hanging at the expo with Skin Strong
early in the run under some cloud cover
I'd like to say this was a great day of racing, but it was the exact opposite. Other than the swim, my race was in the tank! I had a great build for this event and was confident with my fitness. My run prep was slightly limited with some plantar fasciitis which developed two weeks out from race day, but I think the biggest influence on my poor run was the heat & humidity. I typically perform well in these conditions, but I guess my body was simply not ready for it with the cold spring we have seen in Boulder.
Swim (58:41) - I positioned myself towards the front and had a decent start, but was not able to match the speed of some of the guys around me. I swam the first 1200m just behind a small group which included Petr Vabrousek (Chezch Republic & doing his 100th+ Ironman), my buddies Patrick Evoe (USA) & Raul Furtado (Brazil), Mike Neill (Canada), Joanna Lawn (New Zealand) and a few others. I was able to bridge up to them approaching the first turn buoy at 1400m and would complete the final 2400m comfortably with this group. The last 1000m of the swim was down a narrow canal with spectators on both sides which was kind of cool.
Bike (4:52) - Exiting T1 I expected to be in the midst of the same guys with whom I finished the swim. Damn, where did they go? Raul went passed me shortly into the bike and I made a tactical error in not trying to ride with him. What was I thinking!?! My legs felt decent but I rode too conservatively over the first part of this fast course and was never able to get myself into "go" mode. We had lots of cloud cover and some rain which was refreshing as the temps and humidity continued to rise. Over the final 10 miles I was caught by several riders and mentally a bit dejected. "C'mon Brad, get with it!" I said to myself.
Run (3:19) - Within the first few strides of the run I could tell it was going to be a tough go with this marathon. As the sun emerged my focus was trying to maintain some kind of leg turnover and keeping my core cool. Through the first loop I was able to catch a few athletes, but was seriously considering pulling the plug as I struggled in the conditions. I wanted to give up, but figured there would be some carnage over the final two laps and if I could keep things together I might be able to crack the top 15 for some valuable Kona points. Unfortunately I became part of the carnage as my pace slowed to a crawl. I have not felt this bad in a race since Kona 2009 and was trying to use every jedi mind trick and prayer I know to get things rolling.
Crossing the line in a sluggish 9:14 I had a smile on my face simply to be done with this race!
The volunteers and crowd support throughout the day were top-notch and I was grateful for their encouragement! I also enjoyed the pre-race expo and hanging with my sponsor, SkinStrong, at their booth. A HUGE thanks to my parents for their support on this rough day as well as my sponsors. I have enjoyed my recovery week of being lazy and allowing the body to rest/heal. As my last three races have been rather disappointing, I am inspired by Galatians 6:9 - "Let us not grow weary of doing good; if we do not relax our efforts, in due time we shall reap our harvest." May we all persevere with eyes of faith in being our best. Next up...the Racing for Recovery Sprint Triathlon relay with my brothers on June 5th!
Keep it smooth,