Monday, July 17, 2006

Hot to Trot at T-Gator #3

Hot to Trot

The sun was hitting me in the face harder than a Saturday night demolition derby in South Georgia!

I am not a big fan of heat, but this was ridiculous. But, man I had some fun!

Kristi (aka, the RustQueen) Brian (aka Konaboy) and I loaded up and headed out around 4:40am. One thing I learned about this triathlon lifestyle is that if you’re not a morning person you will soon become one out of necessity. RustQueen was wearing sunglasses at 4:45am and though she didn’t need to, she informed me she was not a morning person.

We made it to Lake Charles just in time to check in, rack our bikes, and set up our transition.

OK, that is not quite accurate. We did have time to practice our penmanship one another.

At check in they had massive markers for us to write our race numbers on our bodies. I found a little humor in the size of these markers and offered to body mark Konaboy. First I made an honest mistake and began writing MY number on his arm! Not a good start. Then I fixed it with the MASSIVE marker and put HIS number on and he didn’t realize what I was doing until the 7 of 471 was on his elbow! Meaning I was writing the number so big that it stretched from his shoulder to the bottom of his elbow!

Rustquess was not privy to this transaction, so I offered to body mark her as well. What good friends we are, Kona, as all good friends would do in this situation, knowing that she was about to become an interstate billboard . . . DID and SAID NOTHING!!!!! HA! What are friends for?

There was a great man or woman who once said, “payback is hell.:

And it was. I ended up with my race number from my shoulder to my lower forearm! Woo Hoo! As the space shuttle was coming in from space they could have seen my race number on my WHOLE arm!!!!!

Swim was uneventful. Fast and smooth.

I felt great out of the water. Ran into the transition area and slipped off on to the bike course. My goal was to average 17mph on the bike. I had raced on this course earlier in the season and remembered the course being suitable for a personal record on the bike, but . . .

I have made so many friends that have been so motivational to me whether it is their cheers on the race course or their emails of motivation and advice. Today was unreal. On the bike I heard my name followed by encouragement by so many people and their cheers of encouragement makes the race so much better.
One f the funny ones was Cissy (s/p). She swam with us at Clay’s camp on the False river about two months ago. At the time she was not happy about swimming in open water. The next problem was on that day False River was rocky. Cissy did not have fun and I think she questioned her choice to swim that day. Fitbird and I swam with her that day. When she did swim without in trepidation she did great, but then she would panic a little, but overall I thought she did great that day for her first open water swim.

Today was here first open water triathlon. We gathered at the entrance of the water and she was in high spirits and ready to go! I worried about her being kicked and bumped out there, but she is a tough little firecracker and I knew her competitive side would kick in when the horn went off.

She started two groups ahead of me so on the bike course she was heading in as I was heading out. She looked strong and hollered out to me, “You did have to rescue me today!” I was really happy for her. She kicked butt.

The wind was awfully odd. On my out on the course the wind felt as though it was pushing against me. I was averaging around 14mph. I thought this would be ok since I would have the wind at my back on the way in to the transition site. At the turn around I put the big ring in and cranked it out!
However, this wind oddity began to worry me. The wind was pushing against me AGAIN??? We call this head wind. I had head wind BOTH ways????? How is that possible? What I found out after the race was that there was a hard cross wind.

I decided to push it as hard as I could. I averaged about 17ish on the way back and averaged a little over 15mph overall. The most important part of the bike was that I managed to drain my legs with a very hot run ahead.

Whipped into transition, racked my bike, put on my running gear and headed out, slowly and wearily.

It was H O T, hot! Heat and liquids don’t mix well for me. I am not sure yet if it is too much liquid intake on the bike, or too much Gatorade and not enough water? Not sure yet, but the last two races, which have both been extremely hot, I have puked on the run course. That may possibly be the problem, that it is just really hot. But today I ralphed three times, pure liquid, but charged head, one foot in front of the other.

About 300 yards form the finish Konaboy and RustQueen (and you didn’t think you’d get a nickname!!!!!!!!) were there waiting for me and cheering AND with a cold bottle of water! Mmmmmmmm!

I crossed the finish line as strong as I could then stood in the shade for a long time, regaining my bearings.

When I moved my bike the front tire was flat? My friend, John form Alexandria told me tha he was standing there when it happened. He said as I walked away to start my run the tire just went – POP, Pssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssst.

In our tri club there are many fingers being pointed at a “Bad Karma” person where when you train with that individual you have a bad training day with a flat, or wreck, or some other mishap. I think after my front tire experience, I am clear of that title. WOW, someone was looking out for me on this race to keep that tire safe until I racked it on transition!

After a while we loaded up and headed home.

I had such a great day and so much fun.

Until next time!

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