So, the indoor tri. I have to say, it went much more smoothly than I expected it to and it was probably the most fun and most low-key of all the races I’ve done this year, maybe because I had such low expectations going into it.
One of the things that was great about this event was that it was an afternoon start, which I love. I do not enjoy training or racing in the morning so it was a pleasant switch to be able to putter around the house in my jammies for several hours before the race. The race check in started at 1pm with my heat starting at 3:20 (due to small pool plus there only being 4 exercise bikes available there were about 10 heats of 3-4 people each). It was snowing pretty heavily on Sunday (more, again, still. Lather, rinse, repeat. Suck it winter) so the most nerve-wracking part of the whole tri was just the drive in. Once I actually got to campus, I was totally calm.
A race with no pre-race jitter poops. How magnificent.
I had told myself before the event that I was going to think of this more as a training session than a race. I mostly told myself this so I wouldn’t feel too embarrassed at coming in last and being the oldest one there (yes, at 31 I was the oldest racer). As I watched the first heat of swimmers start the 15 minutes swim portion, I felt it. That flicker, the beginning of the jungle drum that beats “win win win”. I started feeling competitive. I started trying to figure who, if anyone, I could beat.
Let’s pause for a second so I can remind everyone how ridiculous I am. I was racing against college students, all of whom I am a decade older than and at least 50 pounds heavier than. I have not been swimming (at all, not even a little) since September. I’ve cycled a little this winter. I’ve jogged less than 15 miles since the year started. I am not in race shape, not even close.
Doesn’t that seem like a situation ripe for crazy making?
The good thing about my particular kind of crazy competitiveness is that it is tied to my very clear perception of my low level of athletic prowess. My competitiveness does not lead me to think that I’d actually win or anything. I really am just happy to beat people and to not be last.
So, back to the swim. I was watched as the first heat of women hit the water. It was clear quite quickly that even after a 5 month hiatus from the pool that I’d probably beat all of the women in the first heat. I started to entertain the possibility that I might even win or be in the top three for the swim.
And then the second heat went.
As soon as I saw racer 310 pop up to the surface of the water, I knew I was looking at the winner. As the race director said “Anyone who is butterfly kicking off the wall in the race is probably going to win”. She swam 1000 meters in the 15 minutes, easily winning the swim portion for men and women.
When it was my turn to swim, I warmed up a bit and promised myself that I would not swim all out. When I did the outdoor tri in September, I got carried away with wanting to beat people on the swim and swam way too hard and frankly wanted to puke by the time I hit T1. For this one, I set a goal of 700-800 meters in the 15 minutes. I just wanted to swim steady and easy, which I mostly did. I had some frustration with a cap slipping off, but mostly the swim went fine.
I was the second finisher in my heat and I ended up doing 700 meters.