Being out with injuries has always been one of my least favorite things. Training has been an outlet to get away from the stresses of the day, and when that is taken away, I just sit and mop around. These past few weeks I've had some troubles that have forced me to put training on the shelf. First, I have had an IT band injury. Leading up to the Ironman 70.3 World Champs, I was unable to run due to the extreme pain in my knee after running for more than 10 minutes. I got through the race and then put running on hold for a solid three weeks. I tried running the other day (Thanksgiving turkey trot), but was forced to drop out and walk after two miles. It was very frustrating. I took Friday off and the knee felt fine again. The only time that I experience pain is when I am running. Welll, on Saturday morning, I had to put the pain on the side for 15 minutes while participating in my hometown's Schaumburg 1st indoor triathlon. The event consisted of a 10 minute swim, 15 minute spin ride, and a 15 minute run. The race was part of a 3 race series titled the, "Midwest Indoor Sprint Triathlon" series (MIST). This was the 2nd race of the three, with the first being in Bartlett and the last in Hoffman Estates. I found out about the race series while surfing the web one day and thought it would be a lot of fun. The first race in Bartlett was a lot of fun. That was before the injuries and when I was still in good shape from the end of the season. In that first race I was able to "outrun" the treadmill since it had a max speed of only 12mph (5 min/mile) for the 15 minutes. So in that first race I was able to get 3 mile in for the 15 minutes. I also wound up the overall winner by covering the most distance in the times provided.
Another reason I decided to enter the 3 race series was because the overall winner (best combined 2 races of the three) would win a: Keiser M3 Indoor Spin bike, valued at $1300.
Take a look at this beauty:
It features: RPM (Revolutions Per Minute) Power Output Displays in Watts (currently generating) and Kilo Calories (Total for the ride) Heart Rate (Polar compatible) Pedaling Time Gear (Resistance) (1 to 24 gears) Trip Distance
Yes you read that: WATTS! A great tool for training and a great tool to go along with my newly purchased PowerTap.
I had a feeling that even though I took 15 straight days off, I would be able to pull off a win for the Schaumburg indoor tri. I took off 15 days with not running, biking, or swimming because not only my IT band injury, but also a severe pain under my rib cage. I think it was a pulled or bruised ab muscle because I had trouble bending over or breathing hard. The pain was very severe and I figured the only way for it to heal was to not put any stress on it (no breathing hard and hence no working out). I started to bike a few days before the tri because the pain in my stomach had finally went away (thank goodness!). The thing with these indoor tri's is that it is either won or lost on the bike. The way to get the most distance on the bike is to put it on the least resistance and pedal as fast as you can. You do not need to put out any watts at all...you just need to spin those pedals as fast as you can.
Well, back to the race...my girlfriend Jacqui and I both registered for this race in order to try and each win a bike. She placed third for the 1st tri in Bartlett. She didn't know the trick to the spin bike, but now she does and it showed during the Schaumburg tri. The overall series winners for men and women both get the bike :) In the pool, Jacqui and I were in the same wave and same lane. The swim isn't too important because you cannot get too far or fall too far behind anybody . All you have to do is swim a couple laps and you'll be fine as long as you get movin on th ebike. I ended up getting the 2nd most laps for the tri while Jacqui wasn't too far behind. Onto the bike, I knew I had to pedal as fast as I could because my run wasn't going to be very strong and I was thining I might not even be able to run much at all if my knee acts up. I set the resistance to the lowest setting and hammered for 15 minutes. It was pure pain. After about 2 minutes, my heart was pounding and I was breathing hard. I started to worry that I would not be able to hold the pace the whole 15 minutes. My wattage reading was 33 watts! Haha, that is nothing at all, but I can guarantee my rpm's were over 140. I ended the ride with 12.9 miles, which is not very accurate. That would be about 55 mph. But oh well..it is the same for everybody. This is why it is very important to ride as fast as you can because the most distance is made on the bike. To the run, I set the treadmill on 11.5 mph and took off running. My legs were dead after about 7 minutes and I knew I couldn't hold my pace. My running fitness was just too low. I put it down to 10 mph for 1.5 mins then put it back up to 11 for the remainder of the run to get a total distance of 2.7 miles. A lil less than at Bartless, but the good news was: NO KNEE PAIN! So that is what I was most excited about.
I ended up winning the tri overall with a distance .3 miles further than the Bartlett one! And that was after taking all that time off! Jacqui also ended up winning overall putting her in contention to win the overall series if she can pull off another win at the Hoffman Estates indoor tri in January. She knows what to do now and will have a good shot and taking the bike home.
As for me, I will be anxiously waiting my new Keiser M3 spin bike to go next to the treadmill in the basement. I will soon have my own fitness gym full of equipment for these harsh winters!
Here is a little clip of the win from the weekend: