A Note on Boston & Nautica South Beach Olympic Triathlon Recap
First, a brief note regarding the Boston bombings:
I am from Boston, I was scheduled to race Boston, I have many friends and family who attended Boston this year, my father works in Watertown, and my brother and his wife live in Cambridge. I am lucky that no one I know was injured, but that is not the case for far too many.
I will openly admit that the events surrounding the race this year shook me to my core. Everything surrounding endurance racing seems so trivial and self-centered in light of the recent events. What does it matter?
I had to do some serious soul searching in the days following as to convince myself why I get up early every morning to lace up my shoes or buckle my helmet. And you know what I uncovered? Racing provides me a tremendous conduit to give back through philanthropy, and that in turn puts a smile on my face. And smiling is contagious. And the world needs more people to smile.
Okay, now on to a few lighthearted race recaps… (Brooklyn Duathlon recap in a separate post)
Nautica South Beach Olympic Triathlon: April 7, 2013
[My internal thoughts expressed in brackets]
Awww… the first race of the year in sunny South Beach Miami.
Swim 1500m – 26:39: I raced in the elite wave, which meant an early and much smaller wave but tons of competition. The gun went off before dawn, which was neat to see the sun pop up over the horizon, and the impending triathlon swim boxing match immediately ensued. [If you have ever done a tri before you know what I am talking about.] The ocean was very choppy, and as it was my first time in open water in 2013, I decided to swim approximately 2.4 miles instead of the required 1500m. Why you ask? Because I like making things difficult, and I can’t swim straight for sh**. [Idiot!] After doing my best to scare off all sharks for all competitors along the whole Florida coast, I swim like a brick wall, and digging myself a rather large deficit from the leaders, I reached the beach. After a short run up the beach and over the dunes I was off to T1.
T1 – 1:40: One of the perks of being in the elite wave is great transition placement. My bike ended up being within 5 feet of the bike out exit in a field of 4,000 competitors… sweet. After an okay transition I was off on the bike.
Bike 40k – 1:00:30: The bike course was flat. [Awesome!] There is no comparative in NYC of how flat it really was. People complained about the causeway bridges but in reality they were no larger than cat hill. That said, it was a bit windy, though the road was very smooth. All this added up to stomping on the pedals at threshold effort for an hour, which meant pain-train o’clock. [Ugh…] This is also where I had the opportunity to put all my indoor bike training at Tailwind to work. [If you want to become a monster on the bike, go take a class at Tailwind with Earl. You can’t dog it or slip into a draft on a trainer, just pure blood, sweat and tears stuff.] And all that training certainly paid off. I was able to hold just under 25 mph for the distance and passed about 8 people, included a few pros who started a bit earlier than me, and no one passed me. [I wish I didn’t fumble with my watch over the ride or else I would have stomped a bit harder to try and break an hour. Oh well, next time.]
T2 – 1:38: Pretty uneventful except that the transition was very crowded with people still coming out of the water, which meant a 1/4-mile run zig zagging through people with a bike in tow.
Run 10k – 35:05: I motored out of T2 and took to the epically flat 10k run course. If there was 3 feet of elevation gain over the whole thing, I would be surprised. Having spent zero time in the heat this year I was anxious to see how I would hold up in 80 degree weather. Prognosis: pretty good. I went out a bit conservative and picked up the pace throughout. Unfortunately the mile markers were nowhere close to accurate so my splits swung wildly and had me a bit concerned. [5:15 1st mile, YES!!!!, 6:05 second mile, NOOO!!!] So I just ran on effort and kept the pace up. It was neat to see the ITU Olympic pros on the out and back run course, and boy are they fast! I caught and passed about 4 people on the run but the race had spread out at this point. With 2 miles to go I was hurting and unfortunately there was no up ahead to reel in so I picked up the pace, although not as much as I would have liked. Ended up running 5:39 min/mile pace for the distance, which I was very happy with in the heat.
Final Result: 27th overall and 6th amateur, 2:05:39.
I’m happy with the early season result, though I certainly need to unhook the anchor in the swim, as it kept me off the amateur overall podium. [Olympic distance racing isn’t really my forte as the swim is proportionally longer.]
Additionally, I highly recommend this race to everyone for the competition, beautiful weather and amazing dichotomy of fit athletes arriving to the transition at 4:45 am, combined with the sloppy drunk, scantily clad club goers stumbling home or trying to find their way into more trouble. It is truly a sight to behold. Ahhh Miami.
Post race: I ate a million chocolate chip cookies. [For recovery, you know…]