July 23, 2017
Final Time: 3:05:35
Swim – 43:14 (2:31/100 meters)
I wasn’t sure how to go into this swim. I mean I felt comfortable and confident, but the water temperature was 87 on race day so there was no way I could go out and push hard. With that in mind, I went over to the swim practice are prior to race start to get a good feel for how the water actually felt.. and just like I expected, it was HOT! As the race began I made a point to get close to the front, but all the way to the right. I did this knowing that I’d be slower than I’d like due to the water temperature. But I stayed to the right to avoid battling other racers as they tried to hug the bouy’s on those turns. Once I hit that first bouy (left turn) and onto the LONG stretch which lasted about 1,000 meters I was able to get into a comfort zone, although it was an easy and slow zone! I do a terrible job of making race day plans so I didn’t set goals on the swim (or race in general) until about 600 meters into the swim. At that point I felt great… ended up setting a goal of 40 minutes, which I missed by just over 3 minutes. While my stroke felt great, my constant sighting/lack of open water swim practice definitely had an effect as I had to make three more turns around the bouy’s. Nonetheless, I felt great about my swim overall considering where I was last year. Before getting out the water I began to change my stroke/kick dramatically. I did this intentionally so I could get more comfortable doing the run from swim finish/out to the transition area.
Transition 1 – 2:56
The trot between the swim finish and transition 1 was about a quarter mile run through a sanded beach area then grass as you reach your bike. This is something I need to work on because three minutes for a transition is just way too long. I’m not going to win anything, but I do need to find ways to cut time where I can.
Bike – 1:15:47 (19/mph)
The bike course at this race is nice and flat. Yes, there are a few hidden inclines in there, but nothing challenging at all! This was a two loop bike course, about 25 miles in total. Nothing really stuck out with the bike course, but the roads were well marked and had police at every intersection as some roads were open to drivers.
Transition 2 – 2:20
As I finished the bike I wanted to try something new. I had a bit more energy drink in my water bottle so instead of waiting to get to the bike rack to drink, I chose to start drinking whole running once I got off my bike. This helped a lot because I felt much better going into the run. I had to sit down and tie my shoes as I didn’t have the the elastic shoe-ties so that cost me some time in T-2.
Run – 57:17 (9:20/mile)
This run was a pretty simple 10K through Mercer County Park. And like the bike, this race was pretty flat all throughout. The one thing about this run course that I appreciated was all of the support provided throughout. They had both water and Gatorade at just about every 1.5 miles throughout the race. Some water stations even provided nutrition and ICE-COLD towels for everyone racing. Having support like this on the course make racing much easier because it takes a lot of the “thinking” out the way as you know you’ll be taken care of.
Overall/Final – 2:11:43
Overall, this was one of the best races I’ve participated in. My training has been ramped up as I gear up for Ironman Maryland so to go out and complete New Jersey State Triathlon as well as I did was a great indication that things are working. In regards to the race itself… CGI has it figured out. They definitely bring out all of the stops making you feel like your money was well spent. Because of that, I’m already looking forward to signing up for the Double Down (Sprint and Olympic distance) option as soon as registration opens for 2018! But well before then, I’m just happy to have knocked this race out as I get one step closer to Ironman Maryland on October 7th.
Next Up: Rev3 Pocono Mountains 70.3 on August 13th.
April 2, 2017
Second time’s a charm! The last time I came down for a race in Miami was just over two months ago for Miami Marathon Weekend. That race day was cold, wet and just not an enjoyable one, but not today. Today was a clear, 75 degree day…perfect triathlon weather! Yes, it got hotter as the race went on, but it’s as expected when doing a Miami race.
The Classic/Sprint distance kicked off about 7:20 with a half mile swim. I was on a relay team for this race so I was able to hang out for a bit until my teams swimmer was over with her leg of the race. Although I didn’t swim, the feedback that I got from everyone was that the swim portion was great. The water seemed calm and the swim course was a straight out, right turn then another right turn onto the beach. She finished the swim at 17:31 then is was time for me to get on with the bike.
Like many others, I just did not have enough training time on the bike so I was worried with how I’d do on this day. That along with the fact that I was doing this 21 mile bike ride on a single speed bike. Luckily we were in Florida so the course was pretty flat. In fact, the course for the bike covered a lot of the same roads as Miami Marathon. We started right along 5th and Ocean Drive before heading across to the mainland by crossing MacArthur Causeway for about 3 miles. This was one of the 3 bridges that we had to cross so I was able to make up some time at this point… I guess I’m not half bad on hills these days (LOL). From MacArthur Causeway we turned onto Biscayne Blvd where we rode for about 2-3 miles before turning onto Julia Tuttle Causeway. This is where is became difficult for a lot of folks! This road was about 3 miles each way and included 2 bridges/inclines. As I approached the first incline I felt pretty confident. As I did on the other bridge, I was able to pass a ton of folks on this incline. Once I came off of there and began to approach the second incline I literally said to myself “this is going to be a problem”, and indeed it was! I was able to make it up but it definitely took much more work than the previous two. From there we simply made a few turns which ultimately resulted in a U-turn to get back on Julia Tuttle Causeway. I feel like I did better on the second half of the race because it was simply an out and back so I knew what to expect on the back end… back across the two Causeway’s and onto South Beach before finishing up the 21 miles. I was happy with my finish, which was 1:12:17, to result in 17.18/mph… on a single speed bike!
From the bike I went on to find the runner for my relay team. Unlike other relay teams where people meet their team members by the bikes. This race set up two separate section for relay teams to meet to give the next person their time chip which I thought was cool.
Now onto the 4 mile run…
Although I was only supposed to bike, I still felt like I had A LOT more left in the tank so I went on to the run. By this time the temperature rose to nearly 85 so it made the run difficult for a lot of folks. Fortunately I was there to help my teammate finish because it became more and more difficult for everyone, even the elites!
We were able to push through to the finish, finishing the run at 51:20, giving our team a final time of 2:28:03!
All in all, the race was a great experience. The folks at Lifetime Fitness definitely organized a great event. The one knock off was that there was not a ton of crowd support, but I guess you should expect that to be the case with triathlons opposed to running events. Also, with the heat being such an issue, having a sweat test done by Levelen would have help a lot of the athletes at the race. Nonetheless, I’ll definitely be back for a race down in Miami!
Next Up: Broad Street Run, May 7th in Philadelphia, PA
March 26, 2017
Chip Time – 02:01:42 (9:16/mile)
Watch Time – 1:55:23 (8:50/mile)… Unofficial PR!
So I guess the saying is true, “there’s no place like home!”
I moved from Philly to DC in October 2016. Since leaving, I had no desire to go back to visit largely because of the weather, but also because I felt like I wasn’t missing anything by being away from the city. Boy was I wrong! This city is has SOOOO many great things to offer and some great people as well, despite what everyone thinks!
My race weekend began on Friday. I went into work then straight to Union Station where I took the train from DC to Philly. I arrived pretty late but had already invited some folks out to meet me at a nearby restaurant/bar to hang out and catch the games. Not as many people came out as expected, but the night still ended up being a great one! After being out pretty late on Friday I still managed to wake up pretty early to cheer on the runners at the 6th Annual Stroehmann Bakeries Back on my Feet 5 Miler. Soon as I got to the race area, it felt like I knew everyone in some capacity! This race is not a big race but the support that it receives is always great. With that, I was able to speak to people that I haven’t seen in a few months, especially the fellas of Black Men Run Philadelphia.
From this race I went on over to pick up my things for the half marathon at the expo. I was extremely happy that the weather was cooperating on this day compared to the previous years expo when we had snow. Nope, this year the expo was inside, at the Philadelphia Convention Center. Not even five minutes into being at the expo I saw a teammate of mine from District Triathlon, Gaftie (@Will_Work_4_Vacation).
The expo was a breeze! There was plenty of space so you never felt like you were on top of everyone and the volunteers did a great job so I should’ve been in and out, if I didn’t stop and talk to just about everyone while there. LOL!
After finally getting over being this social butterfly I went across the street to get some food at the Reading Terminal. This is definitely a place everyone should go to when in Philly! I went with the Salmon Curry with Shrimp from Little Thai Market. I’m telling you, if you haven’t had it you’re missing out big time!
I didn’t have much time this weekend to hang out with everyone so I left this time after picking my things up from the expo to just chill and not stress about what to do next. I walked and walked throughout the city until it was time to head back and get ready for the shake out run/pasta dinner with Team RWB Philly. I had my usual pre-race meal, chicken parmigiana, but more important, this was a chance for folks to come out and meet one another so I was happy!
Then there was race day. I was on the fence the whole week about doing this race. I ran in some new shoes the weekend prior and I was worried that I would further injure myself if I ran. It wasn’t until the shakeout run on Saturday when I said I can push through. Shoot, I even questioned it on the morning of the race. Nonetheless, I am so glad that I did! Firstly, as I’ve mentioned before, seeing everyone this weekend was amazing, and that was the first thing I was able to do as I got to the race by meeting everyone on Team RWB Philly for a team photo:
From the pic, I went on to do my little BS stretching (insider), I really have to work on that whole stretching thing! I walked around a bit more before race start to say hello to everyone and thank just about every volunteer, then boom… the race began!
My plan for this race was to run with my friend David (@dsj80) who was the official 2:15 half marathon pacer for the race. The thought was to run slower and not get hurt by pushing myself too hard. As the race started I was not able to find him so off I went. The first few miles felt great, although my paces for the race were all over the place! I ran, stopped, talked, walked the opposite way of where the race was going, all to try and find this 2:15 pacer because I was well ahead of that pace. About mile four is when I just said screw it and started running! Somehow he was ahead of me! Mind you I was running at about an 8:20/mile pace at this point of the race. Once I saw him I figured I’ll stick with him even though my legs and foot were feeling great. I did this 10:20/mile pace for about two miles but my foot began to hurt much more than it did when I was running my normal pace. At that point I just told David bye and went on running. This was perfect because we were coming up on my favorite parts of this and every race…the part where I can see runners on the opposite side. I LOVE this part because being able to see people and cheer them on keeps me motivated, especially when I’m on the side that closer to the finish line, HAHA! So this year’s course has changed a bit so there weren’t many hills at all, which I loved. I continued to run my roller coaster like half marathon loving and enjoying every bit of it. In fact, I was having such a good time that I didn’t even think to drink anything until mile 11! I guess it was a bit too late because I hit a wall shortly after. I went from a 7:30 mile, to a 7:45, to 8:52 then a 9:50 to finish out the race.
Nonetheless, I got it done and had an unofficial PR, according to my watch, and if I planned correctly, I could’ve EASILY gotten a 1:50 time, if not a 1:45! But hey, I guess I’ll just focus on getting that done at next year’s Love Run Half Marathon, because I’ll be back!!!!
January 29, 2017
Miami (Half) Marathon! Good weather, nice beaches, beautiful views… not just referring to the surroundings 😉 What a perfect way to start off the season, or so I hoped.
The days leading to race day were great. I met a few folks from District Running Collective, a running group based in D.C. so it gave me the opportunity to enjoy the race weekend with others. We did dinner, a welcome happy hour, went out to a club in Wynwood Art District and even had a pre-race dinner, although I didn’t make it out for that. I was feeling pretty lazy the night before the race so I stayed in and made chicken parm.
Then race day came! I set my alarm to go off at 4am, and I woke up at that time. The snooze button wanted a bit more attention that day so I kept touching it, only to find myself waking up at 5:35 for a race that started at 6am. This definitely caused me to panic a bit, but thanks to pre-race routines, I had my things ready the night before so it was simple as throwing my them on and hitting the road. Getting to the race was no problem. In fact, it was a nice way to get warm as I had to run about a mile to the start line. The only reason I was pissed about coming late was because I missed the pre-race team photo and the opportunity to meet everyone before the race.
I got to the start line just at 6am! Luckily, I was in corral E and they were letting each corral go every five minutes. This gave me the opportunity to relax, stretch and get mentally prepared for the race.
I started at 6:25am and quickly found the 2-hour half marathon pacer. Unfortunately, I didn’t think of a real race day plan so I was running with no real expectations other than to finish the race. I stayed with (or slightly behind) the pacer for the entire race as I knew that I’d like to finish under two hours if nothing else! The course itself is a beautiful one and the support from spectators and fellow runners was great, especially considering how much the weather sucked! It was a complete 180 from what we had been experiencing the prior three days. Thursday, Friday and Saturday were nice chill typical Miami days. But, Sunday was cold, rainy and windy!
The race started at American Airlines Arena, and then over MacArthur Causeway which was the only incline through the race that I can remember. The Causeway lead us into South Beach and to the famous Ocean Drive. For those who don’t know, Ocean drive is where all the fancy bars, hotels/condos and some clubs are. Ocean Drive lead us to Washington Ave. This would have been one of my favorite parts about the race because I love to see the other runners on the opposite side of the street and cheer them on. On this day, I had no motivation to do that at all! From Washington Ave we headed back into Downtown Miami by crossing the Venetian Way. For folks that haven’t been on the Venetian Way when the weather is nice, it is truly a beautiful bridge and vantage point to see the river meeting the ocean. Actually, I was on the bridge for the first time the day prior when I purchased my new beautiful bike… I still don’t have a name for her but here she is:
Ok, back to the race… So the race brings us back to the opposite side of South Beach; on the outskirts of Downtown Miami. We ran through a residential (not much to see here) before running through Brickell. Brickell is another place I wish folks could see on a nice weather day. It’s Miami’s Downtown area that offers public transportation that would have allowed spectators to get out and support the runners.
While running this point, the sun had risen so I thought that more folks would have been out cheering people on if it were warmer, and not raining, or windy! Anyway, after going through Downtown Miami, we turned back onto Biscayne Blvd and ran towards American Airlines Arena where we were greeted by the spectators and some of the best volunteers!
Overall, this is definitely a race that I’d recommend for folks to do if they’re able. If you’re not familiar with the Miami area, this race will give you the opportunity to go on a winter racecation in an amazing city that offers countless things to do. I also want to give a big thanks to everyone from District Running Collective (@DistrictRunningCollective), especially Keisha (@Amiga2Amor), Leo (@Brushnev), Courtney (@Court_N_Session) and Xio (@Seeomara) for letting me latch on to their hip throughout the weekend as I knew no one else in DRC. Because of them, race weekend was definitely “pure silk”.
May 22, 2016
Final Time: 2:11:43
Swim – 23:30 (~3:00/100 meters)
The swim was on a clear, calm lake. I felt pretty confident as we began, I even started in the middle of the group of about 40 swimmers (males 39 and under) opposed to waiting for my wave to go then begin swimming. That confidence quickly turned into my normal race day anxiety about 75 meters into the swim. At that point, I began to panic and acted as if I forgot how to swim. Breathing every 3-4 strokes and sighting after every third breath turned into breathing every other stroke and sighting much more often. I eventually pulled my self together to get the swim done before heading to transition 1.
Transition 1 – 4:11
The trot between the swim finish and transition 1 was about a quarter mile run through a sanded beach area, a muddy/grassy area, a paved street, then finally into the gravel transition area. I obviously took my good ole time cleaning myself off before heading into the challenging bike course.
Bike – 1:04:48 (11.5/mph)
Before the race began, a friend of mine warned me about this bike course, telling me how hilly it was. I was in no way prepared for what was to come; 12 miles with 1,757 feet of elevation! The course itself was an open road (open to cars) course with a simple out and back. The open road was no major issue as this race was not large in participants. In fact, I didn’t see more than 10 people at a time on the course until I got to a hill which had to be 2 miles long. I, along with everyone definitely struggled with that incline. MUCH MUCH later than expected I finished up then headed into transition 2.
Transition 2 – 2:11
I decided to take it easy heading into transition 2 following that challenging bike course. As I racked my bike, I had difficulties getting my running shoes on. I decided to put new Lace Locks on my new running shoes the night prior to the race. This made it quite difficult to get the shoes on comfortably in order to head on to the final leg of the race. I went out forgetting my race bib, ran back to put that on then went off to run a 5K through the park.
Run – 37:34 (12:07/mile)
This run was NOT easy like Sunday morning. HA! While in transition 2, a gentleman advised me to take it easy on the run as there were some pretty difficult hills. At this point that, taking it easy was the only thing I could to. After running 3.1 miles with 350 feet of elevation, I finally got it done, although it had to be my slowest pace EVER! Nonetheless, I was happy to get it done, no matter how long it took.
Overall/Final – 2:11:43
Overall, this was a small, locally ran, well organized race. The greatest benefit of participating in this, or any other early season race is being able to put your early/off season training to the test before the “main” races approach. I now know what things I need to focus on before I head into my next race. I was a bit bummed that there were no finisher medals, but that was quickly forgotten about with a free post race massage and a free hot food buffet. Also, I was happy to get back in the grove of training. This was the LITERALLY the third time I did anything physically following the Broad Street Run on May 1st due to a knee injury. Because of that alone, I am happy with my results and even happier that I was able to complete this challenging course without further injuring myself.
Big thanks to French Creek Racing (@FrenchCreekRacing) for putting on such a well organized event, and the folks from Levelen (@levelen4u/#teamLEVELEN) for allowing me to represent them in today’s race. Make sure you take a moment to check out their site/page and take advantage of the services they have to offer!
May 1, 2016
Broad Street Run 2016 is now in the books. This is the fourth year in a row that I’ve done this run, and despite the weather conditions, I managed to set a Personal Record (PR) for this course (Previous PR: 1:37:29 in 2014). Of all the years that I’ve participated in this event, and all of the other races that I’ve done, this may have been the toughest race for me to date! The course itself wasn’t difficult at all, but the weather made this absolutely miserable! This winter/spring has been inconsistent and that didn’t let up today. It was chilly, slightly windy and rainy from start to end.
The thing that surprised me above all was the commitment of all of the participants. Broad Street Run is a race through the city of Philadelphia, PA that brings out 40,000 people from all over the world. To put on such event, you really need the community to come together by providing their support as volunteers and spectators, and I’m sure I speak for all 40K (maybe 30K with a lot of people not showing) when I say THANK YOU… your support today made this event worthwhile! If it weren’t for me personally thanking just about every single person volunteering and spectating I may have saved myself a good 10 minutes. LOL.
As I wrap up I want to say congrats to all of the finishers, especially the first timers. I look forward to seeing you out there next year.
Escape The Cape – June 12, 2016
April 17, 2016
Well this was a fun race indeed! It was my third race of the year, my second with CGI Racing and my first in Northern New Jersey. While this race was not an easy one, it had nothing on The Love Run that I ran just a week prior. What was consistent was the great organization from the folks of CGI, and the AWESOME team support from both Team Red, White and Blue (RWB), as well as Black Men Run (BMR). One thing that did seem to catch my attention was the lack of post race beer once you completed the race…it must be a Philly thing! All in all, it was a great time and I look forward to the next time I participate in a CGI organized race, which will be NJ State Triathlon (Olympic Distance) in July.
April 10, 2016
Well this was my second race of the year, and my second year in a row doing the Love Run. Boy did they change up the course! Miles 1 – 7 were pretty easy…nothing much different than any other Philly race, but once you came on mile 7, it was all UPHILL from there. No BS, I felt like I was running up hill for 2 miles straight! Miles 9 – 13.1 (or .3) were pretty standard. We came back down the endless hills and finished along MLK Drive. The highlight of the race was the free post race beer, which I couldn’t drink because I wasn’t drinking on that day (piss poor planning!). All in all, it was another well organized race by the folks of CGI Racing to kick off the Spring race season.
April 3, 2016
Well HELLO 2016 race season. I always saw people doing this race in previous years but never considered participating. In fact, I wasn’t going to race this year but I was given a free bib on the day before the race. I guess that proves my fitness theory, “stay ready so you never have to get ready”. HA! It was fun though…not the race itself, that was regular. You do enough races in your city and they all become the same. The fun part was seeing how many people came out from all over (NY, NJ, PA) on a cold rainy day in their Team RWB gear to do this race. That showed some real commitment! I may not do the race again, but I’ll definitely make sure I travel more to support the NY, NJ and PA folks outside of Philly more often.