This past weekend marked the start of the non-draft season for myself and the start of the much hyped chase for points to get into Hy-Vee in September. The weekend started with my travels on Thursday because of the ridiculous ticket prices to get to Florida over the spring break weeks. I stayed in a room with fellow Kestrel and First Endurance man Brian Fleischmann a little bit north of downtown Miami.
First part of the weekend was pretty standard with a good warm-up out on Key Biscayne on Friday and then a little bit closer to home Saturday morning before we headed back downtown for the race briefing Saturday evening. Our hotel was great because we had a Denny’s across the street, a Quizno’s up the block and a pizza joint next to the dinners. I won’t go so far as to say that I pick my hotels based on proximity to food but this one was pretty awesome.
Sunday morning’s wake up came early at 4:40 but since we had been there for a few days I think my body was pretty well on eastern time by that point. Got up, took a hot shower to warm up and made the standard maple and brown sugar instant oatmeal with hot water from the room’s coffee maker. Paired that with a nice tall glass of First Endurance EFS, lemon lime of course, and it was just another regular race morning.
We headed out about 5:15 and got to transition about 80 mins before the gun, which is pretty standard for myself if I have to drive. I always like to ride to races when possible but since we were a bit far away I took the 4000 out for a spin through downtown before racking the bike. Since this is my first season with First Endurance I am still trying to nail down my nutrition on race day but on Sunday I went with a vanilla gel EFS mixed in my bottle with some lemon lime EFS and a half scoop of pre race for a lil kick on the bike. I used to tape gels to my bike so having it all in a bottle was actually really nice. So after a short run, half of a Breeze Bar and a mini shot Red Bull it was down to the water.
The swim start was a little crazy as there was only one buoy to line up on and people kept creeping forward but once we got things under way it was just hammer time to the first buoy. I got a little smashed at the corner because of my start position but by the third turn I had gotten to the front of the group and got out of the water comfortably and sprinted for the bike. Once on the bike things got a little more interesting.
We headed out with a nicely staggered group of about 8 and hit it hard for the first half lap, before my shifting disappeared. I realized the bolt holding tension on my rear shift lever was loose, but all it took was losing a thumb nail and we were back in business. Unfortunately, I had some catch up to do and spent the majority of the ride pulling Kyle back in before briefly taking the lead and then following Lieto into T2. As I headed out I thought I had done a good job consuming most of the gel/EFS mix and would be good on the run.
I have been putting in some good work running and was excited to see what would happen off the bike even with only a little speed work. We went out hard and I think I stayed pretty consistent for the run ending up with a solid 4th and a good early season run split for myself. On the whole the race was a good opener for the year, plenty of good things, but plenty of work to be done. Excited with all the new stuff, 4000 rode great, First Endurance was awesome, and there are lots of big things to come for 2011!
Next up is Nautica South Beach, the first Lifetime Fitness race on April 10…