Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Mississippi Represents at USAT Age Group Nationals!!

Note:  This is a reposting from ICEdot Athletes Blog!

A couple weeks ago I raced at USAT Age Group Nationals in Milwaukee.  All of the planets aligned that morning and I had a great race!  The weather was perfect with morning lows in the 60′s!  A far cry from the 100+ degree heat indexes that I have been training in here in Louisiana.

My training had been a little sporadic for the couple of weeks leading up to the race and I had to really work hard mentally to keep the negative thoughts of not being ready out of my mind.  Instead I tried to imagine that I was just “fully rested”.  We’d been getting our house ready to for us to move into and I’d been painting, cleaning, and having what felt like a million appointments at the house, and trying to work too.  Missed a lot of workouts in those two weeks.

But the real reason for this post is to give a shout out to some friends in Mississippi.  Now Mississippi is not what you’d call triathlon mecca.  Until just the other day when Louisiana passed it up for first place it was leading the country in obesity.

Pam and me at Race of Grace Triathlon!

Two of my friends from Mississippi were also racing at Nationals.  Pam Cox is in my age group and lives in Jackson.  She is amazing!  A couple years ago when Bill and I moved to Hattiesburg I signed up for a little race in Philadelphia, MS called The Race of Grace and Pam was there and we reconnected as friends.  I’ve known her for 26 years from when I lived in Jackson back in 1987.  Back then there were only a handful of triathletes in the area and we would all do our swim training together.  Pam was fast then.. and has not slowed down.  That girl can get off the bike in a half IM and run 7:15 miles.  I knew I would see her on the course as she went by me, I figured it would happen on the run.  At mile 3 on the run, she came by and said “Good Race” and was gone.  I was running 8 minute miles, she was running smooth 7:00′s.

Crawfishman Triathlon 2013
Sam and Judy Hudson on the far right.

And then there is Sam Hudson from Hattiesburg.  I trained with Sam’s wife Judy when we lived there.  Judy is a good triathlete, she swam for Auburn and has tons of athletic talent, she met Sam while they were in college.  Sam is an amazing triathlete.  He was at that same Race of Grace triathlon – he won it!  Sam asked me early last year if I was going to Nationals, at the time I was not planning on it.  He is the one that put the bug in my ear that I could qualify for World’s.  The wheels started spinning and then my friend Becky asked me if I was going and my brain went into overdrive and the plan was made.

There were a couple other guys from Mississippi also racing at Nationals, they actually drove up and were kind enough to bring all of our bikes up so we didn’t have to break them down and fly them there (no, we don’t have Tri Bike Transport companies anywhere near close.) I think a long drive like that really takes it out of your legs. Both of them had good races but not anywhere near where they usually race. Which is superfast!

So here is the bottom line: Little ole’ Mississippi qualifies 3 of us for World’s!! How cool is that? Who would imagine? You think we’re all going? You betcha! Look for Spansel, Cox, and Hudson on the back of three trisuits in Edmonton, Canada next year!!

See you at the races!!