Saturday, November 1, 2014

Hub City Hustle Triathlon Resurrected!

I've been negligent about posting about my last triathlon of the season, The Hub City Hustle. This race was my friend, Denise Joplin's first foray into race directing, and she did a really nice job. It was held on the same course as the old Mighty Magnolia Tri. The guy who used to put that race on decided not to do it anymore so Denise stepped up and took over the challenge. Long ago there was a race in Hattiesburg called the Hub City Hustle, I always wanted to go back and race it. It was held in the Canebrake Subdivision but once the neighborhood got developed and had too many homes it was moved.

I was in redemption race mode because of my fiasco at Meat Pie and wanted to do well. I drove down the day before, went by Belk to see the team there. Bill used to manage that store and I spent a lot of time with the staff there working on merchandising and helping out when Bill needed me. It was so great to see them all! 

Race Shirt!!
Then I drove out to the race site to pick up my packet, we were going to get our chips and swim caps in the morning.... There was going to be a *little surprise with the caps, I'll get to that later.  Passed out some race packets and then put the numbers on the bike racks. Got a volunteer t-shirt for helping!  Cool green shirt with the race logo.

Stopped by Corner Market grocery and grabbed some sushi (and saw that they carry Eternal Water - why can't we get it in Shreveport?) and went to the hotel to relax. I stayed at a Microtel by Windham... it didn't occur to me until I unlocked the door about the name of the hotel... Micro. The room was tiny, it felt like a European hotel, but it was perfect size for me! 

Race Morning:  
Drove out to the race, plenty of time in advance, as usual. Race announced that it was going to be wetsuit legal. Hmmm... should I or shouldn't I? I went ahead and opted to wear it since there was money on the line for the first 3 males and females. Rode the run course with Brinn and could tell that my legs were a little flat from the long drive down the day before. Whenever you have a long drive to a race it's a good idea to get in a spin on the bike or an easy jog after you arrive. I did neither, and I forgot to wear my compression socks for the drive. After the ride Brinn, Elizabeth, and I did an easy run out toward the finish of the run. Measured out a half mile and gave the girls some landmarks. Did a few pick ups on the way in and then finished getting ready for the race. 

Warmed up with Brinn as we swam across the lake to the start. The race has a point to point swim in a crescent shape along the shoreline. We did a few sprints on the swim on the way over. I typically do 20 strokes hard (about the distance of 25 yards). In masters swim, Kyle has us do 75's a day or two out from a race. He times each 25 and they go like this - first 25 like you would go at the start of the race, and then a 50 at race pace (settle in). So we did a few of these instead.

Denise offered an amateur/elite swim wave at the race so we could choose to go head to head with our competition instead of the time trial start that is typical at this race and how the rest of the age groupers would start. I decided to go ahead and go off in this wave. I kept my mind calm and didn't have any wetsuit issues. The best thing for me is to just not think about it. What I usually do is get it in my head that I'm going to have a panic and then it consumes my thoughts and gets me freaked. Sometimes singing a song in my head will help. Just before the start I said something out loud about needing a song and one guy said "Or you can always fall back on Just Keep Swimming, Just Keep Swimming." Used that one and it worked. Came out of the water just behind Brinn, I saw her hitting the beach. Stephanie was way up there ahead of both of us. 4th fastest female swim. 8:15.

*I forgot completely to talk about the swim caps!! So, from what I understand the logo caps that were ordered for the race arrived, but in kid's size!! So thinking last minute instead of just ordering a bunch of plain swim caps Denise thought outside the box and ordered a bunch of "Grab Bag Caps"! These would be the extra caps printed for a custom order by other teams or companies. We got to grab what cap we wanted and they were all different! I grabbed this one, because I love to swim butterfly!! I think it is a great idea and apparently I wasn't the only one. The Grab Bag Caps were a big hit! Love this idea! Good work, Denise!!

No issues in transition. Onto the bike where I quickly made up some ground and passed 2 girls who were ahead of me coming out of the swim.  

Our friend, Geneva!!! Miss you!
One of the people that I went to Belk specifically to see was our friend, Geneva! And when I told her that I was racing and showed her the course she said that it went really close by her house. She said that she and her girls would come out and cheer for me on the bike course! I saw them and waved like a happy child!!

I never felt like I really had the bike speed that I had earlier in the year, and I've pretty much come to the conclusion that it is because I hadn't been able to ride with the fast triathletes on Saturday's. I'm telling you, riding with them really helped my speed. 50-70 miles at 21+ will do that. *Note to self - ride long with the fast folks next year. Bike average, 20.6 - better than last year but rather pathetic.

Zipped into transition and had some fumbling putting on my running shoes. I use the Saucony Kinvara for my racing shoes. It's not a true racing flat, but I feel that I still want a little cushion for my knees. The downside of these is that they are kind of flimsy around the tongue and heel so they are hard to get on. Tri running shoes have the same little loop at the back of them like tri cycling shoes and I've had thoughts of sewing a loop of some kind on the back of them to make them easier to pull on. Oh, and putting some glide in the back to keep from rubbing makes them that much harder to grab. I heard Kyle (our Masters Swim Coach and Denise's husband) say, "hurry Ginger". Like I'm not tying to hurry....

Running out of transition I hear Kyle again on the loud speaker. "Stephanie is about 10 minutes ahead." - like I could catch her - hahaha!  If you knew him you'd know that he has a really dry sense of humor, this was his attempt at being funny. And then he said, "First Old Lady", another humorous comment. I thought it was pretty funny. I know that he is just joking and realizes that I may be old but I'm still pretty fast. Oh, and a volunteer said "second female". Now this was some good information! Was hoping for a top 3 finish and this was good news!

I decided to race "old school" which for me meant no watch and was trying the no hat also. Voting for the no hat? Nope, going back to the hat. My sunglasses were moving all over the place, I usually adjust the earpieces to be on the hat and it keeps them in place better. Learned that lesson. As far as the watch, no big deal because when I'm running hard I can't really see the numbers anyway to see my pace. I just ran hard, but it felt slow and mushy. I felt like I was running in slow motion on some of the punchy little hills on the course. I was surprised to see the results that said I averaged 7:33 miles. I didn't mind not wearing a watch, the only thing I missed was being able to look at the data afterwards. I find that I can learn a lot about what went right and wrong by seeing the numbers - especially the run splits. 

Now... since we all went first in a wave and the rest of the competitors went time trial style going every 5 seconds apart there was no way to know how you did until the last person is finished. And that is almost exactly what happened. Brinn and I went out onto the run course to cool down and cheer on the people finishing and we saw a girl that she told me had been her nemesis. She had registered the day before and I believe went off last. 

Cobb Mobb! Brinn and I after the race!

I placed 2nd overall by just 3 SECONDS! It was Brinn's nemesis that placed 3rd. We were really hoping to both be in the top 3. A little disappointing. And if you chose to race in the elite/amateur wave you weren't eligible for age group awards. (See my posting on Rose City where I discuss this policy.) 

Awards and Friends:
I got to see so many great people from Hattiesburg! Lots of friends turn out for this race. But there were a bunch missing too that I was looking forward to seeing. :(  Geneva showed up at the finish area with her girls, Alison and Stephi, so I got to see them all again!! 

Geneva's girls!!

Really cool awards that were custom made for the race, lucite and wood looking like a crank set! And a nice race logo etched pint glass... AND a check for $200 for coming in 2nd Overall Female. It almost paid for my travel (hotel and petrol)! 

Top 3 Females!

All in all a great trip! Getting to support my friend Denise at her venture into race directing - a good thing! Seeing old friends - bonus! 



My girls at Clinique and Connie!