Saturday, April 14, 2012

Fingers Crossed

Lots has been going on lately! Lots of good things are happening! First I got accepted by to be a contributing writer!! I've got some ideas brewing in my brain for some articles. "Front Body - Back Body Balance", "Transitions = Free Speed", "How To Pack Your Saddle Bag", " Bike Fit By Cobb". Anyone have any ideas on what they might like to hear about??

Second - All of my friends on Team Aquaphor have been anxiously waiting (that is a mild understatement of emotion) to hear if Aquaphor was going to sponsor the team again this year through Active Ambassadors and And just yesterday we got the promotion notification to apply!!! Now I hope and wait with crossed fingers that I will be accepted to the team for the 2012 season!! If I am selected,  it will be my 5th year on this awesome team!! Awesome not only because of the product itself - Aquaphor Healing Ointment (which I never seem to stop finding new uses for) but also for the group of athletes on the team who have become my friends even though we have never met! The camaraderie and Esprit De Corps of this team keeps me trying harder and harder to improve in my racing. The support and encouragement are incomparable. I am proud to have been in this team for the past 4 years and consider myself very fortunate to be associated with this Team of amazing athletes!

And third, there may be an opportunity opening up for me in the world of swimming! I've been swimming for almost a year with Coach Steve Panzram and the HubFins Masters. By far in all of the years that I've been swimming I have learned and improved more under his coaching than in all of my other years swimming combined. Steve owns the licence for and runs the "Swim America" program here in Hattiesburg. Swim America is a learn to swim program for kids - they progress through a 10 station program and have to complete each station before they can move on to the next level. I observed last Thursday and was really impressed by what I saw - this is the best way to teach swimming that I've ever seen. We also talked about my helping with the HubFins age group swim team - working with the Develpmental Group, the 11 and unders and also getting my Level One Coaching Certification!!

New adventures!!  Love it!!

Oh... and one more note of fun!  Got a letter and certificate from USAT (USA Triathlon) that I made All American Honorable Mention again this year!  You have to have a final end of the year ranking in the top 10% of your age group in the country to qualify!  Two years in a row!  Whooo Hooooo!!!!

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Traditions Triathlon - Race Report

The Traditions Triathlon in Gulfport, MS was last Saturday.  This second year race did a pretty good job.  A bunch of us from Hattiesburg made the early morning trip to the coast for the race which benefited the Favre4Hope Foundation

Bill had to work last Saturday so I drove rode down with some friends to the race site.  Lesley and Judy were racing, Deanna is sidelined for a little while longer.  Four weeks ago she had a collision with a dog while on a training ride with Lesley and broke her left clavicle and right wrist.

The transition area was tight.  The bike racks were way too close together, when you pulled your bike off the rack it almost hit the bikes in the next rack over.  There were a few other things that I think could be done better for the race next year, this being one of them and also not allowing any cars to be parked on the road. 

The first 175 people in the transition area (actually the first 175 to pick up their timing chips) received a free pair of Acics socks!  When I went to get my chip I saw 2 pair of socks sitting by the woman giving out chips.  There was a man in front of me and she told him that all they had left were women's sizes - so I got a pair!!  And they're small and they fit!  My friend Lesley was walking over to get her chip and got the last pair which just so happened to be medium - her size!  Bonus!!  Swag is Good!

Me, Judy and Lesley!
The swim was a time trial start as most of the races in Mississippi seem to be.  I really dislike this start format (I think I've mentioned that about a hundred times before - haha!)  I was number 44, we were lined up in the order that we registered for the race.  My friend and super swimmer Judy was number 53 and Lesley was 55.  Wetsuit swim (also not my favorite) - the water felt really nice during my warm up.  Judy opted to not wear her new wetsuit.  We'd done a practice swim earlier in the week and she HATED it.  I felt good during the swim, no freak out episodes.  When I was running up the ramp (use this lightly - it was a dirt and sand slope, kind of gross) I saw Judy right there in front of me.  She started 55 seconds back and beat me out of the water - that girl is a fish for sure!!! 

So we're on the COAST of Mississippi and you would think that the bike course would be flat???  Nope.  Hilly little challenging course.  Even had to drop down to my small front chainring once.  I was racing for the first time on the 155 cranks that John Cobb recommended that I put on my bike and was anxious to see if I saw any difference in speed or pace on the run off the bike.  Well.. not today.  Bike speed was my pretty typical 20.6 mph. Hmmmm......

Lesley was racing on her brand new Cervelo P3 and I was looking forward to seeing what she could do on a time trial bike.  Up until then she'd been on her Trek Madone road bike with some aerobar extensions.  She screamed through the course at 21.2 mph on her new bike!! Judy threw her chain twice on the bike and had to get off the bike to put it back on - cost her a few seconds!
And now for the truly disappointing part of my race.... the run.  I just didn't have it today.  I felt like I was running hard - nope.  7:58.9 pace.  Ugh... I'm going to chalk it up to the antibiotics that I've been on for a week.  Gotta keep up the optimism right??  I'm going to give the short cranks another chance at Crawfishman and see if I notice an improvement.  (Lesley and I did have a good training ride with the short cranks the week before - we rode 40 with the last 10 at 22.0 average mph and got off the bike and was able to run a 7:32 and a 7:18 mile - so maybe it just wasn't my day).  I ended up 6th Overall Female and won my age group though!  :)  I guess I can't complain too loudly!

48 / 6 / 1  44 SPANSEL, Ginger HATTIESBURG MS F 50-54 8:09.969 1:23.6 1:00.725 49:23.373 20.6 0:48.290 24:49.403 7:58.9 1:24:11.7
Heart Rate Bike:  161 Avg / 172 Max   Heart Rate Run:  172 Avg / 182 Max

The most exciting part of Saturday was the race finish of my friends Lesley and Judy.  I mentioned before that Judy was number 53 and Lesley 55 - so they started 10 seconds apart.  Judy massacred the swim and Lesley tore up the bike.  Judy caught Lesley on the run but Lesley managed to hang on and stay close.  The fun finish came up a slight rise and then turned right to head toward the banner.  Here are the pictures of the girls sprint to the finish!  Deanna, Phillip (Lesley's husband) and I were screaming at them to GO!!! 

Lesley is digging hard! 

If only this guy wasn't in the pictures! 

Think this guy was worried that the girls would catch him??
(Notice his number?  He started right between them!)

61 / 11 / 4 55  Lesley LAUREL MS F 35-39 10:15.159 1:45.0 1:53.557 48:02.963 21.2 1:03.664 25:06.109 8:04.3 1:26:21.4
64 / 12 / 1 53  Judy HATTIESBURG MS F 40-44 7:24.210 1:15.8 1:42.040 52:33.474 19.4 0:51.552 24:00.309 7:43.1 1:26:31.5