Just finished up the race in Naples, Florida! First, let me say it was great to be racing again, even if I only did the relay (swim & bike) of the half distance--1.2mile swim, 56mile bike, & 13.1mile run. Mike Morris was my runner and at 60+ still pumps out sub 90min half marathons....like I would have a slow guy on my team!?
Tony, another athlete who came down with us to race also got in on the action! As you can tell, we were having a great time.
The view from the back..
Love the day before race breakfast!! Even though I wasn't doing the whole thing, I still planned on going out hard and seeing what I could do. I was planning on winning our division & didn't want Mike to give me crap for going slow.
We headed down to the race site to check in and check things out...they had these little seats in the transition area. Some may like this and think it's a good idea; me, not so much. The transition area is chaotic enough without adding seating in the middle. Plus, it added to the confusion of were (which side) to rack your bike. This was the half & full distance race, but I noticed they had seats for the olympic and sprint as well. Hadn't seen anything like this before and thought it was interesting.
After our race check in adventure, we headed out for a little bike ride. Some of these houses in Naples, are huge!! Having never been here before, I couldn't believe all BMWs, Bentleys, Porsches, and other high dollar vehicles. This is just one of many huge houses we rode by.
The swim course was stupid...sorry, I just can't think of another word for it. It was a triangle, counterclockwise loop. The first turn was about 500m from the beach start, then a 1000m straight to the next turn, and a final left hand turn and 500m to the swim exit. That's fine, but the water was so shallow!!!
The crazy thing about the swim was how shallow it was. In pre race announcements, the race director specifically noted that running to the buoy is not allowed....my swim has really improved over the last few months and as such lined up in the front. Then "go!" was shouted from the race director and I was off. I ran into the water, did a few dolphin dives, and then was swimming away. My plan was to go basically as hard as I could until the first turn, then find feet with those around me. So I was swimming, head down, sprinting hard, and breathing to the left (away from the shore). About 3/4 of the way to the first turn, I took a breath to the right to see if there was anyone around me, cuz I couldn't see anyone on my left. To my surprise, it looked like the entire field was running to the first turn!!! Again, the water was pretty shallow, but I was still swimming. Perhaps this was an error on my part, because those running (high knees) to the first turn were going faster than I was. It was really shallow!! This is an area the race director could improve on: If it is going to be that shallow, make it a point to point swim, where you have to swim straight out and then turn and swim parallel to the shore, before turning in. Honestly, it was pretty lame & somewhat irritated me.
Exiting out of the water, we had a short run up the beach, then about another 300 meters or so before coming into transition. Once there, I stripped off my wetsuit, helmet on, grabbed bike and was on my way.
Once on the bike, the plan was to settle in, then go, looking to negative split-not only my speed, but wattage as well. The course was flat and pretty fast, with a nice head wind on the way out to the turnaround. This made for a nice tailwind on the way back. They had aid stations at mile 10, 20, 28, 40 & 50 for the athletes racing the half. The aid stations consisted of one person, or sometimes two handing up water or some electrolyte drink. I tried to snag water at one station, and was given the electrolyte drink (they were in bike bottles so you couldn't tell) and boy was I surprised when I went to take a swig! YUCK! I ditched that bottle and kept moving. At the turnaround, I was able to get some water and it's good because I was running low on fluid. I had mixed up my Powerbar Perform a little strong with the idea of adding water to it on the course...
I kept thinking how awesome it was to be racing again!!! The sound of the disk, the effort that is required, the patience, following your plan, and the test against yourself and the elements.
I came into T2 and looked for my teammate Mike to pass the timing chip off to. The transition was pretty smooth and he was off to run the 13.1. While Mike was running, I headed off to get my run in and it was uneventful, but was fun watching some of the other athletes come in off the bike. I did a 45min easy run with some stretching.
After, I changed and headed to a massage table for a little rub down! Everyone else was still out racing, so it was nice to get some extra attention. This lady did an amazing job and I highly recommend seeking her out when in the Naples, FL area.
Mike coming into the finish!!
|I know....nice shorty shorts Oilar! :)|
|Great massage post race!!|
Tony, had a great race too, but really got worked over on the massage table. He cried like a little girl.
In all, it was a pretty ok race. I think better aid stations on the bike course and a change in the swim course are very much needed. Oh, and course marshals that break up the pelotons! There was some serious drafting going on. I know on flat course, it can be tough not to end up on someone's wheel, but pace lines?? Come'on man!!!
|Great place to eat!|
Time for a little recovery, then back at it!
Thank you Pearl Izumi, Team Rev3 Triathlon, Blueseventy wetsuits, Powerbar, Rudy Project, Norma Tec, Indiana State University Physical Therapy & Sport Rehab, TRISLIDE, Morris Trucking, and Swiftwick