Thursday, September 11, 2014

Ironman 70.3 World Championship 2014

As some of you know, about a week before the race, I decided 70.3 Worlds was going to be my last triathlon for a while. Really, the decision had been made a few weeks ago, but it took some time to be okay with the decision. A lot of people were shocked and wanted to know why. I had many people tell me, "But you love triathlon." True, triathlon can be fun, but my heart/mind just has not been in it. After a long talk with Coach Steve, I have decided to purse other adventures next year.

Thursday - Travel
Fly and drive in Canada. Dad picked me up from the airport,

Friday - Travel & Check In
Finished the drive to Mont Tremblant. Checked in for the race. (One thing I found to be odd is that they weigh you at check in. I had not been on a scale in months leading up to the race.) Went to the rental house and put my bike together. Welcome banquet. Fireworks.

Saturday - Pre Race
Gear bag check.
Bike check in.
Grocery shopping.
Short run & ride.

Dad made his famous spaghetti sauce for the pasta dinner. He says it was "just alright" but I disagree - great as always!

The Race
I woke up at 5:25 on race morning and felt decent. I had my usual breakfast (oatmeal with raspberries) and was out of the house by 6:00. Dad & I walked down the hill to the transition area. I pumped up the tired and went to swim start.

Swim - 34:41
Place after swim: 71 AG, 1127 OA
I had not been in the water since the Boulder Sunset Triathlon 8 days prior. Standing on the beach I was excited to race. Right before the cannon went off, Sebestain Hayes came over and introduced himself - always fun to meet a fellow IG'er. I don't really remember much about the swim besides feeling comfortable. I really had no contact until the turn for the finish. At that point the AG behind me had caught me. I was shocked it took them that long. I exited the water in 34:41 and thought "it's not over yet." I had been in the water 3x in the past 15 days and somehow pulled off a PR swim.

T1 - 3:40
As soon as I was out of the water I had a wetsuit stripped help me out. We had a nice run to the gear tent and then to the bikes. I don't mind the long T1!

Bike - 2:24:48 (23.2 mph)
Place after bike: 45 AG, 635 OA
I really don't have much to say about the bike course besides, "WOW!" If you are looking for a stunning course...Mont Tremblant is it. The scenery is awesome. I'm not sure there is a flat spot on the bike course, but it is so much fun. I rode without a power meter, so I have no idea what kind of wattage I was hitting. I just know my legs felt comfortable spinning and I am 99% sure I used every gear at some point. Of the 3 hills course I have done (Branson x2, Vegas, and MT), Mont Tremblant is my favorite for sure. The pavement quality is awesome, the crowd support is sweet, and it is an honest course.

My favorite sections of the course are the out and back through the town of Mont Tremblant and the last 20km on the bike. Ride hard for 70km, but to better save something for the last 20km and the run. The hilly last 20km is just getting your legs warmed up for the run rollers on the run.

T2 - 1:03
In and out. No need to sit down!

Run - 1:24:37 (6:27/mile)
Place after run: 25 AG, 328 OA

A lot of people seem to think I am a runner, but I like to think of myself as a bike/run guy. I usually have a strong bike but still set myself up to run well. This time I did not necessarily pay attention to nutrition the last bit on the bike and it showed late in the run.

My plan was to take the first 6.55 mile loop comfortable, then pick it up on loop two. There are very few flat sections on the run. Everything is either rolling or gradual with the exception of a semi-steep downhill and a steep uphill though the village.

I started out running 6:00s and dipped a little under. By 10k in I was comfortable but I knew loop two could be rough. I had two issues going on - a) I had to pee b) I needed solid nutrition. Normally I could take care of issue A while running - if you are relaxed it should not be a problem. Apparently I was not relaxed and I finally had to stop around 15km into the run and go. B, on the other hand, was a major issue. I was hungry and a liquid would not fill the void. I basically had a coal/perform cocktail from 14km on and could not shake it. Was I happy with a 1:24 run? No, but I was happy with the race I put together overall. I knew I had just PR'd, the question was by how much?!

Total - 4:28:49
25th M18-24
328 OA

I was stoked to find out I had a 10 minute PR at the 70.3 distance. I went to the race to enjoy myself and soak in the experience. I had no idea I would be heading back to Boulder as a sub 4:30 guy! It was honestly a dream come true and the perfect ending of this chapter.

I am not going to read too much into the results and try to say "if this, then that." I am happy with the race and enjoyed the day.

People have been asking me if I am stil taking a "gap year(s)" and pursuing other adventures next year(s). The answer is still yes. I went out with a bang, but it has not made me hungry for the sub 4:20 - it only made me feel better about choosing to take time off. Colorado (Boulder) is a wonderful place and I look forward to seeig what is out there. I picked up a pair of cross country skis right before Worlds, so I am actually slightly excited for snow. There are also many mountain bike/run trails I cannot wait to explore. I am thankful/greatful for the opportunities I have had by racing triathlons, but now is the time to explore.

After the race dad and I did a little tour of Canada and VT/NH/MA/NY before heading back to IL/CO. Another awesome trip!

Thanks for reading! If you have any questions, don't hesitate to ask. Hope to see you on the trails!