RACE REPORT: LTF Indoor Triathlon (Part 1)

>> Sunday, February 25, 2007

(Note: This triathlon is based on how far you go, not how long it takes you. There was a 10 minute swim where you were to swim as many lengths as possible. Then a 10 minute transition. Then 30 minutes of biking on a spinning cycle with the resistance set and locked to make everyone work as hard as everyone else. That’s followed by a 5 minute transition. Finally, there’s a 20 minute treadmill run at an incline of 2 degrees. Everyone’s distances are tallied up and compared to everyone else’s, and then a point scale is attached to the final distances. I should be able to find out my official overall place tomorrow. Stay tuned.)

It snowed overnight. Snowed a lot. Twelve to 14 freakin’ inches of the white crap. The State Patrol was recommending not going out on the roads. The morning of my triathlon didn’t start with loading gear into my car or checking my bike tires; it began by shoveling a path out of my garage for 20 minutes. I didn’t care, although being it was such a heavy show, I was constantly thinking “OK, I’ve been out here 5 minutes - there goes 1 length off my swim... Now it’s been 15 minutes - that will take a half mile off the bike...”

I hit the road extra early for the Lifetime Fitness Indoor Triathlon in Chanhassen. I popped in a Bob Dylan CD and safely took my time. Normally it’s around a 30 minute drive, but this morning it took me around 50 minutes. The drive was slow and ugly:

(What’s with me and taking photos at dangerous times? During my First 100 Mile Ride back in August, I have a great photo of Pharmie ahead of me that I took while biking with no hands at 25+ miles/hour. Taking a photo driving down the freeway during a snowstorm is just as bright.)

I arrived around 8 am - plenty of time for my 9:20 am start. This year, I didn’t have the horrible “post-party guacamole squirts” that I had at the start of last year’s Indoor Tri, so I was already in a better mood. I used my extra time to cheer those on that were in the waves before me. There were very few spectators: some spouses, friends, etc. So I figured I’d try to liven things up and convert into my own little cheering section. I made many new friends, like I usually do at these events.

Before the swim started, I asked the woman who was going to be counting my lengths to be generous. She laughed and said she’d do what she could. I ended up sharing my lane with a 40-something, bleach-blonde, overly tan, suburban soccer mom. The gun sounded, and I went out too fast, which is what I was afraid of. Overall, I was moderately pleased by my overall swim. I swam 19 lengths in a 25 meter pool in 10 minutes. Last year, I only swam 15 lengths. I was hoping for 20, but felt fine with my 19.

I got out of the pool, and used a minute of my allocated 10 minute transition time to thank my “length counter” and snap a quick photo:

She’s pointing to the tally marks from my swim
along with the number “19”

So then I took off for the locker room and quickly changed into my biking gear. I put on my new socks that Pharmie gave me for Valentines Day. They have happy beavers on them that are giving “thumbs-up”:

They have some text on the sole as well, but it’s
kinda dirty - it can be interpreted with more
than one possible meaning... *wink wink*

Anyway, I got my clothes on and headed to the spinning studio. I grabbed a bike, and had about 90 seconds left to get set. I made all the adjustments that I needed, and hopped on. I placed my bike shoes in the toe cages, but something didn’t seem quite right. “Oh well” I thought, as I only had about 30 seconds until we had to start. I tightened my feet in, and started spinning. “Crap.” I knew what the problem was. The pedals were on backwards! The buckle that holds the tether tight in the toe cage was hitting the INSIDE of the arm of the pedal on each revolution - they were on the inside, not on the outside as they should be (I hope this makes sense - it's hard to explain). Immediately, we all heard, “OK, TIME!! Hit the big button on your computer and GO!” I didn’t know what to do about my pedals / toe cages, so I just went. It wasn’t too much of a distraction, and I don’t know that it horribly affected my overall distance. I told a volunteer about it so that it could be corrected before the next wave, and I just did the best that I could. Being we couldn’t change the resistance, my cadence was always between 110 and 130. Uncomfortably fast. Let me tell you, my hips were a-shakin’!!

Just over half way into the bike

There was some pretty poor officiating at this triathlon. I was pretty pissed. There were at least 2 people that were TOTALLY drafting me the whole time on the bike, and they weren’t even called for it! Bitches.

Thirty minutes later, at the end of the bike leg, I had “traveled” exactly 15.00 miles (last year I was able to go 15.3, but I’m not in as good biking shape right now, and who knows if the resistance was set the EXACT same as last year). That was about what I was hoping I could do, maybe even a bit better than I thought. I hopped off the bike and got over to the treadmill area. I quickly stretched out my knee and my hamstrings and got ready to run. At this point, my bum knee was still holding up just perfectly!

We started running, and I set my pace so that I could hit 2.5 miles in 20 minutes. I backed off after a few minutes, but throughout the run, I slowly added that speed back (plus more). I always stayed just ahead of the pace I hoped to run, and I ended up with a reverse split. At the end of the run, I had covered 2.58 miles (up from 2.42 last year). I was pleasantly surprised at the distance that I covered on the run, being I didn’t run all of December or January because of my knee, and I’ve only ran a few short, slow runs in the last 3 weeks.

So, everything being said and done, I was happy with my performance. But I was not too happy with my knee after the run. It started to flare-up about half way into the run, but I was told by my PT that I could work though some pain. It didn’t get too intense, but I was hoping that it wasn’t going to get as bad as it did. I iced it at home, and told it I was disappointed in it before sending it to it’s room without any supper.

Lifetime Fitness Indoor Tri Results:
• Swim: (25m lap pool) 10 minutes, 19 lengths
• T1: 10 minutes
• Bike: (spinning) 30 minutes, 15.00 miles
• T2: 5 minutes
• Run: (treadmill) 20 minutes, 2.58 miles

Official results with placing should be up tomorrow - check back!

I had a GREAT time, just like last year, and I hope to do it again next year (maybe with Steph, my wife’s sister, in her “Crazy, Hot, Cool” suit that you may have read about). I chatted it up with about 8 new tri-friends, and hope to see them at more events in the next few years. Last year, I finished 25th out of 100. This year, I would LOVE to have made the top 15, but I don’t think that it’s possible. The group seemed more intense this year over last year. I just looked at last year’s results, and if I had performed this well last year, I’d have moved from 25th place to 9th place. Today, I did NOT get 9th, but I guess I’ll officially know tomorrow (that will be "Part 2" of this post)!


Triteacher 6:28 PM, February 25, 2007  

Way to go, Steve! I've never done one of those indoor tris - you make it sound appealing - even with the drafting bitches.

Damn, I need to send a camera to work with my husband. He told me about the road conditions, but really, a picture's worth a thousand words, huh?

RunBubbaRun 8:03 PM, February 25, 2007  

Hey where is the speedo on the bike portion of the tri. I see the cat lick marks have heeled up.

Great job on the tri.

Ice the crap out of the knee..

Wedgie 2:44 AM, February 26, 2007  

I assume the cat does not care to lick the chlorine off of you?

And thanks for cropping the speedo photo just high enough.

Born To Endure 7:08 AM, February 26, 2007  

What?? No helmet on the bike?? Hope you had a blast!! :-)

E-Speed 11:06 AM, February 26, 2007  

great job, wish the knee would have felt better for ya.

Lance Notstrong 11:12 AM, February 26, 2007  

Nice tri. You should have known those people would be drafting you!!!

I gotta get me some of those suggestive beaver socks :-)

teacherwoman 12:42 PM, February 26, 2007  

Awesome job, Steve! Now that is the kind of triathlon I would like to do my first time around... all indoor. To get the feel for it, ya know? Great job!

John 2:19 PM, February 26, 2007  

Steve, Congrats on your Tri finish! I’m sure that whatever time you may have lost because of the toe cage issue was more than made up by the use of the Happy Beaver Socks! I smell sabotage!

xt4 3:39 PM, February 26, 2007  

I think next year you should rock an aero helmet on the bike. And sunglasses. And occassionally shout "Gatorade!" and hold up whatever you're presently exhausted with drinking and then just toss it away to the side, like you would at an aid station.

Then, during the run, glance behind you now and then, to see how you're situated in the field.

Well done mate - congrats on your first race of the season, and here's hoping your leg feels better soon -

Spokane Al 4:40 PM, February 26, 2007  

Way to go on an excellent indoor tri adventure.

It is too bad you were not experiencing the post-party guacamole squirts. They very well could have helped you hit an extra lap or so in the pool.

Although the person following you would have been a bit worse for wear.

TriShannon 7:47 PM, February 26, 2007  

Awesome job! I'm going to have to check around and see if there are any indoor tris here. You make it sound fun!

Hope the knee is okay!

Steve Stenzel 8:24 PM, February 26, 2007  

I'm sorry Shannon, but I make EVERYTHING sound fun!

XT4, you know I can't turn away from a challenge, so if I sign up to do this again next year, I'm taking your suggestions. All of them. It'll be a good time.

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