Sunday, November 13, 2011

Way Past Due Mighty Magnolia Triathlon Race Report

Finished my last triathlon of the season last Saturday (this post is way overdue - the race was Saturday, October 8th) with the Mighty Magnolia in Hattiesburg, MS.  A little bit of performance pressure with this race since my friends and I all wanted to represent well at our local race.  Judy, Deanna, Lesley and I swam the course, rode the course and ran the course a few times within the last couple weeks.  Deanna said it kind of felt like cheating - being able to train on the race course - I know what she means and I kind of felt the same way......for about 5 minutes.  Then I was over it! 

Since this was our local race I did some volunteering before the race.  I helped stuff all of the race packets and worked packet pick up at the race sight the afternoon before the race.  Had a good time working packet pick up and got to see and meet a lot of the triathletes from the area.  And of course got to represent Team Aquaphor while handing out packets!!

That's me swimming to the start.

The short version is I had a really good swim, an okay bike and a good run!!  If you want the long version... keep reading.  The swim was changed this year from the previous 3 years that the race has been in existence.  This year was a point to point swim - really a great idea.  The sun was at our backs the entire time making it really easy to see.  We were supposed to walk around the levee to the starting point and went off 3 seconds apart in time trial fashion.  I decided to swim the 1/3 mile course backwards to warm up - the water this morning was an awesome 71 degrees making it wetsuit legal. 

Now I have had some big time panic attack issues with a wetsuit.  Once in a half IM swim I freaked out in the 58 degree water at about 100 yards in and swam over to a girl on a long board, ripped the suit off and swam without it!  Another time at the Gulf Coast Triathlon I actually took it off at the first swim buoy and let it float off in the Gulf of Mexico.  But today I had zero issues - I really think it's because I swam in it 3 times in the week and a half before the race.  One of my training partners, Judy (who is a super fast swimmer - she swam for Auburn on a full scholarship) told me during one of our OWS training swims that I should use it because I was definitely faster with the suit.  I felt very comfortable and fast in the race - success!  Thank you, Judy!  (She still kicked my you know what in the swim even without a wetsuit!)

Bill walked along the levee while I was swimming and took this picture. It was really neat because I could see him to my right the entire swim and I was watching him as I swam!  He was counting the people I passed.  I went into the water 35th and came out 10th.  I heard him call out "Good Swim!" when I came out of the water! 

One of the local triathletes, JD once told me that he calls me the Penguin.  Of course I immediately asked him if it was because I'm so short - he explained that it's because I'm a fast swimmer, like a penguin!  I am a penguin in the water - I like that!!

My husband, Bill is so awesome - when he gets to come to one of my races he takes gobbles of photos.  Most of the time I rarely see him, but here I heard him call my name and of course had to wave and mug for the camera.  

The 16.5 mile bike course is tough - lots of little rolling hills and one pretty decent climb.  (Now I say that as a flatlander who pretty much has been training on the flats for the last few years.)  I made a rookie mistake on one of the climbs and threw my chain when I was shifting the front derailleur.  Had to get off the bike and put the chain back on - doh!! 

Bill heard someone say "This isn't her
first rodeo" as I ran off the bike.
My friend Deanna out split me on the bike (again and as usual).  After the race she told us how this guy drafted off her for pretty much the ENTIRE bike.  And at one point even came around her and said "I'll take the lead for awhile".  Now... maybe I should give him the benefit of the doubt and think that he didn't know that drafting is illegal... yea right.  He knew better because she said that when a draft marshal came by he dropped back and then got right back on her wheel after the marshal passed.  One of my biggest pet peeves is people who cheat!  

The run hurt, but that's normal.  Judy's husband Sam (a super fast Hattiesburg triathlete) asked me a couple weeks before the race if I knew who my competition was and I had to sheepishly admit that I hadn't looked yet.  He mentioned Stephanie Smith from New Orleans was signed up.  So I looked her up.  Uh Oh.  I started the out on the run as the first female but saw on one of the little out and back sections that a young girl was closing fast.  As she passed me I even asked if she was Stephanie.  Nope.  This girl could run though - I looked her up afterwards in the results - she averaged 6:38 miles!!!  Only in my dreams!   I had a strong run though, the results said 7:19 average pace but my Garmin had the course a little short and said 7:30 miles.  I'm happy with that, it was a tough and hilly little course. 

First Kid Finisher! 
After I finished and found Bill he told me that as I was coming up the road towards the finish line a woman next to him said, "Oh look, here comes the first kid finisher."   "That's not a kid, that's my wife."  I guess I am pretty small compared to everyone else.  I ended up placing 2nd Overall Female.  Stephanie Smith won by 2:05.   That's a lot. But then she is 30 years old - 20 years younger than me.  ("I'm growing older but not up.  My metabolic rate is pleasently stuck!" - JB)

All of my friends and training partners placed!!    Deanna was 1st Masters Female, Judy was 2nd Masters Female and Lesley placed 2nd in her age group!!  Judy's husband Sam was 2nd Overall Male and Chris placed 3rd Overall Male.  There was a great turnout from all of the Hattiesburg area triathletes.  If you check the race results you'll see Hattiesburg represented all over the place!!

Chris, Sam, Judy, Deanna, Lesley and Me!
Here are some pictures of my friends from the race!