Friday, June 24, 2016

On Being 55

The other day I noticed how much longer it takes me to recover from everything. I know it's a factor of getting older. While I'm training I don't feel any older than I did 20 years ago, but if I train hard I can feel the fatigue for days.

I'm pretty sure that I will never beat any of my times, or paces again. I may come close, or even equal them, but the PR days are pretty much gone. 

People will tell you that you're only as old as you feel. I don't feel 55, but some days I know I am.

At my last race, my friend Jen asked me how long I thought I would continue racing. Good question. 

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Two Races and Some Good News!

Two more races done! Both were Team Magic events - Mountain Lakes Triathlon and Buster Britton Triathlon. Team Magic is a race production company based in Alabama, I've done one of their races a few times, the Brett Robinson on the coast. I have to say, they do a very nice job when it comes to races, and race organization. There is always excellent instruction given before the race starts, the bike racks are identified with fun different things to help you find your transition (wish I had a picture to show you). The race course, and transition maps online are very helpful, they offer tri-tats or body marking (and even have a bucket of water and paper towels available on race morning if you're picking up your packet on race day), a well marked course with mile markers, and the post race area is really great! There is a giant tent so you can escape the heat, rolling computer results, posted age group results, and the little thing that you can print out your own individual result. Good post race food, and drinks, and very nice awards. Things ran very smoothly at both of the events of theirs that I've done so far.

Mountain Lakes Triathlon - Guntersville, AL. What a contrast to the other race I did at this lake a couple weeks before. This one was pretty flat and fast. I had a good swim, averaged 22.6 on the bike (by my Garmin), and 8:00 miles on the run - last mile was a 7:30. First place in the female Masters category (Team Magic does not offer Grand Masters 50+). Team Magic also seems to do very cool and useful awards - we got a big beach towel and a $50 gift certificate to Cahaba Cycles in Birmingham! I would definitely put this race on the calendar again for next year!

Oldest one on the poduim.
 "The Cobb Mobb strikes fear in the youngsters!" - John Cobb

One of the fun things about this race happened in transition when I was setting up my bike. I met a former Team Aquaphor teammate, Keith Marshall! He recognized me and told me who he was! How fun is that! We had to pose for the obligatory photo, including the sample tube of Aquaphor! What a great team that was!

Keith Marshall, Team Aquaphor!

Buster Britton Memorial Triathlon - Pelham, AL. Ow, ow, ow! This was one tough triathlon! Thank goodness it was short - the swim was kind of warm and long - good for me, the bike course was so hard! I was only able to average 19.3 on the bike, and that got me the 5th fastest female bike split! It was super hilly (by my comparison of races anyway). The run course was advertised as, "The run course is a one-loop course with a mix of paved roads and smooth trails." When I read that I was thinking eh, probably 50/50... uh nope, more like 95% trail. I always find it funny when you're racing on trails and you're going as hard as you can, look down at your watch and see 10:00 pace. I ended up 9th overall female and won my age group. I don't know that I would do this race again, it is definitely one that would be easier if you knew the course beforehand, but yowza it hurt... bad!

This race was my first in Alabama where I got to race with a friend! I met Jen Chapman through a swimmer that I met at the pool. She moved to Tuscaloosa about a year and a half ago, but hadn't been racing any triathlons, because she hadn't met anyone to train with (sound familiar?). Well we've become good friends, and training partners, and push each other in practice. This was her first race back in awhile, and she killed it! She came in 19 seconds ahead of me and won her age group! I'm glad to have finally met another triathlete in Tuscaloosa!

Jen has also convinced me to join her weekly track workouts - I've been the last 3 weeks now - I haven't done any track work since Hattiesburg, and I'm looking forward to my next race at Sunfish in Meridian, MS to see what improvements I'm making! Running, is just like swimming or cycling - if you want to get faster you've got to do interval work. Here is the group's motto: "Pain is necessary - because you don't go fast when you go slow!"

Buster Britton awards was a Tervis Tumbler with the race logo (love these cups, they're all I drink out of in the summer!) and a goody bag filled with all kinds of other useful things! Water bottle, bike tube, CO2 cartridge, tire patches, bar tape, and more! Yah! Or there are some sunglasses too, but they're so BIG that I can't wear them. Anyone have a large face/head want some sunglasses?

*One other good thing has happened in the last few weeks. I got this email from the USATSMW Region:

Some of my former Aquaphor teammates nominated me for this (without my knowledge - thank you Steve, Andé, and Barry!) and I got the surprise email telling me that I'm going to be in the USAT SouthMidWest Hall of Fame! Talk about a humbling experience, to be nominated by your peers for something like this is overwhelming. I love this sport so much, and am so proud to be recognized. I had to choose one of the Regional Championship events to attend, and they are arranging a member of the HOF Council to be there to present me with the award. I'm going to race the Sugarman Triathlon on October 2nd in Youngsville, LA, this year it's the Louisiana State Championship, I've actually always wanted to do this race in south Louisiana, hope to see you there!!!