The first race of 2016
YAY! First race of the season! Las Olas International Triathlon has been around for a while. Before, it was a race that would attract pros because of it’s price money. But now, it has change ownership and has become more of a local race. Surprisingly enough it was my first time racing it.
Well the race unfortunately fell on the Daylight Saving Time change, meaning that everyone lost 1 hour of precious sleep. I woke up a 4am (meaning 3am before time change, sigh…), in order to make the almost hour drive to Ft. Lauderdale and do the late packet pick up. Regardless of setbacks, I was happy to be on the race atmosphere, seeing familiar faces, and ready to do the best I could. Additionally I was saving myself from a 6 hour training day that I was scheduled to do on “Ironman” training, compared to an all-out sprint triathlon that I can do in an hour. No complains there! WIN-WIN!
I always say this but I never go to races expecting anything. I just go and try my best. But I was curious about how my current training for Ironman will affect my performance. Needless to say I knew I had to go all out for one hour non-stop. Got to pick up my stuff and to my surprise, my friends Ali and Gabe were there volunteering, we shared so many great memories back in Kona so is always great to see them. Picked up my stuff and started setting up transition. Met with the rest of the usual suspects, Bernie, Michi and Gatinha. Set everything up, cleaned the pipes several times (you know to remove the anxiety before the race ;) ). I did a 10 min warm up run with Bernie, then we grab our wetsuits and went to swim start.
Had the chance to do a little warm up swim. The water was choppy and it was really hard to get into the water because of the waves. The start was composed of a beach start, where basically you run from the beach to the water and swim for your life. Getting to the first bouy was a mission. With the waves breaking on your face and just trying to get into the ocean and swim was hard enough. Once you got to that first bouy and turn left, the swim was more under control. Still you were going up and down with the tide, but at least the waves wouldn’t break on your face. At the end you make another left and swim to shore. Getting to shore would be another mission, since the tide would pull you back to the sea, while you where trying to run to the beach. But finally after some efforts you pull out and ran to the swim exit, while pulling half of your wetsuit out at the same time. Sounds horrible but the swim was actually FUN! Plus for the first time in recent memory I can tell that I felt comfortable swimming on the wetsuit. I think killing the ice cream at night have help losing some weight :) .
Now onto T1. Got to transition, still some bikes on the rack, so that’s a good sign. Finished taking out my wetsuit, put my helmet and ran of transition to the mount area. Climb up to the bike and activated the thrusters. FULL THROTTLE!!! For a bike of 10.5 miles I needed to put the max effort I could on the bike, and somewhat I did. Going out for the first half of it I ran out of gears as I was pushing with all. It was helpful that we had some tailwind at the beginning. As we headed back you will get that headwind and of course I needed to switch gears. But still pushing! The final segment was inside a shaded park, with lots of curves and technicalities. It was nice, and I loved that part of the bike.
With my heart out of my mouth I headed back into T2 and I needed to pull a big run. After doing 30x 400 last Wednesday, I had the confidence that I can run anything. I started the run really fast, I knew I couldn’t hold that pace for long but still I went with it and it was nice to hear the people cheering and even some familiar faces on the course screaming my name! I was so pumped! So for the first mile I hold what I could, but afterwards I was hurting BAD!, I wanted to stop but I kept telling to myself, “you can do it, believe in yourself, raise your knees!”, as I got to the turn around I could see a massive crowd of runners behind me and I was like “oh fack! They are coming for me like T-1000 from Terminator 2!!!”. As I was running some people started passing me (the story of always), and then Bernie passed me (at least it wasn’t in the first mile this time) and I was trying to keep everything together, and still I was thinking “raise your knees and move forward… form, keep your form together!.”
On the last stretch to the finish line I was looking backwards to see if anyone was coming behind me. Luckily there was no one, and then I got to the finish line and PANDA KICK IT! (and died afterwards!) X_x . After reviving, and cooling down met with Bernie and then went to see the results. I was so happy that I landed 3rd place and made it to the podium. I checked my numbers and saw improvement in the 3 disciplines. HORRAY!
All my friends from the Darkside did so well that they all won their respective age groups (and I had to messed it up with 3rd place, bummer…). As I was getting ready to be called to the podium, I noticed that… THEY DIDN’T CALL ME! I was like “WTF.” So I went back to check the results and they added 2 more participants that they weren’t there when I finished. And they dropped to to 5th place! I was FURIOUS and about to break the freaking results screen. I waited 2 hours for the ceremony thinking I had secured a podium spot to learn the hard way!
Bike: 28:31 @22.1mph
Run: 22:34 @7:16/mile
5th place (I WAS THIRD!) of 33
After half of South Florida was destroyed with my fury, I was happy that still, with no podium, my times got better. The problem is that my new age group is way tougher than my previous one. Well, this literally means that when you get older things get harder haha. I like challenges… BRING IT!!! (my fury explodes again and destroys the other half of South Florida :) )
I really liked this race. Fully recommended!