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