Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Lifetime Fitness Indoor Tri: THUMBS DOWN

I participated in my first triathlon this past Sunday. It was a one-hour, indoor event hosted by Lifetime Fitness. Participants swam 10 minutes, had a 10-minute transition, biked 30 minutes, 5-minute transition, and a 20-minute run. Volunteers recorded our distances, and we were given points and ranked against the other 37 participants of the day.

I swam 6.5 laps (13 lengths) in the 25m pool and learned that my usual pool is probably measured in yards, because this one felt really long. I biked a painful, paltry 6.6 miles (more about that later) and ran 1.74 miles, which I'm happiest with and was aiming for 1.75.

I am okay with my triathlon performance, but the event organization and equipment was terrible and I will never set foot in a Lifetime Fitness again. The company has been holding these events since 2009, according to its website's Results page.

I arrived an hour before my wave (40 min before the first wave), and the staff didn't know anything about it. Event check in wasn't ready til 25 minutes before start, and that was where I learned that I could get a locker key from the front desk, unlike the information given prior to the race.

Lap lanes were very narrow with two swimmers to a lane constantly bumping one another because my lane mate did breast stroke and I wanted to do a few back strokes. I spent the whole time palming the wall and still bumping the other swimmer and weirdly struggled through the water with lots of resistance.

We were given a little time to adjust the bikes, but they only had clip-in pedals. A few had toe cages, but the straps were broken on the TWO bikes I tried. I didn't know to bring sneakers, so I lost my first two minutes to adjusting the damn straps and spent the whole half hour in pain from my toe shoes and the overall awful fit of the bike for my whole body. Thus, my second-to-last bike mileage.

The treadmills worked. I enjoyed the run. I availed myself of the facilities' steam sauna and showers before leaving.

Then I went directly to a friend's house to spend the next four hours helping them move and took a hot bath after that and a pain pill to sleep. I must have done something right, because I was in awe of my mobility and minimal soreness the next day, knowing my degree of exertion. Maybe I'll plan movement following future races and avail myself of pain pills more freely. Probably I'll still only want to eat and sleep.

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