Miami Nice Race Day Results and Overview

By Skip

Today is Friday… yes it has has 5 days since the race.  I posted something earlier this week but I have continued to hold out for a full “race day review” until the pictures from the event photographers had been uploaded.  I am STILL waiting for those darn pictures so in the meantime, I don’t want to leave you hangin’ on this very adventurous day.    

We got up early that morning and it was drizzling a little bit but not much.  I got on the scale before we left just to get “pre-race” weight and I weighed in at 153.5.  This was up substantially over the previous days’ weigh-in (148).  I guess I might have over did it a little bit on the carbs… or was it that brownie sundae?  Hmmmm… I guess I will never know.  By the end of the race I was 151.  I bring this up not only because I like to know how much water and mass I lose during a race (helps with knowing how much to fuel myself before and DURING the race) but because I have noticed something very interesting since Sunday.    

As you know, I have not been exercising at all this week.  I took it upon myself to give my body and mind a total rest.  After this week off I will have 4 weeks to prepare for what is probably going to be my last triathlon of the year.  Since I have stopped working out, my body still craves 3500-4000 calories each day!  I have been trying to cut back but I just can’t.  I should only be consuming about 2300 or so to be in a weight maintenance mode.  So this morning I get up and see I am 4500 calories OVER my weekly budget.  A few months ago that would have meant that I would have gained about 6 or 7 pounds… no kidding!  However, all week long, as I step on the scale, I continue to maintain 151.  This can only mean that I have jump started my metabolism and it just won’t quit.    

Let’s get back to race morning.   I was scheduled for about the 8th wave of people to hit the water so we all lined up and watched the first few waves take off.  In total, I am guessing there was about 600 athletes competing that day.  In the sprint category there was about 250 of us or so.  This was a very important race for the Olympic distance races as it was a qualifier for nationals.  As the first 100 or so swimmers hit the water a huge storm rolled through and it was like we were in the middle of a hurricane.  The finish line scaffolding blew over, a few of the tents and all of a sudden, KABLAAAMMMM.  Lighting stuck very near by!   They lifeguards had to get everybody out of the water while the rest of us darted around looking for a safe place to hang out.  Most of us just hung out in the rain and we all stood there shivering in small groups.    

Speaking of shivering, I was talking to another guy in my age group, Andy, and he had mentioned that a year ago he had done a race at this time and the night before the temperature had dipped into the 50’s…. they ended up freezing during that race!  Boy am I glad that it was not like that during THIS race!    

My wife convinced me to head back to the transition area just to make sure everything was as I left it.  I told her that was “silly”…….. then I started to think about it.  The wind had really blown hard and it had down poured…. “I had better go check, if nothing else, to put my mind at ease.”  Boy am I glad I listened to her!  I got there and it looked like a war zone.  The entire transition area was flooded and there was helmets, sunglasses, shoes, bags and tons of other gear floating around and in total disarray.  Luckily, my stuff was in an area that was just out of this flooded bit but all my stuff was soaked.  I emptied my shoes out and wrung out some of my towels, etc… there was really not a lot I could do.  It was going to be a soggy bike and run!    

After about a half hour they restarted the race… The Olympic distance swimmers that had already done about 1/4-1/2 mile had to get back in and start all over.  They made them only do what we had to do as the sprint group, which was a half mile.  Apparently, sometime shortly after that, they made the decision that the bike route for the Olympic group had to be cut short due to the Police Department not wanting to keep the roads closed for too long.  This meant that all of these bikers thought they had to do two laps when in fact, they were being told, while out on the course, to only do one lap.  There were some very angry and confused bikers, as you can imagine!    

Click for larger view

Enough about the Olympic group, let’s get back to my group.  The swim for me was quite long but I finished just fine.  It took me about 1/2 of the race to really get into any type of a groove.  As I was approaching the end of the swim I spotted a buoy and made the game time decision to go around it.  I saw several swimmers cutting the corner and I knew I was taking a risk but I also did not want to get penalized / disqualified for not going where I was suppose to.  Turns out that I made the wrong move and I wasted, at least, 45 seconds or more making this route change… once again, things just were not 100% clear.  From this picture (click to make it larger) I took the red route when I should have taken the blue route!  As you can see from the picture, I was not the only person that took this route.  By the way, the little “elbow” in the red line is about where I made that decision and started heading towards the buoy.   

My official time for the half mile swim, 16:27 


Click for larger view

I got out of the water and made the run to the transition area.  By the time I got there I had caught up to quite a few of the “fast” swimmers.  It is interesting but from the last two races I did, the swim is not where the race is won.  Even if you are a fast swimmer that better not be the only thing you are good at or you are going to be left behind in the bike and the run.   

I made it out of transition pretty quickly.  I think there were quite a few shocked athletes that did not know of all the devastation that had happened during the storm.  I guess you could say this evened everything out a little bit, or at least for me.  I had to think what all the first timers were thinking!  It is nerve-racking enough, let alone coming into your “quick change” area only to find everything in disarray!   

My official time for T1, 2:20


I headed out on the bike and was a little worried about the slick road conditions.  Luckily all the rain had stopped and the sun was out by the time I even hit the water so some water had evaporated already.  Almost right out of the gate we had to go over the Rickenbacker bridge and back again.  I was prepared this time around.  I passed quite a few bikers going up the hill with their fancy, expensive bikes and fancy aerodynamic helmets.  I always enjoy getting those looks when I do that and they see me passing them on my heavy mountain bike!  I am going to miss that someday.  I went into the race with sore legs and I really started to feel the soreness kick in about 1/2 way through this 12 mile bike ride.  

 The wind was present but not unbearable.  I kept looking at my speed and reminding myself this was a race and not a leisurely stroll.  When I would do this I was able to crank things up a little but not enough to the point I was happy with my bike performance.  As we approached the dismount, I had already got out of my shoes and was coasting in and ready to run to the transition area again.  We had to go through a 12 inch deep puddle first that was not very pleasant.  In addition, the volunteers were very confused and were not giving good directions.  I saw several athletes go in the bike OUT instead of the bike IN gates which probably screwed up their timing chip times.  My shoes, as expected, clunked along the ground and I was worried about losing one, which I did not.  My T2 time was very quick but for some reason, they did not break out our bike and T2 times…..   

My official time for the 12 mile bike plus T2, 41:27


Click for larger view

Now for the fun part of the race, or least for me.  I headed out on the run and never looked back.  My shoes and socks were wet and soggy and the course itself was beautiful but rain soaked and muddy!  You should have seen it…. It was actually kind of fun running through that mud, but it slowed us down as well.  My goal was to keep a 6:50-7:00 pace through the run.  I was not happy with the pace I kept in the last race.  My only concern here was that I had just swam and biked a little bit longer distances and conditions were not great…..  

Getting an accurate GPS read / pace timing was little bit difficult because the trail we were on was covered with trees.  I should have relied a little bit more on my body instincts instead of my Garmin.  I started off plenty strong, unlike last time where I had to build into a stronger pace.   All of a sudden a guy passed my with “43” written on his leg… ok, I am not going to let somebody else from my age group pass me if I can help it!  He was going along at about a 7 minute pace so I was happy enough just to follow him about 3/4 of the run.   

I had stopped looking at my Garmin because I was in a comfortable groove.  When I did finally take a glance again, I noticed that I had been following somebody that was now running a 7:15-7:30 pace!  Yikes!  Time to pick it up…. and so I did.  Right about that time, this mystery runner showed up.  What I am about to describe may sound like a dream or that I was hallucinating… which maybe I was due to lack of oxygen to the brain, but I assure you it was not.  

This guy was in his late 40’s or early 50’s  and was very well built.   He was not wearing a race number and he did not have any race markings which meant he was just out there to have fun.  I had seen him earlier trying to motivate runners and I thought he was actually WITH them to pace them.  He wasn’t.  He was looking to motivate anybody and everybody to push a little harder. 

He pulled up next to me and started to converse.  He was able to push me to about a 6:45 pace.  Once he had seen that he had succeeded with me he went ahead and did the same thing with a couple of other runners.  This guy could have run circles around all of us… seriously.  Anyway, I had about 1/4 mile left and he pulled up beside me again and prompted me to really push.  I turned on the jets and was well under a 5:00 pace by the end.  He slapped me in the butt (ok, that was a little uncalled for) and sent me on my way to cross the finish line and he, I assume, headed back to motivate more runners.  I crossed the finish line as they announced my name… and they also mentioned that “it was never too safe not to wear your gloves while running”…. whoops…. I had not taken them off after the bike.  Oh well, at least I didn’t forget to take my helmet off!  

My official time for the 3.1 mile run, 21:46
(7:00 pace!)

Click for larger view

It was an interesting day, to say the least.  Afterwards my wife and I headed to the food and drink area and my stomach was not really up for rice and chicken supplied by Pollo Tropical.  I was disappointed in the food and the lack of energy drinks / water that they had available.  The volunteers were not very well trained in what to do and seemed very confused.  There were a lot of things outside of their control but I felt everything could have been a little more organized.  

My official time overall time, 1:21:58

I ended up being 5th in my age group and 35th overall.  Not bad…..   

Click for larger view of the results

Since I don’t have any pictures to share yet, here is a quick video of me before the swim.  I have quite a bit of video that I am compiling but I will post that at another time.  I just wanted to get something up and online.  As you are viewing this video, remember, there is an HD option if your Internet connection allows it 😉    

Filed in: 5K, Biking, Race, Running, Sprint Training, Swimming, Transition, Triathlon, Video • Friday, September 3rd, 2010

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Boston Marathon, Boston, MA
4/21/14, Boston, MA
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TBA, Pontevedra, Spain
Ironman Wisconsin, Madison, WI
September, 2014
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So if you have read any of the blog thus far you know a little bit about me… I can not be told what to do and I push myself about as far as I can be pushed!

But how did I get here and why? Well, that is what this page is about.

I was never really the athletic type. Sure, I played tennis in high school (and quite well, mind you) but running CERTAINLY was never my thing!

The start of 2009 was big for me as I came to the realization that I had put on too much weight over the past 10 years (read more...)