July 17


Adrienne Miller – 2103 Florida 70.3 Race Report 2

Ironman 70.3 Florida Race Report

Haines City, FL

May 19, 2013


Ironman 70.3 Florida was my second race of the year, the first being Ironman 70.3 Oceanside in March. I had not planned on doing Florida but since I’ve been in Florida the past six months, have missed out on so many team races and I had nothing better to do as I was flying back to Florida on April 2nd I emailed Joby from the plane and said, “hey, what do you think about this?”

My training lead up to Oceanside wasn’t pretty, I hadn’t been on my tri bike since October 2012 (I have a road bike at my mom’s), hadn’t ridden a hill in five months (north Florida is FLAT), did two open water swims leading up to the race (only one of which was in CA in my wetsuit), had been far from diligent in my training in general, was having fun starting a new relationship with Sam and was getting way TOO comfortable having sweet tea, grits and friend shrimp so let’s just say my uniform has been fitting a little more snug than historically. Despite all of this there was no way I wouldn’t do Oceanside, I missed my team and I was fundraising for Challenged Athletes Foundation- I wasn’t about to let my donors down. So I did Oceanside, with no expectations, had fun and thought it would light the fire under my hiney to kick my training into gear so I packed up my tri bike, flew back to Florida and signed up for Florida 70.3.

 Well, if my training for Oceanside wasn’t pretty, my training for Florida was abysmal. One would think that when you’re “temporarily retired” you have all the time in the world to work out and should be in the best shape of your life. WRONG. At least for me. Somehow the days get away from you because you’re not tied to a schedule so by the time it hits 7pm and the pools here close around that time, the gyms shortly thereafter and it’s REALLY dark here at night then all of a sudden you realize you haven’t done your workout. Then repeat that for oh, say four weeks. I was pretty good about my training for the first week or so back from California and then it happened- the torrential rain, flooding, appointments for me, appointments for my mom, flights up north for meetings, friends in town back to back weekends and rather than setting aside the time for myself to do my workouts I made excuses and just didn’t train. Four days before Florida I realized I hadn’t been on my bike for a month, I’d been on a beach cruiser but pretty sure that doesn’t count. So I tallied it up, here’s the training I got in between Oceanside and Florida:














 Those kind of distances I should have been covering in two weeks of training and instead that’s what I did from April 3-May 18, far from anything to be proud of, to say the least. Joby was sending me emails saying I should fire him, problem was he wasn’t the problem, it was all me. I’ve felt disconnected from not only my team but to the triathlon community in general since I’ve been in Florida. My mom lives on a small island that is beautiful but there is no local tri team or club. There are a lot of runners here and there are triathletes here, but not a lot. Heck the pool at the Y wasn’t open until the second week of May, the master’s program is just starting up, the rec center has weird hours and the locals think the ocean is cold (I got funny looks in early March when I went in without a wetsuit). There is one high school with a track that is only open on Wednesday nights from 6-7pm. We do have really nice, flat, roads to ride on though with minimal cars, but to get in mileage you do a lot of loops. There’s a bike club here but they average about 14mph, so that doesn’t really work with my training. Triathlon store? Forget it. Bike shop? They’re super nice and helpful with my road bike but when I took my tri bike in with Di2 they wanted to throw it up on the stand and study it- needless to say they won’t be working on that bike. Running store? Super knowledgeable guy but limited gear and when you’re used to having two Road Runner Sports within 25 minutes of you (without traffic)- well, you get kind of spoiled when you want/need something right then and there.

 I realized how spoiled I’ve been in California, with friends, coaches and teammates who are so supportive but also that we have a lot of options when it comes to stores for gear/nutrition, have your bike checked out, places to swim, bike and run and there’s a huge network of people there to do it with! It’s taken me a long time to realize that’s what I really like about triathlon, the camaraderie. Oh and the massages at the end of a race.


As usual in race reports, I digress. One week before the race Sam, who while new to the sport of triathlon has been super supportive of it and trying to figure out ways to motivate me to train, said he didn’t think I should do the race- that I wasn’t prepared for it and probably wouldn’t be able to walk for four days after. Bless his heart, clearly he doesn’t know me well enough yet in that if you tell me I can’t/shouldn’t do something I’m going to try and prove you wrong (or maybe he does know me well and was using reverse psychology?). I sent Joby an email telling him I’m not ready but I’m doing it, don’t bother with a race plan, I’m just going to do it by feel and try not to injury myself. I figured he probably thought it was a bad idea but maybe if I suffered through it I would learn my lesson! Well, he didn’t say don’t go so Sam and I packed up the car and headed to Haines City on Friday.

We got to the expo about 45 minutes before closing, smallest most uncongested IM expo I’ve ever seen! We headed back on Saturday to attend the athlete meeting, do a little ride and then drop off my bike. Again, while there were definitely more people than the previous day it was like no IM race I’ve ever seen. It had more of a small town, low key local race feel that an Ironman event, which was nice.But, we were all trying to find shade- did I mention it was humid and HOT? Like swamp ass hot, you could sweat just sitting there. Sunday was supposed to be worse too, oh joy.

 I slept well the night before the race and woke Sam up at 3:30 to go, this is his first triathlon experience and I thought a 3:30am wakeup call might deter him but it didn’t- points to him! Got to transition at 4:30 when it opened and there was practically no one there, so different from Oceanside. Pumped my tires, set out my gear and went back to the car- which was conveniently parked right next to transition, I mean we couldn’t have parked any closer unless we parked in transition! Very calm morning. 


I wasn’t looking forward to the 82.4 degree water and a wetsuit-less swim. My first ever 70.3 without a wetsuit and I’m not known for my swimming to begin with. Swim was a weird M shaped course, to get in the distance. It made sense on paper but when I got in the water it was a little confusing, thank goodness they had the buoys numbered. I was nervous that because my wave was one of the first ones going off there would be a bunch of men swimming over me but it was surprisingly calm. At one point I thought my timing chip was coming off so I rolled over to fix it but other than that the swim was uneventful. I would like to correct the IM website though because they said the water is clear- I couldn’t even see my hand in front of me! I told Sam because of the freshwater and no wetsuit that I would probably be about 45 minutes, I was a few seconds under so I was happy with that.


Pretty uneventful.


First off, central Florida is not flat, I read somewhere that it was a “flat and fast course”- so when I’m thinking it’s flat I’m thinking it would be like riding at my mom’s- on a pancake. Instead my Garmin said I had 2000’ of elevation. Maybe IM just meant in comparison to other races of theirs it is flat? If I’d been coming from riding in California I probably would have thought it was pretty flat too but most of the people I spoke to were shocked by the rolling nature of the course. Regardless I liked the course, after the technical turns going in and out of town, passed some people, got passed, drank a lot of water, poured a lot of water on me and the ride was enjoyable. Managed to eek out a time I was pleased with all things considered.


Girl racked next to me was sitting on my towel where my shoes were, WTH?! Excuse me, I’m transitioning here!


I’d read many race reports online from people who had done this race last year so I knew there was a big hill about one mile in- that we had to do three times. My plan was to walk the hills and run the flats and downhills, it was hot, it was humid, I hadn’t trained and I certainly hadn’t run any hills so I wasn’t going to kill myself. I played leap frog with a few people, got passed by a lot of people, was pouring water on myself at every aid station and pouring ice down my top- I probably looked like a Picasso with three boobs but hey, better than overheating! At first glance I didn’t think I would like the three loops but found I did like it- it was easier to try and negative split and I knew I would see Sam several times so that gave me something to look forward to. My run was not fast but I felt good and was smiling, something that is rare in races- perhaps I’ve been taking myself too seriously?! Sam was waiting for me about a half a mile before the finish and then ran over to the finish to see me cross. I managed to get a little faster each loop so I was pleased.


First and foremost I enjoyed myself and I’m so glad Sam got to experience a race and all that goes into it the days that lead up to it. Thank you to Laura Booher, who via text and Facebook was giving Sam pointers on how to be a good Sherpa- I saw him every time I was in and out of transition and three times on the run! He’d planned on going for a bike ride while I was out on mine but he quickly realized there was so much to see and do at the race he wouldn’t have time. He felt the positive vibes around the race, saw how encouraging random strangers were to each other and I think the number of triathletes in this world might grow by one soon if I can convince him to get in the open water! 

Overall I enjoyed the course and would consider signing up for the race again. It didn’t sell out, which surprised me as it’s close to Orlando/Disney so families could make a holiday out of it but maybe because it is close to the end of the school year it’s hard to get away. 

Doing this race without knowing anyone was probably good for me, it made me realize I am strong enough to go it alone if I have to and I placed less pressure on myself to truly compete and enjoyed myself. That’s not to say I’ve lost my competitive side but I need to have fun first otherwise it isn’t worth it. However, I missed having Laura and Jillian in my post race medal photo (I think they’re in almost every one I have), I missed my team and everyone that comes along with it that cheers us on from the sidelines and I missed being able to walk through an expo or transition and bump into someone I know every few minutes. 

I ended up 29th out of 60 women in my AG, 142nd out of 399 women and 715th overall out of 1,653. Not where I generally like to be in the rankings but I’m happy to say that I wasn’t terribly sore and got right back on the bike two days later feeling pretty good. Thank you to Joby for his continued patience with me, as he said it’s time to train and kick some a$$ at Mont Tremblant, I’m looking forward to it and being with the team!




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