Thursday, April 11, 2013

Triathlon Club and a gym switch

As I mentioned briefly in my last post,  the Ann Arbor Triathlon Club kick-off meeting was Wednesday night.  I joined earlier this week since I can use all the help and advice I can get as I get ready for my first-ever triathlon in July!  Plus, the membership is only $30 a year, which is super reasonable.  They have group brick workouts, runs, and open-water swims.  Plus discounts and stuff...more on that later.  

The tri tank that I ordered came the same day as the kickoff meeting.  I don't love the design, but I only bought it because it was super cheap ($20 on Amazon).  I erred on the larger side, size-wise, or maybe mediums weren't available, I don't remember.  I think I made the right call, (because I like to be able to breathe, and hate super tight and constricting clothing!), although I will probably need to wear a sports bra under it.  There is a built-in one but it's too loose to be useful.  I have tri shorts on the way that I got on clearance for about $20 too.   Now if only I could find a nice bike on clearance for $20.  :P  And I'm still really craving the Garmin 910XT and these swimming headphones.  Time to pick up some OT at work!! 

Sorry my bathroom mirror needs cleaned.
 The Ann Arbor Tri Club kickoff was great.  There was a great turnout, great food, and lots of representation booths from local race companies, PT places, fitness groups, etc.  The highlight of the evening was when I won the free entry to the Detroit Women's Half marathon!

I'm excited to go to some of their group workouts, though I'm still a bit fearful of group biking.  Especially since I don't have a fast bike, which, combined with my lack of biking experience, will make me much slower than everybody else.  I do like that their weekend runs are out at a park, so I can get some trail running in, which will be good practice for the GLR.  

When I joined the tri club this week, I discovered that they offer a zero initiation fee deal with the WCC fitness center for members, in the month of April only.  I was already thinking about making the switch to that fitness center next month (they have a deal for the public through May 31st that is 50% off the initiation fee).  The normal initiation fee is $150 per person, so that's why I'm going to take advantage of any discounts that I can!  Then the monthly fee is $64 a month, which is a good bit more than I'm paying now, but it includes group fitness classes (spinning, yoga, pilates, TRX, zumba, total body, etc) in the cost, so that would be all I have to pay.  When you factor in those classes, $64 a month is a really good deal.  

I took a tour of the facility before the kickoff meeting (the meeting was at the fitness center) and it is SUPER nice.  The only downside was that it was pretty crowded.  (And also the Saturday/Sunday hours suck for a night-shifter, especially in the summer time).  There is a salt-water lap pool and an activity pool, multiple hot tubs, a sauna, and an 1/8 mile indoor track.  They have resistance tubing and bands, foam rollers, and other equipment that I use that most gyms don't have.  The best part though was the locker room.  

The showers are nicer than my shower at home.  They all have glass doors, and have a large, 2 part area inside.  The first "foyer" area of the shower has hooks so you can hang your clothes and towels without them getting wet.  Then you walk further in to the actual shower, and there is shampoo, conditioner, and body wash all mounted on the wall and included for you to use.  At the sinks, in addition to soap, they also have lotion and hair gel mounted as well!  There are real, normal hair dryers at a few stations to use too.  ("Normal" like the ones you would have at home, vs the wall-mounted air dryers that you have to shove your head under.  Not that I ever dry my hair, so it doesn't matter.).  Full size bath towels are available for use for free.  And the best part is the lockers.  The lockers are operated via magnetic code instead of a key and they are included!  So you can use a daily locker without paying extra, and without having to worry about carrying a key around.  

Looks like a fancy hotel, not a sweaty gym!
I wanted to take pictures of the locker room especially, but there were too many naked ladies around to make that a good idea.  I did get a shot of the towels.  Haha. 

Generally I don't care about fancy amenities like this, but the towels, lockers, and provided shower supplies are really convenient.  Now that I've been going to a gym that doesn't offer these features for a little while, I can really appreciate it.

The only problem is that I didn't love their pool.  It's a little smaller than the ones at the NCRB and CCRB, and was pretty crowded at 6pm when I went on my tour.  It had emptied out quite a bit by the time I went for a swim with my guest pass at 7:40pm, and I did get my own lane the entire time at that point.  The water temperature (and room temperature) were way too warm for my taste, and I've never swum in a salt water pool before, so that was weird.  But, I'll deal with it.  The cost savings from not paying for classes and for towels and lockers make it worth it.  I only wish it was closer.  It's about a 10 minute drive for me, which is far in my book!  I never drive far (except to races :P) !  It's 5 miles away from my house, and, unfortunately in the opposite direction from work, so I couldn't hit it on the way to or from work.  Maybe I could bike there.  Or I could get a job at St. Joe's instead, and then it would be right on the way to work. :)  Changing jobs to accomodate your gym membership probably doesn't make that much sense though.

I still have one more guest pass to use, so I'll use that to try out a fitness class sometime this week or next, maybe Yoga tomorrow morning.  But, it's pretty clear that I've made up my mind and I'm going to join.  I was going to wait until the end of May (the last day of the 1/2 off initiation) since my RecSports gym membership is good until mid-June, and I still have classes to use at Vie and RydeOn! in the meantime, but I'll just have some overlap, because it's clearly worth it get zero initiation fee in April!  I'll just wait until April 30th.

Is anybody else a member there?  Is it as awesome as it seems? Let's make gym dates in May!  (Actually, I'm pretty much only planning on using the pool and the classes, not the equipment or the main gym, but we can make spinning, swimming, pilates, yoga, or TRX dates!)


  1. Cool tri top. It looks good on too.

  2. Guess who has been filling up an internet "cart" of tri suits, tops and bottoms since reading this post this morning? haha! I ordered a Bia watch, hoping it will be great for swimming/tris when it comes out! That gym looks sweet. Might need to move in there! And $30 for a year for the tri club is awesome!!! Very jealous of that.

    1. And I guess I will answer your comment from the other week :) Swim workouts: I have done most of her 50 swim workouts, they have a higher/lower yardage levels and include all strokes on some. I don't swim continuously unless I am timing for a mile or a certain distance like 500 yards, which can be okay to count in my head. The mile can be counted in your head, but I still mess that up (11 lengths, 10 lengths, 9 lengths, etc. all the way to 1 and you have a mile). I don't use headphone things, but they look fun. I am a daydreamer, so I can space out easily. I like when pools play music under water (usually university pools).


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