I went o Eagleman 70.3 with the hopes of having a great race. I have had injury issues this year and other setbacks with work, schedules, etc. and was looking to put a solid effort in.
Traditionally I never do well in the heat, and the day was scheduled to be 115 degrees. I tried to use all the information Cheryl taught me about metal outlook ,and concentration and decided I would do the only thing I could do – my best effort for the day.
The swim is pretty much the same for me every race. I end up towards the front, never really out of it because of the swim, but never really put people to bed because of a great swim. Same thing happened here. I swam a 26:42 which put me in the top 4 or 5 in my AG coming out of the water. Sure there was contact and I got kicked and all the other stuff, but you all as triathletes understand that and to tell you that happened would be like telling you the water was wet.
The Bike- I decided today that all my training has left me fit enough to do what needed to be done on the bike. I have been using a new coach this year myself and have learned heaps from him in regards to mental outlook come race day as well as how to strategically race. We came up with a plan that dictated that I go for it on the bike and try to hang on for the run. With my Achilles injuries this springs we new the bike was my best weapon. I got passed 5 miles in by a guy who was flying. I had to maintain between 320-350 watts on average to follow him (not drafting). To use some motivation is absolutely an advantage, but nothing illegal about that. We went through the half way point after going back and forth with each other in 1:03! He eventually dropped off the pace and I could feel my stomach shutting down so I slowed up the last 10-15 miles as well to try to get ready for the very hot run. I ended up with a solid 2:16 bike split. I averaged just under 270 watts I believe.
The transition I saw no reason to rush. I drank some fluid, put socks on and grabbed a bottle of Infinit for the run (smart move).
On the run my friend Christian passed me about 3 mins in. He had won the age group last year and was looking strong again. I knew by the fact there were no other bikes in T2 he and I were number 1 and 2. I also knew if I wanted a Kona spot I had to be second place or higher.
When Christian passed me I told my self to be patient, and not get panicked. He was either having a great day, or would blow up. I needed to focus on my business and control things I had control over. It was so hot on the run. I was running what I felt was pretty slow. There were no real mile markers on the course so it was a guess as to where we were at pace wise but I was guessing about 7:30-7:45 pace. Every aide station I would take on water and dump ice cold water all over myself. I forced 3 gels down in addition to the infinit which really seemed to help a lot.
At the turnaround I was there in 45 min which meant I was actually running 7:00 pace. That surprised me a bit, and Christian was only about 45 seconds up on me. I tried to look really solid to put some doubt into pursuer’s minds, but the next guy behind me was only 90 seconds back. To be honest I thought that was pretty close and wasn’t sure if I could hold him off. I picked it up for a mile but paid dearly for it and slowed don from mile 9-12 pretty good. I actually felt better for the last mile and was able to finish in second place even though I ran a 51 min split home.
It was rough conditions. My critics know I have trouble with heat and it felt especially gratifying to gain my spot in conditions I know some thought I couldn’t. It could have easily gone either way. I ended up with a 4:25 which put me 18th overall (6th Amateur) but min. could have been stacked on at several points in the race.
I had a lot of self talk about form and integrity with myself. Form to keep economy good. Integrity because I tried to talk myself through things exactly as I would have any athlete I coach do. I owe a lot to all my support team who helped me. Some of you were on the course and I tried to use that as motivation to maintain good rhythm when I saw you.
All of the finishers out there really endured some very tough conditions. The athletes who beat me I am so very impressed by.
Great job to all finishers! See you in Kona!