YWCA Indoor Triathlon RACE REPORT

>> Monday, January 16, 2017

Yesterday, I banged out a quick little indoor triathlon at my gym: the Midtown YWCA of Minneapolis. There were 3 distances, and because my knee was a little "twitchy" 2 weeks ago, I signed up for the shortest one to just blast out some speed: 400 yd swim, 8 mile "bike" (on a spin cycle), and 1 mile run.

A group of swimmers 2 waves before me.
There are 1-2 people/lane, and a lap counter for each lane.

My view while warming up (and checking my bike fit settings) on a spin bike
on the edge of the track. Racers spinning and running.

Once you do a few multisport races, you'll see people who put their helmets on backwards (like here and here), or those who forgot to take them off on the run. In this case where you don't need to wear a helmet, it's possible to forget to take off your swim cap (and goggles) on the bike. OR MAYBE it's a speed strategy. One can't be sure:

In the green cap.

I got changed and started to stretch as I watched the wave before mine get started:

Angie (across the pool) getting the racers ready to go...


I hopped in when they were done and got in a QUICK 100 yd swim before Angie started yelling "OK, goggles on! We'll be off in a few seconds!" Our waves were pretty close together, and I was actually a bit worried that I could be done swimming while the wave in front of us was still on the bike. I was hoping I'd have a bike to hop on to!


I posted last week that I hoped to swim a 5:50 400 (1.27.5 pace), but then I tweeted pre-race that I was worried about that goal being a bit too aggressive. I just swam hard. My first half was 1:23.5 and 1:30.1. With those 2 splits, I figured I'd be JUST slower than my goal, but still a time I'd be happy with.

I finished the swim with 100s of 1:29.7 and 1:27.8 for an unofficial swim split of 5:51.23 (1:27.8 pace), and I was happy with that! I slipped pulling myself out of the pool and banged my left knee nicely on the edge of the pool, but I wasn't bleeding.


I ran through the gym to my spot, sat down to put on my socks and shoes, wiped my face, and took off for the MPLS Sports Center track where the bikes were waiting. Sure enough, my concern about the waves overlapping a bit came true - there was a bike or 2 that were free, but everyone was still biking when I got out there! I could see the look on Nicole's face: "Oh sh*t. Are we going to bottleneck here?!?" Everything ended up being fine for all the racers - everyone had a bike when they needed one!


We rode on spin bikes, and the computers only count "miles" based on revolutions. So most people just put the resistance to 0 and spin like a banshee. I was hoping to break my time of 13:03 from the last time I raced this distance nearly 3 years ago.

Oh, did I not mention that there was a BIG F*CKING DINOSAUR cheering me on?!?
Well there was. He appears at the Midtown YW now-and-then. Thanks Glen!

And my family appeared on the track as I was on the bike! Pharmie came over with the boys to snap that photo. Thanks for coming, family! (Pharmie said the boys were being pills that morning.)

Well, unofficially, I was off the bike in 11:24, which means I was "biking" over 42 mph. Totally just like road riding. I can usually bike for 20-30 minutes at the speed. Totally.


T2 doesn't exist at this race. I was biking in my running shoes, so I just had to hop off the bike, run past the big dinosaur, and I was at the start of the run. Bing, bang, boom.


Technically, I suppose it's only 1600 meters (8 laps on a 200 meter track), which is 1-2 seconds short of a mile, but whatever. The boys hit the inside of the track for some high-fives:

Coming in for a high-five from Charlie. Henry missed me this time, obviously.

Three years ago, I did this mile in 5:23. I figured I'd be a bit slower this time, but (hopefully) not by much. But I took off HOT. I glanced at my watch at the end of the first lap, and it was 37 seconds. Yeah, that's 4:56 pace. I knew that wouldn't last, but I wondered if I could BEAT my time from 3 years ago. I was going to take my 2-lap splits (1/4 mile), and I knew that 1:20s would equal 5:20 total.

My first 1/4 mile was 1:17.7, and my second 1/4 mile was 1:21.9. I was JUST under 5:20 pace, but I was HASHED.

Running past the dino.

More dino. (Thanks Kym for the photo!)

Reaching for a high-five. I missed. I blame the dino.
We all know that T-Rexs are known for their super short arms.

My 3rd 1/4 mile was rough: 1:24.8. I was falling off the pace, but still turning in a SOLID time. My throat was dry, I could almost taste blood, and my lungs were somewhere laying in lane 3, but I was OK with how I was running. I came to the finish to a lot of cheers with a 1:21.5 final 1/4 mile:

The rest of my wave were still on the bikes, and they gave me lots of WHOOPS!

Hitting the finish. 2017 has started with a solid "hitting-my-watch-at-the-end-of-a-race" photo.

I was pretty sure I had won, but there were waves before me that I couldn't be sure about. But when the results came in, I found out that I took the win by a pretty big margin:

In front of Kate (who was in the 1st wave) by over 11 minutes.

Steve Stenzel, M, 35, Mini-Sprint

- SWIM 400 YDS: 5:52 (1st)
- T1: 1:05 (2nd)
- BIKE 8 MILES: 11:16 (1st)
- T2: 0:02 (2nd)
- RUN 1 MILE: 5:27 (1st)

23:42 total
1st out of 22 "mini-sprinters" overall
1st out of 2 in the 30-39 age group


• I ended up with exactly a 2:00 PR at this race! And most of that came from the bike. I was 0:16 faster in the pool, 0:02 faster in T2, 1:47 faster on the bike, 0:01 slower in T2, and 0:04 slower on the run.

• That big race PR noted above seems impressive, but it means nothing. No, I'm not in great bike shape right now. I just knew that I'd have to spin FAST with 0 resistance to be fast. Three years ago, I spun with a little resistance because it was my first indoor tri at the YWCA, and I thought the computers calculated speed based on resistance too. They don't.

• I need to wear other shorts for my next indoor tri. I wore my pink plaid shorts for Nicole because I knew she liked them. (And I guess that makes it the SECOND nice thing I did for Nicole this year.) But looking back in old race reports, I've worn those for all 3 indoor tris I've done at the YWCA. Guess I'll have to wear the Tutti Frutti shorts and not the Pinky and the Brain shorts at the next one.

The boys were wound up and crazy, so they took off on a cool-down lap with me:

Then Henry almost ran in front of a runner, so Laurie had to practically tackle him.

Burning off more steam by doing some core work. :)

Henry helping trainer Laurie put away some cones post-race.
(He's bent over and pushing a stack - it's a bit hard to make out.)

Oh, and my wife's Mom was in town for our nephew's birthday, so she stopped by and got to see me run the last few laps of the race! And then the 5 of us went to breakfast at the Grandview Grill, and then Grandma Monica stopped back at our place for a bit:

An Instagrammed photo of Grandma and our boys.
(With boxes of Henry's Legos in the background.)

Time for a few days of rest for my legs. Back with more soon!


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