Florida 70.3 Race Report

I said on my last post that I would talk about my goals for the race after, so here they are (in order of “easy to hard”)

  1. PB on the distance, hopefully under 4:30
  2.  top 5 in my AG
  3. win my AG
  4. top 10 in overall
  5. Qualify to Australia World Championship.

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Now the race:

I traveled with a good friend from NYC and stayed with him in a cheap hotel about 15min away from the race. We got up at 4:00am, totally stupid thing to do since we started racing at 8:00am, but the race organizers decided to close transition by 6:00am when the race started at 6:50am. We got to transition early as hell with a coffee in our hands and our breakfast packed up in a bag. After organizing everything, getting body marked, etc, we headed to a friends car to chill and eat and wait for 2 hours! I put on my Suarez trip suit and headed to the swim start, it was finally time to race after so many months of training.

The swim was a wetsuit swim, which I liked since I had bought my ROKA Maverick a year ago and since then all of my races weren’t wetsuit legal, so it was time to test that baby in a real race and not in a hot indoor pool. I was on the last wave which meant that we had to pass pretty much everyone at some point during the race!

We got in the water 5min before the gun went off so I just swam a little, made sure my goggles weren’t leaking and set up myself right at the front, next to a guy whom I knew was a fast swimmer and I wanted a ride behind him (note the word: wanted!) As soon as the gun went off I went as hard as I could and when the group started to break up I realized I was at the front for about 400m but then a really fat dude cut into me and I lost contact with the faster guys, it was all by myself now and dodging thousands of people along the way.

the ‘M’ shape of the swim wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be, but I felt horrible the entire swim, from a ‘feeling’ point of view this has been one of my worst swims ever. When I exited the water I realized that my swim time was around 30min, way more than what I was expecting, but given the circumstances that I felt like sh*t I can take it. If my bad days are like this one, I guess it’s OK.

On to my strength…the bike. The day was pretty cool and overcast which meant worst cyclists than me would be able to keep up with me. I figured I was way back from the front guys of my AG and just started hammering the bike for around 40k passing hundreds of people. The course was pretty flat, with very little to no wind at all and I was able to ride those first 40k in one hour flat, not bad at all. for the next 30k I pushed off the gas a little bit and then at the last 20k I rode like a 2year old, bad bad mistake.

Turns out I rode 2:22, again not bad but not great and certainly well under my capabilities. When I saw the watch I was a bit disappointed but I knew I was doing a decent race but probably not catching anybody in front of me.

The run was, as always, a big question mark. I started to run as fast as I possibly could and find a rhythm that I felt comfortably uncomfortable with! It was a 3 loop run and there was just no way of knowing where you stood in the race, my guess would be that I was within the first 10 of my age group. The run is pretty uneventful, the only thing was 3 hills at the start of each lap and the heat had picked up a little bit but it was never bad bad heat. I ran a 1:34 which again left me wanting more but it wasn’t bad either.

Back to my goals:

1. I did PB on the distance with a total time of 4:32:03 and my friend from NYC beat me by one second…ONE SECOND!!!

2-4 I didn’t do any of those, I was very surprised to see that with a 4:30 I was so far back in standings, it just was a fast day with even faster guys. Ended up being 13th in my AG and 45 overall. Nowhere near close what I expected.

BUT…

I nailed numero Cinco. QUALIFIED FOR THE WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS!!! so scratch the other 4 I just made my way into my first world championship and I couldn’t be more happy! So Sunny Coast here I Come!

Of course I look with a very critical eye my results and will analyze what happened in the race with my coach because although it has been my best race yet, it’s still nowhere near close of what I am capable of. Lots of mental training to come in the next few weeks and races.

 

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Exercise: Top priority

I found this article on Time Magazine and felt that I need to share it!

enjoy…

Why Exercising Is a Higher Priority Than My Career.

By: Joshua Steimle

If exercise stops, then everything else will start falling apart

There’s a prevalent attitude among entrepreneurs that the business, whatever that business is, comes first. It is the high priority that trumps everything else, including family, friends and especially health.

I’ve seen entrepreneurs sacrifice all these things, sometimes with tragic consequences, to focus on making their businesses successful. I’ve also done it myself, although I’m one of the lucky ones. During the years I made my business my highest priority, my wife stuck by my side, I didn’t cause any permanent damage with friendships (although I certainly didn’t nurture any) and I didn’t die.

It’s not greed that motivates us entrepreneurs. It would be difficult to justify the sacrifices we make if the only reward were money. Dollars become mere points in a sort of game. What it’s really about is building something great, doing something that matters and changing the world. That’s what makes it so easy to brush other things off. But it’s a mistake. I know that now, and that’s why today I care more about exercise than my business. But it’s not easy.

I have a growing business with 14 team members. These men and women rely on me to make sure their paychecks come on time, that benefits are there for them and their families, and that obstacles are removed so they can get their work done. We have approximately 40 clients, who are depending on me to make sure they’re getting the results that will help their businesses grow.

This adds up to a lot of tasks, and a lot of pressure. On any given day there are easily 100 important things I should be doing for my business, 50 of which are also urgent, but there is no way I can get more than 10 things done. And yet each and every week I spend at least 10 hours on focused, physical exercise.

I schedule my workouts during the workday and prioritize exercise over all my work activities. There is some flexibility, but if there is a conflict between a trail run I need to get in, and a meeting with a client, I’ll reschedule the client meeting first. I do this because I and my business can survive the consequences of rescheduling a client meeting, even if it means losing that client. But as soon as I start pushing workouts off, I’ll start missing workouts, and once I start missing workouts, I’m close to stopping workouts altogether.

Exercise must come first, or it’s unlikely to happen at all.

If exercise stops, then my health goes downhill. With the loss of physical health my productivity at work goes down. I become depressed. I lose motivation to do the things that makes my business successful. I’ve learned firsthand that excellence in one area of my life promotes excellence in all other areas of my life. Exercise is the easiest area of my life to control. It’s easy to measure. Either I get it in, or I don’t. When I do, it lifts up all other areas of my life, including my business.

For a long time, I was fooled into thinking that if my business wasn’t the top priority, then that meant I wasn’t doing all I could do to make it successful. This is an understandable way of thinking, but it’s completely wrong.

If my life is made up of 10 priorities, then it’s not as simple as saying that if I move the business from being priority two to priority one, that the business is going to benefit. The trick is to figure out which ordering of priorities provides the maximum overall benefit.

For example, when I exercise, that makes me better in every role I have, whether it’s as a husband, father, friend or entrepreneur. If I were to stop exercising because I felt that being a good business owner was a higher priority, then ironically I would end up a worse business owner than I was when it when it was a lower priority. Putting exercise first creates a win-win.

As my business grows, I see members of my team falling into the same trap I did. That’s why we’re working to institute health incentives, and why I’m not ashamed to talk about the time I take out of my work day to exercise. I know that if my team members put exercise and health before their jobs, they might work fewer hours, but they’ll feel better about themselves, have more fulfilling lives and they’ll produce better results with the hours they do work.

 

Why Exercising Is a Higher Priority Than My Career

patience

this finish line, I will cross it on 2015. (hard work + PATIENCE)

PATIENCE…what a hard task to accomplish in anything. Typically triathletes, or any athlete doesn’t have that much of a patience to get where he or she wants to. It is even hard to understand why you have to take days off and not be training. When in fact, by resting you are doing more than by training.

We all have to deal with an injury at some point in time and it is again, a matter of patience to step aside, do anything in your power to heal it and then…wait, wait until the damn injury is gone so you can get back to do what you love… Once you get back on the train, it is again a matter of patience to recover the fitness that you lost during the absence.  Especially in a sport like long distance triathlon that a lot of your fitness comes over the years and it is a matter of building training on top of previous training, on top of more previous training, again patience, you get the idea by now.

I’ve had to deal with a couple of injuries during my short two years at doing this and one of them is very recent, exactly on spring break, where I could focus solely on training I had to make the hard decision to not do anything but recover from the grueling pain I had in my right hip. Then again, I have lost fitness and speed and still working on getting it back. What I am trying to point out is that it is no secret that any sport has an extra discipline to it…mental toughness and one of the ingredients of this toughness is patience. Learning how to trust your instincts, trust what your body tells you, trust your training and not over do it or under do it, know when to step aside for the greater good (if you want to be in it for the long haul, like myself), etc. I can keep writing about factors that require our patience and resiliency to hang in there and believe in you.

Believe in yourself, in the effort that you put into your things, and have the patience to see the results that will definitely come your way!

2 Months out from Texas

my amazing bike
My ride for Texas

I am now two moths away from one of the A races of the year, it has been a tough training: through a winter (although I know it is not THAT cold here in Savannah but it does get to 0`C (32F) and below, which is way too cold for my Colombian blood), and at the beginning of the year I got really sick. Second of all, 99.99% of my training is alone, I swim alone, I bike alone, I run alone, which gets boring some times and os of now I am sidelined by an old injury that came back and I have been training very little for the past two weeks but will get back to it tomorrow and hope for the best.

These days have been very hard mentally, it is really hard to not train your butt off when every inch of your body and mind want to, but the pain comes right back and I just have to call it a day. It hits you, it plays with you, but I have to be strong mentally to come out of this and be even stronger. In reality I haven’t lost any fitness for these days off. It has been a week of 1 run (that I had to cut short), 4 swims and two bike rides. So in reality I am not taking step backs in terms of fitness. Before this happened I was having good numbers in my training, especially running I have been feeling great and fast!

I still believe that I have the capability of being in the top spots in Texas, but it is not going to be an easy task. There are some guys going from my age group that is going to take my absolute best ability to beat them or finish really close to them.

It is this immense desire to succeed and to make it to Hawaii that keeps me waking up every day and doing what needs to be done, even though things sometimes aren’t in my favor as I mentioned at the beginning. I AM CERTAIN THAT I WILL MAKE IT HAPPEN!!!!

On my next post I will write about patience, a huge factor to really be successful in ironman racing. see you all then!

Top 1%

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2014 was an extremely positive year, an I’ve written about it in my previous posts. Another result, that I am really happy with, is that I was able to finish within the top 1% in my Age Group (25-29) in the IRONMAN ranking. It is just another token that tells me that I am on the right path to the top but still a long way to go. Anyway, its a pretty good result, out of 10,917 that raced in my age group in 2014, not only was I in the top 1%. I ended up on 59th place, with a year best of 11. (yes, there was a time of the year were I was on 11th place), still to end up in the top 60 is a really good accomplishment.

To me, all these little things help me get through the harsh times, there are days when you don’t want to do anything, don’t even want to look at your bike, but is all these accomplishments, and the future goals that make me get up, do what needs to be done, enjoy it, and at the end of the day be glad that I overcame whatever mental lockdown was holding me.

To some people this might not mean anything, to me it means that all of the training that I put in, the racing, the money, my family’s sacrifice, etc. Paid off, that I can accomplish whatever I set myself into, the only secret to it is discipline and hard work, and that applies to anything, whatever floats your boat in life…be disciplined, work hard!

Support for 2015

One of my goals for this year is to start, or at least get, some support for my triathlon career, and I’ve already achieved two things, the first one is that I am part of the QT2 Systems Elite Age Group Team, a team full of good people, good coaching and one of the best ones out there. I am happy to represent during my training and racing a coaching philosophy that gave me incredible results last year and I hope these results will keep coming this year. Not only that, but being part of the team also means that I start to make myself noticeable in the ti world, and if going pro or being really good is my goal, I believe this was the next stepping stone in that process.

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The support that comes from QT2 is amazing, fellow athletes, coaching, dietitians, is just a great experience so far, So I’m glad I could make it into the elite age group team and from now on my next goal will be to make into the elite team, or the developing pros.

 

The second thing is that I am able to have support from the best brand of headwear in the world, I have been their user since the first day I started doing Triathlon, I am talking obviously of Headsweats. I will be part of their 2015 ambassador program and  will be representing them as well during training and racing.

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I hope that these new relationships I am building will last over time and eventually can turn into something bigger, but small steps is the way to go and I couldn’t be any happier right now!

If you are interested in buying awesome swag from Headsets, feel free to contact me for a discount code!