21 March 2008

Miami International Triathlon

1.5k swim/ 40k bike/ 10k run
Miami, FL
16 March, 2008
2nd Overall amateur

Race Recap,

First “Olympic” distance race of the season! I’ve never raced consecutive weekends, and this was certainly an eye opener for me. Following last week’s performance, I felt capable and fit to red line my internal V8 and compete against the world’s best triathletes. I had never been to Miami before, so culturally I was in a different world. That’s another story altogether. But I was there for business, and that is exactly what I got down to.

The race. Good thing I moved to Florida, because now I am somewhat used to warm mornings, and race morning in Miami was no exception. I broke a sweat pulling on my new race uniform and I knew I was in for a warm day. After a quick 15min jog warm-up, I was officially drenched in sweat and ready to jump in the old Marine Race Stadium Bay and swim a bit before the gun went off. The race was wetsuit legal for us amateurs, but following last week’s “incident,” I opted to compete in my amazing new uniform thanks to Zoot Sports as opposed to a wetsuit. From the start, a competitor took off and set a quick pace in the water. I caught him roughly 900m into the swim and proceeded to jockey position with him until he decided to sprint the last 200m. I simply sat on his hip and quasi-body surfed his wake letting him do all the work. I was surprised to look down at my watch and see 13:30, meaning the swim ended up being a couple hundred meters short unfortunately, because I am a self-proclaimed amphibian. We crossed the timing mat side by side into T1, where I proceeded to have a lightening fast transition and immediately gained a couple minutes on my closest competitor.

Onto the bike, I set a fairly quick pace. I have yet to lay the hammer down for 40k, so it was good to see my training efforts pay off as I was able to distance myself even further from the second place athlete. I’ve never led a race before, so I must say it was cool/intimidating being the race rabbit. I practiced my nutrition perfectly, as I had a sustained energy level throughout the bike, and was getting quite excited to lay down a fast 10k run. I dismounted the bike with an even faster T2, and was excited for a fast 10k run. I looked down at my watch and saw that it took me over an hour to complete the bike, which was unusual considering I’m capable of cycling in the mid to upper 50’s. I later find out from someone who had a computer on his bike that the course was almost 45k as opposed to 40k. Relief. So I was ready to track my miles on the run, only to find out there are no mile markers. No big deal. A race is a race. I simply wanted to see my run splits as I am learning to become a land animal, and numbers on the run course help me do so. The run consisted of two 5.3k loops, so it was actually a little longer than 10k run. Good. It helps me learn to run. However, I had another one of those gazelles chasing me, and he caught me with about a half mile to go. I had the throttle fully opened, plus I had my afterburners engaged, but was unable to catch this native African creature as he sped away and beat me by 9 seconds. Ouch.

To sum up, I am more than happy with my effort. I raced as hard as I could have on that day, I think, and I am excited to get back to the drawing boards with my coach and get ready for the next double header, which takes place on April 20th and 27th, respectively. My training is going exceptionally well and I am eager to keep the ball rolling. Thanks to everyone for reading horrible grammar, syntax and an overall poor English recap of my race.

Until next time, wear Zoot Sports, drink and eat Powerbar products, sport Smith Optics shades and use Pedro's bike products in an effort to be more environmentally friendly (shameless plug, sorry…but not really)


Florida's Great Escape

1k swim/ 25k bike/ 5k run
Clermont, FL
9 March, 2008
5th Overall

Race Recap,

First race of the season! It felt great to get some serious speed with some serious competitors under my belt before the bulk of the season is upon us. The race attracted quite the early season star-studded field with an international and professional turnout. There were a few Canadian Olympic ITU hopefuls, professional Iron distance folks, and a few “in-betweeners” such as yours truly. More to come about the aforementioned in later updates…for now I will try to stick to race details.

The race. I competed in the elite wave, which was first to depart at the crack of dawn following daylight savings time. (USA Triathlon regulations mandate no swimmers may begin the race until the sun has appeared on the horizon.) The state of Florida had the red phone in hand about to dial FEMA as we began our morning in the low 40’s. The water was quite shallow, so the first 150+ meters of the 1k swim was an interesting mix of running/diving/swimming/David Hasselhoff efforts. I quickly learned that I am global positioning-ly challenged, as I started swimming in what can best be described as “not-a-straight-line.” Additionally, I need to learn how to swim in a wetsuit. I had, for me, a sub par effort in the water, as I was gapped by some stud swimmers. I came out of the water roughly 90secs down on the lead guys, and after having tea and strumpets, as my coach affectionately called it, in T1 (swim to bike transition), I began laying the hammer down on the bike. I rode like a man possessed for the first lap of a two lap bike. The bike was 40 minutes of solid cycling for me, as I made my way up to third overall in a quick amount of time. My coach and I have been putting serious effort into my growth as an overall cyclist, so it is nice to see his efforts and my work paying off. After a not-so-bad T2 (bike to run transition), I ran an opening mile of 5:10, and proceeded to run two back-to-back 5:25min/mile to finish in 5th overall. I had two gazelles chasing me, and I fell prey to them.

To add insult to injury, my coach wanted to put a tightly fitting cap on the previous four weeks worth of training, so following the race, a couple of buddies and I went for a leisurely 9 mile run, followed by a quick two hour bike ride in the evening. I slept soundly that evening.

I am extremely pleased with my early season performance, and excited about where my fitness is this Spring. My coach and I had been working hard and long for the previous four weeks leading up to this race, and I am looking forward to letting my muscles heal a wee bit. My next race is the Miami International Triathlon on Sunday, March 16, 2008, and I am almost as eager to begin my preparations for the rest of the season following this race.

Stay tuned!