Saturday, April 16, 2011

Race Report: Lifetime Fitness Indoor Triathlon #2

I completed my first indoor tri in February in Chanhassen, but because there was a problem with the bikes during my heat, a few participants and I received a free entries into the indoor tri of our choice.  I chose the Sunday, April 10 event in Chanhassen, which the race director recommended, but I signed up for it late (i.e. two days beforehand), so I didn't find out until after work ended on Friday (the 8th) that I was registered.

Here's a refresher of how the indoor tri works: you swim for 10 minutes in the 25-meter lap pool, then have a 10-minute transition to change into dry clothes and get in the cycling studio.  Then, you bike for 30 minutes on one of the spin bikes, which is followed by a 5-minute transition to the cardio studio.  Finally, you run on a treadmill for 20 minutes.  Volunteers record the total distance you cover in each event; the farther you go, the higher your score.

I was in the 8:00 a.m. wave this time around (the fourth wave), so future hubs and I arrived at the Chanhassen Lifetime Fitness around 7:00 a.m.  Because I had signed up so late, I questioned whether or not the race director had even registered me.  Sure enough, when I got to check-in, my name was not on the 8:00 a.m. list.  Fortunately, once I explained my story, they believed me and wrote me down in the last open spot in the 8:00 a.m. wave.  I was good to go!  I already had a race shirt from the last indoor tri, so I picked up an XL shirt for Mark to wear. :)

Since I had completed my first indoor tri at this same LTF location, I didn't need to find my way around the facility.  I took my time getting ready... and made several potty breaks.  Does anyone else have to pee a lot before race start?  I sure do!  I also went to the cycling studio to figure out my settings on the Schwinn spin bikes because I couldn't remember them from last time. 

I headed over to the 25-meter indoor lap pool about 5 minutes before the 3rd wave finished swimming.  I put on my swim cap and watched the action.  After that heat finished swimming, those of us in the 8:00 a.m. heat entered the pool.  At first, I shared my lane with another participant, but after he saw me swim a few strokes warmup, he said that because we had similar paces, we'd run into each other too much.  He left my lane and found a slower swimmer to share a lane with.  Personally, I was happy to have the lane to myself.  A few minutes later, the whistle blew and everyone in my wave started swimming.

At the last indoor tri, I started out too fast on my swim and struggled to keep pace at the end.  This time, I focused on keeping a steady pace for the entire 10-minute swim, which worked.  I felt like I had plenty of energy for the swim.  Once the whistle blew to end the swim portion, I had covered 18 lengths of the pool: a distance of 450 meters.  This was the same distance I covered at the last indoor tri, so at least I'm consistent.

Remembering how fast the 10 minutes of transition time went at the last indoor tri, I toweled off and dressed as quickly as I could.  I even had time for another quick bathroom break.  I made my way upstairs to the cycling studio and found a bike.  A race volunteer put a pair of straps on the pedals for me (I don't own bike shoes), while I adjusted the seat to my specs.  I had plenty of time.

Finally, my heat started biking.  Imagine how excited I was that my bike was actually recording my speed and distance covered!  Mark could see the joy on my face and smiled back at me often while he was chatting with a race volunteer he knew.  I set the resistance to a minimal level: my speed hovered around 40 mph.  At the front of the cycling studio, a video about the Ironman World Championships in Kona was playing on the big screen, which was a welcome and inspiring distraction to me.

By the end of the cycling portion, I could feel my legs beginning to fatigue from the fast pedaling, but figured the five minutes of transition time would be enough to stretch and get my legs ready for the run portion.  At the end of the 30-minute bike portion, I covered 20.1 miles.  Too bad I can't go that fast in real life, haha!

My wave headed over to the treadmill area of the fitness floor, and we chose treadmills for ourselves.  I stretched and got my iPod ready to go.  After a countdown, we were running.

Mark took this (blurry) photo of me running
I wore my Saucony Omni 9 shoes, which I've been breaking in.  They are a great fit for me.

I had set the speed on my treadmill to 7.5 mph, hoping that for the last 5-8 minutes I could bump up the speed to 8.0 mph.  However, 7.5 felt difficult to me.  My legs had definitely fatigued during the bike portion, and I had a hard time keeping my cadence to 180 bpm, even with the cadence-specific playlist that was filling my ears from my iPod.  I took a banana-flavored Hammer gel (yuck!), but that didn't help.  Mark mentioned later that I should have taken the gel during the bike portion because the fuel would have taken effect during my run.  I just could not go faster than 7.5.  I think I did the last minute at 7.6 or 7.7, but that was the fastest I could make myself go at that point.

Future hubs shot a few short videos of me while I was running.  I've posted one below.  Feel free to critique my form, if you wish.

After 20 minutes, I had covered a distance of 2.49 miles.  Not shabby at all, but I was hoping to go faster.

Mark showed me the videos he took while I cooled down and stretched.  I still have a bit of a heel strike, but I'm developing a more mid-foot strike.

My stats:

    * Swim: 18 lengths (450 meters), 33 points
    * Bike: 20.1 miles, 38 points
    * Run: 2.49 miles, 41 points
    * TOTAL (points): 112

I finished in a tie for 10th overall, and was in third place for women.  Unfortunately, there were no age group awards given out... just the bragging rights that come with a stellar finish.

The swag.  Future hubs gets the shirt.
I'm glad that this indoor tri went much better than the last one.  Lifetime Fitness redeemed itself in my eyes.

Showing off my wave and competitor numbers


  1. Way to go, girl!!! I'm so happy for you that this was a 180 difference from your previous experience. Way to rock the race!!!! Great job!!!!!

  2. That sounds like so much fun!! Awesome job!

  3. Congratulations!! So glad there were no glitches this time around, and you pulled off some great numbers! Too bad for no prizes but congrats on your placement!!!

    Ack I would hate to see a video of myself running, I think. :P

    To answer your questions...

    The tights are Lululemon and I LOVE them, especially the depp pockets on both legs.

    And I always wear a sweat band under my Garmin. (unless it's over long sleeves or a jacket) It never seems to fit my bare wrist properly and I hate when it gets all sweaty and gross.

  4. Congrats! The indoor tri sounds kind of fun. Thanks for explaining how it works.

  5. I really, really, REALLY don't want to do a triathlon, but with all you crazy people talking tri this and tri that - I may have too!!

  6. LOVE those indoor tris! And nice job on the run!! I might not get to do one this spring because of my heel... dang.

    But I have good news for you! You were one of the winners of the TYR bag!! Really! I need your mailing address: stevestenzelphotography AT yahoo DOT com CONGRATS!!

  7. I had never heard of indoor tris before until your blog! very cool. Congrats on 3rd awesome!! You did amazing!

  8. Great job Richelle! You look so happy at the end...glad you made the most of the day.

  9. That sounds good to me! I can imagine the run would be hard at the end there. But? Banana flavored Gu? SICK!!!! I'm surprised it didn't kill you! (seriously, I hate banana flavored anything- besides real bananas.)

  10. What a great race Richelle! I think you look fabulous in your pics too! What a great experience.

    An indoor tri is such a great idea in MN!!

  11. I'm with several of the other commenters- never heard of an indoor tri until you educated us a few months ago - thanks for the info. I'm also agree with Danny - never wanted to do a Tri before, but it's "all the rage" in bloggyland so I think I might have to research an indoor tri near my area.
    Hope you're well!

  12. Wow - way to go! Sounds like an awesome experience and you have me wishing my 1st tri would come a lot sooner (okay - maybe not too soon since the bike part is going to kick my butt).

  13. A Kona video during the bike?! That would have kicked me into 15th gear and possibly ruined my run completely! Reservation is not my strong suit. haha

    Congrats on the race!

  14. The indoor tri sounds very nice. I think that the running/biking portions are the best because during the race, even if we are the last, nobody can see that!
    You made a good job, congrats. Nice pictures.

  15. I just discovered this post. I'd love to do an indoor tri!! That would be so much fun!! I think I'm gonna look one up in the area!