San Juan 70.3 was my first experience racing as a professional. The pro field was the strongest ever compiled other than the World Championships. Great way to start. If you want to be the best you have to race the best. San Juan was more beautiful than I had imagined. The blue waters and Spanish forts overlooking the water was an incredible sight to say the least. I arrived in San Juan Thursday and went straight to my hotel room at the Conrad Condado which was very nice. I put my bike together immediately and made sure everything was race ready.
The hotel room coffee was the best I’ve ever had. I bought some of the same brand, Yaucono, to bring home to Crystal. My legs felt great after all the recovery work I had been getting at Movadria the previous several weeks. Friday morning I went for a short 30 minute swim in the protected lagoon where the race takes place and it was perfect. Very light waves if any and around 78degrees. Trying to ride my bike later on was a different story. Traffic was crazy and it made riding before the race next to impossible. Saturday I went for another short swim followed by a short run. The pro meeting was informative although I think I left more confused about the changes to drafting/passing rules than when I got there.
Swim: I knew the swim would be fast but it started out like an all out sprint. I swam with Jose Almagro Valero the whole way. After the race I realized it was too slow and we needed to stay with the pack so we didn’t have to bike alone. Overall I was very comfortable during the swim. 1st lesson- worry less about the time and race the people in the race.
Bike: About a .5 mile into the bike I hit a hole in the road I didn’t see and all of my race calories went flying. I didn’t even see where they went to and had to continue without them. I didn’t freak out because I knew there would be gels at the aid stations but not as many calories as I had planned or the same kind either. I felt strong between 24-25mph for the first 40 miles. After that I started to lose power in my legs. Possibly because of the nutrition but whatever the reason I knew I had to run soon so I kept a quick cadence. My Rudy Project shades were great all day and never fogged up even in when it was raining. 2nd lesson- secure nutrition better just in case
Run: The run course was unbelievably scenic! We Ran from the Sixto Escobar stadium out to and around the outer walls of the San Felipe Fort twice. There were a few very steep hills and some cobble stone sections along the route. I didn’t run very hard in this race. I was content to jog through it and live to fight another day. Because of this and the outstanding recovery I get at Movadria, I have recovered very quickly and will race another 70.3 this weekend in Ocala.
Overall it was a great experience. Monday after the race I spoke with former Ironman World Champ, Faris Al-Sultan. He is a cool guy and one of the most accomplished triathletes ever. After that I still had some time to check out the awesome views before my flight home!