I arrived Saturday to check into the race and got there early enough to where the line was not too long. Everyone was very friendly and made the process quick and easy. Went through the expo and got suckered into buying a shirt which looked really cool and chilled out the rest of the day in preparation. My goal for this race was to cut some good time off my first 70.3 in San Juan in March. Here are the two races.
San Juan Results:
Overall: 5:27:17- 27th AG, 276th OA
Overall: 5:13:17- 38th AG, 304th OA
I really slept pretty well considering I was sleeping on a buddy's couch and was anxious for the race. I woke up and had a typical pre-race breakfast for me which consists of Quest Bars and Yogurt. My buddy Paul drove Ryan and I down to transition at 6:00ish because our wave didn't start until 8:20. We went back to his house after setting up and relaxed for a bit longer, ate some more, and then headed down to the water to get a quick warm up in.
Well I still suck in the water. HA! Going into the swim, I knew that I was going to struggle. It was incredibly choppy and I had never trained in anything close to this before. That being said, on paper, it looks like I have become a significantly worse swimmer over the past few months when in fact my swimming ability in a pool is significantly better. I think it is a combination of my lack of swimming background as well as my ability to psyche myself out as soon as I get into the open water which ultimately kills me on the swim part of these races. I need to start getting into the open water much more often in order for this to stop happening. I feel that if I can make swimming more comfortable for the upcoming races, I can start putting myself in a better position to compete overall.
I don't want to talk about the swim anymore than saying that I could not have been more happy to see the end.
After a slower transition than usual, due to my attempt to get the wet suit off(apparently the strippers were gone?) and my attempt to lower my heart rate, I climbed the first hill and began the bike portion of the race. This was the part of the race that I was most interested to see where I was at fitness-wise. I had put a lot of work in on the bike in the past months and was hoping to cut my time. The whole bike ride was relatively flat minus the choppy roads. Also, there was very little wind which made for a great day. The only issue that I ran into was the fact that because I am a poor swimmer but had made good improvements on the bike, I spent a majority of the 56 miles weaving around people. It was amusing/awesome because this part of the race in San Juan was the biggest struggle for me, and now I was loving every minute of the ride. At about mile 20, I caught a group of 3 guys who were attempting to draft off one another(I wonder if they eventually got caught).
The only other issue on the bike that I had turned out to be a bigger one. At the second aid station, I was able to quickly grab a Perform and get back into the middle of the lane and into the arrow position. At the time I was averaging about 21.5 MPH and was very happy that I could hopefully do the entire ride at over 21. However, some lady in front of me attempted to grab a water, fumble the water and swerve right in front of me causing me to crash off my bike and loose all my water bottles and nutrition. After regaining what I had lost in the crash and yelling at the nice volunteers that despite all the blood, I was going to live, I was on my way again.
I lost about 2 minutes overall and probably a few more due to the pain in my hip, but I was happy to keep going again. The rest of the bike was pretty uneventful despite the fact that I was riding somewhat angry over the previous incident and had to keep convincing myself that I needed legs for the run. I rode into transition about 20 minutes faster than my split in San Juan! Could not have been happier. Did I save anything for the run?
|How was I this happy at mile 9 of the run?|
The run was pretty uneventful. I took in salt tabs, cramped miles 1-4, felt good 5-10, and struggled with hip pain from 11-13. I was happy to keep a comfortable pace throughout the run and ended up averaging a bit slower than I thought at 6:30s. I was able to see my mom and dad a few times which definitely helped. Overall a pretty solid run that I could be happy with.
Overall, this was a great day and I want to thank everyone who was there or who has supported me in one way or another. You guys rock. I love you all.
Until next time, Nick out.