Monday, March 21, 2011

Miami Int'l Tri 5150 race report

Fun dinner with the crew (thanks L&L!)

March moon over Miami Beach, beautiful!

The Dane's new little friend!

Swordfighting the Blakester

Road trip!!

Our hotel room view of Miami, nice!

Very early in the season for a big time Olympic distance triathlon, but this one was within driving distance and potential qualifier for Hy-Vee US 5150 triathlon championship in September. My only goal was to get a qualifying spot for Hy-Vee. Not in the shape I need to be in to have bigger goals at this time of year for sure. Came off a really good running season in the winter and really just started working on the bike in February so not really setting my sights very high for this race. It was also the new 5150 series opener and wanted to be a part of what I thought would be a great event. In short, it was! The event did not disappoint! We didn't get to pre ride, run or swim the course so a lot of unknown. The mantra I always try to go back to to calm myself when I don't know what to expect is to just control the things I can and deal with the rest. Our wonderful hotel room in the host/race hotel looked down on the swim/transition (and the huge full moon) which was cool. Had an idea about the swim but no clue about currents as this was obviously a very busy channel and currents were crazy! Wetsuit legal, a gift at this time of year! Had my nice, new, ill-fitting (my fault, didn't change nose piece, duh), tinted Sable goggles but sun wasn't even up yet. Dark! Great swim start though (in water) once I spotted the first turn bouy and I was off and gone. Had some sighting issues because I had salt water in my left ill-fitting goggle and really was half blind! Had nobody else to draft off so had to just suck it up and deal with it. Current was pretty strong coming back in to the swim finish and I thought it took FOREVER! Didn't expect to be first out of the water for my wave (40+ age group females) but I'll take it! Off on the bike and found the wind was super gusty through the buildings as we rode through the high rises of downtown Miami! It was a lot of wind for me as I haven't been riding much in the past 4-5 months so I didn't feel comfy in the aero bars at all! So, rode most of the bike non-aero (and had to stop and fix a dropped chain) and my bike split showed it! Power numbers weren't bad so it was really an aero/aggressiveness issue - this can be worked on. The run course in my opinion was not a "fast" runners course due to a lot of turns and switchbacks. That said, I ran fast! I got off the bike second in my AG and knew the only way to win was to run for it. You know what they say, bike for show and run for dough! I did and it hurt. I managed to catch one of the pro women (Christine Jeffrey on her second, my first loop) and ran with her for nearly two miles (after seeing she splitted 37:17 for the 10K, I knew why I nearly crawled the last mile!). Caught the age group gal leading me at about mile 5 (can't really remember, I was really hurting) and held on for the AG win. It was extremely gratifying and unexpected to win the AG. The Dane was third which was a great result for him in a killer swim/bike combo and we both gathered our Hy-Vee slots. Very good race, venue and location. We had a blast in downtown Miami and hope to return. Always good to get the first triathlon of the season done and dusted and hopefully work out some of the little mistakes that are made along the way. Still have a lot of work to do tying it all together for St Anthony's and Florida 70.3 but feel we are heading in the right direction. As I told the Dane, last year at this time when I was still down with the hamstring injury, I never would have guessed I'd be running decent, much less faster than pre-injury. I am so grateful to be healthy and loving being back to racing. I'll keep working on the strength and hopefully things will come together in May. We have also the 25th Annual Escape From Ft Desoto sprint tri in mid-April which is always a blast. Haven't done that race in three years so it should hurt accordingly.....there are stairs involved!
And, we did get to enjoy a few days here with my brother, his wife and 2 1/2 year old which was a blast and needed vacation! Thanks for joining us here guys! Miss the Blakester already! Tell him KathyAnders love him! Cheers!

Sunday, March 06, 2011

Triathlon training...harder than run training!

Ok, been absent for a bit. Trying to be a multisport athlete again. I loved my run season and had a really good go but now it's time to add the swim and the bike (God, help me here) to the running. We have MIT (Miami Int'l Tri) in two weeks which will be a swift kick in the pants for the start of the season. Usually, Chilly Willy is the benchmark prior to St Anthony's but now we've entered big time and doing MIT. That said, Chilly Willy Duathlon is the biggest duathlon in FL and MIT is only now part of the 5150 series so will likely be competitive as well. I do not like to shy away from competition. I fully expect MIT to have some fast competition but that's why I'm going. My goal is to qualify for Hy-Vee which is the "National Championship" olympic distance race later in the summer. I'm in good run shape, ok swim shape and working on the bike. I'm sure I'll be in a lot better shape than I was for the Key West Tri! Pretty regimented with the training right now. Three to four swims, four bikes and four to five runs. But, I'm mindful that my "peak" race for the first half of the year is Florida 70.3 in middle May. We rode nearly 80 in the hills yesterday which is the longest ride since Aug '09 when I tore my hammy. It was not easy and I got dropped a bunch but I'm happy with the numbers I later found on my SRM. Getting there. We did a 2 hour ride (waited for the rain to stop) followed by a 7 mile run. Ran well on super tired legs and that was the goal. We did the Belleair Sunset 5K run last Sat night which was really hard due to AM swim and ride but I managed second overall female. I wanted to get sub 19 but not quite......but close. Too tired which is why I say multisport training really is so much harder and adds so much more fatigue in general than run training. Having not raced triathlon most of 2010, I'm realizing how hard it really is on the body. You tend to forget after so much time training and racing. Will keep it going then roll into MIT untapered for the most part (I tend to race better that way) and go for that qualifier! We'll see.