It's the middle of March, and I can't believe I'm saying that I finished my first triathlon of the year! And it was an interesting one at that. Waddler, of course, made sure I signed up for the Lifetime Fitness Indoor Triathlon. And what a dear friend she is; she also made sure that we were signed up for the first wave starting sharply at 7 am. (I, personally, thinks she likes to torture me by making me get up so darn early on a Sunday morning---which should be reserved for "sleeping in". I believe Wadder is foreign to this idea). I guess I better get used to it....there is going to be a lot of early-rising work outs this year.
I arrived at the fitness center promptly at 6:15 am to greet Waddler and to finally meet Snips, Waddler's running pal. What a hoot she is... Love her! Opposite from me, Snips loved the idea of getting up uber-early; well, at least she had a grin big enough for the two of us.
We signed in and were given our race numbers: Me (#3), Snips (#4) and Waddler (#5). 80 people signed up for the race and 73 participated. The race is scored on distance rather than time. We were given 10 minutes to swim (lap pool), 10 minutes to transition, 30 minutes to bike (spin cycles), 5 minutes to transition, and 20 minutes to run (treadmill). The distance covered in each category earned you "points"; the total number of points determined your rank in comparison to every one else.
Since Snips and I were (#4 and 3 respectively), we were in the same lane together while Waddler was in the lane next to us. Snips seemed a little apprehensive about the swim; it was a little intimidating since many of the people in the first wave Waddler knew from her Master's Swim class. I told Snips not to worry about anyone else---just swim. 30 seconds before the start, I lean over and tell Snips that "...it is very common for people to go out too fast at the start of the race. Again, don't worry about them." The whistle is blown and I bust out. In the first 30 seconds of the race I find myself doing what I didn't want to do; I went out too fast. Doh! I'm breathing too fast; maybe I should listen to what I say more often. I get my breathing somewhat under control but I wasn't truly comfortable. I did my best to keep a steady pace and to breathe. I wish I knew what my heart rate was, it felt a little high. I heard lots of noises of bystanders yelling and cheering---but couldn't understand one word. Toward what I thought was the end, I started lifting my head out of the water to see what was going on. With one minute left on the clock, I did my best to pick up the pace; I wanted to get to the end of the pool before time ran out. I was close but no cigar. I came up short about 6-10 feet from the end of the pool. My final length count was 17-1/2. Not too bad since I hadn't been doing much swim training.
Snips, Waddler, and I congratulated each other on the first leg of the race and ran into the locker rooms for transition 1. I was proud of Snips, she did great for hardly (or no) swim training.
As we ran into the spin cycle room, there to greet us was IronSnoopy and Moose (volunteering). I wanted to chat with them but being it was a race and all I had to stay somewhat focused, right? As we all got our bikes ready to go and seats adjusted, we were given the ok to start the bike. With the first few turns of the pedal, Waddler and I quickly realized that the resistance levels on the bikes were too much and we couldn't do a darn thing about it. Our resistance knobs were ducted taped...dang! We looked over at each other and grimaced....looks like we were going to have to spin 30 minutes uphill. The men didn't seem to have a problem with it, but the women were struggling. I noticed that all the women in our wave had to stand on the pedals to get some relief from the mashing. I wasn't a happy camper. I felt "the bike" was one of my strong areas, but not today. I watched my heart rate, it was stuck in the low 170's. I couldn't bring it down. Oh did I mention, the air conditioning wasn't working. No one could figure out the thermostat since it was on a timer and it didn't adjust for daylight savings time. Can you say boiler room?
One poor woman in our wave, passed out and fell off her bike. Volunteers rushed to her aid and so did Waddler. (Waddler-they should have given you an extra mile for that. You abandoned your bike and went to her aid. Way to go my friend!) Luckily, the woman who passed out turned out to be ok and was given the once over by the paramedics. And to all our surprise, she finished the race!
The best part of the bike was when the song "Pour Some Sugar On Me" came on; I get so pumped up with that song. I started to sing as loud as I could but I found myself gasping for air instead. At that point, I was ready to get off the uphill spin cycle. I finished at 9.1 miles.
Once again, our little trio celebrated the second segment of the race and dashed off to the treadmills.
I'm not a fast runner, but I decided to push myself a little today. I wanted to finish 2 miles in 20 minutes. My legs felt pretty good on the run. It was my heart rate that I wish I could control. Again, my heart rate was high; it was well into the mid 170's and it reached a high of 185 bpm. I did my best to zone out and just focus on myself...I was determined to do 2 miles despite the heart rate issue. Staring straight ahead for 20 minutes (I wouldn't allow myself to look at anyone else around me). I was on a mission. 1 minute to go, I stepped on the gas a little harder, I wanted to make sure I made it over 2 miles (I had to compensate for starting the treadmill from zero). As I pushed the pause button when I heard the words "STOP" I looked down at my distance...it was right on the 2.00 mile. I did it. Yeah!
Sweating and smiling, I looked over at Waddler and Snips; we all had finished our first Indoor Triathlon. We congratulated each other and headed for the showers. Afterwards, we headed for the cafe to chat. Yes, it was a minor accomplishment but we had fun and reveled in the spirit of being triathletes.
Thanks to all the volunteers...including Corbin (Waddler's son), IronSnoopy, Moose, Kurt, and Dan! And it was a nicely run event by Coach Steve and Bob.
Final Place: 24th out of 40 women
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