Sunday, August 2, 2009

Huntington's Disease Olympic Triathlon

This weekend was a very busy weekend coming off a busy week. Salome & I were scheduled to be at the Breakers in Palm Beach for the Real Property, Estates & Trust, & Probate Law section meeting of the Florida Bar. Knowing Thursday & Friday would be taken up with section meetings, receptions and parties, we decided to squeeze in short brick workouts Thursday morning before heading up to Palm Beach.

I was scheduled to meet with Tony, Carrie, Jerry & Miranda for a 30 minute open water swim at 6:45 AM. I decided to run the 1.5 miles from my house to the beach to meet them. Unfortunately, I didn't get out the door on time and arrived at the beach to see my friends several hundred yards down the beach in the water. Oh well, at least my shoes would get to hang out with their shoes. I got into the water and did a 35 minute swim. I was able to take a sighting of my friends doing their beach jog at about the 30 minute mark. After emerging from the water, I slid on my shoes and ran home. Once I got there, I decided to add on a 10 mile bike ride to do a little bridge work at the 17th Street Causeway bridge. Salome did a similar swim, bike, run at our friends house located on the beach.

The Florida Bar meetings were interesting, but I ended up standing on my feet too long and my calves were sore. I was fearing another calf cramping on Sunday, so I made efforts to not stand as much at receptions and parties. Saturday morning, I managed to squeeze in an early morning swim session in the Breakers lap pool. The meetings on Saturday went too late for us to make it to South Miami for the packet pickup, so we would have to get to the Miami Marine Stadium race site early on Sunday for packet pickup and station set up. While the days in Palm Beach were not particularly demanding from an exertion standpoint, we were both fairly exhausted when we went to bed Saturday night.

Salome and a couple of our friends were registered for the sprint distance, while most of our training group was registered for the Olympic distance. With both events and age group awards going 5 deep, this is a good chance to try to award in the sprint distance. We arrived at about 5:30 AM, which left just enough time to get our numbers, chips, get marked, set up and make a port-0-potty stop before getting down to the water for the start. Before I know it, I was in the water swimming.

My swim took about what I expected, but the bike was a bit of a challenge. With the small Key Biscayne bridge being shut down for repairs, the bike course called for 3 loops with each loop requiring an over and back climb over the Powell Bridge. The sprint distance called for 2 loops, making the bike for the sprint a 16 mile leg. I was fine for the first loop, but with each lap, it got progressively harder to get up and over on the return climb. Salome saw some riders actually get off their bikes and walk to the top. I didn't see that, but I definitely had to get out of the saddle several times to get over that climb. The wind didn't help my time either. No matter. I got through the bike, but wasn't happy with my pace. To add to the slower pace, I also expended extra energy on the bridge climbs that took away from my energy reserves.

Thank God the run course was mostly shaded. Being in the last start wave, I got to see most of my friends on the two laps of the 5K loop course. I really like this run course and hope that more of the Key Biscayne triathlons are held at this location in the future. However, with the extra exertion on the bike, I started to fade on the second run loop. When I realized I would not break 3 hours, I slowed on the run and did a little run/walk the last mile. My final time was better than when I did this course in March at the Miami International Triathlon, but I was frustrated with not breaking 3 hours again at this distance. Oh well, it is August and it got hot on the run even with the shade. On the bright side, my calves were fine. No cramping. It was also the last event we got to do with buddy Jacques Watters who moves onto the North Carolina running and triathlon scene later this month. Find us some good events in the North Carolina region Jacques.

As the only person in the last wave of the Olympic distance, I was greeted by most of my friends cheering me on at the finish. Salome did end up in the awards coming in 4th in her age group. Buddy Ken Merkel also awarded in the sprint, as did new friend Kerry, who was doing her first triathlon ever. Ken's wife, Ana was at the finish line giving out water. She must have done a good job, as she and Ken were going out later that day to get her fitted for a new bike. Carrie and Miranda got age group awards in the Olympic distance, so we stuck around for those awards also.

That evening we held a post race BBQ at our house for all of our friends who participated. We also included buddies John and Rodger, who didn't participate having just come off their week long dive trip. I finally got to hear friend Mandy Miller's stories of her run at the Marathon des Sables, a six-day, 156 mile ultramarathon. I love to hear about these ultramarthons. Not that I have any plans to do one. I find it hard enough to train for the events I'm doing now.

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