A couple of weeks ago, Lifetime Fitness held their series of indoor triathlons. I was able to participate in the event at their Eagan club. As this was my 5th year participating, I was pretty well aware of what to expect. 10 minutes of swimming followed by 30 minutes of biking on the spin bike and ending with 20 minutes of running on the treadmill. This event really has a special place in my heart as a few friends and I do the event together and grab brunch afterwards. A sweet little reward after 70 minutes of hard work.
I was really looking forward to this year’s indoor tri to see if my Ironman training has made an impact on my results. I knew I wasn’t going to go my normal pace on the run due to my nagging knee injury but had set some aggressive (for me) goals on the swim (goal – 23 lengths) and bike (goal – 11.3 miles).
My group had an early wave time so we got to the pool and got prepped while the first wave was just finishing their swim. I always like to set my gear out in the locker so it’s easy to grab after the swim portion and I don’t have to think about what I need to dig out of my bag or find in a pocket. After a pre-swim rules review, the whistle sounded and we were off. My swim strategy was just to settle into a good pace and hold that for the 10 minutes. As I pushed off the wall on my first length, I noticed that my friend and “next lane over” mate took off well ahead of me. “No need to panic and sprint to keep up, just stay consistent” I kept telling myself. Luckily, I caught her after a few lengths and I could relax a bit again. Upon hearing the 1 minute warning whistle, I was at 20 lengths and knew I could get 2 more in. So down and back I went again and just after touching the wall to finish the 22nd length, the final whistle blew. I missed my goal by just 1 length but overall, I very happy with 22.
Off we went to change into our bike gear and I mentally prepped for what I consider my strongest portion of any triathlon (indoor or out). Lifetime gives 10 minutes to change for the bike and it’s amazing how fast the time goes by. If you aren’t hustling, you will likely miss the start of the bike and you won’t get a full 30 minutes. We quickly changed and shuffled, in our bike shoes, our way to the cycle studio. After I set up my bike and got settled into the saddle, I got into the push-pull mindset and set my legs to work as the Lifetime crew yelled “Go”. I must admit that I like pushing as big of watts as I can on the bike. Working my way up the mileage, I set my mind on the 11.3-mile goal. The volunteers in the cycle studio were awesome, they were very encouraging and kept us all motivated. In the last few minutes, I was racing the clock and pushing hard for the 11.3. I fell just short again and ended with 11.2. But no sad faces, I was thrilled with the result. In both the swim and bike, I had results that surpassed any of my previous indoor tri results.
As I mentioned, I knew I was going to take it easy on the run due to a knee pain that keeps cropping up. More to come on physical therapy and remediation in future posts. I got myself to a comfortable pace on the treadmill and just enjoyed the last 20 minutes of the event, laughing with the volunteers about the below freezing temps and already looking forward to the brunch food that would be in the near future.
I had a blast at my 5th indoor tri and was happy with my results (my solid swim and bike landed me an overall 1st place finish). Lifetime Fitness truly does an excellent job running these events. Capping the morning off with a delicious mimosa and quiche with my friends is what I call a great race!
Photo credit: Grifftown Photography