I had a DNS (did not start) earlier this season for a sprint triathlon. This was already a downgrade from the half ironman for which I was training. There were a lot of things out of my control that required that I pull out of the event, and the race director was nice enough to set aside a race hat and my buff.
Both of these items have been laying around, because I’m uncomfortable using them without having done to event. It’s weird, but I kind of feel like it’s bad karma to wear finisher’s gear from an event you haven’t really done.
The only way I could feel comfortable wearing the finisher’s gear is by doing a virtual triathlon. All that means is that I would do all of the distances on my own, and treat it just like a real triathlon — transitions and everything.
With no more triathlons or open water swimming available this season, I had to take my efforts indoors.
Part 1: The swim – 750m – 23:42
The pool was completely empty when I got started. After being away from the pool for more than a month, I was surprised that I was able to keep my breath under control. I tried to remember to kick from my hips…to swim downhill…to reach for the book on the top of the bookshelf. The pool stayed empty the entire time I was swimming, which was nice. (I saw a couple of aquajoggers once I got onto the bike!) I tried my best to minimize pushing off the wall so that it mimicked a full 750 meter swim.
Part 2: T1 – 7:53
Since this was an indoor tri, I needed to wash off the chlorine before getting started with the bike. If I continue biking and running without washing off, the chlorine causes me a lot of itching and discomfort. I rushed in to shower and the locker room was full of people moseying about. It was literally like T1, except instead of people rushing there were people hanging around. After a quick, hot soapy shower, I wrung out my swim suit (not worth ruining my suit over a virtual tri!) and tried to slip on my workout clothes.
Trying to put on workout clothes after a shower is a sport in of itself!
Part 3: The bike – 13.2 miles – 1:02:57
Stationary bikes are boring. I’ve ridden spin bikes in a class. That’s somewhat interesting. I’ve ridden on my trainer in my living room. That’s slightly more interesting. However, I did none of those things. All I did was ride a stationary bike in a gym for 13.2 miles. Whenever I’m on a bike (that’s not outside) I sometimes wonder if I could ever actually ride a bike for 112 miles without going mad. What kind of mind games can you play to stay entertained for that long? Also, with my luck, I’d get 12 flats in 112 miles.
Part 4: T2 – 2:54
Took a quick bathroom break after I learned that there was a standalone one outside the locker rooms! That’s what riding on a stationary bike is good for…
Part 5: Run – 3.1 miles – 35:03
I felt really slow and sluggish the days before I had this idea. However, since I had such an extended warmup, I was able to run much faster than I usually do! My average pace was 11:18min/mi. I usually run 13-15min/mi between roads and treadmills, so I am pretty happy with that pace given that I swam and biked right before! Funny how that works out. I felt great, like I had a spring in my step. It might’ve been all the sleep I’ve had in the last day…or all the water I’ve drank…or maybe it was all the carbs. Either way, it felt great!
Hopefully I’ll get a chance to put in some more training and do a live triathlon sometime soon. I felt great even though I had stopped training almost six weeks ago. It’s nice to see that I didn’t lose too much fitness, even though I’ve only been doing my daily miles. It’d be nice to get out there again and do an in-person triathlon. But, in the meantime…I can now use my swag, and that’s exciting.
Tomorrow, I’m running the Hot Chocolate 15K…so I’ll have another race recap soon!