As soon as a race is over (sometimes before it is over), I begin to start writing the race report in my head. Unfortunately, it rarely makes it to paper (or computer screen). So I have decided to turn over a new leaf and write the race report only 3 days later! The race was on Sunday, so I decided we would drive down to Orlando Friday night and meet up with my dad who has been working there and living out of a hotel. We were going to just share a hotel room with him that night and then get up early Saturday to go down to the expo and check in for the race. My little brother, Payton (freshman in high school), decided he wanted to go with us, so I would have a total of 3 fans at a race 600 miles away. Pretty cool!
I decided back over the summer that I wanted to do the Miami Man half iron. It looked like a pretty cool race with a 2 lap swim in a crystal clear lake, flat bike course through the Miami countryside (yeah, who knew that existed?) and a two loop run through the zoo!!! But, I was saving for a wedding and honeymoon and wrote this race off. Then out of the blue one day, Anna surprised me by paying my way! Of course, at that point I was training and racing on this:
Well through a mishap involving a derailleur stuck in my rear wheel and a derailleur hanger that did not want to do it’s job and bend/break, I now have a cracked carbon frame and a 1985 Raleigh Olympian known as The Mummy to train and race on:
To make a long story short, I was holding out hope until the very last minute that I would have another bike to race come the Miami Man. It didn’t happen. So the Monday before the race, I swapped out the cockpit on The Mummy and put the base and aero bars from the Slice on it. I have to give a huge thanks to Joseph at Pro Cycle and Tri who helped me get the bike in as close to a raceable condition as possible! But, I was only able to get one short ride in on the bike with the new set up, but thought "oh, well. I am flexible and this shouldn’t bother me too much. Besides, it will be faster." Well, it was faster, and I was able to hold the TT position just fine for the 56 miles. But, after 6 months of training exclusively on a road bike (that is more of a touring position, I have been told), I did not think about the devastating affect this would have on my qauds. More on this later…
I have been battling a virus and a head cold for the last couple of weeks, but I think that may have been a bit of a blessing in disguise. It may have taken a bit out of me on race day, but the week leading up to the race, it made me get plenty of sleep. I was in bed no later than 9:00 every night and even made it to sleep before 7:00 twice in the week leading up to the race. There is nothing like an 11 hour night of sleep!
Now on this race, logistics was my next obstacle. Miami is 12 hours from Mobile, AL and I had already used all of my vacation days on our honeymoon in September. All of the bosses knew I was going to Miami for a race, so I couldn’t try to use a sick day either.Well, my boss then stepped up in a big way and told me to go ahead and take the afternoon off on Friday so I can get a head start on the road. So we pulled Payton out of school early and headed to get the rental car. After a debaucle that only I could cause, Payton, Anna and I were all finally on the road, but still an easy 4 hours earlier than we would have been without my boss letting me off early.
Then, on the way down, my dad called me with some good news and some bad news. The bad news was that he had been completely unable to find a pair of cheap hotel rooms anywhere close to the race for Saturday night. The good news was that when his boss heard this, he went ahead and booked two hotel rooms for us at the Hampton Inn, and on top of that, he booked an extra room so Anna and I could have our own room Friday night! That was a major relief and a HUGE help on this trip!
Saturday, Anna and I got up at 5 and headed down to Miami. We made it there just minutes after the expo opened up and completed check in and bike check in in record time. We met up with Bill and Anne, the president of our tri club, the GCAT’s, and his wife, who were both racing and rode the course together. We ate Itallian for lunch and Cuban food for dinner packed my bag for the morning and made it to bed by 8:30. I was out like a rock only minutes later.
Tomorrow: Part II – The most I have ever hurt in a race.