/4 mile
  • Saturday: off (because of tri the next day).

One thing I found with my base training is that even though the indoor tris only have 15 or 20 minute time increments for each event, you are pushing yourself the entire time, and this whole thing went easier than ever and I wasn't wiped out after. My recovery was within 15 minutes, so that was very encouraging. You don't have that long time on the bike to get ready for the run. The 15 minutes seem long until you hit the middle and then boom! the time runs out before you know it.

Hope everyone's weekend--Valentines and/or races--went well and now its on to the next week!


Lisa Slow-n-Steady said...

Good job with the indoor tri!! Sounds like you did well against your goals and you even placed in your age group. Woot!

jahowie said...

Great job!! It sounds like you did very well.

Shannon said...

Awesome. I've never done a race like that before, sounds interesting.

Marlene said...

What a neat concept with the indoor tri. Congratulations! Sounds like you did great!

WADDLER26.2 said...

Great job on the tri-I might try my first indoor next month.

Just_because_today said...

Sounds exciting even the transition ;) I watched one triathlon outdoors and ...I admire you. Great job!

ShirleyPerly said...

Congrats on second place!! Interesting to hear the details of this indoor tri (I've never done one). I too sometimes have problems with my contacts drying out during races. So annoying!

Anne said...

What a great week for you. First the arrival of your granddaughter and then placing in your age group. I hope the successful run continues for you and your family.

Lily on the Road said...

Wow, congrat's to both you and Jan! WOW, first and third, you two ROCK. Say a big hi to her for me please.

Wish we had some indoor meets, but I live too far away to participate.

Got my bike trainer set up so I'll be ready for the Century Ride (actually 200K) in June.

Talk with you soon.