Ironman 70.3 Miami



70.3 Miami

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This past Sunday, I competed in my third 70.3 this year. I have raced many Olympic distance triathlons in Miami, but this was my first time competing at this race. I was very happy to finish with a win and gain more experience in the long distance racing. We lucked out with great racing conditions, it wasn’t too windy or hot and mostly dry roads. The race started at 7:30AM and I was off!
My build up leading into this race was not perfect, but neither has been my season this year dealing with a few injuries. Two weeks prior to the race, I picked up a nasty stomach virus and was not able to train for five days. About ten days prior to the race, I started feeling more like myself and able to get in a few key training sessions prior to race day. I was so happy to feel better and know that I would be able to toe the line the following week.

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Nate and I drove down to Miami a couple of days before the race. Caroline stayed with Grandma and Grandpa back home in Clermont. We attended a couple of events on Friday afternoon, including a press conference with Tony Kanaan and Scott Dixon. We met the Indy Car racers about ten years ago when they visited Colorado Springs Olympic Training Center. It was cool to reconnect with them and hear some stories about what it is like to be a professional driver.

 

Saturday before the race, I had time to check out the first four miles of the bike and swim at Tri Beach. When we were getting in the water, Nate saw a big jelly fish. That made the warm up swim a little nerve racking, but we were fine and enjoyed a beautiful ocean swim. I suppose the jelly fish sighting was an omen of what was to come. At the race meeting, the officials mentioned the swim may be cancelled due to an overabundance of jellyfish (where we were racing they jelly fish were much more dense verses where we did a swim warmup). The night before the race, I was mentally preparing for a duathlon time trial start, but hoping we would still be able to swim.

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Race morning, it was very blustery walking out of the hotel room, but the wind seemed to die down just before race start. I saw the lifeguards in the water, so I knew that was a good sign. The triathlon was going to happen and I was happy to not have a second duathlon race this year. The men started four minutes before the women. After the men started I dove in and did a quick two minute warm-up. I was wearing my TYR Carbon Aero Back Short John Race Suit with TYR Velocity racing goggles. It was an interesting race start. Instead of hearing, “Take your mark”, the race organizer mentioned about five times for all the athletes to move back to the start line. There was a bit of a current pushing you forward, but I made sure to keep pushing back, in line with the start buoys. About five or so women remained about ten meters ahead of the start line, despite the starting announcer trying to move everyone to the line. We heard, “Ladies move back to the start line,” and then the gun went off! The first 100 meters is a little chaotic, especially with a group of women starting ahead of the start line, but at the first turn buoy, I noticed Jen Speildener right with me. I led the swim and felt good in the water. About 1200 meters into the swim, we hit an area of water where the jelly fish were more concentrated. Every few strokes I could feel these massive discs of jelly. I got about three bites, which did not hurt too bad but the anticipation of getting more bites and hitting them with my hand was getting me anxious to get out! I let out a few audible screams and I could a few screams around me! I exited the water feeling good and made the 200 meter run into T1.

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The first four miles of the bike were technical and you had to watch out for a few bumps. I carried four bottles on my bike with the intent of not picking up any bottles. I did lose one bottle, so ended up having to pick up one bottle, but did like not having to pick up bottles as frequently. I started off the bike a little too aggressive. My watts were close to what I would start off a 40k, so that may have cost me a little in the later stages. Here is my Quarq Elsa RS powerfile presented by TrianingPeaks.  Most of the bike was on a flat and fast highway. The far end of the bike course had a rain shower, so the 180 degree turn at the far end of the course was a little slick. I started the turn, my front wheel locked up and I fish tailed for about five seconds.   I thought for a second I was for sure going down, but so happy I managed to save it. The race volunteers all cheered for me and were congratulating me for my save! I was just as excited not to go down. On the way back, the headwind started to pick up around mile 40, and around mile 45 the legs started hurting. My right hip flexor started locking up, but just focused on keeping hydrated, fueled and steady on my pacing. I had about 800 calories of Powerbar PowerGel/water mix and 100 calories of a PowerBar Peanut-butter Jelly. I also had one bottle of water and three bottles of PowerBar Preform. My race setup on the bike for the day was my Fuji Norcom Straight 1.3 with: Zipp Firecrest 404 CC with 23mm Tangent Speed Tire, Zipp Super-9 Disc CC with Tangent Speed 25mm Tire, Quarq Elsa RS Power-MeterISM Time Trial saddle, Oval 960 Aerobars, Speedfil A2 with Z4 Cage, Speefil R3 rear Waterbottle holder, Sampson Stratics Carbon Ti Pedals, and Rudy Project Wing 57 Helmet and Rudy Project Noyz Pink Fluo Glasses!

 

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When I exited the bike, it was a slow run to my rack. My hip flexors (my right one especially) were not happy. After the first mile or so, I started to feel better, but wanted to keep the first 5k pretty conservative. I used my Polar v800 to watch my pace and HR.  My goal was to hold my HR around 158 and pace around 6:35miles.  Here is my Polar Relive File.   If I still felt good at halfway, I would try to pick it up a little and I focused on solid form, getting nutrition and keep my legs moving! The run course was deceivingly hard. It was very twisty, with sharp, narrow turns. I find this type of running is tough to get in a rhythm and not my strength. There was also about an 800meter hill to climb up over a bridge overpass that we had to climb up and down four times. Once I hit eleven miles, I saw that I had about a seven minute lead over second place. My legs were starting to fatigue and I just focused on getting to the finish.  I wore my Skechers GoRun 4’s, with my Mission Athlete Care Cooling Towel, and  I had two PowerBar PowerGels one Kona Punch and Strawberry Banana and mostly water and a little sports drink at the aid stations. The last 400 meters, I shut down the pace and enjoyed the crowd. The race had lots of athletes and spectators cheering us on. It was great to see so many people on the course cheering for you and helping you get to that finish line.The finish was true Miami style with colorful confetti canons that popped into the air when I broke the tape.

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The race was very well organized and I plan to be back next year. Thank you to all my sponsors and supporters.   Thanks to Nate and my family for your support and special thanks to Tim and Bobbie Kortuem for taking care of our little girl while we were away. I have a little bit more work to do before my next race, but looking forward to finishing the season strong and giving it my best. Congrats to all who competed and finished Miami 70.3.

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