Saturday, August 23, 2014

Worlds Away!! ITU World Triathlon Edmonton

My "A" race of the season is almost here! Bill and I will be heading to Edmonton, Alberta, Canada this coming Thursday!! I am competing in the World Short Course Triathlon Championships. And I am nervous!

At this point my nerves stem primarily about the logistics of the race AND the fact that my swim wave of Female 50-54 goes off last. I hope I'm not the last person to cross the finish line.

My sister Connie, flies in on Monday. She is going to puppy sit for Phoenix and Bogey! I can't wait to see her! We don't leave until Thursday so we will get to spend a few days together!

There is a page on Facebook about the race and they've started posting water temperatures. I had no idea that ITU (International Triathlon Union) has a different set of wetsuit guidelines than USAT (USA Triathlon). Here in the states the cut off temperature for wetsuits is 78 degrees. I've always thought this was too high. You really don't need a wetsuit in that temperature water and it always amuses me when you hear the chatter on race morning when the water is close to the cut off. At River Cities this year, which is typically a really, really hot race there were rumors going through the crowd that it was wetsuit legal and how people had wished that they had brought their suits.

Here is the chart for ITU racing.   [°F] = [°C] × 9/5 + 32

22 degrees C is 71.6 F. When we first got back in the outdoor pool with COSST this year the water was right about that same temperature. It was chilly but as long as you kept moving it was fine, AND the sun was out and the air temperature was nice and warm. It may be a chilly morning on race day. I just pulled up the temperature and it is 32 degrees right now in Edmonton.....brrrrr....... Yesterday morning at 8am they posted that the water was 19 C (that's 66.2). I'm glad I just got a long sleeved wetsuit! I have a great discount code from my friend Becky for Xterra Wetsuits! I got a $400 Xterra Vortex suit for $149! Let me know if you would like the code!!

Things to remember to bring:

Toe Covers for my cycling shoes
Hot Hands
Throw away gloves for the bike! Tri Tyler Race Report
Mylar blanket for prerace wait.

It's time to start packing!!

Friday, August 8, 2014

River Cities Triathlon 2014!!

COSST Swimmers!! Cheering at the race!!
FINALLY!!! I have struggled with the River Cities Triathlon for years!! Sub-par after sub-par performance, there always seems to be something going on or going wrong when this race arrives. The few days before the race we had some really cool weather, nights in the 60's and daytime highs in the 80's, and some rain! Things were lining up for a fast race this year.

2014 makes #19 for me at RCT! I love this race! Who wouldn't? Great course, great swag (understatement here), and great post race party! What's not to love? Here are a pictures of what was in our race packets this year!!!

Backpack, Hat, 1/4 Zip LS Tech, S/S Tech, Socks, Swim Bag!
Two years ago I had a hurt hip and wasn't able to run for 3 weeks leading up to the race - RACE FAIL on the run... of course. Last year I was going to compete in USAT Age Group Nationals in just 6 days so I held back on the run - RACE FAIL. But this year? A month out from Worlds in Canada - my plan? Go hard and see what I could do. A simple plan but it paid off for me!

COSST Swim Coaches!!  Hallie and Linda!
A week before the race I decided to change from racing Age Group and go off in the first swim wave with the Elites and Collegiate athletes. I train with several women who are in my age group and 1) didn't care about winning an award and 2) thought it would open up another spot for them to place! Also decided to do a "shake down" run in my TEAM USA kit to make sure there were no rubbing issues. It felt great!! And right now it is at Running Dog Sportswear getting screened with my sponsors!!

I lined up for the swim back from where I would typically start - I was worried about getting beat up in the swim. The last time I raced an Elite wave I had a bad experience in the water, so I thought I'd be a little cautious with these youngsters. I swam hard and never had any issues, I kept thinking that I didn't want to look like a slouch coming in dead last in the wave. I guess I held my own pretty well because I heard Coach Kyle yell that I was 3rd female out!

I was riding strong and passed one of the women who was out of the water before me. Just after that a pack of what looked like mostly collegiate athletes came by me! In it were a couple women - it was so irritating! I actually coasted to let them go by, came up off the aerobars, and addressed the bike marshal on a motorcycle who had come up on the pack. "Do they not know????" I looked at the little note pad that the person on the back of the moto had and he hadn't written down any numbers yet, he gave them a chance to fix it. There was one guy in the pack that turned to me and said, "I hope we don't all get dinged for drafting." REALLY??? And then they rode away - I watched the motorcycle pace with them, and they looked like they kind of dispersed a little. A little bit further down the road I could still see the group of them way up ahead, and I saw the same motorcycle pull back onto the road and go after them again. He had pulled off in a driveway to wait for them to pass by. Then the Head Referee (black and white shirt) came flying by on the back of another motorcycle - I guessed that he had been radioed. Shreveport Times Article.

At Crawfishman I was super happy to have averaged 22 mph on the bike - that was the fastest I've ever been in a race. At River Cities this year............ 22.5 !! I think that the amount of training that I've been doing, riding with fast triathletes here in Shreveport, and some unseasonably cool weather in August all contributed to my fast bike!

Cool weather = fast running!! The air temperature was down, usually it's in the 90's by the time this race is underway, this day we had 70's! But there was still the typical Southern humidity. I looked at my watch once or twice during the run but it was never on the correct scrolling screen, so I gave that up and just ran hard. I even split mile 1 and 2, and mile 3 was only 4 seconds slower. Knowing this run course helps so much - one of the benefits of having raced here so many times. I ended up finishing 5th among the Elite wave women and 11th Overall by the time the rest of the women had finished. My best finish here in many, many years. I hope that I can bring some of this speed with me to Worlds in Canada!!

I was going to race next at the Lake DeGray Sprint on the 16th but I've rethought my plan and feel it would be better to stay home and have a quality weekend of training since my big race is just around the corner.

One other note! If you have read any of my previous blog posts you'll see that I trained and raced with a girl named Denise Joplin. Well a couple months ago her husband Kyle accepted a position at Centenary College here in Shreveport as the Assistant Swim Coach and Head Cross County Coach! You know what that means? Insert gigantic smiley face here!

Volunteering at IronFish!

We wasted no time getting back into the training together - they landed here on Thursday the 31st and since then we have had 4 Masters Swim workouts with Coach Kyle on deck (so great to have him coaching me again in the pool), and we've ridden twice. Denise also volunteered at the River Cities Triathlon and the IronFish Kid's Triathlon - she helped with the timing. Cajun Timing handled both races and it is the same company that is doing the timing for the HubCity Hustle Triathlon in Hattiesburg - Denise is the race director. If you're looking for a great race to do in the South you should consider registering for this one!

Next stop Canada!! World Short Course Championships in Edmonton!!