PTO Day Solo Triathlon

What a great day! I decided to take a vacation day after a week and a half by my self at work. There are only two of us on my team, so if one takes vacation, the other is left to hold the fort alone. No big deal for a few days, but after a week and a half of it I was tired and more than a little grumpy. Friday the 29th is Good Friday which is a company holiday and Thursday was supposed to be amazing weather, so I decided to take Thursday off as a vacation day to get a nice four day weekend.

My training plan had me doing a two hour bike ride Wednesday night, then an hour swim and 5 mile run on Thursday. I decided to detour that plan a little bit. The forecast said it would be in the mid-50s for the high, not great, but certainly exciting after the crappy weather we've been having. I wanted a little more time outdoors on my day off than just a 5 mile run. I decided to change my Wednesday ride to a short, VERY light 30 min ride, then do a full triathlon on Thursday. Sure, I've done a few other indoor workouts that involved all three sports, but this would be mostly outdoors and I planned to put some real effort into it. The last several months of multi-sport training has been my first serious stab at training for more than the running portion, so I wanted to see where I am at with it.

Swim - Obviously, since all the lakes are still closed and near freezing, I would have to do my swim in the pool at the Olathe YMCA. I really can't wait to start open water swimming in a couple months. I got to the pool and started my swim just before 1:00 pm. The plan was to do 2,000 yards as fast as I could. I knew that would be a challenge, the only way I have done those type of long yards fast is to do ladder drills rather than a straight swim. This would definitely helps show me where I'm at with my swimming. I did the 2,000 yards in 41:58 (2:08 min/100 yd) which ties it for my fastest swim I've ever done! I felt proud and good when I got out of the pool. It took a lot of effort, but I'd reached my goal.

Transition (Swim to Bike) - Having swam indoors made the transition take quite a bit longer than would be ideal. I had to go from the pool to the locker room to put on my clothes for the rest of the "event". The high was only supposed to be in the mid-50s, so I put on my bike shorts, a pair of very light weight tights and a thin long sleeved compression shirt. I thought I'd need them to keep warm on the bike since mid-50s is pretty cool when you're moving fast. I then had to head outside and take my bike off it's rack where it was locked up and get my cycling shoes on. All together, this transition took about 15 min.

Bike - This is the first time I've ever done a multi-sport workout where the bike was by far the most enjoyable for me! As many of you already know, about a month ago I finally got a real road bike. I got a 2013 Specialized Allez Sport that I have named Minuet. This bike is an absolute joy to ride, but due to the weather we've been having I've only gotten to take her outside a couple times. Hitting the roads with Minuet is so fun! As I started my ride the sun was out strong and it was already in the low 60s, warmer than the projected high. Luckily I like warm weather since I had the thin tights and compression shirt on. I was warm, but not TOO warm. As I left the YMCA parking lot, I headed south on Lone Elm and headed down to 175th St. I took a left (east) on 175th. It was a smooth, fairly fast ride down 175th. Once I got to Quivira, I took another left (north) toward 151st. At first, it was easy and mostly downhill. Then it turned up hill and worked me pretty hard. The last couple miles on Quivira were the hardest of the ride by far. I was keeping my pace up, though, and overall feeling good about my ride. I turned left again (west) onto 151st and was worried. I've never ridden on busy roads before. I usually ride in Gardner (where there is no such thing as traffic) or on trails. Luckily I was pleasantly surprised. Almost all cars gave me ample space and I felt pretty safe most of the time. I was still moving pretty well. I followed 151st back to Lone Elm, took a left (south) and was right back to the YMCA. It ended up being 18.91 miles in 1:12:37 (15.6 mph avg). I feel really good about this ride and  it was SO much fun! Over the last month I have really come to love cycling.

Transition (Bike to Run) - Again, transition took much longer than I'd prefer since I had to get into my car to change shoes, take off my compression shirt, load & lock my bike back up. At this point, the temps were near 70, so there was no way I could manage with my arms covered, but I cold deal with the thin tights since they don't give much warmth anyway. Transition took about 9 minutes.

Run - Oh, boy. Ouch. I've done a few indoor bricks this year (bike trainer to treadmill), but that just does not compare to the difficulty of an outdoor brick. I'd almost forgotten how that feels since it's been since around late-August or early-September since I last did an outdoor brick. As soon as I started I knew it was going to be hard. My legs did NOT want to move. I wasn't 1/4 mile in when I started thinking about cutting my 5 mile run down to 3 miles, maybe even 2. I headed out from the YMCA parking lot, through the Olathe Medical Center campus around to 151st St and headed east to Ridgeview. My legs never loosened up, but it didn't take long for me to remember that cutting it short would do me no good. I needed to finish what I'd started. I was moving fairly slow, fighting to stay just a fraction faster than a 10:00 mile. Then, with about a mile to go, I decided I need to try to get close to my goal pace. My training plan had called for a 9:48 and I was just under 10:00, so I needed to pick it up. I started running faster and it was tough! I managed a 9:13 for the last mile! It ended up totaling 5 miles in 48:52 (9:46 avg pace)! Not great and much harder than I'd like, but I'll improve once I can start doing more outdoor bricks.

Overall, it was a great afternoon. It taught me a lot. I need to work on transitions. Sure, it should take longer given all I had to do with an indoor swim and having my bike on my rack. But it still took me longer than it should. I also learned I can swim faster than I think. I need to start working on swimming faster now that I have the confidence that I can. I learned that cycling can be the fun part rather than the section I have to do if I want to do triathlons. In total (including transitions), I logged 25.05 miles in 3:07:27. An absolutely perfect way to spend a vacation day! Thanks to the weather for a warm, sunny day! It make me VERY happy!!

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