Category Archives: escape the cape

Escape the Cape 2017


As some of the readers here may know I do not do a typical race report.  I do not give you the play by play of everything I did (at least I try not to) however I give you some snippets from the race weekend and how I felt, how it went etc.  With that said here is the recap from my experience at Escape the Cape 2017.

A little back story….If you read my first race recap here you will remember that I attempted to do a small local race to try and qualify for nationals.  You will also recall that I thought I qualified last year at Tri the Wildwoods when I was 4th in my age group out of 42 racers.  Long story short – there were a few guys that didn’t show up for that race and so the age group dropped below 40 which did not put me in the top 10%.  After reading some of the rules I believe that regardless of the number of racers, you need to be in the top 3 but I am not certain.  The rules for USAT are a little confusing.

Any who, leading up to Escape the Cape I checked the number of people in my age group so I knew exactly how many people were in it, where I needed to place(or at least where I thought because the rules are a little confusing), and what time it would take to get there.  I always have nerves leading up to races but this was a weird mix.  I was having moments of “You are a badass mother fucker” thoughts after some awesome training days and then I was having self doubt regarding the race and qualification.  I think this is normal, I mean it is normal right? No, just me….?

I knew going into this it was going to be a fast race.  The races are drawing much more of a competitive field and I am ok with that; I love the competition.  I looked at some times from last year and they were pretty quick (still not sure how these dudes and chicks crush the 5K with sections on soft sand!).  We did a small taper leading into the race but nothing like what I would do for an A race or a longer distance race.

As with my first race of this season, this one was also relatively close so I was able to leave Saturday morning and get to check in around 11.  Getting there early and getting my stuff always calms my nerves a bit because I don’t feel rushed.  I got a good night sleep Friday night in my own bed which is key because I knew I wouldn’t sleep much on Saturday night.  Seeing and talking with people I know before the race is also something that really helps chill me out so I spent a lot of time hanging around the expo and talking with people.  It was great to see and hangout with Chris from Kaenon Sunglasses and John from Tri Everything.  Two awesome dudes. I got in a nice shake out ride and swim (I have never really had the chance to swim the day before but it was awesome!).  Then it was time to find the house.

Time to stuff your face with pasta, plenty of water, stickers, tattoos, etc. Ya know…all of the normal stuff you have to handle the night before.  As I anticipated I did not sleep much the night before.  We were staying in an older house and the door didn’t close all the way so it kept knocking together.  Not too loud but loud enough to keep me up and it was like a scene from a creepy movie where the gate is knocking in the wind.  Regardless I was ready to go when the alarm went off at 3:30.  If you happened to catch my post from last year you will know that I pushed it WAY too late getting to the parking area and so I wasn’t about to do that this year. Learn from your mistakes people! I was on one of the first shuttles out and set up by probably 5:30.  This was good and bad.  Good because I was in and ready, bad because now I had about 30-45 minutes to kill….thats not good for the head on race morning for me.

Luckily I found my friend Gina and we got on the boat together.  National anthem started the morning off and then we were off the dock; it was go time.  I waited for the Olympic distance athletes to go off and then I pulled on my suit.  Just as I was about to step up and jump this lady rudely walked right in front of me.  I had half the mind to say something but karma is real and I don’t need any bad juju on race day.  Off the boat I went and it was a beautiful swim.  The water was so much calmer than last year and I was out before I knew it and my swim felt really good.  One thing I have been trying to work on this year is pushing my swim.  My paces in the pool have been dropping but for whatever reason I do not push my potential on the race day swim. The first two races this year I have felt much better about the swim though and I hope to continue this.

I told myself I was going to take my wetsuit off in the water but got caught up in the race and just ended up taking it off in transition.  The bike felt strong, really strong.  I knew that to hang with the fast guys in my age group I needed to hammer pretty good and I had that in the back of my mind.  I came off feeling pretty good and it was on to the run.  I kept telling myself to keep it cool because I knew the sand would get me but I couldn’t help it.  The legs felt good, so I went with it.  I watched my pace drop in the sand but I gained some back on the pavement.  After the turn I just kept telling myself “head down and run”.  Coming down the final stretch, I don’t think I have ever been happier to see the turn into the ferry terminal.  I was giving it all I had to come as close to 1:08 as I could but unfortunately I came up short.  I knew I didn’t put together what I needed to win the age group but I still felt like I put together a solid race.

To this day I still don’t like to look at the results and find out my place because I like to be surprised.  If you ask me why, I can’t answer that for you. I am not sure why to be honest.  This day was no different; as everyone made their way to results I went to get a beer.  I met some friends and just hung around.  The anticipation began to kill me though and I needed to find out where I stood, after all, this was for nationals. I got someone else to go to the tent for me…I found out that I was 3rd!!  I knew that I had qualified!!  Little did I know that there were 11 some odd guys that did not show up…

When the time for awards rolled around I came to find that I was 2nd because the age group winner also won overall so he was removed.  However in the days since I read on the USAT site that if you are removed from the age group for awards, you are placed back in for USAT rankings.  This would push me to 3rd out of 26 for the official USAT results.  I also read there is a round up rule where if you were 3/25 you still qualify.  The only issue is that the results have not been submitted to USAT yet so I still do not have a definitive answer on wether or not I can book my tickets for Omaha.

In the days since Escape the Cape I have tried not to focus on the results and the USAT email that has still yet to come.  TRY is the key word.  I have gotten right back to training, crushed both of my field test for the bike and run and resumed training as if we are going to Omaha.  On the inside though I am freaking out, I want to know what is going to happen more than anything right now.  Sitting and worrying about a stupid email isn’t going to make or break my season though.  I have had seasons where I haven’t raced nationals and one where I have.  It won’t be the end of the world if I don’t go (at least that is what I keep trying to tell myself).

I have up until the 19th of June for the official results to be submitted to USAT and then probably a few days for the email to come through.  Until then, it full steam ahead.  Everything is going as if we ARE going to Omaha.  I will keep this page updated when I know more but please follow me on my other pages below as well.

Last but not least, I just want to say thank you to everyone.  Thank you to my amazing sponsors who support me in this sport, my friends and family who build me up and calm my nerves, and all of my followers.  I love hearing from you during race week and after the race regardless of the outcome.  All of the support does not go unnoticed and it really means everything to me.

All for now…..

Keep FSU and Do It For Yourself

 

I don’t post on here daily but feel free to find me else where!

Escape the Cape 2016

Escape the Cape is always an exciting race, I believe there is only one other race in the country that starts by jumping off a boat and I can guarantee its not as epic of a jump as ETC. This race will always hold a special place in my heart because it is where I completed my first international distance race. I remember that race like it was yesterday and as soon as I stepped on the ferry grounds, all those feelings came back.

This year I started my race weekend off on a rough foot. The week leading up to the race my power meter stopped working. It needed to be replace which meant on Saturday morning instead of leaving early for South Jersey, I was going to the bike shop. It was a stress that didn’t need to be added but it was something that was out of my control. With the new power meter installed we headed out and arrived at the ferry terminal with plenty of time.

078c37f9-cd5e-4c58-b583-d6974f2147d3Going into this race I was feeling really good, probably too good (more on that later). I did my bike check in, said hi to everyone and made the usual rounds. Unfortunately I was walking around with a bit more confidence than usual, but I had worked hard all off season, it was time to shine! I remember a friend texted me to say good luck and my response was, “luck is for chumps, I got this”. Not good, I needed to take a step back or it wasn’t going to end well.

 

Usually I stay with a friend right in Cape May and we arrive plenty early to the ferry in the morning. This year I dropped the ball and forget to get in touch so I ended up staying in Sea Isle which is only about a 20 minute drive. What I didn’t account for was the one lane traffic headed into the winery for parking. We sat and sat, and sat some more in traffic and I watched the clock tick closer to closing time for transition. At this point I was freaking out, again a stress I should have avoided, especially on race morning. Just as a point of reference, plan ahead and arrive EARLY. If you think you’re going to be too early, you can never be too early.

I got into transition just in time and set up my stuff to board the boat. The great tha1357371-c855-42b1-b906-b9087ac0b53aing about this race is that the boat is like a huge party, but you can escape it if that’s not your thing. I met some friends and we patiently waited for our time to jump. I was ready, I was confident and it was time to race.
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My swim went very well and I came out feeling great, now time for the bike which is usually my strongest leg. I was to follow a power file from Best Bike split. When I hit the turn I knew that’s when something wasn’t right. The power it told me to ride wasn’t going to bring me in where I wanted to be so I disregarded it and went for it. I was confident, I knew I could do it. Or so I thought. I hit the bridge for the last time and for whatever reason I decided to shift into my little ring, I didn’t do it the first time around so don’t ask me why I did this time. Well I dropped my chain and that’s when I about lost it. I put the chain back on and hammered the rest of the bike to “catch up”. This was also a poor decision. It destroyed me for the sand run and set me up for a sub par day all in all.

 

I left this race feeling deflated and nervous for nationals. All this work I had put in and it almost felt wasted. I talked with coach and we hashed a few things out. One I should not have hammered that bike the way I did. We still aren’t sure why the power numbers aren’t matching up b24a5d22a-f6f0-4714-ac02-417af665cb64ut that is to be figured out. There are still multiple take-a-ways from this race. First being, be prepared, not only with gear but with your timing. I shouldn’t have added the stress I did by showing up later and hitting traffic. This is completely avoidable and now I know it sets me up for disaster. Second is, even with a mechanical issue you don’t need to “catch up” to anything. I should have stayed within my numbers and played it safe. It probably took me about 2 mins to fix the chain. Even if I made that up hammering back, I lost that and more on the run. Third and possibly the most important is, this sport is supposed to be fun, remember to have fun!

This race served me up a huge slice of humble pie. Standing next to the stage, handing a6ef24232-7590-4736-ac53-2f587918f382wards to fellow athletes and not stepping up on the podium was a hard pill to swallow. I can’t help but think walking in with a big head, played a role in the way things went with this race. Yes I have worked hard, but that doesn’t give me the right to walk around like a smacked ass. Lesson learned, that’s not me anyway, and now I know I don’t want it to be me either.

Next up I have USAT Nationals out in Omaha NE and it should prove to be everything I have hoped for! Until then thanks for reading!

All for now.
Keep FSU and Do It For Yourself

I don’t post on here daily but feel free to find me else where!

 

Escape the Cape Race Recap

Good evening all! I apologize on the delay of this post but settle in because it is going to be another long one.  As follows is my recap of the Escape the Cape International distance triathlon.  I will try to cut out most of the mumbo jumbo and just get straight to the facts.

Friday came around and I didn’t leave my house until around 8:30-9pm.  In my head I knew that I would much rather arrive at the beach on friday night at some point rather than shake out, get in the car and drive down on Saturday morning.  All Delmo Sports events have mandatory bike check in the day before the race and a very good family friend has a place down the shore so this makes my life very easy.  I got down there friday night and had enough time to make my bed and pass out.

Saturday morning I awoke and took my time, had some coffee and breakfast and then went to do my shake out stuff around town.  I went in a backwards order and did run, bike, swim, but actually skipped the swim part.  After the shake out I was feeling good and decided to just go with the flow for the day.  I knew if I left Sea Isle and went to the early meeting that I would just roam around and think about the race which would only increase the nerves.  I instead decided to sit on the beach for a few hours and chill before getting in the car.

After sitting on the beach for a few hours I knew it was time to go do check in and so I jumped in the car and headed for Cape May.  After parking and entering I went upstairs to collect my packet and various other things for the race, got marked and then I was off to get my bike.  I put my tags on my bike and walked it into transition.  Once I found a spot close to the end, I racked and it was time to hit the meeting.  There were A LOT of speakers at the meeting, some of which were just babbling and others who were giving great info.  One speaker in particular that I remember clear as day was the Doc who was going to be on the boat with us the next day.  He went through some breathing exercises with us if need be and then he began talking about the race.  I specifically remember him saying “everyone here has selected this race for a different reason.  The challenges that you all will embark on tomorrow mean something different but you picked this race for a specific reason and a specific goal.  You will all go out there tomorrow and jump off that boat and embark on a journey that you will never forget.  ENJOY IT!” I literally felt like he was talking specifically to me and no one else was there.  He was right, I picked this race for the challenge and to prove to myself that I could in fact do it.  After the meeting I stopped by to grab a pic of transition and then it was off to get some rest.

I arrived at the house, grabbed a shower and threw on some pasta.  I was in a complete calm at this point after everything the doc said and I got a good night sleep.
The next morning it was up at 5 and off to transition.  We arrived and I started laying out my stuff.  I put everything in place on my towel, got some air in my tires and just started the waiting game.  The worst part….. my batteries in my beats were dead so I had to listen to all of the people around me.  As the guy came over the loud speaker to announce we needed to start boarding, I grabbed my suit and headed for the line.  
One of the challenges of this race is that all athletes board the boat at the same time and take the same ride.  So all 1,500 of us were on the boat and heading out.  We got to the start of the sprint distance race and the first few people went off.  However what they did not account for was the current pushing the tide back out.  Some of the first people off the boat ended up in the jetty and it was a mess.  It all took about an hour and a half for the 800 or so sprint athletes to get off the boat.  By this time it was already 9:15.  I had been on the boat for an hour an 15 mins.  Thankfully I planned for this and brought nutrition on the boat with me.  If this is a race you plan on doing, and I highly recommend it, may I make two suggestions.  One, bring nutrition on the boat with you, even if it is just a gel or something.  You need something in your stomach for that swim, especially if you are doing the olympic distance.  Two is, don’t pull your suit on until you are just about to jump, you will bake like a potato in it if you pull it on too early!!
It was 9:30 and finally my turn to jump, I stepped across the matt, hit start on the garmin and I was off! I never thought twice about the jump, but I had a lot of adrenaline flowing and I was ready to go.  My goggles popped up in the back and I had to take a min and adjust them when I landed, so when they say hold them tight, they mean TIGHT!  For us it was easy, or at least for me because I was using the ferry terminal as my sight.  I just knew to look for the big blue roof and keep swimming.  Before I knew it, I was out of the water and on to the beach.  Up the beach and in to T1 it was.  I made sure to grab two cups of water and throw them on my feet so I wasn’t putting sandy feet into my bike shoes.  My one complaint about this part of the race is that the sprint athletes were done at this point and hanging around transition basically getting in the way and so you needed to be very careful!  One of the things I know that I need to work on is getting my suit off faster.  I could have cut a significant amount of time off my total had I not taken so much time in T1.  I grabbed my bike and it was off on the corse.  Just as I was exciting I heard my name!  My cheering section was there and had a great presence coming out on to the bike and I was so stoked.  
From here I knew I had a solid ride ahead of me.  It is a two loop 10 mile course on the bike through the town of Cape May.  As I went up and over the bridge we were approaching a sharp turn and the race guy standing there said take it slow and wide and so I began to do just that.  I heard this idiot behind me start screaming, what are you doing and cursing me.  I wanted to say listen lady, I am following the mans directions here, that is all.  But i didn’t I just stayed in my zone.  15 minutes had passed on the bike and I knew I was safe to take in some more nutrition.  I sucked down a gel and it was GO time.  The bike course is mostly closed except for one road and it is relatively flat.  There were a few tough spots with rocky terrain but all in all it was a nice course.  I came blasting in to T2 to a nice welcoming party and they really got me in the zone for the run.
off the bike and ready to run!
T2 was significantly faster than T1 and just as I was leaving I thought you know what, I am going to bring a water bottle on the run, thank god I did.  The first part of the run was on the soft sand shore.  I knew it was a beach run, but I was not prepared for what was to come.  I attacked the run and made it to the road.  From there it was one foot in front of the other and just trying to hang on.  As I was coming down the road someone came up on me pretty fast.  I said ok, I am going to hang with this guy for as long as I can.  Just as I said that I looked down and saw a dark 22 on his calf.  NOPE not hanging with him, I am off!  I knew that he could be the difference between me and a podium spot, which is obviously the goal when racing.  I took off and never looked back.  As I hit the second aid station I thought the turn was coming soon but I forgot about the second part of the beach run.  YES you are that correct a second beach leg.  If you thought the first one sucked, the second was nothing but a strugglefest.  The turn was on the beach and I hit it and tried to accelerate a little.  I knew that it wasn’t far to get back to the road and that’s all I kept telling myself.  I got back to the road and knew I only had about 1.5 miles to go.  I sucked down one more gel and just gave it everything I had left in the tank.  I kept telling myself embrace the suck and just get it done!!  At one point running down the road I remember saying to myself, “as much as I am hurting right now, I absolutely love this and wouldn’t trade it for the world.
As I approached the path to enter the finish chute I had that rush of emotion that I get coming down every finish chute.  It’s a rush of emotion that I can not explain to you unless you have done something you have never thought you could do.  I positioned myself on the left so I could see my squad one last time and just as I did that I could hear them going insane.  I heard my name over the loud speaker and I about collapsed as I crossed the line….I had done it, yet again I had done it, something I thought was never possible just a year ago.  

Post race I am never hungry, I sucked down some recovery drinks and ate a little something but I wasn’t hungry….I had one thing on my mind, results.  It seemed like it took forever for them to be posted.  I sent my buddy Dave over to check and see if I needed to stay or go while I went back into transition.  When I met back up with him his response was this “I got some bad news buddy……WE GOTTA STAY, YOU TOOK THIRD PLACE!!!!!
I couldn’t believe it, everything, all the hard work, the training hours, everything paid off in that one moment and they were all there to share it with me.  I can’t even begin to say how grateful I am to have shared this whole day with them.  
First, Second, and Third for AG
 Same as above but with 4th and 5th.

Dave and Katey I can’t thank you enough!

Jamee was absolutely awesome and I am so glad she made it!

Notice that huge plate of food, still full, never hungry after a race
This is my favorite picture of the day.  It captures all the emotions I was feeling as I stood up there on that podium in front of everyone.
All in all the race was fantastic, but for me it was a one and done.  There are just too many races going on around this time for me to repeat.  I also did not like hanging on the boat for that long.  I am not trying to shy anyone away from this race, it was fantastic, just ensure you are prepared from A-Z, don’t just breeze over the packet and course map!
I can’t thank everyone enough for everything that you have done.  The support was absolutely amazing and I couldn’t believe it to be honest.  Thank you to Dave, Jamee and Katey, for coming down and screaming your lungs out for the entire race.  Thank you to everyone for your messages and texts both before and after.  Just thank you….Thank you to everyone.  Up next for sure is Jersey State on July 21st!
Until Next time
All for now.
Keep FSU and Do It For Yourself!

I do not post on here on a daily basis but you can follow my training and other posts here!