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!