It's a very slow process - two steps forward, one step back - but I'm inching in the right direction. - Rob Reiner

March 11, 2014

First Tri of the Season - Lifetime Fitness Indoor Tri

Lifetime Fitness Indoor Triathlon - Sunday, March 9, 2014

I have always wanted to do an indoor triathlon, but they just never seemed to fall at the right time for me.  They are a great way to get you in the "tri" mood when you probably haven't done a tri since the previous summer.  When I saw they were offering one at a gym pretty close to my house (about 35 minutes) and on a date I could actually go, I was excited.  I asked a friend if she'd do it with me and with that we were set.

Flash forward a few weeks.  1)  I didn't realize the event was held on Daylight Saving Time day.  This didn't turn out to be a big deal as our heats were at 9:00 and  9:20.  So I had to get up at 6:45 (5:45 to my mind and body)...but really not that early, especially for a race day.  2)  I didn't know I would have a NASTY head cold.  I started getting a cold last Wed and by Saturday it was a full blown crap fest.  I felt completely miserable. Exhausted and unable to breathe.  I pretty much stayed in bed all day Saturday and never left the house once.  I did do an hour brick Sat (30 min bike and 30 min run) just to see if I would feel better.  I didn't really feel better or worse.  I took the workout pretty easy...then went back to bed.

I didn't sleep much on Saturday night.  I just couldn't breathe.  I woke up about 2:30 and was up til about 5:00.  I finally fell back asleep for awhile, and woke up a few minutes before my alarm was set to go off at 6:45.  So, I wasn't really sure how things would go.  I was tired, but I did wake up feeling a little better.
My transition area - a locker
I picked up my friend and we drove to the gym.  Packet pickup was super simple.  Tell them your name and they gave you a bib and a t-shirt.  Done.  We got to the gym about an hour beforehand so we could check out where we would be swimming, cycling and running.  Before we knew it Michelle's heat was about to start.  Unfortunately she was in the heat ahead of me...even though we had requested to race together..but no biggie we were just 20 minutes apart.  Michelle jumped in and I watched her group swim.  She was clearly the only "swimmer" in her heat.  She was lapping the other ladies by quite a bit. She was a high school and college swimmer and totally rocks the swim!

As a matter of fact, Michelle was so into the swim she missed the call for time.  I think she did an extra 2 laps and was starting on her 3rd before they finally got her to stop.  She got out of the pool behind the rest of her heat...but I knew she would be fine.  I wished her luck with the rest of her race and hopped in the pool to warm up for a few laps.
Michelle in the zone

This event is actually based on time and not distance, which I really liked.  No worries about being the last person (well except that I was in the last heat).  For the race you swam 10 minutes, had a 10 minute transition, biked 30 minutes, had a 5 minute transition and then ran 20 minutes.  They record your distance for each leg and give you a score for each leg, then combine the scores together for your final score/position.  So basically whoever goes the furthest wins. 

I've only been swimming about once per week, but I knew I could do 10 minutes.  They sounded the start and off I went.  I tried to be conservative.  I knew if I went out too fast I would crash at the end.  I did pretty good not starting too fast.  I felt pretty good throughout the swim and before I knew it I was done and ready to move on to the cycle.  I managed to do 425 yards in 10 minutes!  I was thrilled.  The nice thing about having a set transition is that the time didn't count, so I took advantage of it, to change out of my wet things and into dry clothes.

I made it to the cycle room with a couple of minutes to spare so I had time to adjust my bike height, etc to make the ride more comfortable.  I had brought my bike shoes, but my clips didn't I ended up riding in my tennis shoes - the bikes at least had cages.  I sat next to Michelle who had just a few minutes left to go on the bike.  In a few minutes my heat was off.  I wasn't really sure about what tension to use.  I kept adjusting it trying to find something that felt comfortable, but that maximized by mph as much as possible.  I felt pretty good on the bike and really pushed it toward the end.  I did 8.9 miles in 30 minutes.  When I got off the bike I could really feel it...I was afraid I had went a little too hard and would be dead for the run.  I kept telling myself it's only 20 minutes, you can do anything for 20 minutes.

I walked passed Michelle who only had about 2 minutes to go on the run and she was killing it!  I think she was around a 7 min pace.  I got on the treadmill and started to run.  I told myself to take it conservatively and I did.  I started out at a 5 and increased by .1 every minute until I got to a comfortable pace of 5.8 (which I think is about a 10:30 min pace).  I inched it up to a 10 minute pace (6.0) for a few minutes, then I'd go back to 5.8.  I did this a few times.  Finally with 2 minutes left, I went up .1 each 30 seconds and ended up running my last bit at a smoking fast (for me) 9:15 or 9:300 pace.  I was super happy with my run.  I managed 1.89 miles in 20 minutes, so not too bad at all.  Well I thought I did 1.89...they have me down for 1.88.  I think that's wrong.  No biggie.

When the race was over I was happy.  It was only an hour of exercise, so it wasn't super taxing, but I had pushed myself, yet played it smart at the same time.  Considering how I was feeling starting the race I was super happy with my time and effort.
The shirt...actually pretty cute and women's specific cut
After the race we chatted with a couple of the ladies that had been in my heat (this wasn't an all female race, but there were definitely more ladies then men).  This had been their first tri.  I tried to talk them into doing a local all women's sprint tri this summer.  Who knows, maybe they will.  They seemed like they had a good time .

Anyway, that was that.  My first race of the season and it went well!!!

My overall results were GREAT for me.  I was 12th out of 28 people overall and 4th out of 26 females!  That's my highest ranking like ever and puts in in the top 25% (for women).  Now, there weren't alot of serious triathletes here, but it's ok I'll take it.  I was also 2nd out of 16 women in the swim, right behind my friend Michelle!  That is crazy...of course I did 17 swim lengths and she did 27!!  Michelle ended up winning the Women's Tri.  She is awesome!


  1. I've always wanted to do an indoor tri, but it's never worked out with my schedule. Well done, especially considering that you were sick!

  2. Wow! You both did awesome. Congrats!

    If I ever actually did a triathlon it would have to be one like this. Swimming in a pool sounds much better than open water! :)

  3. This is so awesome! 4th place female - wow!

    I love that picture of your transition area.

  4. That's a fun way to do a tri. I like the idea that it's timed rather than distance based. It takes away a lot of the pressure to perform.

  5. Fantastic!!! Don't discount your place in the pack, ever! You earned your place among those who competed. I've never heard of an indoor tri, very cool, I'll be looking to see if there are any near me. Sounds like a great intro to the sport too. Congratulations!!

  6. Well done both of you! You did great with the cold and everything. I hope you are feeling better by now. We have an indoor tri series over here but they reverse the disciplines so you run - bike - swim.

  7. Indoor tris look like a lot of fun, I should do one someday. Glad to see that you're getting your mojo back. Well done!!

  8. You did an awesome job. This sounds fun. Seems like it takes transitions out of the equation which I'm not good at. Your standings are so good.

  9. Great work - top 25% is excellent!
    I've never heard of an indoor tri, or one raced by time - but it sounds fun and I'd like to try one. Maybe I better learn to swim first! .

  10. Awesome, that actually sounds fun, except the swimming. I'm not a pretty swimmer :)

  11. Way to go triathletes! Way to Rock on Daylight savings......A Very long winter. ...... And for this writer. .... Rolling with the punches when you don't feel great.

  12. Good job!!! I'm jealous of the tri athletes!!