70.3 Galveston – 4th
It is funny how confidence in your abilities ebs and flows as training progresses throughout the season. As of late, I have been training hard but not really confident of what I can do in the race. Which meant heading into Memorial Herman 70.3 Galveston I was well trained but had no clue of what was possible on race day.
When I woke up on Saturday morning there was a fresh layer of snow on the ground as I took the boys for a few minute wake up jaunt. I then tip toed on our icy driveway as I loaded my bike and bags into the car heading literally from 0-90, okay maybe 15-85! Saturday was a whirlwind to say the least, fly, unpack, expo, pro meeting, race prep…but by 8:15pm, I was ready to rock.
Race morning I rode in with a Jeremy Brown and we were discussing how in racing sometimes you have a career day and do not win among other small talk on training and racing strategy. At the transition rack it was the “legends” section of the transition area: #2 – McMahon, #3 – Cunningham, #5 – Starykowicz, & #6 – McDonald (there was no #4), between the 4 of us we have 70+ years of triathlon knowledge, so the stories were abundant. Finally I was time to meander to the swim start.
When the cannon fired I let out an explosive quick breast stroke kick to launch on top of the water and I felt a little knot in my hamstring, oh this may not be good. I started in the middle which is rare for me, normally I am an edger. I spent the bulk of the first 500m switching draft lines, trying to figure out which lane was the mover. I must have swam an extra 15m trying to identify who was in each lane. Ultimately all I did was gain no ground and swim a lot of extra yards. We went around the first turn buoy and the guy in front of me totally stalled and let a gap open. I busted my butt the rest of the swim to close the 5m gap, but it seemed to be a yo-yo of 3m-10m the entire way. Exiting the water, it was a nothing lost nothing gained feeling.
On the bike it was “on it like blue bonnet,” I made quick work of the field and set the sail. It was simply 28 miles out and 28 miles back, just me and the white line and a lot of Base nutrition. At the turnaround it was the first and only time I would get an idea if there was damage being done on the bike. I quickly filled my Torhans AeroZ and waited to see how close the hunters were. The field was loaded with 4 of the best bikers in the sport, as expected Drietz, Sanders, Weiss, then the pelotons as expected.
The gaps were smaller than desired but hey, these are big dogs…not pups. The way back I just held aero and kept the legs firing playing with cadence.
The run was the exact opposite of the bike when it comes to course simplicity. The course was a 3 loop, multiple turnaround and loopity loops per lap. My whole goal was to hold form and run the whole 13.1 miles. All the turns made it a real bear to keep form or find a groove. Out of every turn I was searching for technique. Lionel passed me on lap 1, Drietz on lap 2, finally on lap 3 Weiss passed me, ironically all 3 passes happened in the same 200m of the course. It was my longest run of the year, my quickest 5k, 10k, 10 miler, and 21.1k of the year…heck I PRed like a boss! I crossed the line completely cashed but a lot more confident of where this season is going to go, and it’s headed to great places.
Champion is Earned,