My first (sprint) triathalon is in the books!
For years I wanted to do a tri, but then I just kind of got over it and stuck with running. But a good friend (and Ironman) Josh suggested Frank and I do the Escape to Miami sprint triathlon and I was sold pretty quickly. Mostly because I really wanted to go to Joe’s Stone Crab. Also, we were going with some great people!
We arrived in downtown Miami on Friday afternoon. We grabbed a quick lunch and then spent some time at the hotel pool. For everyone except Josh, this was our first trialtlon. We were only a few blocks from the start, so we went to check out the course. We quickly realized that flat Miami is not without some major bridges and our course included 3 of them.
Can’t wait to run over and back that baby. So much for a flat, fast route! Hello hills!
After that we all got ready for dinner, unfortunately, when we pulled up to Joe’s Stone Crab, it was closed until October 15th. #Fail. It was fairly devastating, but we pressed on. We ended up at Michael Mina’s at Fountain Bleu hotel. The service and food were pretty terrible, I won’t be going to another Michael Mina restaurant. But hanging out at the bar in the lobby of Fountain Bleu was pretty fun. It was quite the scene for people watching.
Saturday we all met at 8:48AM to take care of logistics. Yes, 8:48 was the determined time. The first big surprise of doing a triathlon was how long this would take. I thought we’d be on the beach by 2PM, we didn’t finish up and check in our bikes until 6:00PM. Here’s a look at a day in the life of destination triathlon newbie. Note: I reread a lot of other blogger’s trialthon posts last night and it seems like ours might of had more logistic regulations than others.
9:00AM—We go to rent a car to pick up our bikes. Thanks to Josh for coordinating all our bike rentals from Mack Cycles—the official race sponsor.
9:45AM—We arrive at Mack Cycles. Our bikes aren’t ready, so we did some shopping. It was a really great store, and they had so much product. I picked up a helmet and some Gu chomps. It took a really long time for them to test all our bikes, but they finally brought my bike out at 10:45AM.
10:45AM—I hopped on the bike and they helped me adjust the seat height. It was the first road bike I had ever riden, so I was pretty freaked out by the low handles and paper thin tires. This was going to be interesting…
11:45AM—The three girls hop in an uber back to the hotel and Josh and Frank drive the bikes in the SUV.
12:00PM: We drop the bikes off at the hotel and the boys return the van.
12:25PM: Josh puts the tires back on our bikes and we drop them off in the room.
12:45PM: We head to get lunch and find an amazing spot called Salsa Fiesta. I highly recommend it! One of the best taco platters I’ve ever had at a casual joint. You could mix and match your type of taco, filling and tortillas!
2:00PM: We take our bikes out for a test ride. This is actually always recommended the day before a tri, which I didn’t realize. Josh, who had brought his own bike, also tested his. So my first time on the road bike was a bit scary. I felt stable on the tires, but not enough to ride out of the seat or reach for my water bottle. Eventually, I was more comfortable riding with my upper body low enough to change the gears and use the brakes. Both pretty essential, right? I was definitely worried about crashing, falling and turning, but there wasn’t much I could do at that point. At least I wasn’t using clips.
3:30PM: It’s time for the practice swim. Since there wasn’t nearby water, we opted for the hotel pool again. Frank was a bit on the fence about the triathlon because he’s never really swum laps, but with a practice session with both coach Josh and me, he greatly improved in just two sessions. While I had only swum twice in the past year to prepare for the tri, I felt really good in the water. I actually wish I had trained more because I remembered how much I love swimming.
4:30PM: It was at this point we learned that we had to drop off our bikes in the transition area by 6:00PM. We thought we’d just do it in the morning. Tris (or at least this one) have so many more rules and regulations that running races. There were so many deadlines to meet and stay within. Since the bike check in kind of snuck up on us and we scrambled to get all our numbers and things in place. On my first attempt, I brought my bike all the way to the check in area but didn’t have my number, so I had to wheel my bike back to the hotel to pick it up.
6:00PM: Our bikes are finally checked in. Thank goodness.
6:15PM: Coach Josh suggests a quick workout—bis before tris as he calls it. I decide to join for just the ab portion. Mainly because I hadn’t worked out all week. Honestly, I’m feeling my abs more than anything today!
7:30PM: We arrive at the SLS for dinner at Bizarre. I highly recommend it. It had a great selection of traditional and creative Spanish tapas. It was an amazing meal.
For the morning, I laid out my tri suit, cap, googles, advil, granola bars, sunscreen and sandals. I also had my water bottle and helmet out to bring to the bike in the morning.
In my tri bag:
T1: Socks and sneakers, fuel belt with gu chomps. Sunglasses. Towel.
T2: Hat. Bib with pins. I also had a plastic bag with my phone in my bag.
10:30PM: They said there would be no number marking in the morning, so we put on our number tattoos, one on the arm and one on the leg. Plus there was your age for the other leg.
11:15PM: We were finally in bed and ready for our 6:00AM wake up call.
Tomorrow I’ll post the actual recap!