Sorry this is a few days late. I wanted to check on something before I posted this. The checking is done though, so here's the report.
My YMCA puts on two indoor triathlons a year. They started doing it last year and I participated in both of them, taking home a third and second place in my age groups. So when they came around with the registration info this year, I knew I'd be signing up, in an attempt to see how much I've improved during the last year.
This indoor tri also happened to be on the day before my 30th birthday. So it really would be the last race of my 20s. Kind of scary. But maybe a good thing. Because while parts of my 20s were fun, parts of them literally stunk. I guess maybe this race could be a bit symbolic.
Anyway. The tri had the same format as last year: An 8-minute swim followed by a 10-minute transition time. Then a 22-minute bike, a 5-minute transition and a 15-minute run.
Given the kind of week I had at work last week, I didn't get a whole lot of workouts in. But in my mind I considered it my "taper." Because you totally need a week long taper before a low-key community YMCA indoor triathlon. Just nod your heads in agreement.
I get to the YMCA Saturday, pick up my T-shirt and get myself ready. While walking to the pool I was kind of zoning out. Not really thinking about the race ahead of me, but not really thinking about anything in particular. All of a sudden I hear my name, I snap out of the zone and realize I'm standing there, in a swimsuit, talking to one of the guys I work with on a regular basis from the fire department.
We chatted for a bit. He was volunteering by counting laps. Given the fact that I'm pretty sure he can count, I decided to choose the lane he was working with. Got in the pool - which was way too warm. Almost uncomfortable - and got ready to swim. The whistle blew and I started to swim.
Now, I haven't been in the pool since before Christmas. And for some reason I think I forgot about that, because I totally went out too fast. I finished the fist lap and felt like I was spent. I adjusted my pace, slowed it down and just settled into a rhythm. The 8 minutes seemed to take forever though. When the whistle finally blew, I finished 13.5 laps - about 338 yards. Eh. I'll take it.
The transition was uneventful. Went into the locker room, changed and actually made it to the spin studio early.
The bike was on spin bikes and we had 22 minutes to go as far as we could. I settled into a good pace very quickly. I think I kept my cadence between 120 and 130 rpms the entire 22-minutes and actually logged more distance during the second half of the bike. I was comfortable, in a zone. Just listening to my iPod, not really caring what was going on around me. Every 5 1/2 minutes I had to unplug myself just to let the race people know my distance, but other than that it was just me, my music and my thoughts. I finished 10.5 miles on the bike during the 22-minutes.
Our 5-minute bike to run transition was more like 2 minutes. But oh well. Just needed to get up the stairs.
The run started and surprisingly, the legs didn't feel like lead. I settled into a decent pace and just ran. Of the eight people in my wave I was one of the slowest. But I'm happy to report that only six people lapped me. And the one who didn't? I lapped her. I did a little happy dance in my head when I passed her twice. The run went well. When the man in charge of keeping time told me I had two minutes left, I picked the pace up. And it wasn't that hard. Made me wonder if maybe I was running too conservatively. Because even when the 15 minutes were up, I still felt like I could have kept running or gone faster. Maybe that's something I'm going to have to work on: Running at a pace that's actually a bit uncomfortable. Those are the things that I thought about while running around in circles for 15 minutes. Anyway, I finished 27.25 laps in the 15 minutes. It was essentially running circles around an elementary school-sized gym. Who knows what that means in terms of mileage.
And just like that, my last race of my 20s and my first triathlon of my 30s (and 2010) was done. I wasn't able to make it to the awards ceremony, so I wasn't sure how I finished until I got a phone call early Monday morning from the race organizer. Apparently I won my age group (23-29).
I've collected a few medals over the years, but the last time I actually took first place? I'd have to go back to my senior year in high school when my doubles partner and I won the No. 3 doubles flight at a four-team tennis invitational. It's been that long.
But Saturday I did it again. The results say I finished 12.705 miles during the indoor triathlon which was good for first place in my age division. And I checked, there were other competitors in my division. In fact there were five of us and I barely beat out the second place finisher who had 12.673 miles. I don't have the medal in my hands yet, still have to pick up from the organizer, but once I do, I'll be sure to share it with you guys.
So I guess that wasn't a bad way to end my 20s. Hopefully that means things will be looking up for me in 2010 (and my 30s) in terms of performance.