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Cocoa Beach Triathlon: Race #2 2024

Updated: Apr 30


It is the second weekend in April. It is the week before my birthday. It is also time for one of my favorite races of the year, the Ron Jon Cocoa Beach Triathlon.

My phone chirped bright and early at 3:45 am to wake up and finish my preparations to drive the hour and twenty minutes to Cocoa Beach High School where parking was located. Honestly, I wasn't super excited about this race. I hadn't lost as much weight as I had wanted and felt I wasn't making as much progress towards being a fast athlete as I felt I should, but I was registered and this race is so much fun so off I went to start my drive. Remember I said this isn't a Cinderella story, but one day I will get there.

I arrived at 5:50 am to pick up my packet and was hopeful to get a decent spot in transition. Packet pickup was quick and easy. I found a spot out of the way, put my number on my bike and headed to transition.

My early wakeup paid off and I found a great spot to set up. I was set up and now it was time to wait. A cheer echoed through the transition area as the race was announced as being wetsuit-legal. It didn't matter to me. The three other times I have done this race, it was not wetsuit-legal. I didn't even bring my wetsuit. This was a sprint. I am positive that any gains the wetsuit would have given me in the water I would have lost trying to wiggle out of it in transition. It was 6:45 am and our wave wasn't scheduled to go until 7:45 am. I found a spot at a table and sat down to wait.

Finally, it was time to join my wave and get ready to go. The DJ was playing great music and everyone in our wave was dancing and having a good time. Our group slid off the docks and waited in the water. I slowly slid in the water. Wow, it felt amazing. I didn't need a wetsuit. The water felt so amazing and I was ready to get started. The megaphone beeped and we were off.

One hand in front of the other. I was enjoying the water so much. It was the perfect temperature for a swim. I reached the last buoy and turned around. The best part about this race is getting a little push from the current swimming back in. I continued to swim and saw the opening through the trees that was the swim exit.

"Don't try to stand up until your hands touch sand while swimming" I reminded myself. I felt the sand, stood up, was out of the water, and ran to transition. Time for the bike, my favorite part of the race.

I arrived at my transition spot, slipped my bike shoes on, put my sunglasses and helmet on, took my bike off the rack, and went to the mount line. I mounted my bike and was off. I felt like I was flying. Even though I had my bike computer on the bike, I decided to race by feel. My coach continually told me, don't let a little piece of technology ruin my day. I continued on the bike course and I felt like I flew. I saw lights and a police officer stopping traffic ahead of me.

"There is no way I am already at the bike turnaround." I thought. I was and I looked down at my bike computer. I was halfway in under twenty minutes, and averaging over 18 mph. I had never done that in a race before. I turned around and felt a little headwind.

"Maybe if I go in the big gear I can push and average 19." I said inwardly. I shifted to the big gear and pedaled. I felt my cadence drop immediately and how hard it had become. I shifted down to the smaller gear.

"Nope." I thought. "Keep the cadence up, be happy with where you are, and have a good run." I felt how hard and slow my pedaling had become. I would have been very tired after the bike and wouldn't have had a good run. The miles kept ticking off quickly and I was back on the road we started on in the last mile. The bike course is very smooth and very flat. I kept pedaling to the mount line, dismounted my bike and onto transition to get ready for the run.

The run is beautiful for this triathlon. It is through a golf course and right along the water. I left transition, did a few intervals starting the run to catch my breath and take some nutrition, and was off. My legs felt good underneath me. Earlier in the morning, we were all a little chilly waiting for the swim. I guarantee you no one was cold on the run. I felt the sweat dripping down my face, and it was hot. I kept going aiming for consistency. I passed the mile two sign and it was time to push. I gave it everything I had left on the last mile and was rewarded with my last mile being the fastest by twenty-two seconds.

I crossed the finish line smiling and was handed a bottle of water and ice-cold orange juice. Both went down very quickly.

I surprised myself with this race. I did not think I would do as well as I did. I had been down on myself for not seeing as much progress as I wanted. I had become a little less diligent in my nutrition, stretching, cross-training, and strength workouts. I knew they were doing a little but I felt it wasn't doing much. This race helped me become motivated, refocus, and get back to doing the little things that matter. I can't wait to see what the summer brings during training for 70.3 Augusta and Ironman Florida.

Next up: Gulf Coast 70.3 May 11.






Thank you for reading. If you would like to subscribe please do so on the website, or send an email to swimbikeruntheplanet@gmail.com

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