How do you spice up your training and racing? Do an obstacle course 5K trail run. This seems that something completely off the wall, but totally fun! When I arrived at the course, Robert looked at me and said you are in so much trouble. As anyone can a test to, I have little to no upper body strength. The final 100 meters of the course involved obstacles for the upper body, see picture. That's ok, he just added fuel to my fire to finish this race.

The race started with a short run to a small creek we had cross, thank goodness for my DeSoto Tuesday Running Shorts. They can in handy with the water. Next was a run to a spiderweb to traverse. Another short run led us to a 100 meter swim to the other side of this body of water. Then another lengthy trail run that involved a log cross over a creek and a repel down a hill before we had to swim 100 meters back across the water.

A short run brought us to the final obstacles. The first one was the rope climb, let's just say this wasn't easy for me at all, but I showed Robert who owned this course! After that was the Tarzan swing, which led into the log crawl. This log was way too high for me and required some clever trouble shooting. Afterward was another spiderweb, crawl, and finally the lava run. I finished the 5K in 17th place overall for the solo racers, 5th in my age group. I recommend these types of races for anyone looking to spice of the monotony of normal racing and training, it will add some vigor to your training.

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!