The Year of Iron is over

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The Year of Iron is over

Previously in the season finale of Road2Ironman

I know I havent posted anything in a while... but there's a reason for everything. But before let's recap!!!

Last year I decided to go full distance once again, it was The Year of Iron.  I switched coaches and had a new team. I wanted to do good, and even hired a nutritionist to help me. With the support of Darkside Miami and iRun Rice Triathlon I went to a new adventure last year. The training was completely different and hard. The Year of Iron was on.

Ironman 70.3 Florida

Ironman 70.3 Florida

Las Olas triathlon was the first race in March. Windy course but really nice. But the real first test was up, Ironman 70.3 Florida on April.  I went to this race with high expectations, and really motivated. The training was good and I did the hard work. Although this was more a prep race to become an Ironman again, my expectations fell flat. I considered the race a complete disaster from my part and I re-assed the problems and went back to the drawing board. 

Best weekend ever at the Star Wars Half Marathon - The DARKSIDE

Best weekend ever at the Star Wars Half Marathon - The DARKSIDE

Afterwards I did which I considered the most fun weekend ever. Star Wars Half Marathon. Something I did entirely for FUN, which was a great relief from "serious" training. Bernie and Kim, it was a weekend I will never forget!!!

Ironman Texas

Ironman Texas

But fun aside, the big one, Ironman Texas, was next in May.  It was an epic day where it started scorching hot and finalize with a thunderstorm which they had to stop the race for around 50 min. Although not really measurable (the distance was cut short on the bike for a logistical mess from the organization) I achieved a PR in the full distance which was the objective from the beginning.

Ironman 70.3 Ecuador

Ironman 70.3 Ecuador

The year continued with the local FIU Triathlon. But the Year of Iron was not complete after doing my 3rd Ironman. I had the chance to redeem myself in Ironman 70.3 Ecuador. It was nice to race in front of my family and fulfill the PR that was so elusive after 3 attempts at the distance. I got to celebrate my PR together with my family back home. It was nice to see my mom for the first time in a race waiting for me. I had never had family watching what I do until that race in August. (Happiness overload :) )

Escape to Miami Olympic

Escape to Miami Olympic

Back in Miami. After some local races, like the Key Biscayne Triathlon, the highlight came at Escape to Miami Olympic where I achieved my 3rd PR in the year, in one of the toughest races in Miami. The year ended with the always fun Key West Triathlon.

It was a great year of racing long distance, learning a lot more with the new coaching, FINALLY achieving personal bests and acquiring the Ironman All World Athlete status. I can say I'm a 3x Ironman finisher and 5x Ironman 70.3 finisher. The Year of Iron was a good one. :)

Ironman All World Athlete :)

Ironman All World Athlete :)

Now 2017 will be a whole different animal. For starters, I no longer live in Miami. Hell!, I no longer live in the United States!!! 

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2016 Key West Triatlon

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2016 Key West Triatlon

This was a bonus race but always a great way to end up the season. I did it last year and felt in love with it. Probably the best thing is that the race is Saturday morning instead of Sunday morning. This give the ability for travelers to enjoy Key West after the race is don on Saturday, meaning… PARTY!!!

I will keep it short this time. The swim was mostly against the current, the bike was a 2 loop course which was very windy on the first part of the bike. Luckily the run was a bit cloudy, if not it would have been very hot (and we are talking of a race taking place in December!).

This race is basically the definition of “race for fun”. Although coming back from an injury that kept me off for a month, I would have like to be in the shape that I was for Escape to Miami back in August. Maybe next year I can take this race seriously and increase my chances of podium. But still not bad for not being in shape and qualified for Nationals with my crappy performance!

The Numbers
Swim: 13:56
Bike: 37:06
Run: 24:42
Total: 1:18:08
4th place out 39

Back to off season mode, but I was owing this race report!

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Why do we fall?

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Why do we fall?

On Monday, I usually go for a run with the good peeps of iRun after work. It keeps me motivated to the discipline of triathlon I dislike the most. But I was aiming to stick with them in order to do well in the upcoming running season in Miami. Plus I had an important race I wanted to do well.

But more than running faster, or doing good in races, I’m trying to grow better as a person. So I’m applying to a Master’s program, in which due to paperwork, it took a long time to do. So after applying I was waiting for an answer, and on that Monday it came.

A master’s program is a big deal, right? But how about life, as in the meaning of life and death. One day we are here, and the other we might not. The hurricane craze came back again to Florida, and people were preparing their homes and stacking up for the upcoming storm. One of them was my best friend Alexis, who was putting shelters on his home, and when he was putting the last one, he fell of the second story home on his head. He had to be rushed to the emergency room and he is now in the ICU (Intensive care unit.)

On Monday I was still shocked after seeing my “bestie” in the ICU the day before. During that day I received an email stating that my master’s degree application was denied. All those months of effort translating, validating documents... gone. During the evening, I went for my usual run. I was in a small pack of runners, it was dark and couldn’t see much. A runner in front of me tripped and he continued running, but I did actually tripped behind him and felt an immeasurable amount of pain. I just had sprained my ankle… bad. Limping, I went back to the store, iRun, and my friends Esi and Cobi provided help by icing my ankle. Imagine a tennis ball inserted into your ankle, that was how my ankle was swollen. And you thought your Mondays sucked, huh?

This was 4 weeks ago. During that time even a girl that I liked had just “ghosted” me. I was sad, depressed, and of course... limping. When it rains it pours after all, but like a friend told me once, “Brush it off Beto and keep moving forward”. A lesson I have taken it to heart:

Why do we fall???  So we can rise again.

Regardless of shit we have to go through every single day, lives continues until the day you die, it’s simple like that. If you stop living to feel sorry for yourself about your fall, will you stay there in the floor? No. If you stop pedaling the bicycle you will fall, so keep moving. Always forward.

And while it has been rough the last 4 weeks, I decided to apply to another school, and then again, I’m waiting for an answer. I had to cancel all the races I had, but I started swimming and riding again (which felt wonderful). As for my best friend, well he has been moved from the ICU, although he is still not fully awake, the hopes are high he will get better. If you would like to help my friend Alexis, there’s a fund to help the family with the medical bills.

I tried running today. Still with a lot of pain, but for sure I will keep moving forward.

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2016 Escape to Miami

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2016 Escape to Miami

Considered the toughest Olympic race in Miami, Escape to Miami, is quite a challenging race. This was my first Olympic distance race I ever did and I have done it 4 times in total (3 Olympic and 1 Sprint). Is always good to test yourself with a race you have previously done to see your progress through the years. And with a race as hard as this one even better!

So after doing the “Trilogy Bonus” 2 weeks ago I dedicated my time to run and swim more. I just really needed to pick up the swim that I left off and I wanted to run at a really hard pace for as long as I could. I was feeling a little more confident in my abilities and I wanted to break 2:30 in the race (with a previous PR of 2:31.) A lot of friends did this race, and it was good to see most to the tri community of Miami in the race. 

The only bad thing about this race is that you REALLY need to wake up super early for this one. Getting to transition and then going to the ferry that will drop you closed to the island in the middle of Biscayne Bay, where you will wait promptly until the race start at 7 am. I was pretty lucky to start this race in the first wave and avoid the amount of people in the race course. This helps out to see how is your race compared to the rest of the field.

I hang out with Renato on the swim start. Until the signal went of. It was quite cloudy and the sun took a while to show up. I was pretty happy that my goggles worked properly this time. The swim went well, 2 weeks of swimming quite help feeling in the water better. Maybe 3 months ago I would have done an excellent swim but I was quite happy with it. I finished the swim and was very glad to hear lots of friends calling me out, although of course I was catching my breath while running to transition.

Love giving hi5 :)

Love giving hi5 :)

In T1, I had a great spot inside, so I didn’t get lost for once :) . Grabbed Lightning, and started the ride. The ride is composed of a 2 loop that goes from Midtown Miami to Miami Beach and back, going through the Julia Tuttle Causeway with 8 bridges in total. I think I had a great ride, and pushed the limits of I could do. I was taking lots of considerations on hydration and had a gel.  The weather was still cloudy and it was helping a lot.

Up one bridge, like 2000 to go

Up one bridge, like 2000 to go

Back to T2, had a speedy transition and launch on the run. My heart was on my throat but I knew I had to literally run my heart out. I heard people shouting my name but it was hard to recognize most of them. I try to always grab water on the aid station to cool down. The first bridge came up and I noticed I dropped my sunglasses on the first aid station, and of course I wouldn’t come back to pick them up, I lost them. Luckily enough, one kid came rushing to meet me and hand me my sunglasses, he was one of the volunteers at the aid station, so nice of them of going through that lengthy effort!!!

Starting the run

Starting the run

I was doing my own race and some people started passing me on the run, even going on top of the bridge. On my way down my heart entered a good rhythm, I was feeling I was not dying anymore and took control of my breathing and posture.  The way out on the McArthur causeway was windy, you could feel that I was doing more effort on the run. Surprisingly I was catching up some people on the run, which were dying already. I was like “Whoa” I’m actually doing this. Most of the people collapsing were tall and big, here is were it comes to play that “small people handle heat better” aka ME lol.

On the turnaround I had a gel, and push everything I had. The run got a little easier since now I had a tailwind, and I started to pass some people. Getting back to the bridge was another story, I was hurting badly already and the bridge felt long. I was thinking of stopping but I told myself that even if you are jogging up, don’t stop to walk. Getting to the top of the bridge and I started giving everything away on the last mile of that run. The previous 2 weeks of work helped me a lot to keep pushing through pain in the run. It was so painful, but it was worth it. I caught up to a guy in the last stretch. He started to push and I followed him until the finish line. I almost blew his head up with my Panda Kick LOL !!!

PANDA KICK DAT SHITZ!

PANDA KICK DAT SHITZ!

I collapsed to the floor and keep throwing water on top of me. My heart was going to explode. It took me a while to settle down, but at the end was worth it. I drop down my time and PR in the hardest Olympic race in Miami!!!!

Previous Years:
2010: 3:20 (First Olympic triathlon)
2011: 2:42
2013: 2:31
2016: 2:27 (Finally broke 2:30!!! YAY!!!)

The Numbers
Swim: 26:19
Bike: 1:08:39
Run 50:26
Total: 2:27:51
16th of 113

This officially ends up the season for me. It’s been a long season involving 2 half ironman and one Ironman. Each year I learn more about the sport, and I feel accomplished with the decisions I took early to change a little bit. Finally I achieved all the goals I wanted and of course, I want more now. But is good to have a break now :). Thank you for reading and until next time!

Until next time!!!

Until next time!!!

 

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