Monday, November 25, 2013

Miami Man Triathlon and Camp with Macca

Miami Man Race Report

Hello Miami!  I was so excited to race, I haven’t had a race since Ironman Kalmar in August and couldn’t wait to hit a start line…well technically I did the marathon as part of Challenge Penticton a week later but that race started in T2.  Training had been a challenge with the move from Scotland to Denver and dealing with elevation but I was confident I could have a descent result, for no other reason than I wanted it ;)

The race set up - You swim in a lake, just barely wet suit legal (I’ll take all the help I can get!), then a fairly uninteresting bike ride going out and doing 2 loops, before heading back in.  Followed by the fun part – the run!  You get to run around the Miami Zoo through animal exhibits and baffled tourists visiting the zoo (debatable which were more interesting to observe!)

Now racing with Team MaccaX and Chris McCormack had some benefits.  Instead of having to head down to the race transition the day before to rack my bike we had a truck pick them up and rack them for us, feeling VIP.  I was next to Macca’s S-Works, hoping that some speed would rub off on mine! 

Stiletto dressed in black next to Macca's S works
Race Morning

Ok this is pretty hot and humid already, this should be interesting.  Scotland never got above 65 degrees all summer so racing in humid high 80’s was going to be a challenge.  The locals looked at me funny complaining about the hot weather, nothing compared to what they get during the summer!

Usual fun getting set up, checking, double checking, rechecking, checking my list again, to make sure I had everything in transition.  You would swear this was my first race.  I was almost giddy with anticipation, I just wanted to go out and smash myself! (no wonder people thing triathletes are insane) Its been too long since I’ve hit that point where everything is screaming at you to stop but you win that battle against your head and push through what you thought possible.

Swim – 41:20

That final few seconds as they count down, I just repeat to myself stay calm, no more panic attacks in the water.  My usual warm up of putting in my head in the water to blow bubbles and try to lower my HR from the bazillion miles an hour it shoots up to when I put on a wet suit.  GO GO GO!!! We’re off.  I tried to use some of the techniques that I learned in the MaccaX camp and and board short (swim off the hip) of people near me.  This worked pretty well, but unfortunately the people I swam off of were about as good at sighting as I am…so I ended up swimming a fair bit extra.  On the bright side it was my fastest pace per 100m I’ve swam, so if I can stay on track I have the ability to PR. 

Bike – 2:33:25

Here is where I knew it wasn’t going to be my day.  My plan for the bike was to start at the low end of my ½ Iron distance watts and build to the top of what I should be able to hold in the first half hour, then hold it.  Usually I ride the whole race at the low end, this time I wanted to push a bit more. 

Well that didn’t really happen… I started off and felt pretty flat.  I was working a lot harder than I should be to hold the low end of Half Iron Watts, and HR was about 20 beats high.  I fought to hold the low end, I tried to increase and there was just nothing there, legs didn’t respond.  So I figured ok, I’ll hold it here and then at least I’ll have lots left for the run.  First half I avg’d 23 mph, then it started going downhill.  I was working my ass off and the watts were going lower…and lower…soon I was in my recovery zone of watts, but HR was still zone 3…I was hydrating like crazy until mile 28 and then the last aid station around mile 43 they didn’t have any water, just sports drink, I should have taken the sports drink for hydration but I had already taken in more calories than I had before in a half!

My power went so low I averaged lower watts overall than I held in Ironman in August when I was out there for over 5.5 hours, I could barely hold that for the 2:33 I was out on the bike!

Brush it off, time for the run.  I should have tons left because I was at Ironman intensity on the bike!

Run – My slowest run in a Half yet 1:53:45

Get off the bike, determined to go out there and at least have a good run.  Pain.  Now I’ve had this bike about 3 weeks, and one bike fit well this race made it clear the fit wasn’t quite right.  My hip flexors were locked up and I couldn’t seem to extend my legs back, so a fast turn over shuffle it was.  First aid station I stopped and chugged down 3 cups of water, I was feeling the lack of water the last half of the bike. 

I have to say though it was pretty entertaining watching the expressions and comments of the Zoo tourists as all of these crazy triathletes run around them! 

Every aid station I poured water over my head, ice down my pants and top (I sounded like a cocktail with the ice jingling around in my bra…could have used a few cocktails).  I wasn’t feeling so good, but I did get a lift every few miles.  There was such a big group of Team MaccaX out there I got excited every time I saw someone, and cheered them on or a thumbs up as we went by each other or saw people on the out and backs it was very uplifting on a tough day. 

I was so happy to be nearing the end of the run, the last 4 miles I had started shivering and getting goosebumps, the beginning of heat exhaustion.  Something I’ve had some bad run ins with as a kid and should have recognised. 

So happy to be a few 100m from the finish!
Race Finish – 5:12 – about 20 minutes slower than I was planning on…

BUT I made it across the line upright, feeling like a super star with team MaccaX cheering me on through the finishing shoot. 

Result 1st in AG, 4th Female...missed 3rd by 6 seconds...

Finished! Serious bling for finisher medals
Stuffed Zoo animals and Power Bars for the win!
It was a tough day out there, I was pretty confident that I could win the race going into it.  It’s funny how expectations can cause you to miss out on the positives in something. I didn’t realize until a week later it’s the first time I’ve won my AG in a Half.  Because I wanted the win, I overlooked that, definitely taught me to slow down and appreciate what I have accomplished. 

I’m not sure if it was the heat, the timing of going up and coming down from elevation, or dehydration but it just wasn’t my race.  However the support of the team during and after the race made it a memorable one.  Plus there was the after party to look forward to!

The night ended with a few beers and war stories of the race. 

The fun didn’t end there, the next day it was time to pack up and head to the Caribbean to the islands of Nevis St Kitts for the inaugural MaccaX triathlon! Some pictures of our fun in Miami below :)

Big Group ride with the team and Macca

Great background for some transition practise

Promo work for Team MaccaX

A ridiculous amount of podium finishes for the Team!

My wicked room mate and new manager Heather!

Love this team, beers at the finish!

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