This race has been on my race calendar every year since moving to Miami. This year was different though, I aged up to the big dogs, 30-34 age group. Having been on 70.3 training and getting ready for Alcatraz, I definitely did not know what to expect going into this race. I decided, with my coach, to do my thing: hard on the swim, steady on the bike, and push it hard on the run. The forecast was for strong winds, so I definitely was hoping that the swim would not be canceled. Luckily for me, if you race in Miami you are expected to swim in rougher conditions then most places in the U.S.

The swim began with a rough start. I have not had to work so hard to maintain my space in the water since my collegiate days. Then once you got out of the washing machine that was the start, you then had to fight the waves of the Atlantic Ocean. I came out of the water and my team mate was with me. That definitely freaked me out, but I know I used my energy wisely and I just had to race my race. Note, the run from the swim finish to the transition area is insanely long and mostly sand, shocking to the legs when coming directly from the swim.

After a quick transition, I started the bike and quickly got up to my pace. I didn't feel the first. I felt the wind at the first turn around. I just had a goal of keeping one of my team mates in my sight without blowing up. As I went up the first hill I lost one of my team mates but the second was right in front of me. As the first descent started I felt the cross winds trying to knock me off the bike. It got so bad that I had to come out of my aero position. The happened again on the second descent. The wind then began to really hammer me on the bike in. My speed dropped my 2 MPH on the way back. I came off the bike with my team mate and then rushed for a quick transition.

Off the bike and out on the run in under a minute, I started the run strong. I wanted to maintain a solid pace while keeping an eye on my team mate. I was feeling so good that I ended up running a negative split and a triathlon 5K PR. This race definitely made me feel better after my disappointment with New Orleans, especially since I have not been training for sprints, aged up, and still managed a podium finish with 5th place. Thanks to all my fellow Tri2One team mates who encouraged me or were behind me making me run faster. Also, I love having my support crew with me. Love you!

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