Sunday, January 12, 2014

My First 'Triathlon'

'Triathlon' in quotation marks because it was all indoors and transition time didn't count. But it was three workouts in a day, so I'll count it as my first triathlon.

Tatted up.
My favorite running store Jack Rabbit puts on an Indoor Triathlon series over the winter to help serious triathletes stay in shape and to help non-serious athletes, like me, see what it's like to do a triathlon. The triathlon consists of 10 minutes of swimming, 30 minutes of biking, and 20 minutes of running. The goal is to go the furthest distance in each sport. Participants are scored on a curve for each sport- the person who goes the furthest gets a score of 100, and shortest distance gets a 1, and everyone else falls into the range.

I was a little nervous going into the race... for a variety of reasons. First, the swim. I got GREAT at swimming last summer when it was all I could do, but since then, I've fallen off the wagon. I think swimming is the hardest part about a triathlon, and it's the first event. And second, the run. I'm still pretty cautious (and still in physical therapy) about my running abilities, and I didn't want to risk refracturing my pelvis for a 'race' I wasn't serious about.


So here goes-- it was a such a fun time! Everything went much, much better than expected. First up, the swim. It was super tough, especially since the girl next to me (who would end up winning the entire thing) was completely smoking me. So I just focused on keeping my breathing calm and my mind determined to hit my goal: 20 laps. I ended up finishing 21 laps, so I was thrilled. But note to self: increase upper body strength. My arms were dying by the end! I ended up tying for 4th place for swimming the most laps.

Next up, the bike. My least favorite part. Since the goal is to go as far as possible, the strategy is to set the resistance as low as possible and just let it roll. For 30 minutes. Boring as all get out. I started out conservatively, humming along, and thought I was doing pretty well until I noticed the girl beside me cranking it out at over 10mph faster than me... so I kicked it up to match her speed. Boring, but 'easy' compared to the swim. I ended up placing 3rd for the biking portion with 16.31 miles.

And finally, the run. Where I learned I'm much stronger than I think I am, and am still kicking myself for not pushing myself more than I did. I started out at 6.0, and then played around with bumping up the speed every 2 minutes, followed by a minute recovery. But when I hit minute 12 and was cruising at 6.5, I started to psych myself out and pulled back... only to realize at minute 16 that no, I didn't feel any pain, and no, I wasn't doing my best. With only 4 minutes left in the run, I didn't have a lot of time to make any drastic change in my distance. I was aiming for 2.2 miles, but ended up with 2.14. Not thrilled at all, especially because it was a confidence issue, not an injury issue, that held me back.

On a side note... I think it's stupid when bloggers blur out their last name but post their bib number. So here's my last name in all it's glory.

I ended up placing 4th overall. Not having a 1st place finish in any of the three events really killed me-- I had a better swim and cycle score than the girl who finished 3rd place, but because she got a perfect 100 for her run score, her overall score got boosted something crazy. BOO! I'm not going to dwell on who's the better athlete, but it's kind of disappointing. Something to chase next time...

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