Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Race Of Grace Triathlon

My first race in Mississippi was last weekend!  The Race Of Grace in Philadelphia, MS.  Short swim, only 1/4  mile, 18 mile bike and a 5K run.  I was warned by my new triathlete friends in Hattiesburg that it was a hilly course.  Great.... I'm still pretty much a flatlander from the beach.

Bill and I got up super early and made the 2 hour drive to Philadelphia that morning.  I like to be at a race 90 minutes before the start so that meant leaving Hattiesburg at 3:30 am!  Bill took the day off work so he could go with me - I have a great husband!  
 Pre-race was pretty uneventful - except for some reason (and the first time I've ever done this) I started setting my bike up in the wrong place.  What's up with that??  I wasn't nervous.. must have just been scatty.  Moved my bike and stuff and all was well.  Pre-race warm up run and swim - check.

A few days before the race I was checking the participants list and saw a name I recoginzed from long ago.  Back in 1987 I lived in Jackson and swam with the local triathletes, there was a super fast woman who won everything.  And I saw that she was registered - I swear when I saw her name my heart rate went up 20 beats while I was sitting at the table!  I'd actually found Pam on Facebook last year and we'd exchanged a few messages.  I was looking forward to seeing her.... racing against her.... no so much.

I saw Pam on race morning but we didn't get to talk until we were lined up for the swim start.  She was 4 places behind me.  I didn't really know her well back in 1987, she was quiet and shy.  We greeted each other like old friends - just how awesome is this sport where you can find people you knew 24 years ago!

The swim was a time trial start - we were set off about 5 seconds apart.  I felt like I had a good swim.  I've been improving a lot since I've been swimming with the Masters group at USM.  I concentrated on my left arm entry and slowing my turnover - it must be working because I had the 2nd fastest women's swim time and 6th fastest swim overall!!  Thank you Coach Steve!

Out on the bike... hills, hills and more hills.  I felt like a turtle.  Even had to shift to the small front chainring on one hill.  At the turn around I saw Pam - she was flying!  Transition was fine and I was off onto the run. 

The run course was an out and back.  I saw Sam Hudson, a triathlete from Hattiesburg leading the race as I was heading out onto the run and saw Pam again just after the turn around. Sam won the race and set a new course record! The run finished on the dam - I just pushed as hard as I could and hoped for the best.  With the time trial start you have no idea how you've done until the results get posted.   

Bill and I went to the car so I could clean up and change and I grabbed my bag of Aquaphor samples to pass out!  What a great reception to Aquaphor here!  I had one girl ask me about getting onto the team, so I gave her the information about Active Ambassadors - I hope she applies next year!  Almost everyone that I gave a sample to already knew about and loved Aquaphor! 

I ended up finishing 2nd Overall Female!!!  Pam was right behind me finishing 3rd Overall!  Not to shabby for us 50+ year old women!   The time difference between us.... THREE SECONDS! 

My next race is the Sunfish Triathlon in Meridian in less than two weeks!!