I participated in my first triathlon yesterday. It was put on by Lifetime Fitness who promotes with this motto: “inspiration without the intimidation.” This is certainly a great description of what I experienced. First off this is not a distance event. Rather it is a timed event. You get 10 minutes to swim as many lengths of the pool as you can, 30 minutes to bust it out on the spinning bike and 20 minutes to run your little heart out on the treadmill. When my friend described the event I thought it was the perfect way to dive into the sport of triathlons (pun intended??). I figured I could handle an hour commitment to physical activity. It was also helpful that I was able to request that my friend and I were in the same wave, which we were.
I was most nervous about the swim. I was really worried about sharing a lane with someone else. I don’t even know if I can swim in a straight line yet. I didn’t want to mess up someone who was serious about competing. Lucky me because they paired me with my friend. I was able to apologize ahead of time for getting in her way. It’s no secret that I am weak at swimming. I was able to swim my first length using the technique that I was taught in swim class, but the rest of my swim consisted of me struggling to breathe. I just couldn’t keep my head under water at all. My swim coach would have been mortified. I was able to finish 15 lengths, which was okay since my goal was 10 and/or to just survive. When I got out of the pool I felt a bit dizzy.
We made our way to the locker room where we were allotted 10 minutes to change into our biking and running wear and to grab anything else we needed. I guess 10 minutes is not as long as I thought because we were late to the bike and lost 2 minutes of riding time. Note to self: move faster in the locker room and choose a sports bra that is not a racer back that also needs to be hooked. I think that’s what ate up most of my time. I was super surprised at how sticky I was when my body was wet. I had everything set out and ready too, but I still didn’t move fast enough. Boo. My friend waited for me and I feel bad that I held her back, but she was super cool about it.
I had never been on a spin bike before so thank god for the awesome race volunteers. They helped me adjust my bike. However, as it was getting adjusted the pedal swung back and hit my right calf, ouch. The bike part was fun because I was next to my friend and we chatted. I think I was able to bike 10.1 miles during that 30 minutes. Note to self: get some biking and/or tri shorts your ass will thank you.
We had 5 minutes to make our way upstairs to the treadmills. I raced to my spot this time because I was not going to loose time running. I got my iPod, towel and water bottle all set up. When I saw the “best distance” for the day (2.38 miles) I knew that I could beat that distance in 20 minutes. I started at 6.5 mph and ended at 9 mph so that I could get my name on the winner’s board. And I did it! I was able to run 2.41 miles. That tiny victory made my day. I was finally in my element when I got on the treadmill to run.
This event was definitely the perfect first experience for someone testing out triathlons. I felt comfortable amongst the company of the other athletes in this event. I saw a lot of newbies like myself and I never felt judged for my lack experience. It was a well run event with awesome volunteers, easy parking and cool t-shirts too. I definitely learned a lot about my abilities and I can clearly see where I need some work. Like get your butt in the pool as much as possible work. I highly recommend this indoor triathlon!