Well here I am back at the start line of a HALF IRONMAN event. My previous one was over 5 years and 2 kids ago.. they even changed the name since then - 70.3 as opposed to HALF IRONMAN! This is the first time they have ever held an IRONMAN event in Miami and there were some issues with the race organization but this is to talk about MY race so... After much talk about wetsuits we were not able to legally wear wetsuits. It was a deep water swim which means we all jump in and tread water until all the athletes in our wave are in and off we go. I actually liked the deep water start as I am not a strong swimmer so this way I am already in. The swim is always the hardest leg for me. I tried to keep a good pace as I did not want to lose too much time time the swim. The hardest part was actually getting OUT of the water as they had built wooden steps for us but we could not touch the bottom there and of course the wood was wet. To add to this the bottom step was only about 18" below the surface. Of course I made it out and in to transition and as usual was VERY happy to see my bike!
The bike was off to a rough start.. we had to get out of Downtown Miami. The roads are very rough with huge pot holes. I actually lost all of my CLIFF bars.. they jumped right out of my bento box. Luckily I had extra GU with me on the bike and decided not to stop and try to dodge around in the bikes and cars trying to retrieve it but rather continue with the GU as my sole food. Once we got out of Downtown Miami the roads were not so bad. There was quite a strong wind and closet to the turnaround we turned right into a head wind. Everyones pace slowed down significantly. On the return journey we had a cross or head wind most of the way it seemed. My lower back started hurting pretty bad but I figured once I could get off the bike and start running I would be OK.
The run was a 2 loop course which involved 8 (yes EIGHT) repeats of the bridge heading in to the port of Miami. A lot of people were hurting by now and the ones that dislike the running anyways were not enjoying this course at all. Being that running is probably my strongest or at least favourite of the 3 sports I was a little disappointed that this would not be a fast course but I chugged along OK walking thru water stations to make sure I hydrated properly in the now 84F Florida sun. Thank goodness for my friends down there with refills on water and cheering for me. Overall I had a good day. I finished within 2 mins of my previous HALF IRONMAN time!
SWIM 50 mins - BIKE 2:46 - RUN 1:59 - TOTAL TIME 5:42 - 11th in my age group!