Sunday, June 30, 2013

Life In The New City

We've been in Shreveport for a few weeks now. It is always so hard to adapt to a new place. I joined a Masters Swim here - it's okay. Not great. Every set is based on a rest interval instead of a time so I find myself not working as hard as I did in Hattiesburg. I've taken to setting my own intervals on some sets, disregarding what the coach says about 20 seconds rest. And I'm swimming some at the pool where I coach, it's a 50 meter outdoor pool, a little warm since the temperatures have been high but being outdoors is really nice. Oh.. and the pool where I swim masters is dark and not a really happy place.

I joined the triathlon group here even before I arrived and have met a few nice people. I posted something on the message board about looking for people to ride with during the week and a really great girl named Dedra invited me to ride with her, her husband Rob, and a friend of theirs, Donna. I've ridden with them a half a dozen times and I enjoy their company. Actually a bunch of people responded to my post but Dedra's pace, distance and time worked the best with my schedule. I'm enjoying riding with them, I hope they keep it up after their 70.3 Boulder race! They also live pretty close to where we are buying a house so mid week rides should work out well.

I've been coaching with COSST - City of Shreveport Swim Team and really like it. So far I've been working with Linda and Barbara coaching the Jr Varsity. Like both of them. And the kids are great! Yesterday two of the girls had their last practice because they are moving to Phoenix, AZ and one told me that she was sad because she really liked me. That made my day!  Swimmer kids are awesome! (that's a lot of exclamation points!)

Went today to an open water swim clinic that Tara, one of the COSST coaches is conducting. She and I were the only two that showed up, so we swam about 2,000 in the private ski lake by her friend's house! Nice! They had a diving board at the end of their pier so she and I did a bunch of front flips off the board into the lake.

My other job is okay and getting better. Today was a good day. It's kind of quiet in there, I asked about turning up the music to increase the energy in the place. It's pretty funny for me to ask for that, because I don't like loud music at all. I think I have some noise aversion, but it was SO quiet in there that I was a little uncomfortable. The merchandise is awesome, already spent more than my paycheck! They sell tons of shoes, and I'm learning to be a shoe fitter, love it!

Going to do my first race here on Thursday. The Firecracker 5K. No age group awards, but cool mugs to the first 101 men and first 60 women finishers. I'll let you know how it goes. A slight cool front came through last night (humidity is low and wind is out of the north), I hope it holds through Thursday morning. It's been so hot and humid. Like walking outside and having someone throw a hot wet blanket over your head. Meh...

Oh.. here's something... I went with Donna on Saturday to ride up on the River Cities Triathlon course. We got in 40 miles. When I drove up there were a handful of cyclists ready to start their ride and they were blocking three prime parking places (meaning the spaces would still be in the shade when we finished our ride). So I pulled up, smiled, and pointed to the parking place where I wanted to go. The riders had to move so let me park, and one of the Sunrise Tri Club members said to me "Couldn't find another place to park?" in a really sarcastic voice. Nice. Friendly. NOT. Later on the ride I was up ahead of Donna and she had been picked up by a few riders and came by when I'd stopped to help a little box turtle cross the road. And I pretty sure it was the same rider said not too quietly as they came by. "Get killed stopping to help a (insert expletive starting with the letter f here) turtle off the road." He's probably one of the kind of drivers who intentionally run over the turtles.

Now what I would like to know is what kind of man feels compelled to say such things to someone he's never met, let alone a woman? What gives with people these days? The comments weren't in a joking tone, they were deliberately mean. I think he must have some issues.

This was the same guy who came by Donna and I with his group, (we started before they did), got dropped by his group, kept looking back as we were approaching, got on my wheel, I could hear him behind me, so I dropped him too. Maybe I have some issues....with rude people... yes, I do!

P.S. Some really good news, we close on a house on July 18th!! River Cities Triathlon on August 4th, and Age Group Nationals on August 10th! (Get to see my friend, Becky!) Good things to look forward to!

Monday, June 10, 2013

Race Report Catch Up! Crawfish and Indians!

I've been negligent in blogging. We have moved from Hattiesburg, MS to Shreveport, LA and it has been kookoo! Packing for 2-3 months in a corporate apartment and getting the house organized for the movers left me busy and frazzled. So albeit late, here is my reports from the Crawfishman Triathlon on May 5th and also the Indian Creek Triathlon that I raced yesterday.

First - Crawfishman!  "Spanish Moss In My Hand, Turn Me Into Crawfishman!"

I love this race, maybe it's a Louisiana racing thing. Wave start swims (as opposed to time trial starts - meh..), great post race food, beer, and party! Come race in Louisiana! You will love it!

This was my third year in a row to race Crawfishman and I'll be back next year! The guys who put this race on do a great job and this year even ordered up some very nice race morning temperatures for us. The water was cold enough to be wetsuit legal, booooooo.... don't like wetsuit swims. Had a mild panic about 100 yards into the swim. I went out hard to get out of the melee and promptly freaked out a little. Unzipped the wetsuit and swam for a couple hundred yards before settling back down and reaching back and zipping up the stupid suit. Consequentially, I didn't have the best swim. Oh well.. c'est la vie!

Me - 1st Masters Female and Denise Joplin - 2nd Overall Female
Onto the bike, slightly chilly but comfortable. I'll tell you, anything after those cold temperatures at the 70.3 Austin race last October everything else feels warm, so it was no big deal. Racing on the 404's for the 2nd time and they were awesome! I think the bike course is shorter than advertised so the 21.4 mph on the results is probably a bit generous. But I had a nice ride and felt really fast!

Patrick Lewis - Team Aquaphor!
The run course is out and back with a few little hills (hills in Louisiana would be nothing for the non-flat-landers). Saw Denise headed back in, she was having a great race. Saw fellow Aquaphor teammate, Patrick on the way back in and cheered for him to go faster. Brinn and I came into T2 together and she promptly ran away from me, saw her just after the turnaround and yelled "quick-feet" to her. Saw Lesley, Deanna, and Judy on my way back in and managed a wave to my friends. For me, seeing people I know when I'm racing gives me a boost. It was nice to catch site of all of them!

Finished with a 7:47 average for the 4 mile run. "Advertised" 4 mile run... it was actually 4.25 this year. Won the Masters Category :) and a cool piece of art designed especially for the race. Was 7th Overall Female, same place as my last race at the Girl Power race.. hmmmm is there a trend starting here?

Hattiesburg represented well and we took home a lot of hardware!! Be back next year? Absolutely!

Brinn Strange - 1st AG, Shelly Sheppard - 5th AG, Ginger Spansel - Masters Female,
Lea Paslay - 3rd AG, Denise Joplin - 2nd Overall Female, Chris Boyd - 2nd AG,
Sam Hudson - 2nd Overall Male, Judy Hudson - 2nd AG.

Next - Indian Creek Triathlon!

Team Aquaphor and Team ICEdot! (see the band?)

I found this little race online when I found out that we were moving to Shreveport. I went digging around for races within driving range on race morning and the Indian Creek race showed up in Alexandria, LA. It is about a 2.5 hour drive... yawn.. that means an early morning; we got up at 2:45am. On the website it said that there was prize money for the top 10 men and women! Sweet! A chance to make some money to help pay for race entry fees! I told Denise about the race even though it meant the loss of one place for me - nice of me, huh? We had planned on going in and sharing a room the night before but she and her husband were attending a wedding in Mobile, Alabama the evening before. So they drove through the night and got to the race site around 1:00 or 2:00 in the morning and caught a nap in their car before the race. My awesome husband, Bill agreed to come with me and drive down on race morning.

You want to know what prize money will do for a race?  Last year the winning women's time was 1:40:15 - this year?? 1:24:10 with all top 10 women going under 1:37. Are people motivated by money? You betcha!

My training had been flaky since moving. I was nervous yesterday morning, and I think that was why. Two weeks out before the race I swam twice, ran once and rode once. Then the movers showed up and I didn't do anything for 4 days. Then the week of the race I got in 2 swims, 2 runs and one bike ride (the day before the race). I didn't think it was going to be a good day. I was hoping for top 5.

Judy Hudson - 3rd Fastest Female Swim!
Non-wetsuit swim! YAY!! The water was warm, really warm. Judy and I swam the course and added some pick ups before the race and I felt overheated when we finished and we weren't even going hard. Lined up between Denise (my lanemate in Hattiesburg at HubFins Masters) and Judy (former Auburn swimmer). Stayed relaxed and long and was able to stay on Denise's hip or feet for the swim - really happy about that. Thank you, Denise, for the draft!! I came out of the water right behind her and my watch had 12:18 for the 800 meter swim.

That was pretty much the last I saw of Denise until the out and back sections of the bike and run. She took off and was gone! I had a great bike ride! Wearing my new Rudy Project Wingspan helmet for the first time, loved it! It was light, and comfortable and I felt fast! Saw some big numbers on the computer and was really happy to see a 21.8 average on the bike. THE fastest bike average that I've EVER had! Sweet!

Chose not to wear socks for the run. Got some new shoes with a sock-liner and thought I'd give it a try. It was okay, felt a tiny little hot spot on the arch of my left foot but no blister. I wouldn't run more than a 5K without socks though, any farther than the 5K and I would have been in pain.

The run felt MISERABLE! My Garmin was good up until the run then it wasn't scrolling so I had no idea of the pace. Stopped and restarted it and saw the number 8:00 A LOT. Not good. Was in 5th going into the run and at the turnaround. I saw Denise as she was headed back in and she looked good running in 4th place. But saw a girl running fast just behind me at the turn. It was Elodie Burlet from Shreveport and the Sunrise Triathlon Club. I had posted earlier in the week on the message board asking if anyone was going. Elodie had replied and we were hoping to meet each other at the race. I also knew that she was fast. Good cyclist, great runner. I knew it would only be a little while before she passed me. And pass me she did, like I was a fence post! She averaged 6:36 miles!  Saw Judy and she yelled for me, all I could get out was "Go Judy!"

Denise Joplin - 4th Overall Female!

I averaged 8:00 on the nose. Bah. Need to run more. Still, I managed to hang on to 6th Overall (broke that 7th Overall streak) and make a nice $175!! Denise finished 4th Overall!! Judy and Sam Hudson came over from Hattiesburg to race, Sam placed 8th Overall Male and Judy won her Age Group!  Another great day for my friends!

Jambalaya and cold beer after the race - yes! Thank you Louisiana!

Hmmmm.. next race, also Louisiana... that's races so far this year in Louisiana... coincidence? I think, not!

See you at River Cities also in Louisiana!!