10 June 2015

Racing Through May

Quick update as to the last couple of weeks as they have been busy and will continue to be that way till well into June.  Bri and I enjoyed a day with friends in Las Vegas and saw the Cirque du Soleil show “Love” before she had to head home and I had a quick drive to St. George.  This was the second time I had races the 70.3 in St. George and I was looking forward to competing against another deep talented field.  I can’t thank Dave and Kim enough for hosting me for the entire week leading up to the race, they made everything very easy and it was great to catch up with the whole family.
The swim in Sand Hollow is great, nice clear cool waters to begin a very challenging and possibly hot day.  I tucked in at the tail end of the front group but the pace was very fast and it was strung out single file.  About three-quarters of the way through I started to come unhitched and a small gap opened up and the group was splintering into small groups over the final stretch.
I forced the first miles working to close the gap down and get in a group and work with some guys to make our way to the front.  I was not making any in roads and had one guy sitting on my wheel and though from reports from other athletes and a photographer he was much closer than he should have been.  I continued just to push the pace and at about 35 miles Ben Hoffman, Luke McKenzie and Trevor Wurtele caught us.  I worked in to their group and we were riding strong going into Snow Canyon.  On the ascent of Snow Canyon my legs just would not respond and I didn’t have the power to stay with them up the climb.  I slowly lost ground as we entered T2.
Out on the run it took a mile before I felt like I really hit my stride but it came around and I felt good climbing the first 4 miles on the run.  I really felt like I settled in to a very good hard pace and continued to roll through 9 miles.  I could start to feel my legs tightening up about the same time Victor Del Corral had caught me and could not match his pace.  On the steep downhill legs really started to tighten and over the last 2 miles it was a mental struggle as it is a perfect stretch of road to just let the legs fly on the gradual downhill but I couldn’t do it.  About a half mile from the finish Evert, who had to rightfully serve a drafting penalty, caught me.  Across the line I was 18th and it was a decent effort, I still have some lessons to learn and some strength to gain in racing over the half ironman distance. Sorry no pictures of the race just my power file graph.
SRM Powerfile from IM St. George 70.3

In the chase group behind Craig after the first lap.
After St. George I was finally headed home to Colorado Springs.  I had just enough time to get unpacked and slightly settle back into my training and work routine at Pro Cycling before heading off to the next race.  It is always a fun time at the XTERRA’s and the Southeast Championship is one that we all enjoy on some spectacular trails in Oak Mountain State Park. Thankfully after two mysterious wetsuit swims when the water was plenty warm we got an accurate call that it would be a non-wetsuit swim.  Craig Evan put on a swim clinic for everyone and had a massive lead out of the water with three others and myself chasing.
We were not lucky enough to have a dry bike course though as rain the night before made the roots slick and caused havoc through the field.  I rode strong but small mistakes caused me to loose time to the guys ahead and I just had to focus on really putting down the power when the trail opened up.  Karsten Madsen was having a smashing day but some unlucky mechanicals allowed me to move up one spot but showed that he will be a force in races to come.  Chris Ganter continued to show his improvement and it was not a fluke in Vegas and caught me about 15miles in, I locked on to his wheel but due to a minor mechanical I lost his wheel.  Over the last few miles Olly Shaw caught me and I headed on to the run just behind him.  He stuck about 10-20 seconds ahead of me the whole run but could not close the gap down.  I held strong enough to hold off a few guys charging from behind for 6th.
SRM Powerfile XTERRA Southeast Champs
In chase mode to try to catch Olly ahead.
George and I post Raleigh 70.3, can't thank
him and his family enough for the homestay
and support through the weekend.
The last race in May was my first trip to North Carolina for IM Raleigh 70.3.  It was a lot of quick turnaround over the last month with races every two weeks but would be a good test as to how well I had rested between and while hitting a few quality workouts.   I swam strong but was about 1min off the lead after another guy let a gap open early in the swim and I couldn’t close it back down.  I felt great on the bike and was able to tick things over and picked a few guys off and only Andreas Dietz who smashed everyone on the bike passed me.  I was in 4th for the majority of the bike but two guys latched on my wheel after I passed them.  At the last aid station on the bike I settled in behind them to try to “refresh” my legs, it can feel easier riding behind people even though you are not drafting.  I found out that there was a draft marshal with us so I knew everyone was riding legally for the last 45miles.  I felt really good starting out on the run and over the first 3 miles things were going well.  Then my glutes started to tighten up and my running stride started to shorten to a jog and at points felt like a shuffle.  It was a big disappointment as I was really hoping that I was going to put together the whole swim, bike and run in a half ironman.  Slowly and steadily guys passed and I ended up 12th.  It was still a great trip, I had a great home stay with George, Kim and their kids and still got to see and experience a bit of Raleigh and what a city it is.
SRM Powerfile from Raleigh 70.3

No rest for me though as I am on the road again for the last race of the first part of the season at XTERRA East Championship in Richmond.

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