A couple weeks ago I headed south for the Miami International Triathlon, it was the first race of the 5150 series and I was hoping for a decent placing to get some points to qualify for the 5150 Championship at the Hy-Vee Triathlon in September.
I arrived and stayed in Fort Lauderdale with the family of one of my friends from Colorado. As has been the case with any home stay, Darlene took excellent care of me, I got some great home cooked food a nice comfortable bed to sleep in and she let me use her car to get where I needed to go. I really couldn't do this sport without the help of others, thank you Darlene.
I had a good time leading into the race, visiting Lauderdale-By-The Sea, and getting to watch Blue Fire a local band in an open concert, they were a great cover band with an amazing fiddle player.
It was also the weekend of the largest full moon in almost 20 years. I took a few photos looking at the pier, didn't want to pay the $3 just so I could walk down there.
Saturday before the race I met fellow XTERRA racer Christine Jeffery for a few pre-race workouts down in Key Biscayne. Everyone was out riding and running, nice clean wide shoulders on the roads. If you live in Miami this is where you go to ride which is a bit unfortunate that it is the only nice place to ride in the city that is easy to get to. After a quick pre-race briefing and registration, I headed back and got everything ready for the next day.
One of the biggest things I enjoy about XTERRA races is the later start you don't have to wake up before the break of dawn, but we are racing in a major city and they were closing down some large roads so up and headed to transition at 5am. After a nice dark bike ride to get things warmed up I set up everything in transition and prepared for my first real pro road triathlon since Chicago in 2008.
|Thanks to Jeffrey Sanzare for the photo|
|Headed toward T1|
It was a deep water start that seemed to have no true starting line but it was the most well behaved starts with no one really creeping forward that I have been in in a while. I started well jumping on Matty Reed's feet and that carried me to the first buoy. I got tangled with some people and ropes there even though I was not that close to the turn buoy and lost Reed's feet and slowly a gap formed. I tried to close it down but it just wasn't going to happen. I finished the swim about a minute down from the leaders and 30 sec back from a small second group. Thanks to my 2XU Super Elite Endurance suit I don't need to wear a swim skin and was in and out and on the bike and in my Sidi T-2. I am a bit at a disadvantage since I don't have a true triathlon or TT bike but I can say that my bike fit is better than 98% of the pro's out there. I rode solid steadily picking people off that had swum a bit quicker and kept pace with pretty much everyone else that that came up from behind. I had a mid pack ride and came off the bike feeling good.
Once on the run, I didn't feel all that great after I got settled into what I was hope was a decent pace, but one after another everyone was passing me and I felt like I was going no where but backwards. It was hard to stay positive when everyone is passing you but I just tried to think that it is early in the season and that my run workouts had been going well. I managed to keep moving and crossed the line in 20th. The placing was way back of where I was hoping for and expecting. I needed to take some time before I really put some thought into how the race went and wanted to see my splits as well.
|Myself, Brian, Melissa, Cam, Ryan, Jillian, Matt @ Improv|
After some evaluation it wasn't a bad race for the end of March, chalk a little bit up to not racing road for almost 3 years and how the speed is so much different than in the XTERRA's. Overall my swim was pretty good, I normally get lapped by the leaders in the pool in an 800, so only 1min down for a 1500 is not bad, I need that gap to be 30 secs at the max though. The bike was solid, I feel that I should be able to ride within a minute of the front group and was about 2min off so still some improvement to be had there. My run for me was actually very good, to run low 35 in March is something that I can be happy about for me, the only problem is that everyone else ran in the 33 minute range so I don't have anything i can rest my laurels on just go back at it before the next one rolls around. After the race I did get to have some more fun and went to my first comedy show with a few other friends/racers.
Up next though are 6 XTERRA's (one is not officially that but it is off road), I leave for Las