Thursday, March 2, 2017

Tri U Mah 2017 (Dumpster Fire)

Tri U Mah (Timed Triathlon)
Swim, Bike, Run - 30 minutes per leg
Distance Covered, Indoors: 1350 yard swim, 8.6 mile bike, 2.24 mile run

I just have to start this race recap by stating a simple fact: it sucks being a woman. 

As if competing in Tri U Mah like this last year wasn't enough of a set back:


This year, I ended up having a super special 1 hour pre race start of "lady time".  Arrrrggghhhh WTF PITA #thissucks #youtrybeingawomanyoustupiddude.

Yes, I said it.  I don't even care that you know when my cycle is!  That's how annoyed I am that I went to Tri U Mah, and literally minutes before I was about to jump in the pool, had a disaster on my hands.

So there I was on race day, with the announcer in the pool area stating the swim will start in 5 minutes, and I'm playing damage control in the locker room.  Good times.  Nothing beats feeling like a 14 year old girl all over again.  Too bad I couldn't just tie a shirt around my waist and call it a day. 

I suppose it was only fitting to add the above mess to the guaranteed blow out that Tri U Mah #3 was bound to be for me.  In fact, several days in advance of gun time, my friend and I who do this every year together were jokingly calling this race:

Yeah.  So that pretty much hints at how much training we both put into making this race a success.

God, remember how much fun this race was two years ago?  LOL!  What happened?!  (kidding, kidding)

Man vs. Machine

Oh well.  After some massive locker room damage control and a total lack of organization of my gear due to the need to push/shove into a locker and lock up my crap to rush off to the pool, away I went. 




The one thing that stands out in my mind about Tri U Mah every year is the COLD temps of the pool.  That being said, I can say there was definitely one major win for 2017 - the pool was relatively warm by comparison.  Plus, I simply didn't have the time to build up pre-race anxiety about jumping into a pool where I couldn't touch bottom, so there's another bonus. 

With the flurry of disaster that was getting to the start of Tri U Mah, I was a little drained at gun time, and when you look at my watch recap you can see in the first 300 meters my pace showed it:

Yes, I'll talk more about this fancy watch recap stuff in a future post.  Don't worry.  For today, just enjoy the screen shots.

Fortunately, after 300 meters of swimming, I finally settled down into a happy swim pace and did fairly well (by my standards).  In fact, I ended the swim portion at a healthy 1350 meters, which by my quick estimation is in the upper 40-50% or better of the women racing in 2017, so I was pleased with that.  Especially knowing I am NO professional when it comes to swimming.

Of course, I know I could have done better had I pushed just a tad harder ... but what can you do?!

Regardless, 1350 was a 100 meter personal best over the previous two years of competing.  So although I was actually shooting for a 1400-1500 finish, I still netted an 8% total mileage increase over my previous personal best.  I guess the year of the swim is paying off, no?

By the way, I ended my swim actually about 30 seconds early.  I probably could have blasted out another 25 but I figured it wasn't really worth it.  Being that I had pretty much ZERO base training for a 1.5+ hour event, instead I decided to save my energy for the rest of the day.  That is one decision I have no regrets on.

So at 29 minutes and change, I hung out at the starting end of the pool and enjoyed a bit of rest.  Then, as soon as the buzzer sounded, I jumped out of the pool and headed to the locker room.  And for the first time in Tri U Mah history, I actually exercised good time management for my 10 minutes of changing time in T1 - despite just shoving all my gear into a locker pre-race, I still made it up to my bike with about a minute to spare.  Hooray!  No mid race seat adjustments as I pedal for 2017! 



New for 2017, the bikes for Tri U Mah were set up to do some sort of pace + resistance calculation to create your overall distance traveled at the end of 30 minutes.  Unfortunately, that formula was never really clearly explained, so I spent a good amount of time tinkering with my bike's resistance and cadence trying to figure out what this magic formula was.

Well, that and taking some blurry selfies, of course. 


After testing several bike intervals at various combos of resistance and cadence, I finally came to understand what the computer was telling me.  Of course, I had wasted over 15 minutes of the bike portion at that point.  Drat.  This was a real bummer for me - when I finally realized that the computer weighted your overall MPH with resistance factored in, it was much too late to make up lost miles. 

To clarify: I was confused on how they were calculating bike mileage in 2017 because in years past, biking was always a game of high cadence = high final mileage.  Since the race organizers for 2017 only said something to the tune of "this year, resistance will be a part of the equation", I never really knew what role resistance would play and how that would impact final mileage at the end of our ride. 

I eventually figured the formula out myself after I noticed the following: when I cranked my resistance down and kicked my cadence WAY up, my MPH would go from 18-20+ DOWN to 14 MPH or less.  Which obviously makes no sense. 

Ok - by now you might be shaking your head at me and calling me dumb.  In my defense, I didn't catch the MPH equation above for awhile because my main focus had been on my total miles traveled, not MPH.  It was only after I had completed 15 minutes of my ride and barely cleared 4 or so miles that I said  "WTF?  4 MILES?!  How the heck did I get 20+ miles in years past ... am I REALLY that far out of shape post baby?!"  That's when I realized how resistance weighted MPH.  D'oh.

Knowing what I do now, I wish pre race the organizers would have said something like "This year, the computer will create a weighted MPH that is based on your cadence + resistance per minute.  Keep in mind that a slightly slower cadence + a much higher resistance will actually give you an overall higher MPH output -versus- a faster cadence + a lesser resistance.  Plan your resistance and speed accordingly. "

Oh well.  You're always a pro when you're a Monday morning quarterback, right?  LOL!

Despite my calculation woes and low overall mileage, I was having a relatively good time at the race during the bike.  Of course, it was a drag to realize how out of shape I am post baby (and how tired I was feeling on the bike), but the volunteer staff at the race was a lot of fun this year.  And in particular, there is one guy who recognizes my friend and I because of our wacky InkNBurn outfits each year, so he always comes by to chat up my friend and check out our threads.  Anything to help pass the time, right?  Right!

Speaking of our favorite race day volunteer, how cute is he with this baby?!

Anyway!  In other positive news, it seemed like there was much better ventilation in the bike area for 2017.  That could be because I got lucky and was right in the line of a fan.  Or that could also be because I didn't have 30+ lbs of baby belly warming me up as I pedaled away, too.  Who knows.  Either way, a drop in temperature for 2017 was greatly appreciated.

Temperature aside, soon enough, our 30 minutes of biking was over. 

While I wasn't exactly pleased with my 8.6 mile end result, my friend reminded me "YOU JUST HAD A BABY.  Give yourself a break." 

OK, ok.  Yeah I know.  (Though I only really felt better re: this point once they published 2017 results, that's when I saw very few competitors even cleared the 10 mile mark, so obviously the cadence + resistance calculation slowed everyone down compared to years past.)




As per every year, we had a 5 minute transition from the bike to the run.  I used this time to change out of my bike cleats and put on my new pair of running shoes ... which, *ahem*, I purchased over a month ago with the intention to begin my 2017 run training, and promptly never did.

Yeah, yeah.  30 lashes with a wet noodle.

For 2017, I don't have much to say about the run portion.  Overall, my friend and I were slap happy at this point, so we were gleefully singing along to the PA system as they played Spice Girls.

The volunteers seemed equally slappy, being that the final heat of the day was on the bikes in front of us (which we could see through the windows that divided the treadmills from the bikes).  So as my friend and I jazz hands danced and yelled "spice up your life", the volunteers by the bike area cabbage patched back to us, did a few cartwheels, and even did a little team coordinated jig of sorts.

Hey - if you can't act like an idiot to help pass the time, what else are you going to do?!  (I'm pretty sure the guy on the treadmill to my left during the race just said "um, STFU, that's what you're going to do".  He didn't seem to appreciate our antics much.  Heh.)

Obviously, by the time we were running, we were SUPER SERIOUS about our performance at this race and were totally focused on KILLING IT on the treadmill.  I mean, what super elite runner doesn't track to a 13 minute mile?  LOL!

Who cares, when the final countdown completed, at least I could walk away from the race and say "I had a good time".

Footnote - obviously my watch needs a little treadmill running calibration.  But I do appreciate it padding me up to 2.52 miles instead of 2.24.  LOL!


After we finished our heat, I headed to the refreshments table (which I have to admit was in sad form for 2017 - it's obvious that they were not keeping that area well kept for the late heats), and my friend decided to test out the BodPod machine that was on display. 

Speaking of BodPod, I had seen this thing at the race in years past but never knew it was free for race day competitors to test out.  Damnit! 

Not wanting to know my body fat percentage post baby, I declined to get a scan this year.  But next year ... for sure!

Once the results were in for my friend's scan, we wrapped up our day with a victory photo:

And then, since by the above calculations I burned approximately 1 million calories (ok, ok - technically only about 1300 calories or less), after a quick shower we headed to our traditional post race meal at the Caspian ... where I promptly displayed my race day T.

(Photo of swag to be added later)



And that is the story of my first official race of 2017.  Here's to another race soon!!

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