Race week highlights - Monday swimming in a snowstorm in Boulder, Thursday getting stitches in my finger, Saturday sorting minor mechanical issue and Sunday racing IMAZ in some dawg gone warm and windy weather.
While I did not completely tank my race it was not the performance I wanted.
I came into this race with a goal of maintaining contact with guys throughout the swim and bike to put me in position for a strong marathon. For the swim I positioned myself towards the inside and found myself swimming with the second main chase pack. The pace was comfortable and I tucked myself in to take advantage of the draft. Exiting in 56 and change I was ready to get to work on the bike.
After leaving town and heading out on the long out & bike stretch of Beeline Highway it was obviously going to be a windy day with both strong head and tail winds. I found myself just behind Sergio Marques and figured he would be a good guy to maintain contact through the bike as I know he is a strong runner. Sergio, AJ Johnson, Bernhard Keller and I rode as group exchanging positions through the first 40 miles or so. Partway through the second loop my hamstrings began to cramp. This was not a good thing as the winds kicked up dust storms and the mercury kept rising. Every time I made an effort to press the pace the cramping would return. The winds seemed to calm a bit for the third lap and approaching T2 I began to focus on a swift transition to the marathon.
Like the bike course, IMAZ serves up a three loop course for the marathon. I would not describe it as a fast run course with a lot of twists, turns and corners. My legs felt pretty good through the first four miles, but then things got a bit ugly. I really began to feel the effects of the heat and just could not find my fluid running form. Through each aid station I took in what I could to keep me moving forward. Despite how crummy I was feeling, I found myself improving my position throughout the run.
A huge kudos to the volunteers at this event. I found the aid stations on both bike and run to be on the ball and getting me what I needed. Congrats to the guys up front for setting up an exciting day of racing with the top four men all being within 1:30 of one another! Thanks to Coach Z and all my sponsors who allow me to be my best. I look forward to a quick recovery and racing Florida 70.3 in May.
Keep it smooth...