This weekend was the Malibu Triathlon and I have been waiting a year to get my revenge on this course. In 2014 I did this and suffered through the race, mainly the swim. It was a harsh awakening for me and I never wanted to be unprepared for a triathlon again. A year later I came back to this race a different athlete and ready to get my PR on the course. Joined by my wife I headed out to Zuma Beach that morning and tackled the swim bike run.
The Swim: I always get a bit nervous at the start of any triathlon and waiting at the swim start really gives me butterflies. But I trusted my training and was confident that my open water swimming was on point. I was in the second wave so I patiently waited for that second cannon to go off, Trying to crack jokes with strangers lined up in my age group. Boom! I was off running from the sand into the water and diving under the waves that came towards me. Got to the first buoy and took a sharp right, only six more buoys to go before that next right. I felt great during the swim. breathing was good and I was able to remain calm. I thought a lot about my wife who was waiting for me on the sand, her birthday was coming up in a few days and I was just blessed to have her by my side during these races.
Last year the swim took me a bit over an hour and it was brutal. This year I kicked its ass and finished it in about 31 minutes. I was incredibly happy with that and I was well on track to PR this course. As I exited the water and made my way to transition I saw my friend “Jazz” with his son Eric cheering me on. It was very motivating to see them out spectating their first triathlon.
The Bike: The bike as always went well, I felt very calm and it was good that I am very familiar with the course. T1 was quick and I took my first GU about 2 miles into the bike. I usually only take one water bottle with me on the bike because I know that at the turn around of mile 12 there are volunteers handing out Herbalife water bottles. So i make sure to leave an empty cage to put in the new bottle ill get there. If you know the rolling hills on PCH this is not difficult course. I would describe it as more technical as you are changing gear often to climb.
I was going back and forth with one guy on the bike riding a road bike. He was climbing the hills a bit faster than me but I would catch up on the down hills and flats. At the turn around maybe because of the excitement of the last stretch I stopped seeing him. I did well averaging 20.8 mph on the bike.
The Run: The run is an out and back with some twists and turns, but relatively flat and a quick course. T2 went great, this time around I did not use lock laces and actually tied my shoes for the run. I’ve been thinking of wanting to run my next 70.3 with shoe laces so that I can avoid my foot from moving around on the run. This was a test run and I absolutely loved it, the time spent doing my laces was certainly made up for the run.
And guess what? the same guy I was going back and forth with on the bike I saw on the Run. He was about a minute in front of me, I have no idea when he passed me but there he was. I kept my pace knowing I was pushing it a bit more than I expected to but who cares it was a race. On the last mile I saw the guy again and it looked as if he was fading so we were about 800 meters from the finish line and I passed him. He obviously didn’t like that and made an attack with about 300 meters left at that point I tried to take back the lead but was not able to. I definitely made my move to early but it was fun racing with the guy. We shook hands after on making the end a bit more interesting.
I ended up getting a PR for this course by 53 minutes and I set a new Olympic Distance PR with the 2:33 finish. It was a great day of racing.
1 Cliff Gel 5 min before swim start.
1 GU Energy Gel 2 miles into the bike.
1 GU Energy Gel Leaving T2 heading into the run
and 1 GU Energy Gel at mile 4 on the run for a last kick (truth is I probably didn’t need that last GU).
16 ounces of water on the Bike and cups of water during the run.