Sunday, May 15, 2011

Tri-Miami Race Review

I'm pretty thrilled to have a local tri this season. Packet pickup was super easy at Mack Cycle. A nice little bag of swag with the regular stuff and a bonus coffee sample from Jittery Joe's Coffee. I love samples as a matter of fact I would say to those who sponsor a race, "hey either put in a freebie or a coupon because I'm gonna throw everything else away" :-)

This race is my first without my brother. So, I carpooled with Roni and it was her first tri so that was good because she was so nervous I didn't have to be.

We met up with our other school mom tri friend Katie in the Transistion area. She beat me but I expected she would because she's faster.  I also found Shana who is a tri-firend who I met through my brother. She also beat me because she's also faster.

I had been glued to the weather channel since yesterday because there was a forecast of 20 mile hour winds. That would be bad for my swim. I was thrilled that it was only 8 miles an hour. But that's still pretty windy.

This race had an Olympic distance race as well so we had to be there way way way before our start. Like we arrived at 5:30 for a 7:45 start. Ick. Also we had to clear transition before the start of the Olympic distance so we were on the beach early. We watched them start and we watched them struggle in the surf. The Olympic course was out and back and the first half was against the wind, waves and currents. It looked challenging and I was happy to only be swimming the 440 with the wind and current. We warmed up and luckily my open water swimming has come a long way because it wasn't bad really. Then we waited. Everybody admired my pre-race chia and white grape juice drink ... not really.
Katie. I love this picture. She got a full night's rest and so she was full of cheer.
Roni warming up. She's great!

Swim 440 8:59
The swim was okay. I let the group go at the start and counted to 5. I met them at the buoy so I'm not sure if that's the best tactic. I did use the pinwheel I learned at the clinic to round the buoy and that was good but I did head off course to the right after that. So I swam some extra. I knew I was off because I didn't see any bubbles from kicking feet. So I adjusted and headed home. It was uneventful and I felt strong enough to run up the sand the whole way into transition. It's a long run 1/4 mile over the sand for those who don't know the course. As is tradition I emerged from the water 2 seconds ahead of Shana and she passed me on the sand.

T1 - 5:00

Bike 12.4 47:20
The bike is an old familiar route so that was good. I was lapped by many speedy olympic distance speedsters at the start. I love that. I was also passed by my friend Melissa - to be expected and I passed Shana - also expected. This course is nice and wide so as long as you stay to the right they just zip past you and it's fun. I thought I was going against the wind on the way out. I was wrong about that. There were a lot of first timers in this race. Maybe in every race. But what I've learned is that the first timers forget to go back to the right after they pass. No biggie. When we got to the William Powell bridge I was ready. I actually passed 2 people going up. Then I felt the wind at the top and I did not know what to do. I felt like it was going to push me sideways. It was pushing me sideways so I slowed down a lot on the way down. I'm not sure if that was the best thing but I was a bit freaked. Then back up on the other side where I passed one person -- This is a big deal -- I am a terrible climber. I even got a compliment from a serious gearhead at the top who said, that was good stuff as he blew past me. But I loved the compliment. Then I did better on this downhill but still freaking with the wind.

At the bottom I learned that I would be going back into the wind. Bummer - major bummer. It was slow and hard. But I didn't get passed by anybody that wasn't in the olympic distance on the way back and that always feels good.

T2 1:34
I have never felt the dead legs going into the run. I had recently been told that meant I wasn't pushing hard enough on the bike and that the bike wasn't very long. Aha an end to that. Today I had the dead legs but only for a bit which means I have more to give on the bike. This is also shown by my mediocre bike split time.

Run 29:46
The run felt hard from the get go so I just settled into a rhythm and stuck with it. I didn't wear my watch so I felt like it was a slow pace but I just pushed as hard as I could. It was hot also which is a drag. I chatted with a few folks and saw George from Footworks and Hammerheads. That was fun. Shana passed me at the 2 mile mark. Also expected she is a speedster. Since I was familiar with the course I knew when to pick up the pace and I did and I ran in just ahead of my rabbit in the green swimsuit. I had pushed hard enough because I had to go to the side because I thought I was gonna hurl. Turned out I didn't but that means I didn't wimp out on the course and I'm gonna be happy with that. 

Overall I took 9/18 in my age group with 1:32:41. I am Amy Mid-pack. I want to move up and to do that it means a faster bike and a faster run. I'll tackle those later. For those who care Shana was 8th and Katie was 5th in our age group. Roni was in the FT division she took 3rd overall. She did a great job.

I was so thrilled that my family came out to cheer me on. They saw me at the bike dismount and at the finish. It was awesome. This is a special treat because my husband would always rather sleep in and meet me at home.
My cheering section - after they hit the beach.
Remember Jittery Joes who put the coffee in the swag bag? They also came to the race and gave out free coffee. I love them. I repeat I love them. Coffee with actual half and half. Plus it turns out that there was a whole Shana Connection. Gotta love that.
Shana and the lovely Jittery Joes person who served me hot coffee.

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