This past Sunday was the first race in the 2013 Lifetime Fitness Series down in Miami, at the Nautica South Beach Triathlon. It is a race that I have won in the past and a yearly start to my domestic race season. This year I was excited to get down there and race after a bit of a lay off post Auckland, and some really good weeks of training.
However, in racing as in life, wise words I know, there are some things that are simply out of your control. No matter how hard I trained, dialed in my nutrition, and took care of my equipment there was basically nothing I could have done to prevent coming out of the water after a solid swim and jumping on a bike that had a flat rear tire.
Now, we can step back, and say well you warmed up on the road on South Beach in the dark of course you punctured a tire. I would disagree, as I have done the exact same warm up for the past two years with no ill effects, not to mention beer bottle glass very rarely can actually puncture a tubular tire that is only inflated to 120psi. Others would say that I could have had a flat kit or carried a spare tubular on the bike, but to that I would simply say the 5 or more minutes that takes is a 10% increase in my ride time in such a short race and thus a more or less waste of time.
I was pissed though. I had gotten into good position during the swim and sat on feet the whole way along. The waves were super choppy and had no real rhythm so while I didn’t save much energy sitting on feet I’m sure there was some benefit and after exiting in 3rd I was ready to pounce on the bike. I knew BC was in the race and has been riding really well so I was looking forward to getting up the road and hopefully working together to ride away from everyone in the field. But alas, I did my normal flying mount and all I heard was the crippling sound of carbon hitting pavement. I rode the bike for about 200m in more or less disbelief trying to sort out how a tire that was full 40 min earlier was now as empty as my hope of winning.
After finally dismounting to once and for all make sure I wasn’t wrong and that the tire was flat, I walked back to transition and put my stuff down, trying to remain calm and doing my best to not throw a good Bobby Knight fit. I put on my headband and shoes, grabbed my watch and headed for the run out. I handed my timing chip to a race official, started the watch, and bolted down the sidewalk. I needed to get something out of the long trip to FL, and since a nice pay check wasn’t going to be it, I needed to get in a good workout. I hammered out a good 10k on the course, and then followed that up with a 2nd lap of the course for some extra miles and a chance to burn off some more steam.
Once it was over I tried to take solace in the fact that I wasn’t hurt, I hadn’t crashed, and I still have time to add another race to my schedule to stay in the series. But man is it hard to find the brightside sometimes.
Racing is tough, and nothing in guaranteed, but I wouldn’t trade it for any desk job or steady paycheck in the world.
At least I had my nutrition right…