The Sportspectrum River Cities Triathlon was yesterday!! This race has been going on for 31 years and is my most favorite race that I've ever done. This year was either my 15th or 16th time to race it - I've lost count of exactly how many times I've been there. It's a sprint distance triathlon - 1/2 mile swim / 18.2 mile bike / 5K run. It's always hot and there is always some very fast triathletes there. This year there were over 1100 athletes from 18 different states.
The first time I did this race was back in 1987 or 1988, the race packet then was good and it just keeps getting better and better. This year was no exception! In our packet this year we got the famous River Cities bag - 2011's is a backpack with a ton of storage plus a padded laptop pocket, sweet!! We also got a wind jacket embroidered with the race logo, a running hat, a tech t, a regular t-shirt and a pair of my favorite socks! There was also a couple food goodies, a little Cliff Bar and a Myoplex protein drink. In past years the packet has included things like Ironman Sunglasses, Nalgeen water bottles and running shorts. It varies from year to year - it's part of what makes this race so fun!
I heard an announcement that this year when the race went online for registration it filled in 35 minutes!! When we found out that we were moving to Hattiesburg I went online and the race was full, I called a friend of mine from Dallas, who happens to be the race director's brother and asked what my chances were to get in on the waiting list. I lucked out and got in!! One of my friends, Deanna was also able to get into the race and so we had a Girls Road Trip!! It's quite a drive from Hattiesburg to Shreveport, 4-5 hours and we had one issue with a traffic jam. A hay truck had dumped two of those giant hay rolls on the highway and traffic stopped like a parking lot. We were nervous that we'd miss packet pick up. In the information it says if you're there after 5:30 they'll sell your spot to people who show up with bikes etc waiting to try and get into the race. We made it with about 10 minutes to spare!! Phew!
Shreveport, LA like Texas has been plagued this summer with a lot of 100+ degree temperatures and no rain. The lake temperature was probably close to 90 degrees! The high temperature for Sunday - 104!! The race starts at 8:00am - it's in a State Park and it takes a long time to get 1100 people parked and set up. My swim wave was number 10 and started at 8:38am. The water didn't feel that warm when I was standing in it before the start but within the first 200 yards or so it felt like a bathtub. I was out in front in my wave and felt someone on my feet, she then pulled up on my left side and proceeded to bump into me over and over and over again. I finally stopped and said, "Geez... MOVE OVER". It must have riled her up because she then swam away from me and I saw that she kept drifting left and having to correct her line. I was glad that it wasn't me bumping her, especially after I yelled at her. This morning I checked the online results and was happy to see that I had the 6th fastest age group women's swim (266 women)!!
HR Max: 169 / HR Avg: 144.
On to the bike and immediately I could tell that it wasn't going to be a good day - my legs were FLAT! They didn't respond at all. I know what it was because it's happened to me before - any time I have a long drive to a race my legs are really heavy from sitting stagnant for so long. My Garmin was set to Multisport mode and for the life of me I haven't been able to get it to show me speed and my heart rate when it's in this mode. I need to call my friend Carol - I know she'll be able to help me. I decided right away to just ride within myself and see how it went. Spun up the hills and tried to maintain a smooth pace. One girl that I recognized from Crawfishman came by me on the bike (she didn't recognize me) and I passed her back and never saw her again. I was dreading the run and it was coming up fast. 20.6 average.
HR Max: 175 / HR Avg : 170.
Off the bike and onto the run. By then my legs were feeling a little better - but still not normal. I did the same thing on the run that I did on the bike - ran within myself and hoped for the best. The girl from Crawfishman passed me on the run and I tried to rally a challenge and stay with her but nope, not today. For the first time in a long, long time I actually walked a couple steps through one of the transitions to gulp down a whole cup of water. It was so hot out there, and even though the run is mostly shaded I was overheating. The finish line has you run down a grassy area and cross three strips of soft beach sand, my calves almost cramped on those sand sections!! I took my Recovery e21 when I woke up and also right before the race started but that heat just sapped it out of me. 8:06 pace.
HR Max: 183 / HR Avg: 177
I finished and jogged back out onto the course to cheer in my friend Deanna - didn't have to go far and I saw her with just before she made the turn onto the grass. I found her at the finish line and we went to go shower over in the campground, came back to transition and just made it over to the awards presentation to hear them call my name for 2nd place Female Masters!! The girl who beat me? The same one that I yelled at in the swim and that beat me at Crawfishman, that'll teach me to keep my big mouth shut. Maybe next time!
I finished 20th Overall Female / 2nd Masters / 1st Age Group.