Wednesday, July 28, 2010

The Dirty Mama's Beat the Red Stick Hard

from The Baton Rouge Morning Advocate
Interview by: Ira Inmybra

July 24, 2010

Baton Rouge: It's official. The Dirty Mama's are one race away from being able to compete in New Orleans at the Gulf Coast Adventure Series Championships in November. This past weekend they racked up another handful of points in the series and are moving up the ranks as they begin to get serious about their racing. Having heard about their escapades at the Spillway Race in June, I decided they would be worth following again to see how they fared in their home town of Baton Rouge. I was interested to see how their racing strategy changed from one race to the next so I decided to tag along on their journey.

I met up with them at 6 a.m. at the International House of Pancakes on race morning. It wasn't hard to figure out who they were, as one member - Canada - was proudly displaying her Dirty Mama's team tanktop. The other two seemed a bit more modest at this early hour and covered themselves with an over-shirt. It was apparent that little care was taken during their initial race day preparation, as Coug's hair reminded me a bit of Don King's, and none of the women appeared to have spent much time looking at themselves in the mirror prior to meeting up for their pre-race meal. Well, none but Canada, who had managed to comb her hair and take the time to put it in two little pointy pig tails to keep it from falling into her face.

I introduced myself and they invited me to join them for breakfast. I had to comment that I was surprised that they were eating such a heavy meal before an intense race. They explained to me that because this was a local race, they had all gone home to their families after they had gotten off work the night before, and they were not able to partake in their usual "liquid nutrition" ritual that they managed to get in at the previous race. Because of this, they felt that they needed to make up on not only calorie intake, but also on the team bonding and planning that usually went with their nutritional plans. I was amazed at what these women ate and how they seemed to not worry about keeping it down during their race. Two of the three selected a grease laden bacon egg and cheese sandwich, with a dill pickle spear as a side, along with a good portion of hash browns. The third member, Here, chose a cheese omelet with a side of bacon and toast. She followed her meal with a handful of funny little white pills which she said were "salt". Seemed strange to me that with all the bacon they just ate that they would need salt, but I decided it was not worth confronting them on the mysterious pills. In addition to the food, the caffeine was flowing with never-ending cups of coffee - some of which were brought in from home, and refills of Dr. Pepper. I, who wasn't racing, chose a bowl of oatmeal and a side of fresh fruit. Something seemed wrong with my choice.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Gearing Up For The Baton Rouge Adventure Race!

The summer is nearing its end, school is looming ahead for the kids, and there are only a handful of races that I have left on my agenda before the fall. Fortunately for me, the next one is another adventure race! This will be the first urban race that the "Dirty Mamas" will be participants in and it is in our hometown this time which we hope will be an advantage (because it will be very humiliating if we can't navigate in our own city). Everyone is mended now, so we have no excuse to not go full force and give it our all, but hopefully not to the detriment of losing the incredible amount of fun we had during the last race when we were not even trying to be competitive! Training for this race has been nill, other than our usual tri-training regimen. No canoeing practice, no map reading classes, and the mountain bikes have been left untouched since the last race (although hopefully 'Here' has gotten hers repaired by now). Once again, the Dirty Mamas' are expected to have quite an adventure... race report to follow.

I am experimenting with a new format for keeping progress on my open water swim training that will not bore my readers with redundant accounts of every swim practice: by this time everyone knows my issues and I am kind of tired of blogging about them (and wonder if giving the fear this amount of exposure just drills it home more). I am going to try and take a more objective measurement of each open water swim experience so I can monitor my progress and identify potential triggers. At the end of every blog week in which there is an open water swim I will log my anxiety levels going into it and during it, and note any conditions or situations that might have affected it. So feel free to ignore the information if it is not of interest to you as it is more for my journaling and identification of factors that may help me.

I am hoping to register my kids for the local Rocket Kidz race in two weeks. This would be their first triathlon and they are getting excited about it, as am I. I am really encouraged by the growth in the youth opportunities for triathlons and think that it is an incredible outlet for our children to learn discipline and to challenge themselves. I look forward to blogging about their experience!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Meet IRONANNE....!!!!

Let's cut right to the chase for those that may not have heard the results of Anne's Ironman journey... she "officially" completed the race and was actually able to run across the finish line at the end! Amazing performance and an awesome experience for everyone involved. So, instead of posting the long-winded 15 page spectator race report I wrote (I will save that for other projects), I am instead posting a video blog of the race and the events leading up to it. Hope you all enjoy, and for the family and friends of Anne out there who weren't able to make the trip ~ know that she did you all proud and we tried to represent you as best we could!!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

When You Fail at Something...Try Tri Again


July 6, 2010:

It has taken me almost 3 months to make a decision on whether to re-attempt the New Orleans Half-Ironman distance triathlon. I have ridden the roller coaster of emotions since my performance last April, and wasn't sure if I had it in me to try this again. It truly was the hardest day, mentally and physically, of my life. 

I have contemplated other 70.3 races in place of a return to New Orleans, and thought that I had come to a decision a few days ago, favoring a calmer body of water and a change in scenery. The problem with that is that by choosing another race, it allows me an out. It keeps me from facing my fear, which is really a return to New Orleans, the lake, and failure. I don't think I will feel successful until I accomplish what I originally set out to do, which was to officially finish the 70.3 New Orleans' race. 

I'm not going to lie. It scares the $^% out of me. I don't want to set myself up, especially in front of the internet world, with another play-by-play that ends in disappointment. I don't know if I can handle that. I think that would be really humiliating. I am afraid of failure and I am afraid of the swim. I'm not sure that will ever change. But if I can get through the swim, and not quit at the rest of the race, then I can move on to other goals.

I have some advantages this time that I didn't have before: I have experience -  I know just how hard that race was and am better prepared for it mentally than I was in April; the water was awful that day, and I truly don't think it could be much worse... so there will either be better conditions, or the same - and I did survive those awful waves, even if it was ugly; I have an awesome training partner now that I will have throughout my training, not just at the end; AND I still have the best coach in the world who will prepare me better than anyone can; I have a base level of fitness that I didn't have last year, so I can build on that to be stronger, faster, and mentally tougher; and more than anything - I have motivation to finish right this time.

So, as much as it takes the breath out of me to publicly say it:

"I commit to racing and "officially" completing the New Orleans 70.3 Half-Ironman, April 17, 2011."

Let the training begin...