What a great way to spend Fathers Day weekend! Nice weather, great time with family (both sides) and a little racing. After a slower than desired start to Iowa, we made the trip to Mason City and relaxed a little Friday night. Despite the logistical mess that slowed us down from leaving, I was calm… that is odd, because normally I am anxious to get on the road. All in all… we actually left earlier than we normally do… ironic.
I set my alarm for 5:30, just as a weekday, figuring I would get some food, coffee, and wake up a bit. While sipping on my java, I hooked up the trusty Compex on my quads and tried the pre-warmup mode to wake my legs up. When I was done… I was amazed at how good they felt. This is going to become a new ritual. Everytime I use the Compex… I am even more impressed at how well it works. After waking up the legs, I knocked down 2 grapefruit, an apple with pb, and a couple of bananas.
I tossed my bag in the car, and decided to bike the roughly 1 mile to the aquatic center. We got checked in, racked, and decided to go for a warm-up ride. Making sure everything was operating properly, I did some high cadence work to loosen up followed by a few miles on the course out and back, pushing to really wake the legs up. Again… slightly shocked… but I was feeling good.
A quick transition to a run warm-up with some strides got the sweat moving in the humidity.
Before I knew it, I was lined up at the deep end of the pool, racer #48. A TT start, circle swim in this 50m pool, I knew there would be some passing going on. Splash some water on the face and in I went.
The swim is short in the grand scheme of things. I powered through, and came out of the water in about 4:20, pretty much on with what I expected. I pushed enough to hopefully catch up after transition and hammer out the bike.
T1 was a good jaunt away, but pretty uneventful. A strategic racking position made for a quick transition, and I was off.
Bike: 10 miles, out and back
The plan – Hammer like mad. I was not real sure what to expect, I have had a few ugly weeks of training leading up to this race, but my goal was to just push, make it hurt, and suffer on the run. The course is pretty flat, a few minor bumps, and only a couple of turns. I had just hooked up the Reynolds Element Disc, and was feeling speedy with this sucker on it! Talk about an amazing wheel! I was making good time, knowing the way back is typically faster, I pushed on the way out. As soon as I saw the first person coming the opposite direction, I started counting how many people were ahead of me. 1, 2, … , 13,14,15. Turnaround… Ok 15 people that I can start picking off on the way home. A few here, a few there. I probably came in having passed half of them.
All in all the bike went well, shaved some time from last year, averaged 219 watts for 23 MPH
T2 again was uneventful, and on to the run.
The goal was to break a mental barrier I have. When the going gets tough, I soften up, slow down, and just go. Not today. Today was about finding a new limit. Pushing myself past the burn in my quads and calfs saying to slow down just for a few seconds so they can catch up. My body was not used to the humidity yet this year, so that added to it. I weaved in and out on the trails of the park, passing a few people, then climbed out of the park. I saw a couple more people and kept mentally pushing to advance on them, getting within 10 yards or so, and I would get a boost, pushing me past them. By this point I lost count of how many people I had in front of me, but knew it couldn’t be many.
I hit the 1 mile marker… “oh F…un… I say” I was thinking I was a bit further along. Pushing through and wishing I could get just a small cup of cold water to toss on myself. No such luck… at least not until mile 2.25 or so. Plugging away, I was able to feel my legs coming under me, although my HR was up, my lungs were letting me know they were working. I came around a small corner and saw another guy. I kept aiming to catch him, and it took some time, he was moving at a good clip, but that is what kept me going. I ended up passing him right before the water station.
Down a gravel trail on the top of the dike and a little hill of gravel as we exited made for a few cautius steps. Once back on pavement, I knew I was close to home, and pushed out a bit more. Heading down one of the last streets before turning into the park, I pushed it and turned the corner. In the distance I could see my wife, the twins, mom & dad, mother-in-law, and sister-in-law. Extra motivation I thought! I gave it what I had left with a quick smile and wave to them as I went for the finish line.
Overall I had a great day, I pushed myself mentally harder than ever before. Physically I was very pleased with the results. A great bike performance, solid transitions, and a good run for me. 7 minute miles on the dot.
I came in at 54:00 even. Almost a minute and a half better than last year. I was spent, and got some water in right away. I chatted with a few people at the finish and spent some time with the family before even thinking about where I fell in the rankings. Someone told me I was the second person to finish. Not too bad, but it was a TT start, so who knows if someone after me had a great race.
After a bit of time, I decided to look at the results, at first glance, I see my name in 3rd overall. I was happy, but a little bummed, I really was hoping for the overall. As I looked to see how close it was, I noticed something, both of the entries above me had a team name. Sweet, by the looks of it, I did manage to do it!
By 30 seconds, I managed to grab the overall win over a 19 year old collegiate runner! Having the 2nd fastest bike split of the day was also an accomplishment I was happy to acheive.
This is what I needed, a boost in morale, a spark to reignite the fire for starting to build into my 2 Olymipic races and the Rev3 Cedar Point Half!