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
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!