Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Crawfishman Triathlon 2014

The Crawfishman Triathlon  ordered up some mighty fine weather for the race this year!! Water temperatures of 74 degrees (wetsuit legal but didn't need to be), and air temperatures in the 50's at race start. Clear blue skies and low winds - "Chamber Of Commerce Weather"! 

Bill and I loaded up the car with my bike and the boys on Saturday afternoon and headed to South Louisiana. It's about a 5 hour drive and we would have left sooner but it was Charity Sale Day at Belk's and Bill needed to be there that morning. Just FYI Belk Charity Sale is an awesome event that his company does twice a year to help local Charities in the area (they do this company wide). Local non-profit charities get "tickets" from Belk, these $5 tickets are sold to their friends and family and on Charity Sale Day the people who purchase them get to use them on their purchases at the store. The charities get to keep 100% of the proceeds! Last fall the COSST swim team where I coach participated and we made almost $3,000! Something for those of you who have Belk stores in your area to consider if you need a fundraiser!

Okay.. now back to the race!!  

Race day video, full length. 
GoPro wristy cam and production by Mark Salvetti, 
drone aerial footage by Michael Wattigny...awesome stuff!
Awesome Race Video!

Here is the short version:  Okay Swim, Awesome Bike, Decent Run!

Warmed up on the bike with Denise and Brinn, who were down from Hattiesburg to race! Ran some back and forth to the car when I picked up my race packet and went back to prep my bike. And got in a pretty good warm up in the water before my swim wave went off.  I should have warmed up a little longer and done some more hard efforts. 

Brinn, Coach Kyle, and Denise
My wave had women over 45 and RELAYS..... hmmmm.... not the ideal mix. I lined up front and center like I typically do when the waves are all women. Didn't think about it until right before the gun went off that I was going to be with some pretty strong men at the line, until too late. I went out hard and promptly got pummeled by the aggressive male (and one female) relay swimmers. Backed off a little to find my own water and settle down after the beating. Live and learn. After the second turn buoy we headed back toward shore and I found the feet of a girl in my wave. She didn't swim a straight line but the draft was worth it. Funny, the things I think about during the swim, I should be concentrating on the race but thoughts of writing this post came into my mind as I moved out to the side of the girl I was drafting. Here is what I was thinking of sharing in my blog:  Have you ever thought, while drafting, that you are swimming very slowly? That you are sure that you could swim faster than the person in front of you? Well, if you have, try this - move off of their feet and see what happens. Do you pull ahead of them with ease, do you fall back, or maintain your place right next to them? If B or C happens then GET BACK ON THEIR FEET! Save your energy, even if you swim a little farther with their zig zagging (as long as they are not going too far off course - here you must make a judgement call depending on if they are WAY off course).

So I followed this girl all the way to the swim finish, out of the water before her, and out of transition and onto the bike ahead of her. She swam a 17:06.6, I swam a 17:04.7 (faster run to the timing mat). Had a quick transition even with wetsuit removal - :49.0, my friend Denise Joplin (2nd Overall Female) still beat me here with a :48.1! I was okay with  my swim, it was faster than last year but still not great. 

The bike! WHOO HOOOO!!! I'm not sure what got into my legs this day but I had my fastest average EVER! My Garmin had me at 22.0 as I made the last turn and headed back toward transition, I made sure I kept it above that so I could see it on my data after the download. Yes, a little kookoo but hey.. I was really excited to see that number. The race results said 22.2 but I think the bike course is short. The girl I drafted in the swim passed me on the bike twice (she slowed down the after the first time she passed and I had to go by her), when she came by the second time I shouted "go girl Go!" I didn't want to play pass and be passed again (like I did with a 70 year old man) and I was irritated. 

He did make it out of transition ahead of me because he ran out carrying his shoes.... really? I don't know if he was planning on trying to run the entire course barefoot and had them with him just in case or if he was that concerned about having the fastest T2 of the entire race, or if he was worried about being chicked by a 53 year old. At any rate I passed him on the run going up the first hill, saw him at the out and back and he had put on his shoes. My T2 was :49.8 his was :39.7. 

Leaving T2 smiling and screaming out my bike average to Bill and Coach Kyle!

Onto the run! Remember the girl who passed me on the bike, I watched her the ENTIRE run. Was gaining on her a bit at the turnaround (out and back course) but when she saw me she picked it up. Our runs were 1 second apart! I felt pretty good on the run - averaged 7:48 miles (way better than the week before at WikiWiki). Kept the turnover quick - the perfect temperature didn't hurt either! So much easier to run with low humidity. Ended up 8th Overall Female and won the Grand Masters Category (the 45 year old beat me by about 40 seconds). 

If you haven't done this race YOU ARE MISSING OUT!! Beautiful venue, awesome Race Directors, killer Post Race Party, great T-shirts, fantastic Awards, good Competition, and a ton of FUN! 

Beautiful Race Morning!

My swim wave start - ugh.

Denise, Donna, Me, and Brinn!
Donna Ford from Shreveport - first Crawfishman Triathlon
She said it is now her favorite race - She'll be back for sure!

Traditional Goofy Pic!
Brinn Strange - 1st Age Group!

Awesome Overall Awards
Custom print by local artist Jose Balli!

Finisher Beer Mugs and Age Group Award Coffee Mugs!

A huge Thank-You to my husband Bill who took gobbles of awesome photos and cheered me on during the race!