Monday, September 24, 2012

Escape to Miami 2012 Race Report

After a very un-photo filled race goal post I'm planning to include lots of pictures in this post. Sadly for everyone I didn't take my waterproof camera with me to the Island. The battery wasn't fully charged and since it was dark it wouldn't have lasted very long at all so it stayed in the bag.

Pre-race details
Normally I would skip this because most races are the same but there are some points in here for others who might race this event in the future.
my super bike at check in. Your space is marked with your number which is great. It is a big and crowded transition area but well marked.
  •  at packet pickup they give you an armband. They insist  on putting it on you so you have to wear it until after you've finished the race. It was annoying because I went early so I wore it for a lot of days. Lesson learned.
  • You have to check your bike a day early. Which is fine. A pain but fine. They insist on body marking you at this time. Also annoying. Many people just marked themselves at home with their very own sharpies. 
  • The Omni Garage tells you that the clearance is 6'7" when you enter but watch out because some of the signs when you get in say 6'2" which is important to know if your car clears 6'6" as mine does. 
On Saturday I was scheduled for a short pre-race brick workout. However it was pouring rain so it turned into a slow run. Except it began to lightning so the second half was pretty quick because I was scared of the lightning. But I did get my new uniform.
here's part of the team in the new uniforms hiding out under a tree in the rain.
 Race Day
This race has a super early wake up call. Because you have to get to the boat to get to the island ... it's just early. I got up at 3:42 - and was out the door at 4. I carpooled with my friend K who was doing the bike portion of a relay.  She woke up at 3 ... I know I think she's a little crazy too.

She's all smiles in the morning in her hammersuit!
I met up with my friend Janine and we headed to the boat.
more early morning smiles.
The Boat
The boat ride was uneventful. We were in the front of the boat. There was a light rain as we headed out. The boat ride is maybe 4 minutes long. We put on our swim skins... and then it was time to jump. I was a little surprised at how high the jump was when we got there. If you didn't know I'm not a fan of heights, especially over water. But my buddy Janine grabbed my hand and said, "let's go!" and we jumped.

It was awesome!

Then we swam to the island and chilled for about an hour. Sitting in the water with trash bag blankets over our shoulders. There is a band and tiki torches ... it is really fun.

The Swim
This is the only swim where I've been at the start looking for the finish. Usually I check that before but it wasn't set up the day before and it was super dark the morning of. But I found somebody who had done the race before. She helped me to see it and showed me what buildings to sight off. Love her!

The girls are the third and final wave. So we watched the college kids and the elites go off. They all swam the wrong way. I'm not sure what the deal was with that. But whatever. The announcer thought it might be the current so we all moved way down the beach.

Then the guys went and then the girls. It was the biggest swim wave I've ever started with. Since I had a bad experience this summer trying to swim with the speedies at the front I hung back and counted to 3 and then went. It was super congested.

About 10 strokes in I popped my head up because I was surrounded by people. I actually treaded water for about 5-10 seconds because there was nowhere to swim. Interestingly I must have been pulled along by all the swimmers because I stayed in position with the person who was swimming next to me. How confused must she have been to take 2 breathes and see me treading water next to her each time. Made me smile. Then a space opened up and off I went.

I had absolutely no issue staying on course with the current so I think the guys in the first wave were just confused about where to go because it was darker when they started.

I'm really happy that I was able to stay calm and steady for the whole swim. I passed a lot of people which has to happen in a race this size. And I will say that's a lot of fun.

There was a lot of contact during the swim. Some was unavoidable because there were so darn many of us. But I did have my first intentional contact where a girl put her hand on my back and pushed me down. She may have regretted that because I responded with an upper cut from my left elbow into her belly. Pushing people under just isn't necessary and I will never understand why some people think the swim should be a full contact event. When I reach out for my pull and there is a body there I simply adjust two inches to the left and swim by. I also had my first experience of somebody grabbing my foot - touching okay - grabbing not so much. I concentrate on not kicking much when I'm swimming this far except for this instance. She got a solid kick to the arm. So here's the lesson - if you push me down or grab my leg- be prepared for retribution.

When I rounded the second buoy I actually saw a white cap doggy paddling. White caps were the first wave and I shouldn't have caught any of them. I paused to make sure he was okay because there was still a long way to go. He said he was and so off I went.

I am really happy that I had a good swim.  32:36 was my time.
Here I am running out. Don't I look happy? That's Janine right next to me - funny that we came out at the same time right?

t1 3:06 
This is pretty slow - I think it was the swim skin oopsie.

In transition my friend Gabe was there. I'm not sure how because he wasn't racing but I am glad because I put on my shoes without taking off my swim skin. He pointed that out and boy am I glad otherwise I would have been that idiot out on the course wearing her swim skin ! Ha!

The Bike 78:36
I had a good bike. My watch wasn't set up correctly at the start so I was without data for the first mile or so. But then I hit a button and it showed the speed and I was able to keep a steady speed from there on in.
This picture is totally out of focus but don't I look awesome on my bike? Coach Frank took this picture and told me to remember to breathe. I'm not sure why he said that - perhaps my face was red? Whatever - I did what he said and concentrated on breathing. Maybe it helped.

There are lots of bridges in the race. They aren't bad and the downhills totally make up for any speed lost going up.

There are also lots of u-turns which stink because you have to slow all the way down - or at least I have to - to make it around. I feel that really slows me down.

It was a crowded course but not to bad. I didn't have any issues. I was surrounded mostly by guys which seemed unusual but that's what it was.

There is a bottle exchange but I didn't take the bottle because it was Cytomax. At the end of the course I did run out of Infinit so luckily I was almost finished and I don't think it mattered. 

t2 - 3:01 
this is also slow - who knows what I was doing. my other friends had t2 times of about a minute. I'm wondering if maybe the whole shoes on the bike could make that difference. If so I have really got to get on that bandwagon.

The Run 65:44
So at the moment my brother isn't racing. He's recovering from a tumble he took on the bike recently. So I subconsciously did as many things as I could like him. I ran out of nutrition on the bike and then I forgot my watch in transition as I headed out to the run. Drat!
this is me headed out on the run. I think I look pretty good!
So with no idea what speed I was going I just plugged along. I was very happy to have my cold water with my fuel belt which I had frozen overnight. Other than that the fuel belt drove me nuts the whole run. I was also really happy that most of the run it was overcast because there is no shade at all.

There is plenty of water on the course. But it's warm. There is also ice. Which I put in my sports bra. It is the one benefit of having to wear a sports bra - a place to put the ice.

I plugged along - saw all my friends because it's an out and back course. And I'll admit I walked up most of the bridge on the way back. Bummer but I'll live with that. And then it was over! Another race in the books.
required self-portrait.
The medal is pretty cool. There is the stupid arm band that I wore for 4 days. Sheesh!

In conclusion this race is a keeper. A lot of fun. It is a bit of a pain but I think worth it.

Next up ... Rev3 70.3 on October 28th.


  1. Sounds like a fun race! You are getting quite speedy!

    When I looked up your race results, they look different than the numbers you have here. I have you with a 1:42 T2 and a 1:03:39 run

    1. Those are better numbers. Thankfully somebody in this family can read a chart! Unfortunately that somebody isn't me.

  2. well, you can sign up now. registration blitz is open! i am debating. i really did not have a good time when i raced last year but had a pang of regret seeing everyone doing it this year! congrats on your race!

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