Friday, December 31, 2010

"Most Creative Use of Aquaphor” Contest

Last month Team Aquaphor members were challenged to think up as many uses for Aquaphor as possible.  Here are the results of the "Most Creative Use of Aquaphor” Contest!!

1) Under bike shorts.
2) To prevent chaffing from wetsuit.
3) Helps get my tire on my wheel when fixing a flat.
4) Aquaphor will lube a squeaky bike wheel or chain in a pinch.
5) Put Aquaphor around your swim goggles or snorkel mask for a much better leak proof seal.
6) On the fingers to reduce rubbing when throwing a Frisbee.
7) To help slip on compression socks that seem as if they will never fit.
8) On wind burn after running in cold weather and wondering why your chin skin looks like its peeling.
9) I use it under my heart rate monitor to prevent that burn you can sometimes get from chafe.
10) On the front of my knees and on my face in cold weather on bike rides.
11) Scuba diving. I apply Aquaphor to my feet before putting on my fins to make them go on easier. Without it, it takes a lot of excessive tugging and pulling to get them on.
12) For boxers on their face so that the glove slides off upon impact.
13) In between my toes when running.*
14) Under hockey pads for my husband.
15) if you use a Garmin on your wrist where the Garmin goes.

16) diaper rash
17) baby acne
18) baby massages
19) Protect baby's eyes. When I shampoo my son's hair, sometimes I rub some Aquaphor on his forehead, and it keeps the shampoo from running into his eyes.
20) to lubricate daughters knees after they got stuck in bars at the zoo
21) I passed out some samples during the race to kids along the course as a reward for high fives and cheering the runners

22) To tame a mustache.
23) To make eyelashes appear darker and to moisturize them.
24) To smooth down unruly eyebrows that may look like antennae when left alone.
25) Under eyes before bed to prevent wrinkles
26) As lip gloss
27) Mix a little Aquaphor with a little Kool-Aid powder and make a colored and flavored lip gloss!
28) Melt Aquaphor and one chocolate chip in the microwave, mix and let solidify for chocolate lip gloss!
29) Can be used as a moisturizer for acne sufferers.

30) Maintains perfume scent longer when applied at perfume points before spritzing the perfume.
31) Mix with sea salts to make a scrub.
32) Applying Aquaphor on your teeth for a shiny smile.

33) Applied on teeth before applying lipstick prevents lipstick from sticking on them.
34) Warmed up can be used as a night cream.
35) Makeup remover.
36) Applied under eye shadow it can create a shiny effect.
37) Applied on cheeks for a dewy look.
38) Can be used to smooth and soothe skin after shaving.
39) Gets rid of dry skin lines which can arise from washing.
40) Lubricates ear lobes and helps to make earring insertion easy and painless.
41) Keeps fingernails pliable and resilient
42) Use with your lipstick to create a cream blusher for your cheeks
43) Remove makeup stains from clothing
44) Use a touch of Aquaphor mixed with powder eye shadow pigment to make new colors, or a more solid eye shadow that won’t get all over your face when you put it on.
45) Stretch your favorite lotion by mixing it with Aquaphor.
46) Put Aquaphor on your lips, leave it a few minutes, then scrub your lips with a toothbrush to exfoliate and leave them SO smooth.
47) Remove false eyelash glue from your lash line
48) Apply a small amount on dry spots on your body before fake tanning lotions are applied, and prevent uneven tanning!
49) Around my fingernails before I paint them, to avoid getting nail polish on my fingers

50) Halloween treats. My wife was out of town on Halloween. I guess she's the one who's on the ball with that stuff because I didn't even think about getting any candy to hand out. The door bell rang, and it suddenly hit me that it was the 31st (and not the 30th). I left 3 kids at the door while I quickly ransacked the house for nonexistent candy, but no such luck. I saw the box of samples, so I grabbed a couple and threw them into their trick-or-treat bags. Unfortunately the kids were a little disappointed it wasn't candy. But I'm sure their mother thought it was the best treat of the night.
51) Helped get Halloween paint off my kids’ faces.
52) Use it to carve your pumpkin. The knife slips through the pumpkin rind like its butter. Same principle as putting Aquaphor in those chaff spots like your underarms...Aquaphor reduces friction on your skin and the pumpkin's!
53) When carving a pumpkin (Jack-o-Lantern) we use Aquaphor around the carved edges and have found that it makes the carved pumpkins last longer
54) After a Halloween 6 mile run and then spending the evening walking and running around thousands of people as Avatar and posing for countless photographs, I loved using Aquaphor to soothe my sore feet, soothe the blisters from wearing a special spandex costume and it definitely helped remove my blue makeup! I am sure I must be the first AVATAR/Neytiri to ever to use Aquaphor products!! Plus it was a fun way to promote Aquaphor when I put on the hat--many people asked me about Aquaphor and I said it was AVATAR APPROVED!

55) I have been on the road sometimes and run out of hair gel. Aquaphor is a pretty good back up.
56) Great on the ends of your hair to prevent dryness from over chlorinated pool water.
57) I use Aquaphor to smooth back my thick, coarse hair when I wear a ponytail.
58) Smear a tiny bit on your hands and scrunch through your hair for a choppy look
59) Use just a touch on the ends of your hair to hide dry and split ends
60) Can protect against harmful hair dyeing, perming and straightening chemicals when used as a mask around the hairline
61) Conditions scalp pre-shampooing
62) Reduces scaling and itching associated with dandruff
63) After major surgery, works very well on large cuts/scars
64) I am an orthopedic surgeon, and use Aquaphor for all my patients' skin graft harvest sites
65) use for area where attach prosthetic limb
66) Therapeutic when applied to lesions caused by poison ivy
67) Can help improve condition of those with atopic eczema
68) Helpful for psoriasis
69) Prevents scarring after mole removal
70) Heals dry skin caused by radiation treatments

71) Irritation from Sunglasses
72) Helps get my mom off my case by giving her some.
73) A dab of Aquaphor on the knuckles and stubborn rings slid right off
74) Also, it’s a bit over the top but my grandma uses it on everything that has a seal or threads including light bulbs and mayonnaise jars. Random but its works well.
75) Under gloves of someone who uses a hand cycle.
76) To soothe the burn after spilling hot soup into the hand while pulling out of the microwave. Ouch!
77) Not on a person but on a piece of equipment--to help slide the brake protectors down on a wheelchair
78) To help free a lizard from a glue trap set at work to catch crickets. Rubbing it on the feet helped to free that little guy.......or girl....didn't really take a close look.
79) I've even used a little bit for an instant shoe shine, wipe on and buff off!!
80) I used it yesterday to help a broken/stuck zipper
81) Use a tiny dab to put a quick shine on your shoes and bags
82) Rub Aquaphor on the neck of your nail polish bottles and they won’t get stuck to the caps
83) I have the coffee maker where you hold your cup up to it to fill your coffee. The button was sticking resulting in the coffee continuing to run when you pulled your cup away. A little dab of Aquaphor and the button no longer sticks. No more coffee all over the counter.
84) I use it on my fingertips to thread the sewing machine needle
85) A great way to travel, train and race with Aquaphor is, once at your destination; squeeze Aquaphor into the snack-size, or half-size, zip-lock baggies. These are easy to carry and use as you do not need to fiddle with the screw-on lid. When ready, grab the baggie, on the outside, and turn it inside out over your hand. Then, rub the baggie with the Aquaphor on it liberally where needed. Turn the baggie back inside in and, voila, no mess, nothing on your hands and you are off. I did this at one particular race and about 7 girls loved this idea after seeing me do it.
86) To get duct tape off feet after taping any spot

87) Dog rashes/skin problems/dry nose  
88) During winter, to prevent ice from forming between dog’s pads when outside.
89) I've put it on the pads of my Golden Retriever's feet when they're rough and scratchy, and on a cut one of them got on his toe!**

90) Dry skin
91) Chapped lips
92) Face Moisturizer
93) On foot calluses
94) On cold/dry/rainy training days I apply a thin layer over knees, ankles and face. It helps keep those areas warm and keeps my skin from drying out.
95) Under the nose after several days of constant tissue use/dry nose
96) At least once a week, before I go to bed, I rub a generous amount of Aquaphor on my feet and put on a pair of socks. It has helped keep my feet from cracking and keeping them as soft as possible.
97) On my cuticles at night.
98) Massages (post workout, foot massage, etc.)
99) Put Aquaphor on your elbows every day - they will stay soft!
100) Helps heal and protect new tattoos
101) Soothing on my sunburn.

*A friend of mine told me it really helped with reducing friction and relieving pain from her Morton's Neuroma.
**I wonder who submitted this idea....

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

2010 Race Recap

I didn't expect to race well this year.  In December of 2009 I had micro fracture knee surgery on my left knee for torn articular cartilage.  Six weeks on crutches and then six months with no running.  I wasn't planning on applying for Team Aquaphor, but Bill talked me into it, I'm so glad I listened!  I decided to race only sprint distance races so I wouldn't have to run farther than 5K.  My surgeon informed me that my knee would keep healing for a year post surgery.  My season started late with me missing all of the early season races. 

Me, Carol Scheible, Rebecca Moxey
My first race of the season was the Kure Beach Double Sprint Triathlon at the end of June in Kure Beach, NC.  I'd only been running for 3 weeks so I wasn't expecting a fast run split.  This race has an unusual format of 375 meter ocean Swim, 1.5 mile Run, 20K Bike, 1.5 mile Run, 375 Swim.  I met and stayed with Carol Scheible from Chapel Hill in Wilmington the night before the race.  I ended up placing 4th in my age group, my run was slow as expected but I wasn't disappointed.  Each run was 1.5 miles and I averaged 8:30's. After looking at the results, I think with my normal run pace I would have been 2nd or 3rd in my age group!

Suzy, Carol and Me
Race number two was the Mayo Lake Triathlon in Roxboro, NC.  I drove up to Chapel Hill and stayed with Carol and her family the night before and then onto the race site the next morning.  Mayo Lake is in the northern part of the state - I live where it's flat and it definitely wasn't flat here!  Carol tried to do a sneak play that morning by wearing her one piece black tri suit under her usual race red - but I caught her before we left her house!  She was going to ditch the red just before the start of the race in hopes that I wouldn't notice her! 

I came out of the water 1st in our age group, Carol passed me on the bike, as usual, and then I finally caught her on the extremely challenging trail run at about mile 2!  I took 1st in our Age Group, with Carol 2nd and a good friend of ours, Suzy Nisbett placed 3rd!  I just missed 4th overall female when I was passed with only a few hundred yards to the finish!

My third race wasn't really a race but more of an event.  Take The Lake in Waccamaw, NC held every Labor Day.  This event has a unique history.  "Swimming across Lake Waccamaw has been a personal achievement for generations, with its first proponent, Lee J. Greer, encouraging hundreds of youths and adults to join him each year, as far back as the 1940s, and it would become a Labor Day tradition."  It is a 4 MILE swim across the lake, from either the Dam to Dale's or vice versa depending on the wind that morning. 
The sky was overcast for most of the swim and it was windy and the water choppy, but the water temperature was perfect. Each swimmer is required to have their own paddle support and my husband Bill guided the way for me in his kayak.  After the swim I got a giant splinter in my foot from the dock which plagued me for the rest of my race season.

Kacie Wallace from the Raleigh/Durham area is a member of Team Aquaphor and she came down to also swim Take The Lake!  Kacie is a super fast swimmer, she finished  2nd in 1:48!  I was the 4th female finisher in 2:07.   I hope that next year we are both back on the team and would like to do a half Ironman distance relay with her and a runner from Team Aquaphor.

The following Saturday I was signed up to race the East Coast VW North Myrtle Beach Triathlon.  I hadn't been able to run all week because my foot hurt so badly from where I got the splinter at the lake swim on Monday.  By Friday it was infected and I decided that I should go have a podiatrist look at it.  Unfortunately I couldn't get in to see one so I put a waterproof band aid on it and hoped for the best.

This race has an 700 meter ocean swim, a 12 mile bike and a 5K run.  I picked up my race packet and drove the bike course the day before and checked out where the finish line was to be set up.  The water was a little rough, in the first wave of swimmers a girl had to be jet skied back to shore, she'd only made it to the first buoy.  I was racing for the first time with a heart rate monitor, I was curious to see how high my heart rate would be during the run - 188.  I didn't have a very good swim and wondered if I had the strap of my HR Monitor too tight and if it constricted my breathing.  I passed several girls on the bike and caught two more on the run.  I was worried that I wouldn't be able to run because of my foot, but I think the adrenaline and endorphins from the race took care of it.

First Overall Female!!!
As I came across the finish line timing mat I heard them say - "Ginger Spansel from Sunset Beach, our First Female Finisher"!  It was awesome, I didn't believe it until I saw the posted results.  This was only the second time I ever won overall in a triathlon, the first was back in 2002! 

I went to the podiatrist on the following Monday and he had to incise my foot and removed a chunk of wood that was still in there.  My foot was infected, I got to be on antibiotics and no running for 5 days!

The Wilmington YMCA Triathlon was next, it was my third time to do this race.  It has a long swim for a sprint distance triathlon, 1500 meters but with a current in the Intercoastal Waterway, it's point to point and there are shuttle buses to take you to the start.  My husband Bill got to go to this race with me and we elected to walk over to the start.

I saw my friend Rebecca Moxey at the swim start and we chatted for a while.  I told her that a girl had aged up this season was racing today - she beat me at Kure Beach and I'd looked up her previous race results at Wilmington and saw that she'd always been faster than me.  Rebecca gave me confidence telling me that she thought I could beat her and to go for it.

My swim was good and I felt that I had a good bike split too, there were a couple times on the bike where things bottle necked because of traffic cones, but I tried not to let it bother me. 

I headed out on the run and saw my friend Kari on an out and back section, I had a feeling that she was going to catch me and pushed hard over the next mile or two.  At about mile 2.5 I came up on a girl in my age group and realized that it was the one I had chatted about with Rebecca.  I stayed behind her for a 20 yards or so and then passed her.  I heard her feet pick up the pace so I surged a bit and was able to pull away from her.  I won my age group by just a few seconds, the girl I'd just passed came in 2nd and my friend Kari placed 3rd! 

My last triathlon of the season ended up being a duathlon.  The Myrtle Beach Triathlon was being held at the same venue and at the same time as the Halfmax Championship Half Ironman Triathlon.  They held a sprint, and Olympic distance and the Halfmax at the same time.  Unfortunately we had record breaking rain the week before the race and the swim portion of all races was cancelled due to ecoli and bacteria in the Intercoastal Waterway.  It wasn't announced until race morning - you can imagine some pretty upset athletes!  They had us line up close to the swim exit and run to transition in bare feet instead of the swim.  It didn't matter where you queued up since we crossed a timing mat at the start, but the bad part was is you had no idea of where your competition was during the race.  Just go as hard as you possibly can and then wait until results are posted. 
I had a good bike, but didn't let my Garmin find the satellites before hitting start so I didn't have an accurate idea of my speed or distance on the bike.  I reset it during the ride so I would be able to know my run pace and splits.  I ran as hard as I could, passed a few girls and was passed by one young girl just before the finish.  I ended up 4th overall female and won my age group!

Cheers and Happy New Year!
I finished my season with two 5K races in October.  The Ocean Isle Beach Oyster Festival 5K where I placed 3rd overall female and won my age group.   The following weekend I raced the Coastal 5K in Myrtle Beach, I won my age group again and came in 4th overall female!

All in all I consider this to have been a really good year for me - and totally unexpected. I thought I would have pain and  problems with my knee all year.  I don't know if it was the rehab post surgery, the fact that I was able to stay off my feet a lot during that time since I wasn't working or just good genes.  Or maybe it was the performance pressure from representing not only myself but Team Aquaphor.  What ever it was, I'll take it.  I'm looking forward to next year and can't wait to see my racing friends again!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Rockfish Ride

When Bill and I moved to North Carolina I went, on the advice of a friend in Texas, to the local bike shop to find out about group rides.  This turned out to be one of the best things I've ever done.  There I met Jen Doyle their resident triathlete.  

Jen told me about the local rides and I met her on a Saturday at the club ride.  I was introduced to a couple other cyclists and for the first season we lived in Fayetteville I drove to the Linden Ride on Saturday mornings.  Jen has completed every single Ironman Triathlon in the United States and someone I consider to be a very good friend!

Hal O'Berry, Andrew Carpenter, Santa Look Alike,
Me, Mark Hawley, Mark Taylor, Kenny Green,
Sandy Hawley, Jen Doyle
I went to work for that same bike shop, Hawley's Bicycle World .  What a great place to work!  Hawley's is also Fayetteville's triathlon headquarters.  Working there gave me an opportunity to meet and help a lot of newbie triathletes - answering their questions, getting them set up on their bikes and giving them pointers for racing.  The people I worked with at Hawley's are like family.  This is from Christmas two years ago, notice Jen is wearing roller skates!!

There is another ride in Fayetteville and it's called the Rockfish Ride.  It is on Sundays, which worked out better for me since I worked on Saturdays.

This ride was usually led by a guy named Furman Hammonds.  Furman is one of those amazing cycling success stories.  Several years ago, he was out of shape and overweight and decided to start riding.  He's since lost over 100 pounds and is one of the best and nicest riders around.  This ride and the people on it quickly became my friends.  I still drive up occasionally to ride with these awesome people.  If you're in need of some positive energy, ride with Furman.

There is Mike Adams, Mike's favorite expression is "Make 'Em Bleed". He is that rider that punishes everyone else always by ramping up the pace until we are all off the back, spat out like a bad piece of gum.  If you want interval work, Mike Adams is your man.  He is also one of the most knowledgeable people I've met on the weight of bike components, I think his bike weighs about 14 pounds, maybe less.  Mike likes to ride in the mountains.  His second favorite expression is,
"The Mountains Are Calling And I Must Go."

And then there are the Florians, Mary and Tom.  Mary and Tom ride long, long, long distances.  They are randonneurs - In cycling, it means a hard-riding enthusiast who is trying to complete a long randonnĂ©e inside a certain time allotment.  Randonneuring stresses self-sufficiency, once riders have successfully completed a 200-kilometer "brevet", they are entitled to be called a "randonneur".  A "brevet" is typically a challenging 200-, 300-, 400-, 600-, 1000- or 1200- kilometer ride, each with a specific time limit.  These two are amazing, they'll ride like a postman, through rain, sleet or snow!

Me, Carol, Mary, Furman and Tom
This photo is from a ride with my friend Carol Scheible (you'll hear more about her in the future).  Carol wanted to ride the 112 mile Beach2Battleship Triathlon bike course before her Ironman last December, so I invited Mary, Tom and Furman who gladly drove to Wilmington to get in a long ride! 

You hear some people talk about cyclists and their bad attitudes, I've never found anything farther from the truth!!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

The Usual Suspects

I ride with a group called the Ocean Isle Beach Cyclists or the OIB Cyclists.  I prefer to call them the Ocean Isle Boys Cyclists because typically 9.8 times out of 10 I am the only girl on the rides.  We ride on Wednesdays and Saturdays from the local bike shop called Island Hoppers. 

Sam, The Masher, Darryl, Mike P., The Dominator!!
The Saturday rides usually break up into two groups, I do my best to hang with the A group.  They are the typical cyclists who like to torture each other during the course of the ride.  It hurts - a lot, but it has made me a stronger rider and its helped out tremendously in my races.  I know that riding with cyclists who are faster than me will pay off in big dividends.  There are riders known as  The Masher and The Dominator, this lets you know what to expect on these rides.  There is Mike P. who looks out for me if I get off the back and John who is always in good spirits with a smile and a cheerful "Good Morning". There are many other riders who show up on occasion - Peter, Sam and Darryl to name a few.  I was told by The Masher that I'm not a girl on the ride anymore, I guess this means that I have proven myself and am deemed good enough to ride with The Boys.  

Now the Wednesday rides are composed of several riders who I have nicknamed "The Usual Suspects".  These are the guys who show up week in and week out ready to ride.  They are committed cyclists and pretty much every year ride Cycle North Carolina, a week long ride across the state.  They are smart, funny and have become my friends here at the beach.  

Harvey, Me, Steve and Roy
 Here we are at the opening of the Sunset Beach Bridge ride/walk.  I was the second person over the bridge. The bike shop owner, Steve was the first one to cross.

Harvey is known as our "Fearless Leader".  He plans out our rides and when he is out of town we all seem to get confused as to where we are going and lose a rider or two.  We decided that if Harvey is going to be out of town that he needs to let us all know ahead of time which route we are taking.  Roy is on the right and celebrated his 80th Birthday a couple months back. 

Peter, Harvey, Bruce and Steve
Here is another picture with a couple more of The Usual Suspects.  Notice they are standing below a billboard - THE BIG CATS.  Perfect for them!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Esprit De Corps

Esprit De Corps:  A common spirit of comradeship, enthusiasm, and devotion to a cause among the members of a group.

Training ride for Ironman Louisville with Dorothy, Joan, Mary and Tina!

Stonebridge Ranch Triathlon -  McKinney, TX
I've been lucky enough to have some great training partners over the years.  The one downfall from racing for so long is that the training partners come and go.  They get married, have children and stop racing. Or in my case three years ago, you move half way across the country.  Then it's time to find new ones.  I do most of my training by myself, but I enjoy being part of a group.  I've been a member of three triathlon clubs over the years, all located in the Dallas Metroplex area.  First there was Tri-Dallas, a wonderful group of people who helped me train for my first Ironman. Then there was the TRI-Umph! Triathlon club and finally Fit2Train

Team Aquaphor!!
Three years ago a friend of mine forwarded an email to me from, Active Ambassadors was recruiting for a national age group triathlon team sponsored by Aquaphor.  The team has been in existence since 2004 and they choose 200 athletes from across the country to race on Team Aquaphor

Aquaphor is a healing ointment formulated to create an ideal environment that protects and helps heal your skin.  It is wonderful in preventing and healing the discomforts, from blisters to windburn! I use it on every single bike ride to prevent chaffing.  Being on Team Aquaphor has made me train harder and really push myself in races.  Since being a part of this team I've had some of my best performances to date and through the team message board and Facebook I have made some great friends, and even though I seldom see any of them this team has been just what I've needed to boost my triathlon career.  I hope that I am lucky enough to be chosen in 2011 again to be on the team.

This month I applied for and was accepted for another race sponsorship, Recovery e21.  This from their website:  "Recovery e21 can assist your body to perform at its best. e21 is an organic full spectrum electrolyte replacement capsule. Because its 114 elements are derived from a natural, single cell marine algae these elements are totally bio-available to your body when it needs them. Other synthetic electrolyte products require the body to break through the synthetic chain they create and these synthetic compositions are often excreted before your body can use them." 

I'm excited to start using the product to aid in my training and racing.  I love that Recovery e21 is a natural substance.  They also make a joint fuel that I can't wait to try.

Monday, December 20, 2010

A Little History

So here I go, adventuring into the world of blogging.  My husband has been encouraging me to start a blog for a couple years, it took me awhile to get here so now lets see what happens!

My name is Ginger Spansel and I've been a competitive triathlete since 1985.  I've always been involved in some type of athletics.  My Mom and Dad taught my sister and me how to swim when we were about 3 years old.  Dad swam on a swim team when he was younger and I've seen our home movies of me trying to imitate him swimming backstroke in our pool in California when I was little.  My parents were awesome, they let us try anything we wanted and were never disappointed if we changed our minds and decided to try something else.  So I took a little ballet, some tumbling and learned to play the guitar.

We moved to Mississippi in 1972 and I decided to try out for cheerleader when I was in 7th grade at Gautier Junior High.  (That's me on the far right).
I was on the team for three years and decided not to try out in high school and instead joined the Ocean Springs YMCA Swim Team.  What a great decision that turned out to be.  I swam for two years and even made it to the State swim meet.  

Ocean Springs YMCA Sea Serpents
When I got to college at the University of Southern Mississippi I changed directions again and took up running to try and keep off the dreaded "Freshman 15".  I  remember my first run in my Adidas Rom sneakers - I made it about a half mile before I walked.   The next time out I ran a little over a mile, then I went out and bought some real running shoes.  Through college I ran pretty consistently, I took a running Aerobics class for one of my required P.E. requirements.  One day I was running to gymnastics practice my Aerobics instructor drove by, stopped and told me, "I see you running everywhere, you don't have to come to class anymore".  

I entered my first 5K in 1984 - The Sawmill Square Classic in Laurel, MS.  I finished the race and went home to change to get ready for work.  I had no idea if I ran well or not until the store manager called me into his office to give me the medal that he'd picked up for me at the awards ceremony! 

First Tri - The Magnolia Triathlon
The next year I decided to enter The Magnolia Triathlon in Jackson, MS.  I hadn't done any swim training since high school and hadn't ridden my bike since commuting to class in college.  I was running and racing a lot, so I wasn't worried about the run.  One day a few weeks before the race I got out my Schwinn Varsity 10 Speed that my parents had given me as a 6th Grade graduation present, rode about 10 miles to the local track, jumped off my bike and ran a mile.  It was awful!  There were two transition areas, we laid our bikes on the grass for T1, and since I was riding in my running shoes I didn't have anything in T2, just laid my bike down on the ashphalt.  I had a good swim and was being passed like a fence post on the bike, people kept passing me saying "Good Swim", and one person told me to hold my knees in closer to the top tube - little did I know that this was my first triathlon tip.  I finished the race and placed 3rd in my age group - I was hooked!!