Monday, June 15, 2009

Kansas 70.3

IMKlogo-med Yesterday I raced in the Ironman Kansas 70.3 triathlon.  After a rough start to my 2009 racing campaign I am happy to say that I finally finished a race without any health or mechanical issues!  Woohoo!  Due to a technical glitch my time and splits didn’t get posted online, so I got a bunch of worried phone calls, emails and text messages.  Thanks for your concern, everybody.

I thought that my race execution was solid this time around and that my result was a fair reflection of where I am right now – a good deal behind the top guys but with competitive swim and run splits.  My biking still needs a lot of work but at least my back is getting stronger and healthier.

This race featured a split transition area, with T1 and T2 sitting maybe half a mile apart.  We didn’t get very long to warm up for the swim but I made the most of that time and hit the line ready to go.  The horn sounded and I quickly found the feet of the lead group, which was swimming six-wide.  As things strung out I worked hard to stay with the feet in front of me, even as their owner lost the feet in front of him.  I figured that there weren’t many swimmers ahead of us.  It turned out that there was a lead group of 7 about 90 seconds up and one straggler between them and my group of 6. 

T1 was uneventful and I set to work on the bike.  My goal was to ride with my swim pack, taking advantage of the small draft that you get by riding the legal distance behind another rider.  Despite an especially hard effort for the first 5-6 miles I couldn’t quite join the three riders ahead of me.  A few other riders and groups caught me later but I could only stay with each for at most a minute before they got away.  Some just passed me like I was sitting still.  Overall my bike split was 20 minutes slower than that of the leaders and 15 minutes slower than that of the median pro.  My back issues did kick in a bit during the second half of the ride, but the pain was much more bearable than at Wildflower, and I was able to put out a respectable amount of power for most of the ride.  Around mile 45 we turned to face a brisk headwind that made things very difficult for me, as I was standing up a lot to take pressure off of my back.  It is a work in progress.

I hoped to run well and to feel good while running. I had some intermittent doubts while on the bike but once I started running my inner monologue was dominated by positive reinforcement.  “This is your strongest discipline.”  “I feel so light on my feet… so fast!”  Most of the men’s field was well ahead of me by this point but I did manage to reel in a few guys while clocking a 1:19:03.  I consider anything under 1:20 to be pretty solid, so I was happy with that performance.

Overall: 4:17:53, 18th of 24 MPRO. Winner was Luke Bell at 3:49:35.
Swim: 24:57, 13th of 34 MPRO. Leader was Paul Matthews at 23:17.
Bike: 2:31:33, 22nd of 24 MPRO. Top split was Bell at 2:11:05. 
Run: 1:19:03, 11th of 24 MPRO. Top split was Bell at 1:13:15. 

22nd on the bike is misleading as one of the guys that I “beat” on the bike had a gnarly crash.  21st was up at 2:25 and 16th was under 2:17:30.  So I clearly have a lot of work to do on my cycling.

1 comment:

  1. nice job Tre! looking forward to doing some tt work with you up there in May Valley and around the lake.