Off to Venice Beach Florida for the Rev3tri! Campy and I were excited for our spectator responsibilities but first, a quick stop to see my parents in New Port Richey, Florida.
Campy loves the resort-style living at my parent's house. Lots of love from his grandparents and plenty of room to run off a leash and chase the birds in the sky.
Saturday was a beautiful morning. Albeit, a bit windy, I was looking forward to running on the Starkey trail near my parent's house. I left around 6:30am and with no specific intervals or zones, I enjoyed moving my body through the dark outdoors until the sun came up. It was one of those runs where I could have ran forever. Eight miles later I got on my bike for an easy spin - fast in the tailwind, steady in the headwind. Karel tested out his disc and decided for the front wheel to go with the 60 mm vs to 90 mm due to the anticipated winds for Sunday. Karel felt better holding a straight line in the slighter "calmer" winds on Saturday with his 60mm. Even from an aerodynamic POV he knew with stronger winds the front wheel would be more wobbly so he decided to go for a smaller dish for his wheel in the front. Around 10:30am, we headed to Venice Beach Florida and around 12:30pm we arrived to the race venue.
The race venue was outstanding. Very well organized until the end of the race and the volunteers were incredible (and so many of them!). I met up with a few friends as well as Trimarni nutrition athletes so that was fun to see some familiar faces. I said hi to Tracey (Campy's #1 fan), Chloe, Katie, Chris D. and looked for Kim S. but didn't end up seeing her until Sunday. After the athlete meeting (which I believe should always be mandatory for athletes) and picking up Karel's packet/bag (which included a new pair of Blue Seventy goggles) we found out that because of the gusty winds at Venice Beach (much more forceful at 25-35pmh compared to a bit north at my parents) there would be no bike check in on Saturday and the swim would likely be cancelled. Although Karel is not the strongest swimmer, he has worked really hard on his swim and he really looked forward to the ocean swim for more practice before IM Lake Placid next year. I think the most stressful part was mentally not knowing if there would be a swim so we prepared as if there wouldn't be a swim.
After picking up some eats at Publix grocery store around 2:30pm (similar to Branson for Karel - chicken, yogurt, rice, fruit and for me, he got me salad, hardboiled egg, a veggie sub and for both of us, Starbucks instant coffee packets for the morning. We forgot to get milk but we survived). Our hotel was super cute!! We stayed for one night at the Island Breeze Inn and it was just like we were in Key West or on an island. Campy loves traveling with us and for a $10 pet fee, this place met all our travel needs thanks to a 'fridge, microwave, sink, kitchen supplies and plenty of room to make this our home for 1 night.
After a yummy lunch (which included some of my foods from home in my bag of goodies), I spent just a little time answering emails before it was time for the Ironman broadcast on NBC. What a great way to finish the day!
After a lighter "dinner" around 6:30pm, it was time for Karel to pack his transition bags, prep his bottles (Hammer Sustained Energy mixed w/ gu roctane powder - 1 scoop each + EFS gel flask with 400 calories) and put in fridge (1 in freezer for last hour of bike, 1 bottle to pour into aero bottle), review course maps and do a little last minute stretching and foam rolling. Our little one was exhausted but never complained. We finished the evening watching the cutest show on the Animal Planet about kitties and it made our hearts melt. A perfect calm way to end the day at 9:30pm before a 4:30am wake up call.
Good Morning!! Campy loves his roaching position - perfect for belly rubs and stretching.
Karel started his morning with coffee, followed by Oatmeal, a Bolthouse protein drink (just like in Branson 70.3), a little banana and then sipped on Ultragen (1 scoop) pre race w/ a stinger waffle. Karel and I have different pre race foods but with this being Karel's 4th triathlon, he is still learning what works best for him before a triathlon compared to his long history of cycling races. Karel knows his body better than me and he always communicates with me as to what works/doesn't work so that as I prepare for our race day, I can stock-up on our pre race foods.
On the plus side, the weather was perfect. Slightly cool despite gusty and forceful winds - only to get stronger as the day went on. We found out via Twitter feed from Rev3tri (which was great for instant communication about the race) that the swim was cancelled for the everyone. The pro's would do a 1.5K run before the 56 mile bike + 13.1 mile run and the age groupers would line up by number (essentially age group) and run "Lemond style" from the swim enter with no gear, just like exiting the water. Athletes could wear socks and sunglasses but no shoes or helmets. The race was also pushed back from 8am start to around 8:25am which is why Karel had the stinger waffle due to a possible push-back in start time. After setting up his transition in the very cool bike racks, we rested in the car until around 7:45am when I met up with my parents who drove very early that morning to watch the race.
It was time for Karel to line up for the start so I gave him a kiss and good luck wishes and told him to just enjoy the day. There was nothing easy about this race due to the winds so I knew for his 4th triathlon, there would be a lot of risks and guessing on his effort on his bike and mental strength for the run. Karel transitioned quickly to get his bike and put on his shoes and helmet and he was off for a very challenging flat 56 mile bike ride.......