Honestly, there was a part of me that was considering not doing the event this year. For starters I haven't been in a pool since July. I haven't been on a bike since early December, and that was only for a very short post-run cool down (and mainly to finish watching a basketball game). Running? Well I have been doing that.
But when I have the race director sending me an email earlier in the week reminding me registration is due, well the guilt sets in. So I registered. And originally intended to spend some time in the pool last week and at least get one decent bike session in. But that plan flew out the window.
Add in the fact that I subjected myself to a very very chilly 3-mile run that morning in barely above zero temperatures and got to the YMCA 10 minutes before my wave was set to start (and still had to change into my swim suit) and you could say I was completely winging this event.
I got down to the pool with a couple of minutes to spare, put on my swim cap and goggles and got in the water. It was wet, just like I remembered. And cold. Just like outside. After what seemed like forever it was finally go time.
The swim was a bit different this year. Instead of 8 minutes like in the past, it was a 10 minute swim this time. Given my lack of swimming, I didn't have any expectations. I mostly wanted to survived. The first 100 yards went fine. Took a quick little breather and swam another 50 yards before doing 25 yards of the backstroke. There was one more length of the pool done with the backstroke before time was up. 10 minutes. 400 yards. I'll take it.
A quick change from my swimming suit to bike shorts and a t-shirt and it was off to the bike studio.
Nothing too exciting to report from the bike portion. Although it was here that my legs started to grumble a bit. The five other people in my wave all looked like they were pedaling a lot faster than I was. And at times I felt bad. But then I remembered I had already put in 3 very cold miles this morning, I haven't spent a decent amount of time on the bike in a long time and I was mostly doing this event for fun. So I was pretty happy with my effort, which was hard enough to make me sweat buckets! After 20 minutes on the bike I ended up with 9.1 miles.
Then it was upstairs to the elementary school sized gym where I would get to run in circles for 15 minutes. And to give you an idea of the size of this gym, 18 laps equaled a mile. Yeah. Literally running in circles.
I must have been in a super speedy group of folks because they all took off when the starter said go. I started running and what felt like a decent pace for me. But since they were all clipping along, I felt like I was walking. I didn't have a watch on, so I wasn't sure how much time had passed. I only knew how many laps I had completed. And that was only if I remembered how to count correctly.
I hit the 18 lap mark shortly before the starter yelled that there was 5 minutes left. That would put me at just under a 10 minute mile. Which is what I've been running lately. So even though I was getting passed left and right, I was OK with it. Especially given my legs had miles on them from the morning and this was the run portion of a triathlon. In the end I finished 28.75 laps, which if I can do the math right is 1.6 miles. I'll take it.
After I was done I did a bit of stretching before heading down to the locker room to change out of my sweaty clothes. I stopped by the race director and found out I finished just outside of the top three (the 30-39 year old age group is always stacked). But I was OK with how I had done.
Overall it was an OK event. A couple of things that bugged me:
- Why do we need to put down our shirt size on the registration forms? Because obviously you didn't order shirts according to those forms. When I got there to register? I had a choice between an XL and an XXL. Not the medium I indicated on my registration.
- No post-race snacks left? I realize I was in the last wave possible. But a yellow apple and a really cold slice of pizza isn't appealing. Especially since that pizza was piping hot an hour earlier when I signed in and the first waves were finishing.
- I realize I sent my photographer from work there to shoot photos for a story I'm working on. But that doesn't mean you need to have your camera in my face the entire afternoon. Because guess what? Photos of me are not going to be running in our newspaper. I hope you took some photos of other folks who were doing the tri.