Seattle RainMan Triathlon Race Report

I read a participant’s recap of the Seattle RainMan Indoor Triathlon the other day and found it fascinating. I hadn’t planned to do any reminiscing of the event, let alone documenting, but I got to thinking: Hey, I paid my forty bucks, I should write a recap, too! This is basically a bunch of whining about not training at all and being disappointed in my performance.

I haven’t done a real (outdoor) triathlon before, but I RainManned last year. I was similarly out of shape so I figure it makes for a good comparison. My short-term training consisted of watching cyclocross on TV the night before (I figured I could visualize those poor muddy guys charging uphill with their bikes on their backs and not feel as miserable during the run) and not drinking any beer for a week (because I had a really tired week, not as a conscious decision).

Check-in:
The day didn’t start off smoothly. One great thing about the RainMan is that the heats start all through the day, rather than super early in the morning like a real triathlon. I chose a reasonable start time and figured I could easily get there the required hour early. Of all the days to rely on the kids to wake me up, no one woke up at the usual 7:30am. Instead, I woke up to a quiet house at 8:10, 30 minutes before my show time. This would have been fine if I just had to get myself there, but I had planned to ride over with both kids in the double trailer behind my road bike and let my husband could come along a bit later. The big kid refused to get up so I ended up just bringing the little kid with me. This threw everything off because we’d only made the one trailer accessible in our recent move so the stragglers would have to come by car and I didn’t expect them to find easy parking. I wasn’t quite an hour early, but I still had plenty of time to get checked in and pace around impatiently. I didn’t need to do any warming up, but I had hoped to have time to drink some water and get my hair wet. Instead I nursed the baby for twenty minutes right before my heat (that’s anti-hydrating!) and left my hair dry so I wouldn’t freeze while waiting barefoot on the curb. They pulled up two minutes before my heat so I tossed the baby into the car and ran inside. Phew!

Swimming: 15 minutes in the pool
My swimming training was two swims since last RainMan. I swam the Green Lake Open Water Swim one-mile course in July, plus one “to verify I won’t drown” pool swim shortly before that. Hopping into the pool with one minute to spare kind of sucked, but missing the start would have been worse. I ended up sharing a lane with the fastest guy in my heat and got lapped four times–ouch. I should point out that if I had to pick a sport I’m good at, it’d be swimming. I’m not a swimmer by any stretch, but I like swimming and played water polo in college. Of course I was the caliber of water polo player who strived to avoid swimming–my All West Coast Honorable Mention was for a game-tying half-court lob. I had time to swim a bit closer, but chose the lazy shot instead. ‘Nuff said.
2010: 17 laps
2011: 17 laps

Cycling: 30 minutes on a stationary trainer
I didn’t do any real cycling training, but I’ve been riding more this year than last. Plus I’ve been hauling more kid poundage around. I knew I’d have a much better ride this time because last year they misplaced my bike and I wasted precious minutes looking around for it and then carrying it over to the trainers. Plus I wasn’t able to get my shoes locked into the pedals. Oh, and it’d been so many years since I’d used the road bike I had to overcome embarrassment and ask the guy next to me how to shift. So this year was awesome: the bike was there, cleats were sufficiently loose to lock in, and I shifted to my heart’s content. The only thing I forgot was a water bottle. The gal next to me ate an entire meal during our 30 minute cycle while I got hotter and hotter and thirstier and thirstier. It as during the cycling that I finally noticed the awful dance club music. Is that what spin classes are like? I don’t remember music last year, but I do remember the guy shouting birthing encouragments at us (“Push harder! Bear down!”) and was happy he wasn’t around. I smiled and waved at the kids periodically which probably means I wasn’t pushing myself hard enough.
2010: 5.35 miles
2011: 7.91 miles

Running: 2.97 miles around the lake
This is the embarrassing part. Last year I had planned to blow the run and retrieve the baby from my husband and walk the lap while wearing him. But I didn’t see them when I got out of the building and somehow managed to run the whole 5K. It was verrry slow, but I was still amazed at my performance considering I hadn’t done any running since high school. This year I tried to train a bit. I have an incredibly old and wobbly double jogger that I’ve shoved to the nearest playground or library a few times. I figured that would make running without a stroller really easy. I’m sad to report that I walked more than I ran, but I was only a minute and a half slower than last year. I remembered to picture the cyclocross racers as I plodded along, but I also spent a lot of time fretting about my hair turning green.
2010: 34:16
2011: 35:51

Results:
It doesn’t seem fair to post results since I wasn’t a serious competitor, but here they are:

    Overall: 92 out of 282
    Female: 24 out of 170
    Age group: 5 out of 42
    Bike split: 67 out of 282
    Bike split female: 18 out of 170

The after-party was better this year than last. I got a free posture evaluation: I slouch and I’m crooked. Hopefully the free chair massage evened me out a bit. And Makeda Coffee was a sponsor–yum! Everyone got a medal. The kids immediately commandeered mine.

I don’t know if I’ll do it again. I’m sick of doing these races (this one and the one-mile swim, that is) without taking the time to train for them. I have a friend who wants to do the Danskin triathlon this year. It sounded like a fun idea when I told her I’d do it, too, but I’m having second thoughts.

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