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!!