About a week ago I gathered myself up for the first “triathlon” of the season.
Long time readers will know I truly love doing indoor triathlons. For those who are new to the concept it is essentially the following:
- You swim laps in the indoor pool (usually around 10-20 minutes depending on the event). Volunteers count your laps (down and back is one complete lap)
- 5-10 minute “transition” time
- You use a stationary bike (typically a spin bike which is also a way for the gym to promote spin classes) for 15 to 20 minutes. Miles are counted by the device on the bike most commonly.
- 5-10 minute “transition” time
- You run laps on the indoor track for 20 minutes. Miles are converted/counted from completed laps which volunteers count.
Many places will call these “Try a Tris” since they’re generally seen as shorter and more beginner friendly than your standard sprint or even super sprint triathlons held outdoors. I have loved them from my lowest level of fit to my highest simply because I find them fun and unique.
A few days after we finished the New Year’s Eve 5K. Dave found out he needed to take a day off. He’s only allowed to carry so much “comp” time, which he earns when he works holidays or overtime if he doesn’t take extra pay. We debated having him take it this weekend and going out of town, and now that it’s cold as balls outside I’m glad we didn’t go for that option! Instead we decided he would take it last Saturday and sign up for the triathlon since it was being held at night.
The morning of the event Liz unfortunately needed to drop out do to health issues. The race director was AWESOME enough to let her switch her registration to my sister. Neither Dave nor Becky has done a tri of any fashion, so I was super excited to expose them to this new world.
The design of this event took place at a local gym, the one my sister and Liz actually belong to. Each section was set for 20 mins and each transition was set at 5 mins. There were about 6 different “waves” of the event. What this means is once the people who start at 800 PM are done with their swim and transition time, as they are starting their bike time, the next “wave” is in the pool starting their process. Keeps things running smoothly in the gym.
We were in the 5th wave which was advertised as “women’s wave” but there were two men in the wave soooo who knows. Liz was happily feeling well enough to cheer us on so she snagged some great pictures. Becky was most nervous about the swim, I was most nervous about the bike and Dave was kinda nervous about the whole thing since he’d been sick and couldn’t really breath, but overall the run was his area of worry. Maybe we should have been a team! haha.
As you can see we all made it into the water just fine. Becky and I were sharing a lane (I stuck to the left side like I have for the swimming events at my gym and was quite comfortable. In the above photo I’m in the pink cap, she’s in the blue and Dave is looking at the camera over in his own lane. My goal was to swim half a mile in 20 minutes. Which seemed very lofty as I’ve been swimming 1/2 a mile in 30 minutes at the last 3 swim events. I swam my little heart out and gave it my all and managed to snag 16 laps! Although when the official results came out it said 15 (frowny face) so I don’t know what happened that my volunteer told me an extra lap. At any rate, it converted out to .47 miles (16 would have been .50) which I’m THRILLED about because that’s a HUGE improvement to my last 3 weeks of swimming. Go me! Now I have a goal for the indoor tri at the end of the month. Two girls tied for 3rd and one had 19 laps the other had 24, sooo I was kinda not too far off? Haha.
The 5 minute transition to biking just plain wasn’t long enough for a “non elite” set of participants. Sure if people had on tri suits and special shoes they could have walked from the pool to the bikes in 5 minutes. Most of us though were there to do our best and have fun and it wasn’t enough time, especially when the bikes were located so far away from the pool. IMHO and several other’s opinions as well.
The bike part wasn’t so bad. I’m spoiled from the JCC though and expect every cycle section to have a light show and club music hahaha. They played music at this one, but it was a odd sort of rhythm (for me) and the woman leading it was talking like she was leading a spin class. It probably worked for some people, but it massively threw me off. Luckily I have my headphones and phone so I listened to Pandora. What really rubs me the wrong way about this part though, was that they started us 5 minutes late. They cut us from 20 to 15 minutes. I don’t know why, but it bothered me. Not that I was setting any records in those last 5 minutes, but it’s the principle of the matter.
My goal was to not die on the bike. Seriously. I’m so out of shape for biking. They did this weird thing where they converted your “effort” based on your weight and stuff. According to them it wasn’t about how many miles you went, but how much weight you pushed so it was better to have high resistance or something like that. I really don’t know. But I ended up with “score” of 4.5 miles. Which wasn’t too far off from the 4.65 I remember seeing. Which was about 18 MPH if I did my math correctly so I’m pleased with it! One 3rd place girl had 4.9 the other 5.8 so again kinda close on one of them. lol.
Transition to the run wasn’t bad since we “only” needed to walk upstairs. Still I HATE walking stairs after biking. Ouch ouch and ugg. The running I was also nervous about since I have been not losing weight and not running and my poor tiny ankles do not like swiftly moving over 200 pounds in a steady forward motion. In fact twice I rolled my ankle. Ugg. I tried to just listen to my music, ignore my numb feet and shuffle as quickly as possible. At one point I stopped to walk w Dave and he insisted I not slow down. I told him I could always try harder at JCC in a few weeks, but he still insisted he was fine and I should give it my all.
My pace felt a lot like when I was at the 5K early December and I was relieved not to be in the PAIN I was in at NYE. The track was an 8 lap track and I snagged 9 laps for a 1.13 miles total. Yeah embarrassing I know, but at the same time I was proud. Sure it was about an 18 minute pace, but ya know what? After nearly collapsing on NYE from pain, I was simply thrilled to have been running let alone running after swimming and biking with all my effort. The 3rd place girls had 18 laps and 24 laps, so this is where they really annihilated me.
No matter what the results say though, the above photo is what it’s all about. Becky and Dave LOVED their first tri experience. Becky will be joining us (Liz and myself) for at least 1 more maybe 2 more tris this season and Dave will be joining for the tri in March but not JCC. I soooo hope he’ll do JCC next year though! An amazing time with friends, either doing the event together or cheering each other on and the happiness and love felt is better than any trophy. I mean it.
As far as indoor tris I was impressed overall with this one. The trophies they gave to their overall winners were FOUR FEET TALL. The food and drink spread was beyond comparison and the other competitors were super nice. Check in was quick and easy. When I asked to swap my shirt for a different one, there were no questions or issues at all. The goodie bags were full of great discounts, useful creams, bags of rice and a 16oz glass along with our shirts. All for about 20-30 dollars which is really a great deal. Plus what else ya gonna do on a Saturday night in January in Ohio? I’ll be back next year and I hope you consider coming to, or checking one out closer to your own area.