Saturday, December 21, 2013


Raise your hand if you've ever heard of John Cobb.

I've always referred to him as the "Guru of Aerodynamics" - a bold title, but well deserved in my opinion. I met John back in (I think) 2000. I lived in Dallas and I had quite a few friends who rode bikes that they got from John. I went to race a the Gulf Coast Half Ironman and was able to get my measurements taken at the Expo and they ordered a bike for me from Javelin.

Me on my Javelin at the 2001 Heat Wave Tri in Jackson, MS 
In 2000 finding a stock tri bike that was small enough for me was basically impossible. Today, it's a different story, there are quite a few small bikes on the market. But back then there were very bike manufacturers making bikes small enough; they were custom AND expensive. It was also going to be "buy before you try" on anything I decided to get. They were able to get me a 44cm Javelin frame and I took my old bike and had some of the parts transferred to it.


I had an awesome Golden Retriever named Shiner back then and I told them to just ship me the frame and I'd have a local shop do the work. It would be a long day with the 3 hour drive each way and I couldn't leave Shiner that long. They told me to bring him along and he could run around the shop all day. They convinced me that not taking advantage of being fit on my Jav would be a big mistake. Okay... sold!  So Shiner and I spent the day in Shreveport.

That day I also got one of the saddles that John was making. Basically is was a Terry saddle with the back sides cut off (to prevent your upper hamstring from coming in contact with the outer edges of the seat removing pain at the hamstring insertion and also reducing the chance of sciatica.*) and the leather stretched back down and over the edges, it looked like the V-Flow. Awesome saddle! On my third one now and would never use anything else! Should have kept that first one, it would be a collectors item now. *Sciatica is most commonly caused by of the compression of nerve roots L3 – L5, or at the Piriformis. The sciatic nerve can also be impinged at the hamstrings and can reproduce some of the same signs and symptoms.

February 2011
When I moved to Hattiesburg, MS in 2011 I met some girls to train with and one of them wanted to get properly fit on her tri bike. I told her about John Cobb and off we all went to Tyler, TX! I got a new bike, a Felt B2R shortly before we moved from the bike shop where I'd worked in Fayetteville, NC and wanted to get John to help me with the set up.

We all spent a couple days in Tyler working with John. My friends all made fun of me because while they were all chatting with Jeff, the guy who was working with John at the time, I was over there with my nose into everything that was going on with my bike. We swam, we rode, we ran.

I learned a lot and enjoyed every second of it. I was Sports and Medical Massage Therpist for years and his theories and techniques of using an individual's bio-mechanics to fit saddle fore and aft made perfect sense to me. Power related to the contraction and release of the quads and hamstrings to achieve more power from the 12-6 position. And then there is the whole shorter crank discussion - I went from the stock 170's that came on my 50cm Felt (how ridiculous is that?) to a 155. John wasn't making cranks yet, so I contacted Hawley's Bicycle World (where I got my bike and worked in NC) and my good friend Mark Taylor hooked me up with some BMX cranks. I'm not going to go into a big discussion on shorter cranks and opening up the hip angle today... maybe in a future blog post.

This year right before USAT Nationals I finally invested in an aero helmet! And.. what do you think I got? Why yes, a Rudy Project Wingspan... huh... who do you think designed this helmet?? Guess!

I've raced for Team Aquaphor for 6 years and it goes without saying that I love this team, Active Ambassadors, and being a Brand Ambassador for Aquaphor. I believe in the product and have unbelievable support from my teammates. The team is comprised of 200 age group athletes from all over the country. It would take a lot for me to choose to also represent another company.

When the posting came out that John Cobb was starting a triathlon team for 2014 I gave it some serious thought. And applied.

On the application you could check Elite or Grass Roots Team. There is also a Pro Team. I checked Grass Roots. I'm really not that fast compared to the elites, I am pretty good compared to my peers in my age group. So when I got the call from Jeremy Brown who is heading up and managing the team and asked to be on the Elite Team I was flattered and floored! I accepted and am now on the COBB MOBB Elite Team for 2014!

Now... those of you who are wondering about Team Aquaphor? If I'm asked back I will continue to represent Aquaphor too! Each team has a race requirement and I can fulfill both! 10 races... piece of cake!

Looks like I have my work cut out for me in 2014! Time to represent!!

Would you like to be a part of Cobb's Mobb?   

Cobb Cycling is pleased to announce the opening of the "Open Wave" for their 2014 team (link). 

Requirements:  Buy a Cobb Mobb tri kit and Cobb Mobb t-shirt to become a member of the team. Upon purchase of those items together you will also receive a custom decal kit and race tattoos. 

The benefits of being a member of the Cobb Mobb:

●     Cobb Cycling Team Gear - Tri Kit, Cycling Jersey, Podium Shirt, Team Water Bottle, Race Tattoos available for purchase

●     Tri Camps with some of the sports best (announcement of pricing, dates and locations to follow later in the year)

●     Media exposure via social media and our media outlets

●     Dedicated team manager and social media director to support you

●     Possibility of the Cobb Mobb team "party" tent at a race near you

Will Jones and  Derek Dalzell 

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year everyone!!  Hope to see you at the races!! 

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

"I Get It ... It's Cold!"

Note:  Recopied from my post on ICEdot Athletes!  Be sure to check out ICEdot and the ICEdot Crash Sensor!!

I had to scribble out a quick blog post because I read a Status Update Facebook from one of my Team Aquaphor mates this morning that just struck me as hilarious!

He wrote:  "After 72 photos of thermometers, I get it . . . it's COLD! Now if everyone could post a photo of their Christmas tree my day would be complete."

So for you runners and cyclists out there I want to share two really great links that I use:

Running:  What To Wear

Bicycling:  What Should I Wear

A couple extra hints:

Put hot hands in your booties or under your toe covers and in your gloves.  A thin layer of Aquaphor on your face will help protect your skin and act as a barrier.  Craft makes an awesome Windstopper layer that works really well!!

Now, you have no excuses!!  Get out there!!

Carol Scheible and me on a freezing bike ride in Sunset Beach, North Carolina!

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Is There An Off Season?? Not This Year!

I am linking a post that I wrote for ICEdot Athletes on training during the off season! Enjoy!

Is There An Off Season? Not This Year!

How do you handle the off season?  I usually take it pretty easy after my last triathlon of the season.  Last year I was a complete slacker and only swam for about two months and completely ignored my running shoes and my bike.  This year, however there is a different plan in mind.

My goal is to try and maintain the fitness that I had at the end of the season.  Honestly, I ‘m not off to a great start because a month ago I got my flu shot and then promptly came down with a really bad cold.  It wasn’t the flu, according to the test they did at the doc’s office 12 days into my sickness, but what ever it was it was the worst I’ve felt in pretty much as long as I can remember.  5 days of 101 fever, and weeks of coughing and really colorful stuff coming out of my head. Ugh…

But putting that aside let me get back to the fitness maintenance!  You see I have probably the most important race of my life in 2014.  I went to Milwaukee this past August and competed in USAT Age Group Nationals and qualified for TEAM USA and am going to the World’s Short Course Championships in Edmonton, Canada next year!!

Me and Becky at Nationals!
I have always been self coached.  After 28 years of racing I have a pretty good grip on what works for me in training.  But for this race I’m actually going to do something different.

I’m going to work with a Coach!  Kyle Joplin, owner of Tri Optimum Performance , was my Masters Swim Coach in Hattiesburg, MS.  He and his wife, Denise, own Runner’s High - Hattiesburg’s Specialty Running Shop.  Kyle’s resume for producing top athletes is impressive.  Not only is he a really good coach but has the component that makes a “good coach” a GREAT coach – and that is he really wants you to improve, pushing you to achieve your very best.  I witnessed this when I was swimming with the YHubFins Masters.

Me, Denise, and Brinn on my last ride in Hattiesburg!
You might argue that all coaches want this, but in swimming I have only had two coaches that did this.  Steve Panzram with Crawfish Aquatics in Tibodaux, LA was the coach with HubFins when I first moved to Hattiesburg and he took my swimming to a new level by completely changing my technique.  Kyle took it to the next level with his coaching – driving us harder and harder and pushing us in every workout with triathlon specific workouts.  The thing I miss most about Hattiesburg is those 5:30 am swims with Denise and Brinn (also coached by Kyle).  Denise and I did about 50% of our workouts together, she is an up and coming triathlete and one that you should watch!  She also writes a blog – “I May Be Short…but I TRI Hard!

Denise and Kyle Joplin
Tri Optimum Performance 
The plan this year is not to be a slacker over the off season.  My typical training is 3 x 3 workouts per week. 3 swims, 3 rides, and 3 runs.  The swims are with Masters and are somewhat dictated by the workout of the day – but I do have some specific instruction about sets within the workouts.  I coach with COSST – The City Of Shreveport Swim Team and our Head Coach, Butch Jordan has told me that he will help me here get ready for Worlds and allow me to swim with the Varsity Swimmers!  In Hattiesburg Kyle runs his Masters workouts more like an Age Group Program so this will be right up my alley.

On the bike I typically have two shorter rides during the week averaging 30-40 miles and a longer ride on the weekend.  One of the rides may be tempo or an interval ride, the weekend is a easier paced ride focusing on distance and consistency.  Running workouts are somewhat similar.  Now… this is what I have done in the past and it has worked for me, I have yet to see what my Coach has in store!

The plan is to schedule an Olympic distance triathlon in April or May – this will be the test race to see where the holes are in the training.  I’ll be racing a bunch of Sprint distance races throughout the season too – haven’t cemented the schedule yet but will plan to meet up with Denise and Kyle at some races.

So after my 4 week hiatus from training because I was so sick I did my first run yesterday, nice and easy to get my legs back under me.  A whopping 2.59 miles – this morning my legs are sore!  2.59 miles.

This is why there is no off season!

Team Aquaphor December Fitness Challenge!

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Team Aquaphor Training Tips Videos and TLR Performance eBooks!

I received this very nice comment on my Rose City Triathlon Report this morning. "Nice article. I think it is useful and unique article. I love this kind of article and this kind of blog. I have enjoyed it very much. Thanks for your website." - sabina moon

Her comment also made me realize that I had never written a post on the Triathlon Tips that a few of my Team Aquaphor teammies and I made earlier this year. When we filled out our applications for the team there was a question on if we would be willing to make a training tips video, I checked yes. A few of us were chosen and we each received a Kodak PlaySport Camera (which we got to keep!) to record our video.

Here are links for the videos:

Triathlon Training Tips: Setting up a Smooth Transition

Triathlon Training Tips: Train With Consistency

Triathlon Training Tips: Keep Chafe-Free

Triathlon Training Tips: Train Like You Want to Race

In Sabina's comment she also linked a page TLR Performance with a free series of eBooks by Colin Leeson that I found to be quite thorough and informative. "New to triathlons and want to learn the basics? The following FREE eBooks will give you all the information you need to feel comfortable starting your first triathlon then provide advanced information for you to improve as you continue to complete in triathlons. " 

It is a really nice set of articles for someone wanting to get into the sport! There are things that I do differently such as use Aquaphor instead of Glide for my wetsuit, put my hat and number belt on while running to save time in T2, and a few other things but in general these articles cover pretty much every question you may have concerning triathlons.

Happy Reading everyone!!  Thank you, Sabina!

Friday, November 22, 2013

UGH!! I'm Sick!!

What happened??  I am a healthy person but I caught something and have been out of commission for a little over 2 weeks!!  Went to the doc a couple weeks ago for a physical for our health insurance and got a flu shot while I was there. Two days later my throat was killing me, it felt like I had razor blades in there! Two days after that it was fever. 101+ for 5 days!! Then my sinuses decided to jump on the bandwagon and get involved. So I went back to the doc and got some chest X-rays, a really, painful steroid shot, an antibiotics shot, a Zpack scrip, and a cough medicine scrip (the one with codeine that makes you feel all loopy)!  I feel like I am doped up to the max. And as soon as the 12 hour mark rolls around the symptoms charge right back in. Bleh...

All training has ceased to exist. I'm just trying to get well! This is pathetic! 

And of course it something always happens just as your training and results are starting to come together. 

I did 3 5Ks back to back and was pleased with what I was seeing with my times and pace:

Autumn Breeze 5K  -     7:27 pace (hilly)
Great Pumpkin 5K -      7:18 pace  (flat)
Race for The Cure 5K - 7:13 pace  (hilly)

So that means it's back to the drawing board once I get well. The good news is I've dropped 3.5 pounds, but I'm sure it will sneak right back on once I can taste and breathe again!! 

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Time To Run!!

Long Sleeve Hoodie for this race!!

Fall is here! And it's running season! For the first time in many years my knees aren't screaming with every run and I'm looking forward to running some races! (Plus it will keep up my running fitness for tri season next year!).

I did the Autumn Breeze 5K yesterday! Had a pretty good race. The weather looked a little gloomy and stormy on the drive to the race. The temperature actually dropped a couple degrees by the start and the wind kicked up a little but it was pretty close to perfect running weather.

I started the race with gloves but ditched them within the first mile. (Love, love, love my cheap Target stretch to fit gloves that I pick up at the end of the season - I get them for about $1 a piece, perfect for running and you don't feel bad if you toss them.)

There was a 10K also that morning and they started 5 minutes before we did. Caught a bunch of the slower runners and walkers before the first mile mark too. A little annoying because they were walking 3 and 4 abreast taking up the entire half of the road, but I ran around them. A girl I coach swim with ran the 10K and she expressed the same irritation. One of the interesting things I noticed was something that one of the other runners that I work with mentioned the other day. Some of the walkers look like they are really hating being out there - like REALLY hating it. Heads down walking super, super slow - absolutely miserable. I wonder if they got talked into doing the event and really didn't want to. Food for thought.

My Garmin was dead when I tried to start it on the drive over, so I ran by feel.  I did see one time clock and thought it was around mile 1 it said 12 minutes and change. 7 something pace. I finished in 23:06 and watched the clock tick off the seconds - wish I could have gone under 23:00 - it was a 7:27 pace. Also don't know if the course distance was accurate since I didn't have my Garmin, but I felt like I ran much easier than the Firecracker 5K (in the same neighborhood). I don't seem to have that recorded but I'm pretty sure I ran 7:30's that day. I finished 4th Overall Female and 12th Overall - won my age group!!

Anyway... it was a nice morning! I like running on the Sportspectrum Running Team! Performance pressure never hurt anyone right?? Got the Great Pumpkin Run next Saturday!

And the following is the Race For The Cure Shreveport. Belk (Bill works for Belk!) is one of the big sponsors for that race - Belk supports the Komen Foundation!! I'm raising money for Breast Cancer Research - here is a link if you'd like to donate!! RACE FOR THE CURE! The last time I was in a city that had a Race For The Cure is when I ran on Helen's Hero's, a friend of mine in Dallas who is a Survivor! This run will be for her and my friend Deanna from Hattiesburg, who is also a Survivor!!

That is Deanna on the left - this is when my friends drove down and
surprised me atthe finish of the Rock N Roll New Orleans race all wearing our
 "We're All In This Together"Tshirts!

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Final Race Of The Season - Mighty Magnolia Triathlon Race Report

I did my last race of the season yesterday - a melancholy day. Drove back to Hattiesburg for the Mighty Magnolia Triathlon. Saw a bunch of my friends - that was great. Reminded me just how much I miss them - that was bad.

Left Shreveport around 10:00am on Friday morning heading to Hattiesburg. Immediately went to see my friends Denise and Kyle Joplin at Runner's High on 4th Street. If you've read any of my blog you'll know that Denise was the girl I'd been training with the majority of this last year. I swam Masters with her and we did the majority of our rides together. Her husband Kyle was my Masters swim coach; together the own and run Runner's High - a really great running and now tri shop in Hattiesburg. Kyle is going to coach me for World's next year! They also own Tri Optimum Performance coaching! We caught up and I gave Denise a couple packs of Biscoff cookies that I found in the grocery store here. At Girl Power Triathlon this spring we were given a jar of Biscoff spread in our goodie bags and she told me how she loved the cookies. (Think about the little cookies that you get on the airplane - those are Biscoff!) Post race celebration food!

Denise and Kyle Joplin
We caught up about the races we've done since I moved and then I went over to the Family Y to see some of the kids that I coached on the HubFins Swim Team! It was awesome to see them, but a little disappointing because it is Fall Break and a bunch of the kids weren't there.


Then I went and met up with my friends Deanna, Lesley, and Judy and we all went to the race site for Packet Pick-Up and then out to get some pre-race dinner and catch up! Miss those girls, we have a lot of fun race memories together!

I have to say that the shirt from this year's race is really disappointing. Actually that is being kind, it's downright ugly in my opinion (and that of pretty much everyone.) I don't know what the race director was thinking in putting this design on a shirt from a race called The Mighty MAGNOLIA - where is the Magnolia? I think he should find a graphics art student class to come up with a cool design for next year's race. What do you think?

I stayed at Deanna's house, she lives only about 15 minutes from the race site. Stayed up way too late talking and that 4:00 am alarm came much too soon. Had some coffee with the girls but didn't feel like eating breakfast - that's not normal! Drove over to the race site and got set up. Got a great parking place really close to the transition area! Bonus!!

It was an "iffy" wetsuit legal swim, it had to be right at the cut off mark, sure didn't feel like the advertised 75.5 degrees. The water was warmer than last year and the air was foggy. Denise, Brinn, and I swam across the lake to the start. We did a few pick-ups along the way of 20 strokes hard/ 20 strokes easy. Then it was "Line Up as You Sign Up" for the time trial start. I really, really dislike time trial starts. I understand completely why we have them, it makes for a safer race for the participants. There is a lot less chance of getting kicked or bumped but you never know where your competition is in a time trial start. There is no way to tell until the last of the results are posted.

I had, what felt like was a good swim. My new Xterra Wetsuit arrived on Monday so even though I don't like wearing a wetsuit I was kind of excited to check it out. Wasn't disappointed - the neoprene in this suit is SO much stretchier that my old one. Much less constricting! I checked my watch at the edge of the water when I finished and saw 8:11 - my chip time was 8:38 - pretty close to last year's 8:31. A bit surprised by that since I haven't been swimming as much at all since moving to Shreveport - I think it was the wetsuit, had we not worn them my time would have been significantly slower.

A wetsuit really benefits a swimmer who doesn't have good body position in the water. When you swim you want to your entire body to be horizontal at the surface of the water, this requires balance in the water. A lot of triathletes swim with their heads elevated and their faces looking forward. When you have this body position your feet will sink. Keep your head low when you're swimming, looking down, and having the water line bisecting the top of your head. This will help you get your bum and feet up. When you need to site try to raise only your goggles above the surface of the water, and you need to kick a little harder for that second to keep your feet from sinking as you raise your head to see. Then get your face looking downward again, quickly!

Denise started 7 people behind me - :35 seconds, and when I finally made it to transition I saw her already running out with her bike. Uh Oh... bad swim - OR maybe she had a really great swim (I'll choose door two - stay positive!) My last ride before the race was Saturday... a week had gone by and I hadn't been on my bike. And I felt it! It took me exactly 5.65 miles to stop breathing like a buffalo and settle into my ride. Ridiculous! After that I finally was able to pick it up and feel like I wasn't fighting to keep any kind of speed going. Still, I saw my computer and couldn't get my average over 20 mph. Meh... Driving usually takes a lot out of my legs, I think yesterday was no surprise. 5 hours in the car the day before the race. Not surprised.

Out onto the run and I'm feeling better. I saw Brinn up head at the start of the race and she just ran away, that girl is just getting faster and faster with each race! I think she should win "Most Improved" for the year. It's been really neat watching her improve. Last year just before Mighty Magnolia I did a transition clinic and I remember Brinn asking me questions on her set up before the race. At Crawfishman I just barely beat her and knew then that it was going to probably be the last time I was able to do that - I was right! There is nothing I like better than helping new triathletes!

Okay... back to the race - I kept trying to see my pace on my watch but every time I'd look it would be scrolling on overall time. After the second look I gave up and just ran. Mighty Magnolia has a tough little run course. It advertised as 3 miles but every year my Garmin has told me different - it's 2.94 and when results are posted I always feel happy... until I read the data after the download and see that I've really run about 15 seconds per mile slower than what was posted. Still my pace was right in line with my last race at the Rose City Tri 7:44 miles. I know I can run faster than that, just haven't been doing my homework like I should for the run. I see Denise and Brinn by the finish shoot and they're cheering for me! I miss my friends!

Typical post race activities - cheer other friends in at the finish line, drink my Slimfast, get cleaned up, and enjoy time with the other triathletes while waiting for awards. Handed out about 100 Aquaphor samples - nice reception to the brand. One man told me he was a dermatologist and loved Aquaphor and recommended it to all of his patients. Said they use it on cancer patients and nothing worked better at wound care. Very cool!

So... about that time trial start... like I said you have no idea how you did until the final people have finished. Typically it is pretty close because most people that sign up early are serious triathletes and are the ones you see on the podium. Kyle told me about a girl registered that came in second to Denise at Sunfish this summer, so I remember telling him that I would probably be 4th behind her, Denise, and Brinn. He nodded.
But for a short time this is the results that were posted. Would have been awesome if it would have held.

Nice transitions - T1 includes wetsuit removal!!

Brinn, Me, and Denise!
I ended up finishing 5th overall after seeing the results online. At the race it showed me as 4th on the final results. There was another girl that started 299 that beat me.  Denise though won Overall Female and Brinn finished 3rd Overall!  My friend Deanna was 6th, and Judy was 7th.  Lesley placed 2nd in her age group!

Deanna, Judy, Me, and Lesley

Everyone took home hardware YAY!!.... which was identical to last years boo, and didn't even have the year on the awards. I hope next year it will be better! I will sure be back!

By far one of the best triathlon communities you will ever find! Fast athletes and friendly people, what more could you ask?

No more triathlons this year to report, but I'll be doing some running!! First up the Sportspectrum Autumn Breeze 5K next Saturday! Long sleeve hoodie sweatshirts instead of t-shirts! Gotta love that!

See you at the races!

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Rose City Triathlon Race Report

Up super early yesterday morning for the Rose City Triathlon in Tyler, Texas. Alarm went off at 3:30 am and we were out the door at 4:30 for the ~2 hour drive to the race. Have you noticed that more and more races let you pick up your packet on race morning? Five years ago when I lived in Dallas you always had to get your packet the day before, which usually meant a drive in rush hour traffic after work.

In North Carolina when I started racing in the SetUpEvents races I was really happy to see that you could get your packet in the morning. I like to find races within driving distance 2.5 hours away is the most I'll do on race morning. It saves me the price of a hotel room and that means being able to race more since the budget isn't used for lodging. And it's really not getting up that much earlier than I typically do on race morning, usually it's a 4:00 am alarm set, so 3:30 is no big deal. And of course it's even nicer when your husband goes with you to the race and drives!

Which brings me to another thought and question... how many of your spouses go with you to races? Unless Bill needs to get something really important done at work he pretty much always goes with me. That's pretty darned nice if you ask me! Hanging around a bunch of "triathla-loons" taking pictures and doing the "hurry up and wait" for hours isn't the most fun way for him to spend a Saturday or Sunday morning. You see, I have one of those husbands who works a ton! When he's not in the store he's usually home on the computer working. And Bill is a golfer - he's been golfing for as long as I've been racing, since 1985. Golf is his stress relief, so for him to give up an opportunity to have fun just to watch me sweat and grimace is a sacrifice of his slim amount of time that he doesn't have to work. I'd say I'm pretty darned lucky!

So anyway.. back to the race in Tyler. It has been miserably dry here in north Lousiana, we haven't had rain since we moved into the house. It's been weeks, but the night before the race we got RAIN!!  A really nice little front moved through and I woke up to cooler and much drier temperatures! It was going to be a good morning!

Got my race packet and headed back to the car to put the numbers all over everything... and check out the shirt. Nice New Balance tech-t!  My only complaint about the entire race is that they are in Men's sizes, I got a small and it's huge. :(  Bummer. They were selling their overflow shirts at the race for $5 and I was going to swap mine for a bigger size so Bill could have it, but we decided to support the race and just buy an extra one. I chatted with the guy selling them and I think next year they are going to add XS to the list!  Yay!!!

When I was setting up my transition I saw a girl named Karen from Dallas racking a couple bikes down from me. I haven't seen her since we moved from Texas - she is a fast swimmer and cyclist, and I would always be behind her at races in the past. I hoped that all the swimming and changing my technique would pay off and that I would be ahead of her coming out of the water. My bike has been SO much stronger since then (plus I have a way more aero bike...and aero wheels...and an aero helmet.... and an aero bike fit), so I was also hoping that I could stay away on the bike.

I helped my friend, Donna get her bike number situated on her seat post and removed her saddle bag for the race. The bike was only 14 miles and it was hilly, she didn't need the extra weight and there was no way in the world that any tires would be changed that day!! No flat tires - positive attitude!  There were three or four bikes racked the wrong direction and when Karen asked me to borrow my stapler I told her yes, only if she'd turn her bike the right way. I didn't want to say anything to the other newbie girls around me but this gave them the opportunity to overhear me talking to Karen. They asked some questions after that and we got all the bikes situated correctly. For those of you who may not know what I'm talking about - when you rack your bike in transition, the front wheel needs to be down (on the ground) on the side where the rack had your number.

I found Bill after I got everything set up and then went for a short warm up run before swimming the point to point swim course backwards to get to the start. Bill walked along the dam and shot this picture of me warming up. See that little arm in the center of the photo? That would be me. I really miss my friends Denise, Judy, and Brinn from Hattiesburg - the swim warm up was always something we did together.

I had what felt like was a good swim, third out with my swim wave. (30 and older females). My pace doesn't reflect what the intensity felt like though. That's me by the little blue arrow...not sure where those other girls are headed but I'm aiming for the giant yellow buoy! 

Long run to transition and then onto the HILLY 14 mile bike. Yiy! Short punchy hills for the most part, and if you really got moving on the downhills it would sail you up about 2/3 or 3/4 of the way up the next incline. Had a decent bike - almost 21 mph. Saw it slip below that mark just before the end of the ride. I didn't drive or know the course and was a little hesitant toward the end with the turns and trying to figure out where to get out of my pedals. At the turn around on the bike I saw Karen not very far behind me.... that gave me a little nudge to go faster on the return, I just KNEW she was going to come by at some point. But I held her off - whew!
A little trouble getting into my shoes in T2- went without socks (Denise will be happy about this!) Put some Aquaphor at the heel and by my arch so I didn't have any rubbing or blister issues!! 

The run course for this race is cool! It's three out and backs all coming back to transition.  Looks like a capital letter T - very nice for spectators! Plus you could really think of it as just 6 x 880 on the track!  Half mile out, half mile back x 3 - really liked the run at Rose City!! It also let you see where your competition was - I saw Karen all three times, and saw that on each leg I was putting more and more distance between us! Relief! At the intersection of the 2nd mile there was a tiny little hill - I think this picture is pretty funny, you can see how bad it hurt me! My friend Carol calls it The Pain Cave - I was so in the cave! 

I ended up finishing 7th Overall Female and won the Grandmasters Category. Ugh... still hard to think that I'm racing at 50+ years old..... With the exception of the girl who won Masters Female (40+) all the others who were ahead of me were in their 20's! Makes an old lady feel pretty darned Happy Happy Happy! 

I wore my Team Cambridge top for awards -
this is a team from Dallas that I race for and we had a really good showing at Rose City! 

Here are some other pictures from the race! Donna Ford, one of the women that I ride with here in Shreveport raced and placed 3rd in our age group! Another new friend Cheryl Webb was 5th! I saw a lot of Sunrise tri kits at the race!

Donna and me before the swim start!
Luke and Reed Keen - two COSST Swimmers from the
swim team where I coach!!
Heading to T1!
Getting a congrats from Johnny Cobb - He called me a Legend! LOL!
Women 50-54!!
Donna 3rd (far R), Cheryl 5th (bottom R) and Karen 1st (top R)
Next stop a visit back to Hattiesburg for the Mighty Magnolia Triathlon!  Get to see my friends!!