New Orleans 70.3
On Sunday I had my “do over” season opener, after having to drop out of Ironman 70.3 Monterrey and sitting out of Texas 70.3 with a calf injury, I was eager to come out of the gates running down in the “Big N Easy”.
In 2013 I had a breakout race and broke 4hr for the first time in New Orleans and also set the fastest time by an Irishman at the time for the 70.3 distance. I also had the fastest run on that day with a 1:12. So its safe to say NOLA holds a special place in my heart. Its not ever race you get to ride in the “Irish Bayou” . This year emotions were high again after the sad events that happened two days before the race (please check the link below to support the family) On a personal note I was excited to have my little man at the race, as last yr he was the reason I could push for a strong run. This year was no different, in the photo above I’m shouting over to him at mile 10 on the run, it gave me the strength to push the last 5k. I’ve made some key changes this year to help me recent my goals, starting on a nutrition plan thanks to Juicer Heroes and also my personal strength coaches Keith and Marie at Efficient Exercise.
Briefly on the race, I had a PR swim coming out in 25:45 and got out of the water in 10th, just off a group of guys with some solid bikers in the mix. I got on my Quintana Roo Illictio and made like a rocket to keep myself in the race. This is the closest I’ve ever been to the front of a 70.3 after the swim leg. For me to only lose 3:30 or so to Andy Potts in the water is huge for me! Thanks you Coach Susan and Coach Tiitta of MOST SA for the amazing work you both have done with this former non floater . On the bike I was riding strong with 5th -10th . At mile 40 or so my left quad locked up, (side note I switched from a 53T to a 55T on wednesday. Long story !!) But lesson learned don’t change what is working on race week. I ended up losing 3 mins or more and was worried I was not even going to be able to run so I totally backed off and fell back to 12th.
Coming into T2 I was praying that I didn’t need my quads to run! I was going to take whatever I had and even walk to the finish if I had to! On run out I got a big shout from a friend and it got me going. I had to stay strong and positive on the run. It was a total mental battle but I held a solid pace and ran guys down to finish 7th. On another day it could have been better or a lot worse! So I will take it and now its going to be a great 2014.
Thanks for taking the time to read, In the next update I will be officially launching my website (with some give aways!!) Also I will give some details on my training towards IM Texas and some tips on swim improvement.Finally, please take a min and if you can donate to help the family of the man who was killed on Friday before the race while he was checking out the race course.