Rockin’ Rocketchix

All smiles post-race!

Rocketchix in 2012 was a fabulous race! Not only is it a well-run and organized event, but I crushed most of my goals for this tri!

My training has been haphazard to say the least, a few bricks here, very little swimming overall, not much running beyond the short bricks I’ve done.

I inadvertently took off a week two weeks before the race. All the usual excuses apply — too busy, bad weather, feeling blah… I managed to get it back together the weekend before the race. I headed out with the Bicycle Shop group to ride the bike course and run the run course. One more bike ride on Tuesday and I was officially done training for Rocketchix.

With my niece Lucie at the beach two days before Rocketchix.

And then I headed out of town on vacation! I snagged a last minute invitation to go to the Gulf coast with my brother, sister-in-law, their kids and her family.

I was only there for two and a half days, but I had so much fun swimming with the kids in the Gulf of Mexico and the condo complex’s pool, building sand castles and staying up late playing with the grown-ups.

Friday, I rushed back to Baton Rouge and made Rocketchix packet pickup with just 20 minutes to spare! I barely had a chance to check out the packet before I headed out again to meet friends to watch the Olympic Opening Ceremony.

It was after 10:00 p.m. when I left my friends and rushed home to finish my race prep and get some sleep. The smartest thing I did was to pack my transition bag and lay out my tri kit before I left for the beach. Most of my work was done, but I had to double check everything, add my numbers to my bike, helmet and race bib, prep my water and load up my bike. It was nearly 11:00 when I finally fell asleep.

Despite my late night, I was up with my 5:00 a.m. alarm, took a quick shower, ate my yogurt and peanut butter, slathered on sunscreen and was off to LSU. I got to the race site at the perfect time. There was no wait to check my bike (brakes work, no kickstand – check) and I had plenty of room in transition.

My transition set up

I made significant changes to my transition set up from last year. I had much less stuff this year! Rundown: towel to set my stuff on, helmet with sunglasses open and inside, small towel to dry off feet, socks half rolled to facilitate putting them on, shoes with loose laces, hat and race bib. I don’t have cycle shoes, so I throw my running shoes on during T1 and have a very quick T2 because of it.

When I finished setting up transition and went to get my timing chip and body markings, the place was packed and at least 50 racers were in line to have their bikes checked. Lesson – always arrive EARLY to the race site.

I found my Rouge Orleans teammate Jenn and we chatted for a bit. Josh arrived moments before the race and I had just enough time to say hello and to hand off my bag with stuff I wanted for immediately after the race (phone and towel to mop up the sweat!). And then it was time to line up by the pool.

The swim was great! I felt energized, the water felt wonderful and I was passing people left and right! (Well, mostly left). Of course, I told myself in the water to enjoy all the passing I was doing, because it would be the last. Swim time – 7:42 (the timing mat is just before you get into the pool and several feet after you exit the pool, so my actual time in the water was a little less).

In T1. Picture courtesy of Josh.

I came out of the pool barely out of breath and jogging to transition. I had a great placement right in the middle of transition and second from the end of the rack. My goal was quick transitions and I succeeded! It took me very little time to throw down my swim cap and goggles, throw on my sunglasses and helmet, put on my shoes and grab my bike. T1 – 2:27. I was on the bike course before I knew it.

Normally, the Rocketchix bike course is a 12-mile out and back on River Road, but construction on River Road meant we had to use an alternative course. I wasn’t sure about the new course, which took us down River Road one way, had us U-turn, head back down River Road to U-turn again, turn on to Gourrier and U-turn again before turning back toward transition, but all the turns really broke up the course. I didn’t get bored or burned out and time passed quickly. The alternate course was also a little shorter at just 11.3 miles. Bike time – 40:00 flat/ 17 mph (my fastest bike ride ever!).

I hustled back in for T2, racked my bike, ditched my helmet and grabbed my hat and race belt. And then I proceeded to walk. Two reasons — I was tired at this point and I couldn’t fasten my race belt when running (oops!). T2 – 1:07.

In the finish line chute. Photo courtesy of Josh.

My run was poor, I’ll readily admit. I walked out of transition and through the water stop that is just five feet into the run course. I tried to maintain a steady pace, but walked more than I wanted to. The downside to this late July race is that it is already after 8:00 a.m. when you enter the run course (and so much later for some competitors), so it’s hot and humid. Not great conditions. I also bonked a bit just after the mile one marker and had to walk through a side cramp before I could get moving again. But soon the run was ending and I was getting my medal! Run time – 21:53/10:57 per mile. (Exactly my same time as last year, funnily enough).

Total time – 1:13:11

Overall, Rocketchix 2012 was a great race for me. I ended up with a 12 minute PR (not counting for the shortened bike course, but it would still be about a 10 minute PR). Despite my busy week and day before the race, I performed well and had a lot of fun. It’s a great race for beginners and the all-female environment is so relaxing and welcoming. I highly recommend Rocketchix for beginners and experienced women triathletes alike.

Hanging with Josh after the race. You know someone cares for you when they don’t mind standing next to you despite the sweat!

After transition opened, Josh and I grabbed my gear and headed back home for a nap. I woke up starving and we had a late lunch at 3:00 at Drunken Fish. My pork and eggroll bun was just what I needed (It’s not a race report without a “what I ate after the race” update). Saturday night, we met friends for a little party. I was exhausted, though, and in bed by 10:30.

Today, it’s all about watching the Olympics and doing yard work. (It’s a fabulous life I lead, I tell you.) 🙂

This entry was posted in Bicycling, Life, Races, Running, Swimming, Triathlon and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Rockin’ Rocketchix

  1. Pingback: Yam City Triathlon 2012 | Stories of a Slow Triathlete

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