|Change of pace from the trusty event t-shirt!|
A volunteer walked me to the locker room (thank God, 'cuz that place was enormous), where I changed into my swimsuit and went to the pool, where the previous wave was already swimming. People were all friendly and it was a very fun, low-key, non-competitive type of event. I noticed that someone had gu and I had a total Homer Simpson moment. DOH. I'm always starving after I swim, and in a tri, I ALWAYS have a gel post-swim to stave that off. I had forgotten all about that. I hoped the gatorade I'd brought would suffice. My wave was all girls and one guy. We talked about running and he was pretty impressed that I was doing this the day after a 12.5 mile run. He pointed to a guy in one lane and said he looked like a good runner. I agreed - tall, lanky, skinny - and he didn't put his face in the water the entire swim! Definitely not a swimmer, so all signs pointed to runner.
We got in the pool, gasped and complained about how cold it was (FREEZING!) and did some warm-up laps. The whistle blew, and we had ten minutes to swim as many laps as we could. I had a goal of 18 (450 yards.) There was a giant digital clock on one end of the pool. I realized that nerves must get the best of me during a swim, because I was having trouble breathing that gave me flashbacks to previous races. I did the best I could to get it under control and pretend like I was just swimming laps at the gym, no biggie. I hit 225 just as the clocked clicked 5:00. YES. But even just ten minutes in a pool can be tiring and I started to wind down a little. I hit 17 with just over 20 seconds left, and I knew I couldn't swim an entire pool length in that time, but I decided to go for the half lap and went all out until the whistle blew again. I was well over halfway to the wall.
I saw later that they did give me credit for 18 laps, so I did, too. :)
We had ten minutes to change and get to the spin room (thank God, they had signs.) I wore a swimsuit and did a complete change to a shirt and tri shorts. The awkward thing about that is that a woman left her two little girls sitting on a bench (with crayons and books) while she went to take a shower, and they were watching me strip and try to yank tri shorts over my white ass. Eeek.
In the bike room, we joined the previous group already in progress. Runner-not-swimmer-guy was spinning so fast his legs were a blur. They had two big screens where they were showing a video of a bike race, which I soon found out was in Leadville, where my running buddy is doing a marathon!! After seeing the hills they were biking on, I decided that she is INSANE. We could put the resistance on whatever we wanted, and after some playing, I found a level that seemed to be one where it was a pretty easy effort and I could spin fast without being out of control, while optimizing my speed....which the computer said hovered around 50 mph. I got a gooood laugh out of that one. I also felt a little miserable - I'm used to spin class in a room with giant fans blowing on me, and this room had no fans, so it was a little warm. I was also, as I feared, HUNGRY. I spotted bananas, bottles of water, and granola bars and asked a volunteer if I had to stop if I wanted a granola bar. She was nice enough to bring me a peanut butter chocolate one, which I gratefully tore into!
My bike computer read 24.5 at the end of a half hour. Haha.
We had to do a 20 minute treadmill run last. Runner guy was FLYING. They weren't done with their 20 minute run yet and I tried to sneak a glance at his machine. I was pretty sure it read 3 point something. People in my wave weren't going super fast, but it's SO hard to tell on a treadmill. It's really hard to be competitive when you don't know what you're competing against. I remembered about 2 minutes in that I hate running on a treadmill. I played with the speed a lot, trying to stick with 6 point something but going down to 6.0 for a minute or so a couple of times for a break, trying to just stick it out. My caves tightened up like crazy, probably because they had carried me for 12 miles 24 hours ago. I had a goal of 2.25, but only managed to get 2.15 by ramping up the speed at the end.
All in all, it was fun - a different sort of race for sure, when you literally just have to do the best you can do with no knowledge of how you'll fare in the results (and I'm really very ok with where I am in the results - top third overall and 5th place out of all women!) The bike was particularly insane since it was so far off from a real bike. I had a bike goal of 9 miles going in, based on how I can do on a REAL bike. Instead, it turned into a how-fast-can-I-spin session. I was a little disappointed that my run wasn't better, since I've done better during speed workouts lately, but I'm not a sprinter. I'd much rather do a long, slower effort than a short, fast one. And, well, the day after a long run isn't a good day for speedwork for anyone!
Not something to take uber seriously, but I think I'm in a good place to do well in the shorter tris I'm eyeballing, and it made a good training day to fit into my 140.6 plan!