Friday, October 12, 2012

Augusta 70.3

Ironman Augusta 70.3 is over.  It was my 10th tri of the season and extremely important to my future in this sport.  I enlisted Jim Christian as my coach and buckled down on the training.  Unfortunately I had raced a bit too much in the early season and had some nagging  foot pain that kept me from running too fast.  When I started the focused approach in July I had 12 weeks to try to get myself under 4:20.  A somewhat lofty goal considering I haven’t had a good race since 2009. I know the Augusta course well and knew what I could do.  The swim is practically a free for all.  I wanted to be the fastest overall.  Anything sub 19:30 (yes, a very fast swim) would have pleased me.  When I entered transition my watch was at 22:xx and I was feeling like I was behind.  I had a lot more in me for the swim and should have used.  I was caught up for a few seconds trying to get up the boat ramp.  It was extremely crowded because of the crappy wave starts.  Turns out I swam a 19:58 which brought me a 3rd overall.  I was beat by 2 pro’s by 1 second and 6 seconds.  I’ll take that as a wash.  I ran pretty hard through T1 to try and get some blood in my legs.  My heart rate was screaming at the dismount line but, I was trying to make up those 2 minutes from the swim. 

The bike went pretty good. I was supposed to ride out towards the Aiken barricade with a 24.5 avg but, I just couldn’t do it.  I was pushing and just couldn’t get above 23.5.  I was very focused on getting my nutrition in.  Before the first aid station at mile 17 I needed to have 200 calories of Gubrew and 200 ca Gu gel, and 20 oz of water in.  I had no problems and was able to get my water refill.  I knew the second half of the course was hillier and harder…so I thought.  I was blowing by people at a demoralizing speed.  My legs felt like I was holding off a cramp so I kept backing off but, it seemed like I was just moving faster.  I hit 2 more bottles of water and 400 calories.  I got it all in.   When I came into T2 I felt like I was 3 minutes behind and was worried I pushed the bike but, I really held it when I needed to.  I was on my feet at 2:50 with a bike of 2:21.  My expected bike was 2:20.

The first mile of the felt like I was dragging my feet but, I was still under 7:00 pretty easy. Knowing that my run endurance was lacking I backed it off to 7:30.  Hell, I haven’t been under 1:50 since 2009 so 7:30s sounded fine.  At mile 3 I felt the same but, I began to slow down.  I knew it was going to happen I was just hoping it would have been at mile 11… I decided a while back that if I could stay consistent on the run that it would have been a victory for me.  After 3 years of awful racing I’m basically starting over.  So at mile 3 I settled in to 8 min miles.  No choice. 

In the end I was 8th out 400 and something and 83rd overall.  I executed perfectly with what I had which was huge.  I missed my time goal but, still hit a 4:32, an average time with room to improve.  That’s a good place to be in.  It means I still have THAT day in me.