Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Hitting the Red Line!

Talk about hitting the red line!  Last Saturday I was coerced by my swim Coach to enter the Mississippi State Games Swim Meet.  It was in Laurel, just 45 minutes up the road so I agreed. 

A little pre-race instruction from Steve.  I wonder what I'm thinking here?  
Upon Coach Steve's suggestion I entered the 100 free, 100 fly (what was I thinking), 50 free, 50 fly and 100 IM (Individual Medley - Fly, Back, Breast, Free).   My friend Lindsey who shares a lane with me at Masters swim also signed up.  Plus two other swimmers from Hattiesburg, Elizabeth and Ken.

Lindsey, Me and Elizabeth (green and blue left) in the 100 Free.

Talk about hurt!  If I didn't think I'd look like a total trigeek in the pool I would have worn my heart rate monitor, it would have been really interesting to see just how high it went in the 100 fly.  I was the ONLY masters female entered in that event and whoo hoo.. got to swim it all by myself with EVERYONE watching.  Just to let you know I have NEVER in my entire life entered the 100 fly.  It wasn't too bad until the last half of the last 25.  I remember thinking that my arms were about to crater and I'd have to bail to one arm stroke drill - how embarrassing would that be and a DQ to top it off. 

Here are my results and a few pictures from the day:

‎100 free- 1:08.38
100 fly- 1:19.86
50 free- 31.29
50 fly- 33.21
100 IM- 1:20.54

"Please just don't let me look stupid in front of everyone!"
Elizabeth starting her 100 Breast.

Elizabeth and Lindsey cheering me on in the 100 Fly!

Lindsey in the 100 IM.

Once again - the race face.

Lindsey, Ken, Elizabeth and Me! 

Friday, June 8, 2012

Heatwave Classic Triathlon Race Report

Drove up Saturday morning to Jackson, MS with my friend Deanna to race the Heatwave Triathlon.  We had an incredible break in the weather and it looked like we were going to have perfect race conditions!

I've done this race three other times - once in it's inaugural year 1982, again I think in 1992 and then 2001.  I'm pretty sure I have all of the awards, one I can locate, the other two in boxes somewhere.  I dug through my file folder of old paper race results and found this!! Here is page 1 from the very first Heatwave Classic Triathlon!!

 Deanna and I picked up our race packets and got set up in transition.  Nothing too eventful.  I did a short little warm up run and grabbed my cap, goggles and speedsuit and headed for the water for a swim warm up.  When we first got there I heard someone on a loud speaker announce that the water was 74 degrees and wetsuit legal.  There is NO WAY that the water was that cold.  Granted we'd had some rain but when I got in the temperature was more like 81, maybe even warmer.  I know what an 80 degree lap pool feels like when you first get in and this wasn't it.

Good news for many, but a bummer for me!  See that girl on the very top of the page on the results??  That's my friend Pam - and she's fast.  I can beat her in the water but that's the ONLY place.  Do you think she wore a wetsuit??  You betcha!  Full-sleeve at that.  After the race when I chatted with her she told me that she really overheated in the swim. 

I had what I felt like was a good swim.  It was supposed to be a wave start but a couple days beforehand we all got an email that informed us it was changed to a time trial start.  Pah....  with the top 10 times from last year going in first and then the rest of us in the order that we'd registered.  Dang it.   Concentrated on a good catch and front quadrant swimming.  It's easy to get into a churn fest in a race but keeping you stroke long and smooth is just as fast and takes up WAY less energy. 

Transition was uneventful - out onto the bike.  And I was FLYING!  I kept seeing numbers like 24, 26 and even higher on my watch.  (My new Garmin 910xt that is!  My awesome husband gave me the green light to get it on race week!  A belated Mother's Day present).
The only issue is that I forgot to turn off the darned "Virtual Partner" so as my watch was scrolling through I had to keep seeing those little guys on the bikes.  Made the turnaround and realized why I was going so fast.... slight decline and a slight tailwind.  Still I managed a 20.9 average for the 24.5 miles.  Probably could have gutted out a 21 if I would have had Average Speed in one of the Data Fields.  I do remember thinking that maybe I was going a little too hard and that I should back of a tiny bit on the return so I wouldn't be cooked for the run.

T2 - again uneventful - and off onto the run.  Okay.... I felt like a turtle.  This wasn't looking good.  My first mile was a 7:54 - keep this up and you have ZERO chance against Pam (who by the way was in that top 10 swimmers into the water).  Mile 2 was a little better with a 7:35.  The run was on a blacktop multi-use trail.  It wound up and down and back and forth.  I made sure to run all of the tangents, still ended up with 6.14 miles on the watch.  Just after the start of the run I saw a girl with braided pigtails and the number 50 on her calf run by me - she was moving fast!  I saw on her arm that her number was in the 60's.  I tried to mentally calculate how far back I started but my brain just didn't want to do the math at this point.  Just before the turn around I saw her again.  She looked like she was running scared.  There was a lady in Dallas that I used to see running at White Rock Lake that looked like how I imagine someone running fast and out of control downhill would look.  I nicknamed her "Lava Lady".  This gal in the race on Saturday made Lava Lady look tame - her arms were flailing, it wasn't pretty.  She was in a hurry.  She ran 6:47's - she is fast!!

Here's that nice face they were talking about.
Made the turn and headed back and all of a sudden found a good stride and pace (largely because it was slightly downhill!).  I saw several friends including Deanna who wasn't far behind me.  I was told by two of my friends, Jeanetta and Mac that I don't really look very nice when I'm running.  Mac even told me that he'd wished he hadn't cheered me on because it was a "Bummer".   Nice... thanks Mac!  Hey... racing is hard work.  It's a good thing I had sunglasses on or they really would have been scared.  Deanna, my very gracious friend, said I just look "Serious".  Thank you, D!! 

Finished - grabbed some water - visited with Pam and Caroline and waited for Deanna to finish.  Saw the results and they looked like this: 

Super Fast Pam!
Look at the old ladies representing!!!  Pam got me by 2:14 but I managed to out race Lava Lady and won the Grandmasters division.  We want to know who those girls are that beat us!  Thankfully Pam prefers Olympic distance races and up and I like sprints.  That way we each rarely get beat by someone our age!  Phew....

My friend Deanna won her age division (Deanna is my friend who broke her left clavicle and right wrist on March 4th) . What a comeback!  She is fierce!

We got cleaned up and went to get some of the post race food and wait for awards.  If you look on the first set of results up there you'll see Roy Martin.  He and his wife Stacy were friends of mine when I lived in Jackson and they both came out to the race site to say hi!  It was like a mini reunion!  :) 

The race had good post race food and really nice awards.  The tech-t is the brand that isn't cut very well for women, I would have preferred a cotton tshirt to this one which again, I will never wear.  There was a cool little sports towel and an awesome hat embroidered with the race logo which I will DEFINITELY wear again.

Here are my stats (according to my Garmin):
swim:  .58 / 13:58
bike:   24.64 / 21.0  HR avg 157 / max 168
run:     6.14 / 7:45  HR avg  170 / max 182

Friday, June 1, 2012

Clean Bike - Happy Bike - Fast Bike

Tomorrow is race day!  The Heatwave Triathlon in Jackson, MS.  Part of my typical pre-race prep is to clean my bike.  Having to overcome wind and hills is bad enough let alone the built up grime and dirt on your bike's drive train.

My typical bike cleaning only takes about 30 minutes.  First gather up the necessary equipment, in my case Simple Green, Squirt Chain Lube, some Teflon Bike Polish, a soft detail brush and my trusty Spin Doctor brush.

Dirty Bike

I learned about using Simple Green from my bike shop in Dallas, it's what they use to clean cassettes etc.  I like that its biodegradable and I can let it rinse into the grass.  It also does a fantastic job!  My bike shop in North Carolina says "no no" to it, they say it's bad for the bike over time.  It just works so much better than the citrus cleaners for me.


I spray down my entire bike with the Simple Green, giving the cassette and chain a little extra and let it sit for a few minutes.  The soft detail brush (stolen from my husband's car washing bucket) works great for cleaning the frame and wheels.  Then after a few more sprays of SG on the drive train I go to work on it with the little Spin Doctor brush.  It's designed to get in between the cogs of the cassette nicely.  I used to use a toothbrush, trust me this does much better, worth the $5 investment. 

Then on to the rinse, be careful to use gentle water, and don't spray the bottom bracket or the wheel hubs.  Yeah.. they're typically sealed bearings, but why chance it.
Then dry your bike with a soft cloth and make sure you get everything dry, especially the drive train.  I usually do this in the sun and allow solar power to help in do the work.  


After my bike is nice and dry it's time to give it some polish.  I just happen to have some Teflon Bike Polish but furniture polish works just as well. 

My 155 BMX cranks recommended by John Cobb!

I use Squirt Dry Lube, this WAS recommended by my bike shop in North Carolina (Hawley's Bicycle World where I used to work!)  LOVE LOVE LOVE this stuff.  I think I'll try to get the local bike shop (Hattiesburg Bicycle Center) to stock it!   I like to have a starting point so I always start at the chain coupler and work back as you turn the cranks backwards. That way I make sure to cover the entire chain. Run a little bead of lube along the inside of your chain.   Let it dry and voila it's done! 

Here is my bike ready for my race tomorrow!  Happy and clean and ready to go!

And yes, my Aquaphor Teammates that is an AQUAPHOR WATER BOTTLE!!!  Jealous??