We decided to drive down to Jacksonville as soon as the kids got home from school. It worked out well as we made it a few miles past downtown and found a cheap Red Roof Inn and just parked the camper in the parking lot.
|Green Lightning's first trip on the outside the Explorer!|
|Green Lightning's first night in a hotel room!|
Grabbed some breakfast at McDonalds and drove about 3 hours and spent the day at LegoLand in Winter Haven. This was my 8 year old's favorite part of the trip. We all had a good time. We left before 5pm and headed down to the KOA in Venice. The campground is on Hwy 41, right on the bike course. We were setup in our site before 8pm.
|The boys were excited!|
|KOA Myakka River, right on the Bike course on Hwy 41|
We all slept in and had a leisurely morning. I went for a short 2 mile run and we headed to the beach late that morning. When we got to the race site, the parking person told us we would not be checking the bikes. When we got out of the car we realized why. It was crazy windy. Even though Hurricane Sandy was up near Georgia at the time, the winds down here were really bad. So we checked in and got my chip. We went for a walk out on the pier, then grabbed some lunch on the way back to the campsite at Applebees. Again, we had a leisurely afternoon. I got my bike all setup for the race. The boys played and even swam in the pool.
|Chip Pickup and Jumbotron Picture|
|The sea was angry|
|The Wind was howling|
|Locked, Cocked, and Ready to Rock!|
Woke up at 5:30 am and it didn't seem too windy. But we were 10 miles from the ocean. My wife dropped me off at the race site. As soon as I got out of the car, I got blasted by the crazy wind again. As I made my way over to transition I could kinda hear a race announcement over the PA system. I didn't catch it all, but did hear that the swim was cancelled. I kinda felt neutral about it. I had been excited about swimming in the ocean, but I was actually concerned about doing a swim in those rough waters without the wetsuit. Plus I stink at swimming, so skipping the swim could only help my place.
I put my bike in the bike rack, but it was still being blown all over the place, so I set my bags by my front wheel to help it stay still. A few minutes later, I caught the full announcement. We would start time trial style at the entrance to the transition. It would be like we were coming out of the water. They said we would start at 8:35am. My wave was supposed to go into the water at 8:05, so the timing of the finish would be about the same.
|Almost Ready to Roll|
|Transition really wasn't that big|
The Pros started earlier with a 1.5 mile run. All of us were lined up to watch them go by. It was pretty cool to see every single pro run by like a road race. We all cheered like crazy. Then we lined up by bib number and they began sending us into transition about every 2 seconds.
T1 Officially 0:48, 8 / 40 AG, 99 / 209 Overall Men
When it was my turn to go, I ran fairly hard. Not too fast because my bare feet couldn't take too much on the sea shell pavement. Obviously a quick transition as you had nothing to take off and I was not disorientated from the water.
Bike 2:17:40 (24.5 mph) 2 / 40 AG, 8 / 209 OAL
So everyone knew the first 25 miles would be crazy fast due to the wind direction. It wasn't as fast as I thought due to some of the crosswinds on Manasota Key. Still, I hit 25 miles in 53:30.3 (28.0 mph!), including a 5M stretch on McCall Road at 30.4 mph. The wind wasn't bad on the next 5M which I averaged 23.9 mph.
Then I hit it. As I turned up Biscayne Drive it was bad. It really blew you back at times. You'd try to crank it, but sometimes you'd look down and you were going 19 mph. So from 30 to 55 miles I averaged 22.0 mph which I didn't think at the time was too bad. Looking at the results, however, I really lost some time to the top guys in the last 25 mile stretch. Still I felt pretty good to average 24.5 in that wind. As an added bonus, coming down Hwy 41, my wife and kids just happened to pull out of the campground when I was going by. It was fun and gave me an added boost through that windy stretch.
T2 Officially 0:56
My dismount was flawless, but I always have a little slow T2 as I put socks on for the run.
Run 1:26:33; 2 / 40 AG, 6 / 209 OAL
My Garmin had 12.70 miles and a 6:49 average (taking out the 45 seconds that ran off when I forgot to stop my watch at the end). I would have liked to average 6:36's as if it was truly 13.1M, but I trust my 910 more than mile markers. I tore out of T2 too fast. I ran 6:13 the first mile (just like Augusta), but unfortunately it didn't last.
I was pretty tired from the wind. The cement on most of the course didn't help either. Then the sun came out and it got hot. Let's see, any more excuses? Oh yeah, the motivation just wasn't there. Got into my 'comfort zone' running 6:50 to 6:55's and just felt like sitting there. Definitely a lack of motivation during the run. But my goal was to enjoy this race. The last mile was tough, as it felt like it was straight into the wind.
As I got to the finish line, I let the guy behind me go ahead and had my two kids jump out onto the course with me to go down the finish chute. It was pretty fun. We put on the "Gun Show" at the end as well.
Finish 3:45:55, 2 / 40 AG, 6 / 209 Overall
After the finish, my left leg cramped up like crazy. Basically everytime I moved. Sat down, chugged some water and felt better. I went over and got a massage and then some food. Loved the rice and bread. Even had a beer (we got 2 for free).
So I "Won" my age group as the top Male 40-44 was second overall and got a Top 3 Award. I was really happy with that and pleased with my overall 6th place finish. I thought I might do better overall, but my run wasn't there today. Full Results HERE.
|Finisher Shirt Front|
|Finisher Shirt Back|
|AG award Medal and finisher Medal|
|All Rev3 award and finisher medals snap together|
So I had been planning on doing Beach to Battleship Half to end the 2013 season, but instead I think I'll do Rev3 SC in Anderson. Especially since they are hosting the USAT Long Course Nationals next year (which I qualified for at Augusta on time).
After the awards we headed up to Orlando. We stopped by "Gecko's", a little local place and grabbed some food. I had a Blue Moon beer, which was awesome! We got up to Orlando and setup at the Tropical Palms Campground before 8pm.
We got motorvated around 8:15am and headed up to Universal Islands of Adventure. So if Legoland was for my 8 yr old, and the race was for me, then Universal was for my wife and my 11 yr old son. They loved "The Wizarding World of Harry Potter". It was cool (and I could care less about Harry Potter). Seuss Land was really neat as well. We ended the day at Golden Corral for a "feast" as my son called it.
|The "Wizarding World of Harry Potter"|
Got up. Packed up. Drove 530 miles back home. Got home around 5:30pm, exhausted, but satisfied with a great trip!