Ironman Florida 70.3 2015

For the second time in a row I decided to race Ironman Florida 70.3, but this year the whole family would be going.  Time to enjoy the East Coast while my wife had the time off work and take the little one on another adventure.  While a bit of a challenge with packing, hauling and traveling  across the country with a 8 month old, it’s a good early season race to see where fitness stood.

Beach Time

Beach Time

After dealing with all the challenges of getting to the airport, car rental, figuring out times and hotels, figuring out times, keeping my wife happy, and figuring out times—-We were able to stay on the coast and settle in and enjoy a hand full of days before racing.  We got to the condo on the Palm coast @ 2am Sunday.

Out riding the A1A, watching out for dead armadillos.

Out riding the A1A, watching out for dead armadillos.

While hanging out on the coast meant some non full ski suit riding and some slow sweaty running.  Didn’t seem too long ago, challenges leading into a race was trying not to drink too much beer. (This time was no different.) One of the main challenges was not only keeping everyone happy, but figuring out the little bosses napping times with the time change.  After a couple of days, things ironed out and it was pretty fun once I got out on the roads on the Felt IA.  (Had to hold back a lot of the time.)  The flat smooth roads and not much tail or head winds made it feel like a trainer ride with scenery.

Loved this section of raod.

Loved this section of road.

After playing around on the coast (which was really tough to leave), we headed in to Orlando to set things up for the race.  This go around things felt different.  Having something more important to worry about, made me a little more relaxed this time.

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This being the first tri race of the season, I have a different prescriptive this year on the sport.   Having a child gives me a complete 180 on what other athletes with families go through to achieve their goals.  The amount of energy and planning that is required to race is huge, let alone all the training before hand.  We aren’t even having to drive her to her own races yet, but I’ll deal with that later! Seeing so many dads, but more importantly moms toeing the line and going out and pushing themselves is so amazing to me. Whether is it a  half ironman or a full ironman, I love the energy and especially the nervous first-timers.  I remember it like it was yesterday, and have that feeling every time I race.  With some athletes spending 6 months to sometimes 2 years to get ready for these races, it makes these starting lines amazing.  All the stories and journeys are so great, and they play a pretty big part in why I continue to race every year.

I usually have a good chat with at least one person that I’ve met for the first time either before or after the race. Everyone’s got a good story that relates to the sport. It’s something that you have in common with every single person that races that day.  Its a pretty cool thing.  A few weeks before getting all my emails together before I headed of for this race, I came across the story about a navy seal that was shot 27 times in Iraq racing Florida as well.  Although I was unable to meet him, I still had  chills knowing that this man was racing the same race.  LINK TO STORY

The new AWA program, we get a better spot in transition and get to jump line.  I DO NOT line this class struture that ironman is creating.

The new AWA program, we get a better spot in transition and get to jump line. I DO NOT like this class structure that ironman has started.

My story about racing this year wasn’t much different from last year.  I wanted to swim strong, bike as hard, but save a little so I could enjoy the run a bit more than last year.  Swim went well – first section of the swim I went really wide and had to claw back in for the first turn.  Didn’t hit too many people the rest of the way and got out with what I thought to be a slow time, but it seemed that was the theme of the day.  29ish (2nd in age group/ 22 OA.)  Jumped off the bike with a pretty big group of cheaters and held back a bit.  Then in the guts of the race, kept the big group in front of me until it broke up at 70ks and blew by a few of them. ( 9th in group 20 OA.)  Going out onto the run my legs felt good, but the body didn’t like the heat.  I really had fun trying to manage that. Had flashbacks of Kona 2-3 years ago.  I held on for most of the run but the second loop really bent me out of shape.  Hardly anyone went around me so I knew I wasn’t the only one.  The last loop went a lot quicker and finished on 4:31- hoping I would get into the 20’s but that was all I could manage.  (10th-28th.)

Some lazy river floating after the race.

Some lazy river floating after the race.

This year like last, I am a part of the fastest and most humble racing teams in the sport of triathlon: Every Man Jack Tri Team.  Racing with the goal of going faster or qualifying for Kona, at times, makes you forget about the other 2600 people doing the same thing you are doing.  Many of them are doing it for totally different reasons.   The classic NBC Kona broadcasts are great examples of this.  Some are there for the goal of loosing weight, while some are there to raise money or raise awareness for some they believe in.  This is also what sets our team apart from many other clubs.  This year our charity is MORE than sport, we aim to help others set and finish their goals by raising money to get them what is needed to complete them.  There is a nation wide ride May 16th, check out the link and see if there is anything you can do  (San Fran ride). Goal is to raise a total of 25,000 for More Than Sport.

I’ve got to spread the thank you’s to my Local Shop Tri-geeks, best male grooming line Every Man Jack and my little family.   Below are also a list of team sponsors. Follow them on any platform!
Twitter links :: TRI GEEKS / EVERY MAN JACK / Sports Basement/ Rudy /ENVE /Louis Garneau /BOCO /Felt Bikes/
GU/Purplepatch Fitness/Normatec/
Web links:: TRI GEEKS/ EVERY MAN JACK / EVERY MAN JACK tri team / 

Shot from the condo walkway.

Shot from the condo walkway.