A Classic Day (Nautical South Beach Triathlon: 4/1/12)

2 Apr

My first Nautical SoBe Classic Distance Triathlon is in the history books. Before I write anything else, I want to thank my teammate Karla for taking all the pictures that are in this post. She was supposed to race but had to drop out when she got sick last week. But she was still up at the crack of dawn, working as official team photog.

I was expecting to post right after the race but decided instead to take 24 hours to think things through, pore over the results (of course) and figure out what I could learn from the experience before setting some goals for the next race–TriMiami on May 20th.

All in all, yesterday was amazing. Just goes to show what happens when you set your goal to “fun.” I achieved and exceeded yesterday. Blew my plan right out of the water and actually crossed the finish line with a huge smile on my face and my arms raised in victory (see above and below.)

You could take this to mean 1 of 2 things. Either 1) I rocked it hard on the course or 2) I didn’t rock it hard enough. It appears that endurance sports are all about balance. You have to be willing to push yourself beyond comfort level but you don’t want to push to the point that you finish totally sick. I felt horribly ill after the ING half and that’s because I didn’t plan the race based on my training, I planned based on delusions of grandeur. For all of you out there considering getting into all of this, I suggest you learn from my mistakes:

Push beyond what’s real, not what’s imagined.

My original finish goal for this race was 2:09 and change. I ended up finishing in 2:04:57. Race conditions had a lot to do with that. The water was perfection. Not a wave in sight. It was crystal clear too. We had to swim out about 150 meters to where it was relatively deep and I could still see all the way to the bottom. This was kind of nice but also kind of terrifying as I kept expecting to spot a big fish swimming below. I didn’t. Thankfully.

I finished the swim in 22:31. This time includes the run out of the water and up the beach through sand and into transition. My Garmin clocked the actual time in water at 21:29. This is still 2 minutes over my last swim at this distance so, not great. I had hoped to finish my swim in under 20 minutes, expecting that I would be stronger in the water since the last race. But swimming in the water off of SoBe and swimming in the bay off Key Biscayne are not the same thing at all. And I had some nerves going. At this point, my  lack of performance in the water is very much psychological. Something to work on.

Heading out on the bike.

I got through T1 in 2:19. Still room for some adjustments here. No reason why my transitions can’t be under 2 minutes. The ride was nice. We had to go over two causeways so there was a little bit of climbing–about as much climbing as we get down here–and there was a tiny headwind on the out. Coming back, however, was smooth sailing. I had projected a 1:15 bike time but finished in 1:05.

I owe some thanks to FitRecovery who offered to help me unpack my riding issues via email last week. He asked a bunch of great questions, which I answered honestly and then he responded with some suggestions for potential changes. I implemented a couple and for the first time in months, saw the light at the end of the 16mph tunnel. The day before this race, I finally got myself up into the 18-19mph zone.

My race average yesterday was 17.8mph. This might seem like I fell back a little. But my average on the last race was 17.7 and that ride was 9 miles shorter. So I actually got .1mph faster on a ride that’s nearly twice as long. This is good news. That tenth is a big gain for me.

Me coming into T2. 

I want to say that I could have worked harder on the bike but honestly, I was pushing as hard as I could while trying to save my legs for the run. At 2575, I pushed it on the bike and suffered for it with a crappy 5K time. Lesson learned. I hate the feeling of having no legs. It’s really frustrating and I didn’t want to go through that again. So I put a lot of effort into my transition training in the last few weeks and was clocking sub-8:00 miles on 20-30 minute runs right off the bike.

T2 took me 2:03. Would have been under 2 but I got totally flummoxed upon returning to my rack to discover someone else’s bike in my position. Somehow I got on the wrong side of the rack and couldn’t reach my stuff so had to come back around to the other side. It sucked. But I managed to implement a transition trick Andy mentioned at a clinic last week–I used to put my race belt on in transition but it saves time to grab it and run–as long as you put it on before passing through the timing gate, it’s all good.

The run was awesome. I started out nice and easy at around an 8:20 pace. Ate a gel and got a sip of water at the first aid station to wash it down. At mile 1, I turned it up and went down to an 8:13 pace. My legs still felt a little wonky and I really wanted to finish strong so I promised myself I’d stay at that pace until the turnaround.

I stopped for more electrolytes at the mile 2 aid station and saw my pace sky rocket up to like 9:55. That totally freaked me out, which is stupid because I was only there for like 10 seconds. But still, my mind went a little nutty and I surged forward, trying to get myself back down below 8:20. I got there and I considered giving it a little gas and trying to get below 8:00 but I knew I was ahead of my projected time (35:00) and opted instead to save what I had for the last few hundred meters.

I used Susan Middlebrook’s mantra on the last f*cking mile and it fell in time perfectly with my cadence. There was a brief run through sand right before the final 100 meter carpeted stretch on the beach and that’s when I finally let her rip. I was actually really surprised to see the finishing chute. I can’t explain it. It’s like, I was tired, I had worked really hard, and I knew the end was coming, but when I actually saw it, I couldn’t believe the race was over. It really flew by. 2 hours of steady, intense physical activity FLEW BY.

With my fellow Aliens, Frank and Ale.

Superstar Ale won her age group with a finishing time of 1:47:27, beating the 2nd place finisher by more than 3 minutes.

I finished the run in 34:01 (8:30 pace–although my Gamin clocked the distance at 4.12 miles, not 4 miles. Hmph) and now, of course, I’m kicking myself for not pushing a little harder in that last mile. But whatever. It’s all good. I ended up 16th/56 in my age group. My run and transition times were faster than the three women ahead of me. The top 7 women in my AG finished sub-2hours. 8-16 were 2:00-2:04:57 (me) and then I was ahead of 17 by almost two minutes. So what does this mean? It means I’ve been doing this for 8 months and I need to calm down. As if.

Hanging out after the race.

We had a great post-race party at L’il Frankie’s apartment on the beach. This was the first time I didn’t go home immediately after a race and crash out for the entire afternoon. This was also the first time I didn’t have a beer after a race–sorta painful but not as bad as I’d expected. There was plenty of other crap to put into my mouth. (see below.)

It was a really great race and I think everyone, overall, had a good time. I’m so grateful to have such an amazing team of athletes to train beside. I can’t imagine participating in this sport solo. I also want to thank all the folks who donated to my fundraising efforts. This race wasn’t just about me hitting my time goals, but also about supporting the little fighters at St.Jude.

And just so you can fully understand what it means to do ANYTHING on South Beach:

The end.

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11 Responses to “A Classic Day (Nautical South Beach Triathlon: 4/1/12)”

  1. kerryalina April 2, 2012 at 2:24 pm #

    Great post and HUGE achievement – congrats!!

    • mymultipersonality April 2, 2012 at 2:40 pm #

      thanks! Always nice when a huge achievement is also a really good time. Today though, my body is screaming for Bikram!

  2. CultFit April 2, 2012 at 2:51 pm #

    Great job!!! Rest up and enjoy what you just accomplished!!!

    • mymultipersonality April 2, 2012 at 3:15 pm #

      Will do. I have today off at least. Tomorrow it’s back into the pool.

  3. bgddyjim April 2, 2012 at 6:33 pm #

    Awesome post, right up till the man-panties at the end. Woof! Congratulations on beating your time goal too.

    • mymultipersonality April 2, 2012 at 6:38 pm #

      thanks. learned a lot on this one. maybe more than the others before it.

  4. sexyflexi April 2, 2012 at 9:59 pm #

    Congratulations!!! You’re definitely an inspiration.
    and you look hot 😉

    also, I didn’t say it before, but those carrot cake cupcakes look BOMB.

    • mymultipersonality April 2, 2012 at 11:16 pm #

      thanks, girl. The cupcakes are AMAZING. And I thought of you the whole time I was making them. The inspiration recipe is on my Pinterest Sweet and Healthy Eats board but I basically created a mash-up with her recipe and my old favorite carrot cake recipe from the Silver Palate cookbook. So I’m happy to tell you what I did if you’re interested.

      • sexyflexi April 3, 2012 at 7:10 pm #

        Yes please! I need to start doing some creative baking and am looking for the perfect recipes for launching points.

  5. Susan Middlebrooks April 3, 2012 at 10:06 pm #

    Great job, great pics, and way to rock the mantra!

    • mymultipersonality April 4, 2012 at 2:25 pm #

      it really worked. kept me super focused and on pace. I still think I could have pushed it a little harder but at least I didn’t fall back in the home stretch.

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