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Thursday, January 30, 2014

Race Report: Jewish Community Center of Greater Pittsburgh Indoor Triathlon

First triathlon of 2014 is done! I really like racing. I wanted to start 2014 off right so my training partner Shannon and I signed up for an Indoor Triathlon at the Jewish Community Center in Squirrel Hill.

If you're going to race, race with friends.
Lots of people don't like racing, but I think it's so much fun. I like the nervous feeling I get in my stomach when I wake up. I eat a big breakfast and run to the bathroom a few times. I like going to the race with friends, laughing and listening to music and getting pumped up. YEAH.

And an indoor triathlon was the perfect way to avoid the temptation to hibernate with all this cold weather!

An indoor triathlon, at least the way the JCC runs it, is different from outdoor triathlons in two main ways. First, you can do the events in any order which helps when there's a wait to get on a bike, on the track or in the pool. Second, only your performance in the three legs is timed, not transition.

Shannon and I checked in, got our yellow time cards (we had to carry these to each event and show them to the main desk so they could record our times), and got ready to swim first. We hoped to do each event in order.

The swim was 500 yrds (10 laps). I wore my new swimsuit, my lucky blue cap, my new googles and this was my first race with ear plugs. I find ear plugs help me maintain better head position because I'm not bothered by water in my ear. Based on my recent workouts, I was hoping I could race the 500 in less than 10 minutes, but I finished in 10:36. Not too far off. Next time I should warm up before I swim.

After swimming we changed into our biking/running clothes and headed to the bike area to complete our 4 mile ride. Early on in the ride, Shannon encouraged me to bump up the resistance on the bike. I had been riding at 0 (duh) and didn't think about it. The bike wasn't too exciting. I usually ride about 4-5:00 a mile outside, so I thought it would take me about 16:00, but I finished in 13:14, a good effort.

On to the run! The JCC has an indoor track that is 15 laps to the mile. We had to do two miles. Thankfully there were lap counters. My goal here was to run below 9:00/mile but really I wanted to make sure my cadence was at 90 SPM and I was landing on my mid foot. I finished in 16:51 which is about 8:30/mile. Secretly I had hoped I might be able to do 8:00 pace, but I was still happy with this result.

Overall race results are here.

You can see a short video of my swim and run here:

(If that won't load follow this link.)

Since my injury back in August, I've been increasing my running time by about 10% a week. I've used this time to try and adjust my swim form and my run form. I don't look especially graceful at either, but I'm making improvements.

It's hard not to compare ourselves to other people when we compete. So I tried hard to focus on my own areas of improvement. The last time I started a triathlon in a pool was the BOPARC Sprint Spin and Splash in Morgantown, 2012. I did 300 yds in 7:44, or 2:35 per 100yds. I also had to stop to catch my breath in that race. My pace at this race was 2:19 per 100 yds.

I had an incredible amount of fun at this race. I met some new friends and started off 2014 with a big confidence boost. And of course it's always fun to come home and show the kids Mommy's new medal!

Won my age group! Woohoo!

(Trying to get in shape and eat healthy this year? Make sure you stop by my blog the week of Feb 3, 2014 when I announce a new contest with great prizes from Giant Eagle Market District!)

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