Sunday, September 18, 2011

Tri-It-On Triathlon!!

A last minute sign up for the Brett Robinson Alabama Coastal Tri-It-On Triathlon in Gulf Shores turned out to be a good thing!  Initially my three other training partners and I were considering this race, but it turned out that only Lesley had signed up.  I was on the fence about this one.  Logistically it was a little difficult.  I wanted Bill to go with me, we haven't had any beach time since NC.  But we had Phoenix and Bogey to consider..  this meant finding a "Pet Friendly" hotel in Gulf  Shores.  Our plan was to spend Friday and Saturday nights so we could leave the boys in the room for the race and then take them to the beach afterwards. 


We got to the hotel - it wasn't a very nice place.  A Days Inn with really bad customer service.  Change of plans...  one night and get the you know what out of Dodge. 


Lesley was racing the "Intermediate" distance race (this used to be known as an Olympic Distance, but not all of them are the same 1500, 40K, 10K so the name has been changed.)  She's getting ready for a Half Ironman distance race in Amelia Island in October. 

Lesley giving me a high five as she headed out on the 10K!

I'd raced Gator Bait a couple weeks before and didn't know how my knees would feel after that so I signed up for the super short Tri-It-On sprint distance race.  300yd swim, 10 mile bike, 2 mile run!  Oh fun... let's redline it for just under an hour.

Time trial start, I was the 17th in line of over 400 triathletes.  The line up was based on your predicted swim.  Had a great swim, it was straight out and back in the ocean with a run from the beach.  There was a little east to west current but I corrected for that.  On my way back in though, a girl on her way out had drifted into the oncoming returning swimmers and we ran into each other.  A quick run up to the beach to transition and it was off on the bike.

I had a bit of an issue on the bike when I was almost hit by a car.  A police officer waved a big black SUV onto the course and instead of moving along with traffic he drove diagonally from the intersection toward the condominium complex across the street - right in front of me.  I was screaming "STOP and NO!!!!" as loudly as I could but he kept moving.  I was braking but my bike just wasn't slowing fast enough.  I ended up in the parking lot for the condo complex when the SUV finally came to a stop right across the bike lane and his grill in the parking lot.  A little scary - my closest call with a vehicle on the bike.  Averaged 21.3 mph on the bike!

Made it back to transition only to find my towel soaked through. A lot of people had brought gallon jugs of water to rinse the sand off their feet and one apparently was up hill from me. Gross. On to the run - my plan here was to take it out gently and bring it back fast. It apparently worked - I negative split the run (a first for me in a race) and had a strong finish!  Really happy with my run - averaged 7:18 pace - I think this is a personal best for me.

I found Bill and we hung around and waited for results to be posted.  Had some breakfast that The Hangout provided and got my stuff out of transition.  Once they posted the results I found out that I finished first overall female!!!!  The next girl was almost 2 minutes back!  At the awards ceremony they called me and the men's winner over to say something to the crowd - can you say "mortified??"  Bill assured me that I didn't sound bad but I felt like a doofus!!

Then we went back to the hotel, loaded up the boys and drove down to Morgantown - close to the Dauphin Island Ferry.  The beaches are dog friendly there!  We set up our umbrella and beach chairs and spent a couple hours playing in the ocean with Phoenix and Bogey.  They have figured out that they love to hang out on the boogie boards floating!  They were so excited to be back on the beach and swimming in the ocean!  We've got to take them again soon!!! 

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Rain and Yoga

It's been raining for two days now with Tropical Storm Lee upon us.  I could have snuck in a run yesterday morning while it was just drizzling but I'd run 6 miles the day before and running two days in a row angers my knees. 

So yesterday I dug out my trainer and some Spinnerval DVDs to get in a workout.  I did on of the Time Trial ones and got in a good sweat fest in my living room.  By the end I was hating Troy Jacobson.

Today I decided to go in a different direction and went with Rodney Yee's, "Yoga Conditioning for Athletes".  And I'll tell you what - I have missed yoga.  This is by far my favorite of his DVDs and now my body is thanking me.

A perfect thing to do on a rainy afternoon.   Namaste.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Gator Bait Triathlon!!!!

It's been almost two years and a knee surgery since I've raced a triathlon with a run longer than a 5K.  I've been babying my poor knees and when I run 6 miles the left one likes to lock up (I think from internal swelling) and hurts like heck. 

Moving to Mississippi posed a little bit of a challenge for me to find enough races to fulfill my sponsor requirements - so I saw that Vicksburg had an Olympic distance race and went ahead and signed up.  The Gator Bait Triathlon - first year race - sounds like fun!  Love the name of the race.  My friend Deanna signed up too - another girl's road trip!!!  And then I talked our friend Judy into signing up for the 1500 meter Open Water Swim!  Deanna had a friend, Carla who is a photographer who wanted to come and see her race - we had a really fun road trip planned!

Carla, Deanna, Judy and me!

We loaded into Deanna's car on Friday afternoon and headed to Vicksburg.  Judy had decided that if the race organizers let her that she was going to go ahead and change from the open water swim to racing the triathlon.  It would be the longest race that both she and Deanna had ever done. 

Race morning came and we were happy with some cooler air temperatures!  Got everything set up in transition and went for a really quick jog just to see where the run started.  After my little run I grabbed my swim cap and goggles and made my way to the water to get in a warm up.  Saw Dave and Jim at the boat launch - two swimmers from USM.  I think this was going to be their longest triathlon ever too.  Dave is a super fast swimmer and ended up having the fastest swim split of the day!

There were only three swim waves - this was a small race with only about 100 competitors.  A far cry from my last race in Shreveport where there were 1100!  The women and relays went off in the third wave.  Funny that even with the small number of people in my wave that I had two people (men) swim across in front of me going left to right and one girl right on my shoulder with her arm swinging over my head.  Fortunately for me she didn't swim straight and moved off at an angle to the right.  The water was warm and the swim was long.  Judy swam into a dead fish and it freaked her out - she worried about alligators for the rest of the swim.  This was Deanna's longest open water swim and she was a little stressed by it but did just fine.  I ended up with the 10th fastest swim split of the day.  Judy had the 4th fastest time!  My speed suit rubbed a little place on the right side of my neck - should have used some Aquaphor before the swim!!
Garmin HR Avg: 170 / Max: 174

The bike course was flat and fast, just slightly downhill at the very beginning, I remember looking and seeing 23+ miles per hour.  It was an out and back course and the only complaint I have is that at the turn around there wasn't anything very visible to let you know it was coming.  Usually there is a traffic cone in the middle of the road.  There was a volunteer standing on the side of the road and once you got to it you could see a red line painted across the road.  A slight breeze and some shade from the trees on the way out was really nice!  My plan was to take two gels during the bike (I was trying something a little different today - usually I would just take one for a 40K). I took one just after I settled in on the bike after the swim and another at about mile 20. I'd also rubber banded my tic tac container of Recovery e21 onto my handle bars and transfered it to the pocket of my tri top so I'd have them for the run as well.  Took two e21 about a half hour into the ride. I passed Judy and one other girl who were both out of the water ahead of me and didn't see any other girls on the way back.  I was leading the women's race!!!! This has never happened to me before on the bike!  Deanna had the fastest women's bike split of the day - that girl can ride fast!
Garmin:  21.3 moving speed.  HR Avg: 162 / Max: 187

I'd read someone's post on who had run the course in training and he'd said to take it easy on the way out because on the way back the sun would be blaring in your face.  So I decided to heed the advice and ran what I like to refer to as "gently" on the way out.  My legs were a little stiff from the ride and they loosened up right away.  A guy passed me just before the mile mark and told me that there weren't any other women any where near me and to keep it up.  I checked my Garmin and was running 7:42-7:50 miles - this made me very happy.  It didn't feel like I was running a sub 8:00, everything felt smooth.  I had my e21 in my pocket and took two at about mile 2 on the run and another at mile 5.  I slowed down a little on the way back and didn't push the pace.  Right as I passed the 6 mile mark my right calf tried to cramp so I had to watch how I placed my feet.  Thinking back I know I didn't drink enough on the bike, or the run for that matter.   First place Overall Female!!  I'm pretty darned happy! 
Garmin Avg Moving Pace: 7:56.  HR Avg: 171 / Max 179

After I finished I jogged back out onto the course to cheer on my friends Judy and Deanna.  Deanna won her age group and Judy won the Masters Female catagory!!  And befitting a race called the Gator Bait Triathlon - the awards?  A real gator head on a plaque!  They're mailing us little personalized plates for our plaques! 

A great time with new friends!  I can't wait to race with them again! 

Hattiesburg Triathletes!
Jim, Dave, Judy, Deanna and me!
Three more triathlons for me this season!  I'm going to hate to see it end.