Sunday, February 28, 2010
As my followers know I always focus on long course events, in fact I have only done one triathlon shorter than a half ironman in the last 3 years and I've only done one sprint in my life. The reason … my swim sucks and in the short races I don't have enough time to catch up. I have been working on my swim for a while now (well over a year) and it is continuing to get better, so I decided to give a short race a try.
I signed up for a Lifetime Fitness Indoor Triathlon and figured I would be competitive on the bike and run, and just hoped my new swim skills would keep me from losing too much ground on the swim.
When I got to the race I was expecting it to be really low key with a few people that look like serious competitors and mostly people trying to get in shape. Well, I was wrong. I pulled into the parking lot and saw multiple Ironman license plates and stickers. While registering, I found out that there were a bunch of guys from the Northern Illinois University Triathlon Team there, and on the way to the pool, two guys were putting on speed suits.
I quickly realized this was not just going to be an easy workout.
On a side note, I felt like a tri geek wearing my race kit to a small local race, but I felt better after seeing the speed suits and compression socks others had on. Triathletes (myself included) sure are an interesting bunch.
Swim (637.5 M in 10' – 1:34 / 100 M – 2nd OA)
I started the swim comfortably hard and the women in the lane next to me put about 5 meters on my in the first length. I quickly realized again it was time to push, so I did and finally caught her about 3 laps later. The rest of the swim was pretty uneventful, I just focused on my technique the whole time. Looks like all the drills and swim lessons are paying off.
Bike (18.5 Miles in 30' – 3rd OA)
The bike was on a spin cycle with a computer that measured the speed of the flywheel. Therefore the higher your cadence the more points you get. I settled in at about 125 rpm and just stayed there for 30'. I tried to go faster but I would start to bounce and since this was my first time on a spin bike I was really nervous about hurting a knee because of the fixed gear/flywheel I wasn't used to.
Run (3.53 Miles in 20' – 1st OA)
My goal was to set the treadmill to my 5k PR pace and see what happens. I found out what happens at 15 minutes in when I started to feel like I was going to throw up and couldn't keep my eyes open. To save myself from completely blowing up I brought it down to 10 mph for two minute and then tried to start working back up. I'm disappointed I couldn't hold 11 mph the entire time, but I'm still pleased with holding a 5:40 pace for 20 minutes off the bike and after just returning to running about 6 weeks ago (from a 6 week break due to injury). This was also the first race I've used my Zoot Ultra TT shoes in, and they were awesome, very light and felt great. I can't wait to get a pair on the new Zoot Ultra Speeds to try seeing as they are over 2 ounces lighter!
I ended up with 201 points and 1st overall, my first overall win ever! I've had a number of age group wins but never been able to crack first overall. Hopefully this is a sign of good things this season. I had a ton of fun at the race and think I might even do another one (who knows maybe I'll even race something shorter than a half ironman this year.
It was interesting that my bike was the weakest split, last year I always did the best on the bike. I'm thrilled with the improvement in my swim though.