Last Sunday I got to race in the Longhorn 70.3 (closest WTC race to home) this is a great race and I recommend if you are planning your2014 to have it on the list. It always attracts a great Pro startlist and this year was no different. We had a large field with many household names and some soon to be 70.3 stars lining up to battle in ATX.
After some thunderstorms in the early hours of the morning we got pretty lucky for race time, with an overcast day and somewhat mild temps. But the action in the race was hot all the way ! The swim was out fast and I feel we were split into swim packs after 100-200m I missed the 2nd pack and swim in the third all the way. My swimming has been up and down the last few weeks and to be honest I’ll take a 27:53 but needed to be in the 26-26:30 range. I got out with 4 guys and quickly got on my bike, chasing hard as I could see another group up the road. My training partner Mark Saroni was one of them; he was unlucky to have an issue with his bike and had to withdraw to end his season. But made some great gains in fitness and will be stronger and ready in 2014. Around mile 8 I passed a strong rider and we ended up linking up and rode well together for the entire ride passing a lot of guys. I hit a bad pack around mile 35-40 ish but I knew it was mental and stayed focused on keeping 10 bike lengths behind. I came around by mile 45 and ended the ride strong. I rode a 2:14:06 on a no fast but fair bike course. Only losing 3:45 to the fastest bike split on the day.
Here is me leaving T2 on a mission!
Getting off the bike I was excited to hear my Revolution Racing teammates and friends along with my wife Heather and Rory was even there to cheer!!! The legs felt good on the initial run into T2 after hopping off the bike, so I was ready to go hunting after hearing I was just over 7min off the lead. Going out I saw the clock was 3:44ish so I knew a sub 4:00 was possible with my usual run split. The legs were moving and my first km split was 3:19 (5:20 pace) I was holding my pace and catching guys early on. At the turn I got a little discouraged to see I was still many places down, but I stayed positive in my mind knowing a lot of racing was left. It looked like a a lot of guys got an “easier ride” than me as they were not that far part on the run. So lesson here is swim more!!!
After the first lap I was so impressed with the amount of cheers I was getting on the course it felt like I was racing at home. I was also getting support from all my friends doing the lead on the bike. Maybe next year I will be alongside one of you guys. Even many age groupers were shooting for me, I moved up well on the 2nd lap and as I hit my 3rd lap my body was telling me it was going to be a painful one.
(Shout out to my friend Herb for the above pic)
For two reasons, I was not enjoying my gels for some reason and could only get in three on the bike and one on the run. I needed another one on the bike and then one around mile 8 on the run. Something I've learned after doing 70.3's is you can't perform if you don't fuel. So I do my best to plan before the race what I need and when I need to take it. Sometimes your body tells you no. But lesson learned force it down!!
But nevertheless I pushed on and took it one Km at a time late on in the run. Also I have been dealing with some Achilles issue in the last few weeks so my run workouts have be shorter than normal, hence my fad in the last 3 miles. When I'm normally still going strong. I focused on my mindset and experience to get me home and I was happy to cross the line in 4:01 for 11th place.
This racing season I have been lucky to be supported by some amazing sponsors and without them this triathlon business for me would not be possible or fun, this allows me to chase my goals, So thanks you Revolution Racing, Simon at The Fit Kitchen. Jeremy and the crew at Cobb Cycling (more to come from them to get me faster on the bike) Superfeet of course my employer and makers of the best Insoles in the business, Immunotec, their product helps me train hard and recover strong Just one more race to end 2013 so check back for more details.
The main man(Rory) below enjoying his first Ironman event experience.