Monday, March 25, 2013

Girl Power Triathlon

If you read my last post I wrote that I'd spontaneously signed up for the Girl Power Triathlon in New Orleans!  And yesterday was the race!!

Denise and I left Hattiesburg at 4:00 for the drive to the race site at the University Of New Orleans Lakefront Arena.  We had a good trip down and laughed and talked about swim and racing and life.

We got there in plenty of time and were able to scope out the area and get a nice run warm up on the course.  Last year the advertised 2 mile run course was short and we wanted to see where the turn around was set this year to plan our pacing.  Basically in a 2 mile run it's go hard, but if the run is closer to 1.5 it means pretty much an all out sprint.  I wore my Garmin while we warmed up and we also took note of the .5 mile mark.

Warm Ups!
We were told that there wasn't going to be swim warm up allowed in the pool.  Boo....  both of us wanted a nice long warm up. So when we got our caps and goggles and headed to the pool to get our timing chips we were surprised to see girls warming up in the pool.  We had about 15 minutes before the race started so we jumped in the pool for a 300 easy and then some hard/easy, easy/hard efforts. Our warm up probably totaled 500 meters. There was another disappointment when we heard them announce that we were to "Self-Seed" ourselves. ???? Why were we asked to submit a swim time in registration and why were we numbered according to those times if it was going to be a self-seed? We were confused! One of the officials was moving along the front area of girls asking us if we all were going to swim under 4:00. There were two girls standing by us with higher numbers and they told him, "yes". One said something about "it is a race and we'll be swimming faster". I asked them if they knew what pace a 4:00 swim was (1:20 per 100 meters).  Denise whispered that if they didn't know what pace a 4:00 was then there was no way they were going to swim it - they didn't, but neither did I.

That's me on the left and Denise on the right!
I had a fiasco of a swim. The Timex kit top is loose and has side pockets, it felt like I was wearing a drag suit. And I missed EVERY SINGLE turn. It was pathetic, I was all over the place, twisting and turning under the lane ropes, hitting my head on them, pulling on them when I was going underneath them, and coming up with one arm stuck in front. It was comical. My swim was slow and disappointing. Oh well.. moving on!

Pretty longish run to transition and when I got close to my bike I saw girls everywhere! I couldn't believe how many of the girls who started before me were still in transition. They were putting on long sleeve tops and I'm not sure what else because they really seemed to be taking their time. Denise mentioned that most of the 15 or so girls that went into the water first were all in swimsuits so were probably really good swimmers and maybe not so good cyclists and runners. Just before the swim started the race director announced that the cold front had moved through early (I was oblivious to the fact that a cold front was on the way) and that the wind was blowing at 18mph with gusts at 25mph coming out of the West. I saw Denise heading out of transition as I neared my bike - she had a good T1!

 The bike course went north out of transition for about a quarter of a mile then East for a mile and a half then turned to the West for 8+.  Luckily we had a major tailwind for the last section of the bike!  It was 17 mph into the wind and 25mph coming back!  Nice!  I'd put the Zipp 404's that I got from last winter on my bike and I could really feel the difference using race wheels!!  Bike average:  20.3.

The look of pain!
Had a good T2, planned on not wearing any socks but forgot to put baby powder in my transition bag for the race.  No problems though, no blisters, no pain!  No pain in my feet that is...but plenty of pain on that run!!  Oh my goodness!  I went into this race not well trained for the bike or the run and by the time I got to the run I could tell!  The first mile was fine but by the time I hit the turn around it felt like the bear had jumped on my back!  I came off the bike in 5th and saw the 6th place girl right behind me at the turn around, she caught me with a half mile to go and then another girl got me just at the end.  Now typical Race Ginger could have kicked it in at the end but not yesterday!  And my race pictures prove it.  My shoulders are hunched up and I am UNCOMFORTABLE!!  My pace for the 2 miles - 7:47, honestly I am happy I was under 8:00!

I would have loved to have been 5th Overall and won a quick $100 but not on this day and not with the lack of preparation.  But I placed 7th Overall, won Masters Female and everyone in front of me was at least 10 years younger than I am!  We got really neat martini glasses filled with Easter chocolates for our awards!  I didn't have a Dirty Martini in mine last night but I think I will by the end of this week!

ICEdot band on my right wrist!!!
ICEdot | The Emergency Identification and Notification Service
My friend Denise had a killer race!  She and I share a lane at Masters Swim, her husband Kyle is our swim Coach and together they own Runner's High here in Hattiesburg.  She placed 3rd Overall Female and took home a check for $300!  The really fast girls were out for this race because of the prize money and she held her own against two of the fastest girls in the region!!

We went home via the Causeway across Lake Ponchatrain and the wind was whipping the car all over the place!  The lake looked like the ocean!  We had a quick lunch at Acme Oyster House in Covington and then some more laughter on the drive home! What a great morning!  I had a good time!  Thank you, Denise for inviting me to race!

p.s.  I forgot to thank fellow Timex Factory Team member, Patrick Lewis for the photos and cheers!!  Thank you!

Saturday, March 16, 2013

The Carrot

Just signed up for a race next weekend!  The Girl Power Triathlon in New Orleans!

My friend Denise asked me yesterday during Masters swim if I'd be interested in going with her to New Orleans next weekend to race the Girl Power Triathlon!  We were about to start a set which started with a 400 negative splitting the second half and I got so into thinking about going to the race that I thought we were finished after the 300.  Shows you what not concentrating on you swim will do to you!

The Girl Power Tri is really short race with a pool swim. 300 meters / 10 Mile / 2 Mile.  I am totally not in any shape to do a triathlon right now.  My running and cycling have been so sporadic and basically absent for the last few months, but what the heck!  It'll be over in less than an hour and I'm going to Cowboy Up and go for it.

I really, really, really, really don't like pool swims.  This one is 300 meters and we think the pool will be set up for long course (50 meters).  I hope so.  My dislike for pool swims comes from the fact that most (and I use that term loosely) people intentionally underestimate their swim time when they register for the race.  In every triathlon I've done with a pool swim I enter a time that is pretty aggressive, as in pretty much faster than I know I can swim, and every time there is a giant bottleneck of people ahead of me from some dufus who seeds with a totally unrealistic swim time.  Watch the little video below, you'll see what I mean!

My name isn't Steve but this is pretty common for a pool swim tri!
Click this link:

Denise seeded her self with a realistic time, I am going to call her today and suggest that she contact the race and change her time to something faster. She is a really good swimmer and I can forsee what is going to happen to her during the swim.  Chaos!!

Ran yesterday like I meant it.  See what the carrot can do for you?