Monday, April 27, 2015

Indoor Tri -The Not So Race Report

Another triathlon checked off the list! This one was an indoor Tri "powered by Lifetime Fitness and Ironman".  I started by membership at Lifetime in early January and had seen the posters all around about their push to get people into triathlon with their "Commit to Tri" slogan.  I learned upon joining that my particular gym had just hosted an New Year's indoor tri a week or two prior.  I was bummed that I had not known about it, it would have been a great way to get my feet wet with this whole tri business.

I asked about when the next one would be and it seems that not all clubs do all the events every time. The next one would be in April in the location in Katy or Sugarland.  Both those are pretty equal in distance from me so I just flipped a coin and registered for the one in Katy.

I got my friend to sign up too and sold her on how great it would be for us newbies.  And that it really is. The triathlon is set to be a 10 min swim in a pool where they count your lengths and later assign points based on number of participants.  Then, you have a 10 minute transition window (which is SO generous!) and then you hop on to a spin bike for 30 minutes (tennis shoes in basket clips or bring your clip ins) and then another 5 minute transition to jump on treadmill for 20.  And you're done!

After the initial sign up (and the friend boondoggle), I didn't think much of this again.  In fact, this week I pretty much gifted myself a recovery week because I flat out just felt worn out.  I probably should have swam at least once but I got my hair "did" on Friday and wasn't about to mess with that. For this.  On Saturday, I went down to Galveston to pick up my daughter and 4 of her friends from a sleepover party.  I had already decided that a side trip to Moody Gardens where Ironman 70.3 Texas would be taking place the next day was inspirationally necessary.  This gave me the nervous race energy I was lacking and am still not sure was necessary!

Late Saturday afternoon, I learned that my friend was sick and would not be joining me.  I was a little disappointed because I just didn't feel like going at it alone.  Again.  Nonetheless, I was registered and committed and I wasn't about to skip it.  Hell no.  I packed up my stuff and my daughter (12) asked me what I was doing.  She asked me who I was going with and I explained my solo status to her.  I asked, on a whim, "do you want to come with me?" and before I could brace myself for a "no", she said "sure" and then followed with "but I don't just want to watch, I want to DO it".  Um.  What? What a pleasant surprise!  But then I thought, is she joking?  Is the lack of sleep from her party making her delirious?  I had no idea if that was even an option but I didn't hesitate to call the club to find out.  As expected, no one that would have the answer to that question was there so we'd have to just show up in the morning and see.  Worst case, she'd be my cheerleader.

By morning, I thought maybe she'd have a change of heart.  But her bag was packed and I learned later that my words to her about being "together" with her struck a chord and motivated her to get up and go.  I was scheduled in the 8:40 wave so we left with plenty of time in the case I had to fill out paperwork for her late registration.

It was touch and go for awhile as there was uncertainty about her ability to join the event but after speaking with the club GM, he said that although the event was "closed", if anyone was a no show, she could fill the spot.  Lucky for us, that was exactly the case!  It wasn't until the last minute before start time that she was given the green light to jump in the pool and share a lane with me.  Happy day!

The Swim:

I was so happy to see her giving it her all with no training whatsoever that I barely paid attention to what I was doing.  And then I remembered what I was doing.  Ugh.  Swimming is not the forte for me and especially not without a warm up. It was WAY better than the last tri but I had moments where my breathing was way off and I had to catch my breath or when my legs just burned and I had to backstroke it.  I made the mistake of stopping for a few seconds to ask her how she felt and I'm afraid that ate up on the time for us to have completed another length.  I lost count and didn't do a good job of looking on the counters sheet to see how we did but I think we were both at 14?  I'll find out for sure when they post the results tomorrow.  I know I could have done better but I also know that I didn't swim all week and I was distracted.


That long transition time surely felt like a luxury.  I noticed some people completely changed out of their swim gear but I just opted to put on my tri shorts.  Maybe it's why I had so much extra time.  I put on my bike shoes and warmed up while we waited for the time to start.


This is was all about high cadence.  A 30 minute sprint consisting of your legs spinning as fast as possible.  I initially set a personal goal of 10 miles and was spinning away and decided to ask one of the volunteers what the "average" distance had been thus far.  He said it ranged from 8-10 miles but no one yet had hit 10.  I thought maybe my goal was a too aggressive and had miss calculated how the spin bike worked.  I didn't think of it much after that because I was more concerned about my daughter.  Her bike seemed to be set up too high and she was wearing tennis shoes that kept slipping from the basket.  On numerous occasions, I had to stop spinning and help guide her foot back in.  She hasn't quite learned the "flip" like I have on my mountain bike.  ;)

As the volunteer walked by, I noticed he would casually whisper to some what their "place" was.  When he didn't come to me, it dawned on me that I was NOT in the top three.  WHAT?  So, I stepped it up a notch.   I pedalled my heart out until I had to stop again for the kiddo.  I figured I'd make up for lost time while I could.  At the last 5 minutes, my legs were flying and I knew I was going to hit over 10 miles (the goal I had brushed off earlier).  I think my final was 10.10 but have no clue how the others did.  It will be a big surprise later.


Again, no stress transition.  I just had to switch shoes and walk over to the treadmill.


I started off I think at 6.7 mph which is a 9 something pace and cruised there for awhile.  For some reason, I kept hitting the front bar with my hip so I took that as me needing to go faster so I upped the speed.  I kind of played with it a little and kept upping it after the first mile.  I think the treadmill workout I did recently (5 miles in 45 minutes) really helped.  I felt strong and like I could have gone faster but kept worrying that I would run out of steam (or fly off the machine).  I didn't want to do either so I ended with a 2.33 in 20 minutes.  I know I could have gone further if I hadn't waited until that first mile to start increasing the speed.  Oh well.  Now I know.


I think the organization of this event was fantastic.  The facilities were clean and neat and the equipment was top notch.  The volunteers were great and they were especially sweet to my daughter. I LOVED having had been able to make this our first mother/daughter event.  She did great and I am so thrilled that she wanted to do it with me.  She rocked it!  I can't wait to do it again!  Hopefully she feels the same!  She wore her tshirt to school this morning so I am thinking she's feeling pretty good about it to.

I am not sure when they will be doing it again but check out their site on the link here for the list of events and locations.
me and my girl with race swag..tshirt and swim cap!

I'll be sure to post the final results when I see them.

Happy Monday all and congrat to all those racing in Galveston yesterday!  I've seen lots of photos and updates and it sounds like the wind was a bear and the heat was brutal on the run.  But the bling...super cool!!  Well deserved!


Update!  Results are in.  I came in 10th overall and 4th in my division (Women's Masters).  I guess I should have held off on the chatting in the pool, huh? Haha.

Valerie Villarreal 14.5 17 10.12 26 2.33 29 72 F Masters