The swim is always my favorite part. Some wave starts are a bit more feisty than others, especially when you're in there with a bunch of other 20-24 year old males. (I suspect the aggression level is toned down quite a bit in every other age group). But when our wave went, it was Scott and I straight to the front. Out was no big deal, but coming back was straight to the sun and it was everything you could do to forget about sighting and just keep your head down and swim straight. Lots of vegetation out there on the swim, too. The more you fought, the more it felt like the lockness monster.
Our swim times ended up being two seconds of each other. I was 6:13 and Scott 6:15. A decent run to the mat after the water's end made it interesting - I really wanted the swim prime. I would actually get it, but they gave it to the overall race winner. He and I had the same split, but I was just a bit faster on the official results page. Weird.
Transition was a buster. Trouble getting the wetsuit off and over the timing chip. Then the velcro on my shoes stuck to the wetsuit. When I flung the suit to shake the shoe, the shoe went flying. Finally made it out of there in 1:09 - same as Scott.
Easy clip in on the bike, and up the first hill I get passed. Scott was really pressing the pace. I couldn't answer. Actually, nothing about my bike leg was impressive. Legs felt heavy, and I kept wanting to scoot back on my seat - probably means it is too low. The same MSU guy, Alan Finder, passed me, just like Scott. He had the fastest bike split on the day. And surprisingly, even though my legs felt dumpster I still was 23.9mph for 6th on the bike.
Wondering how it might turn out on the run, I struggled plenty in transition. Shoes, pre-tied, just wouldn't go on. But as soon as I began, I pulled the usual routine. Quick steps, turn it over, work out the kinks. By mile one I could see I had gained quite a bit on Scott who had started the run a minute ahead. About 1.5 in, he and the top runner in the race were just inside of maybe 30sec ahead. Getting passed by that top runner throwing down 5:40s at 18 years old lit a fire under my ass to see if I could hold him within range. I did until just short of 2mi and the flame faded. At that point it was everything I could do just to keep Scott in my sights. With a big hill about 3/4 mile to go, I tried to gun it, but redlined. Finished feeling very fast, but the run split didn't suggest I was. At 6:37 miles, I was slightly disappointed because I've run way faster for 5mi last year at Terre Haute than I did today for 3.5. 9th overall, about a minute back of Scott. Interesting thing was, the MSU dude Scott beat went the exact same time as he did a year before. To the second. 1:05:27 for my time, and if I do it next year I want to flirt with as close to an hour as possible.
To my delight and worry, I have ambitiously signed up for Muncie 70.3 which is in two weeks. Haha. Oh man. I haven't run more than 10mi since early March I think. Should be quite the show.
This race morning was a little different than most. Since Warsaw is about a three hour drive from Bloomington I went up to Indianapolis the night before to stay at my girlfriends sister's house, so that I would not have to drive so far. Either way I woke up at 3:30 AM to start the normal routine as follows; Bathroom, Cheerios, And lots of water! I made sure I had everything grabbed my bananas and gatorade and out the door I was.
When I arrived at the race site I was one of the first people there, as always! I can't stand to be late it just adds to the stress level. I went and checked in and did the normal body marking and check out the transition area. As I walked back to my car the area became more packed and all of the people started to bring out their fancy bikes, which makes my jaw drop. So I set my bike up and got everything ready to go to transition and then waited for my brother Alex to get there. When he arrived we did a little talking and then went for a quick ride, it was a good thing we did because I probably would have wrecked at the very end of the bike course due to a sharp turn!
As 8:00 AM got close the lake area became packed with fans and athlete's. So I got in the water and made my way to the front of the pack with Alex. We said a few last words and then the gun went off. I always start the swim off as fast as I can to get away from the pack. So I hammerd the gas down and moved to the front. As I look up to see where I am going Alex and I are side by side. As we finish up the swim Alex was ahead of me by a few seconds. Into transition one I had a hell of a time getting the wetsuit off, but I was out at the same time as Alex and one other guy. We all mounted our bikes at the same time, and I gave it hell up the first hill to take the lead. The bike was an out and back course. As I made it to the turn around I could see that I had about 45 sec. to a minute ahead of everybody but I knew they were coming. At mile 12.5 I got passed by a guy from Michigan State. He didn't get much of a lead on me. Into transition two, the lead guy was out ahead of me about 25 seconds and he was flying on the run. I took the run out kind of slow because I had really slammed the bike and I was feeling it a little bit. As the run went on I was gaining on him and got passed by one other guy, who was taking monster strides. With about .75 of a mile to go I passed the guy ( he was drained). I crossed the finish line in 1:04.27.
I took 5th overall and I was happy with the overall race. It was very well organized, had awesome volunteers which is always a bonus, averaged almost 25mph on the bike, and it was just fun to race with nice people who have such great talent! I will for sure be adding this one to next years list. I also qualified for the Age group National Championship!
That's all for now, I'll have an update in a few weeks after Ironman Muncie!
As much as we all love to go on vacation and just hang out and bum around, I myself as a triathlete can’t bring myself to do that. I was more focused on making sure I had all of my workout stuff for vacation than having regular clothes to wear. After a 16 hour journey starting at 3 am we arrived and unloaded the car. As everybody else unpacked and talked I unloaded my trainer and bike and set up for an hour long ride. It for sure wasn’t one of the best rides being that I was as stiff as a board from being in the car all day but I was happy to get a workout in. The next morning I was up early to eat my normal breakfast and I set out on a 60 mile ride. It was awesome to experience this because back home you just can’t ride along the ocean or ride across a mile long bridge that crosses over the ocean. Tuesday was kind of a shorter day. I set out for a 6 mile run in the morning so that I could join in the activities for the day. Wednesday I found online that there was a local Ymca in town, so off I was. I ran 7 miles the first 5 were nice and easy and then I kicked it up to 6:30 race pace and then backed it off. After I was pretty tired and I thought I’d do a little swimming as a cool down . When I got to the pool I started talking to some people and turns out they were from Indiana as well and they swam for one of the High Schools that I competed against. Sure enough they asked if I wanted to join in on an IM set, I said yes knowing that it would be hard, I haven’t swam IM in almost 2 years. So here went nothing 2x200 back, 4x100 IM, 2x200 breast, 1x300 IM, 2x100 Fly 1x200 IM. I was toast after this! But I was very satisfied with my workouts. Yesterday I set out for another ride, only this time I went south to see what was down that way. I ended up riding to see the Cape Hatteras Light House which was pretty cool.
With the my biggest race of the season coming up in less than a month ( Muncie Ironman 70.3) I have been working towards it since March. I have had to increase mileage on the bike and running parts because those are where your body is put to the test. So in order to prepare myself for the heat and intensity the race will bring I have been riding and running long distances in 90 degree heat so that my body will be used to the race like conditions. I will say I feel much more prepared for this half ironman than I do for the one I did last year in Texas.
Goodluck to Alex this weekend, If I wasn’t bumming on vacation I would for sure be there racing with him! I hope he brings home the win.
That’s all for now, happy training, and remember to “Never hope more than you work for”