Monday, June 4, 2012

Memphis in May Tri

After racing St. Anthony’s and a couple of weeks of downtime to recover and get in another good training block, I raced the Memphis in May Triathlon which is actually now being held in Tunica, Mississippi. So, it’s Memphis…in May…in Mississippi!

What makes MIM different from other races is that instead of a mass start on the swim it is a time trial start. This means that after every 10 seconds a horn would sound and another athlete would run down the ramp into the water individually. This year’s race had the pros start out in alphabetical order by last name and alternating gender. So, the closest girl was 20 seconds ahead of or behind me. Since there were 2 other 5150 series races being held on the same weekend, it was a considerably smaller field than St. Anthony’s.

After the horn sounded and I dove in the water, it was actually nice to not have to deal with kicking and fighting for position in the water. I was able to find my own rhythm and swim in “clean water,” something that is usually only reserved for the lead swimmers in the pack of other mass start races. As the swim progressed, a couple of swimmers came by me and I was able to hop on their feet and catch a draft for a bit. Coming out of the swim I felt strong and ready to bike!

The bike sent us way out across town down mostly quiet roads (away from the casinos of Tunica), into a nice headwind for most of the first ½ and then a turn around tailwind on the way back. I started out on the bike with a group of 3 other girls and was able to keep them in my sights until the turn around on the bike where they gapped me a bit. Since it was a hot day, my main goal was to drink every last ounce of liquid I had with me and I am happy to say that I succeeded…

…. But going on to the run I was still pretty darn hot! I tried to start out the run at what I’d trained to be my 10k pace (using my trusty Garmin as my guide) but after 2 miles realized that my body probably would bonk if I kept it up. I forced myself to slow down a bit and remember to breathe! The finish line couldn’t have come soon enough on that run! I ended up in 4th place and was happy to get some more points towards my 5150 series ranking. I was also so thankful to have my fiancĂ© there to support me and take care of me in my extremely tired state after the race.

One of the highlights of the weekend was getting the chance to go into downtown Memphis and see the ducks at the Peabody, something I hadn’t seen since I was a little girl. Apparently many animals have graced the fountains at the Peabody hotel, but the ducks have had staying power at the hotel. :) For quite a few years, the ducks have been involved in a show which has them coming down the elevator, filing out into the lobby and hopping into their beloved fountain…so cute! Can't wait to do that race again in the future!

Early Season Update

After a long break from blogging, I’m back at it again... I know you are all shocked ;) Since my last blog post, I’ve completed 4 races: 2 drafting and 2 non-drafting which are part of the 5150 series. After almost a 3 year break from the non-drafting scene, I decided to go “give it a go” once more this year, this time on a time trial bike instead of a road bike (which definitely helps a ton!). Thanks so much to my main sponsor Sklar Exploration and to Colorado Multisport for helping me get setup on Mr. Shiver Me Timbers (my Specialized Shiv time trial bike) and also my road bike as well. Prior to this year I’d never had an in-depth bike fit and I can’t recommend them enough to make you go faster and make your body happier while riding! In other exciting news, I am now an engaged woman! On one of the last days of my winter training in California, my boyfriend surprised me by taking me over to Malibu where I thought we’d just be going to dinner. Instead, we ended up taking a walk on the beach which turned into drawing in the sand, which turned into a proposal, which turned into me now having to wear something besides a Timex watch on my left hand/wrist…but I’m not complaining one bit! At the beginning of March, after my training block in the warmth of California, I competed in the Clermont ITU Continental Cup in Florida to test out my early season fitness. Unfortunately, I felt sick to my stomach pretty much the entire race. I was able to work through my discomfort until the run, where I was forced to jog pretty much the entire way and finished pretty far back. Although this was not the way I’d envisioned kicking off my 2012 season, the weekend was not at all a waste. Since the race was in Florida and fairly close to my hometown of Gainesville, I was fortunate enough to have two of my best friends (Darcie and Wendy) there to cheer me on and support me throughout the weekend. In addition, I was able to visit Animal Kingdom which is the only Disney park I hadn’t been to in the parks located in Orlando.