Just got home from Kansas 70.3, I FINALLY had a run I knew I was capable of. I held back on the bike slightly, but really not too much. I averaged about 15 watts less then California but still pushed pretty well. The biggest difference was a tactic to focus on specific things in my run and it worked quite well. 1:22 was my run split and that is about 3 min faster for me on a course that has a lot of turns and a couple good hills.
I rode down on Friday with Danny and Lindsay. The drive is just far enough that by the time we got there at midnight we were pretty darn happy to be there. With a good night sleep under us, despite several wake ups, I felt quite refreshed. My ribs were hurting me to the point I went to an Urgent Care center 2 days before that and was finally able to get some topical pain meds to help reduce the pain significantly. This was the first time I hadn’t been in a lot of side pain in 2 weeks. That was a welcome surprise.
Kansas is great course, but the added logistics of 2 transition areas and not being allowed to park at either sucks. It makes for a 2-3 hour pre race brick and athlete check in process. If you do this race, just realize this is something you will have to deal with. We got there, got checked in, did our brick and then it was time for the REAL reason I drove to Kansas City, Planet Sub sandwiches. We definitely got a good pre race fill there this year and decided it also needed to be our first stop on the way home after the race.
The night before the weather looked like we were going to be racing in a massive rain storm. I was not at all looking forward to that but at this point just wanted to race enough to justify the calories I had been eating all day. I went to bed with wishful thinking and thank goodness the prayers were answered. Race day seemed to dodge a bullet.
It was so much fun to get some redemption on a race I really struggled with last year. I also love continuing to work on ways to try to gain more speed. I am working on faster running off the bike with some techniques I have used in training before but finally took the leap of faith and tried it in a race. It was amazing how hard it can be to get yourself out of your comfort zone and how you “normally” do things. I was very pleased with the result however with 1:22 being my fastest half marathon off the bike to date. One of the guys I respect the most in my AG – Tim Hola out ran me by less then 1 min. I use him as a bench march as he is probably the single most consistent top performer I face. He is an amazing guy, and talent.
Now just have to figure out what is next. I have Courtney Ogden staying with me this summer. So I hope to do some training with him and learn from one of the most experienced pros I know.