I completed my second YMCA competitive indoor workout... I mean Triathlon, on Sunday. As I mentioned in November I am participating in the Greater Wichita YMCA Tri Cup Series. This means there is a triathlon at differing Wichita area YMCA's starting in November and ending in May with an indoor-out race. Although I planned to participate in each tri, I missed December thanks to some horrendous female issues (you're welcome for that, boys).
Sunday marked my second attempt at doing a triathlon, or as Edder likes to call it, my indoor workout competition. He has a point. So we'll go with that. I showed up calm and ready to rock, not sure what or how I would do, but knowing I was in at least a bit better shape than I was in November. I've been running, spinning, swimming, yogaing my heart out the past month.
Here's the thing internetters. I have learned there is a distinct difference in being comfortable in water since birth, with lakes, with the ocean, with swimming and what not. And swimming in a tri. I realized that I am clearly most comfortable in a water situation that involves a lake. Where I can jump off of a dock, a cliff or boat and swim around in the open water for fun. Or play in the water with a ski under my feet. I am not, however, comfortable with swimming in a cush, temperature controlled, clean and confined body of water with other swimmers. Noted. I'm thinking I will likely be more comfortable at the tri I plan to do in June at a lake than I am in a pool. I'm a free flying fish, if you smell what I'm steppin' in.
To make a painfully humiliating explanation short. The swim portion of my competitive indoor workout was horrid. I got in the pool, talked with the lovely and nice girl sharing my lane, did a few warm up laps and was feeling fantastic. Then our heat began. Lap one (out of 10) went smoothly and quickly, it was perfection. Lap 2 - 6 however, total disaster. I panicked. BIG TIME. And why? I don't know, maybe it was the new pool, the discomfort of swimming with others while people watched. Whatever it was, all I know is that my breathing got ragged and hard, I couldn't catch a breath. I couldn't calm down. That made me panic more. My legs felt like they were going numb. I felt like I was going to vomit with every stroke. I was flailing around, floundering, trying to get calmed down and back on track. I just couldn't.
So. I switched to backstroke, which slowed me down even more. And while I knew I was slowing down, doing backstroke helped calm me down enough to flip it over, get my shiz together and finish it out like a grown up. I still felt like I was going to vomit. Needless to say I was the last one out of the pool. By an entire lap. I felt a bit defeated. BUT. Thanks to a little pre-planning in what I wore (shorties and a running tank for the entire race including the swim) and set up I was able to pull myself together during my 1:13 T1. Much better T1 than the first Tri I attempted. Despite the fact that my swim was a good minute slower than my first tri.
Once I got myself on the bike a girl I met at the first Triathlon (we were in the same heat) had seen me run through T1 and came up to chat with me. That was a much needed relief, she is a seasoned triathlete and I got to vent about my swim. Then she told me to amp up my pace on the bike and kill it. So I did. Bike time for 6 miles was 20:03. A good minute and a half faster than the first Tri. T2? A mere second, that was thanks to the bikes being right next to the track. I noticed as I hopped off the bike that out of the seven others in my heat who all beat me out of the pool, four were still on the bike. I was feeling better. I can't swim, but biking I can do okay. Not great, but okay enough.
My comfort zone. I got on the track to do my two miles, my breathing evened out and I just flowed along like I have been doing lately in all my runs. No idea of pace, but I was passing my fellow heat members over and over again. My legs felt strong and fantastic, apparently my fiasco of a swim gave me the oommph and energy I needed to do what I needed to do on the run. I ended up finishing before anyone else in my heat in 16:55. Again, not fantastic, but not awful. I'll take it.
Finish time = 51:32
Overall, I was bummed about my swim, but on the other hand it made me realize that running really is where I'm comfortable. And at least I can make up some time on the bike and run. Especially since I've always thought of myself as a VERY mediocre and average runner. At least I know where I can improve for next month. I will likely employ a swimming coach very soon. And look into finding out more about triathlons since I went into this totally blind. I know I need it. I have been defeated by the pool. So sad. As for the bike, I know I can get faster. And for running? Now that I'm training to PR in a half in April, I should get some speed back soon.
I've gained enough points in the Tri Cup Series by getting first in my AG at both tri's to keep my first place standing in the series overall in my AG (out of three tri's so far). I can't complain about that. My goal is to stay in the top three standing in my AG so I can get my Tri Cup Series prize in May! And since THIS GIRL is in a different age group, we are not competitors, we are just tri buddies. So glad I have someone to do this with!