Solid End To 2017
The 2017 season started strong in Puerto Rico and ended strong at Ironman Louisville. The middle was less than desirable. Ironman Louisville was a race that I had planned on doing all season. This was mostly because I knew I would be training hard for Ironman Wisconsin and I wanted to see if I could carry the fitness for another 5 weeks. This is something that I haven't done very well in the past, however I felt like my strength and maturity as an athlete would allow me to do it this year.
If you haven't been to Louisville to race, you should definitely add it to your list. The river swim, though dirty, is unique and pretty enjoyable. The bike course is VERY rolling with about 5500' of climbing that comes almost all from about mile 15 to 95. It absolutely beautiful with great road surfaces. The run is for the most part flat and ends at Fourth Street Live (downtown area of Lou where they have bands and a number or restaurants). There is plenty of lodging and the city is pretty centralized for most who live east of the Rockies.
The race for me was not my fastest but it was satisfying after getting sick 10 days before racing Ironman Wisconsin. The training that my coach, Cliff English, gave me was more quality focused, which was a great compliment to all the volume we had done throughout the summer. I felt good for pretty much the entire build into the race.
The swim was a bit of a cluster. Our start time was pushed back a few minutes due to darkness and we weren't given any warm-up or warning for the start of the race. I was actually faced the wrong way toggling through the Garmin when the cannon sounded. If there would be one thing I could recommend to WTC it would be to give us 5 minutes to warm-up and line-up, then start us. After all, we are racing for checks!
|Talk about dark!|
Even though I was out of position on the swim and missed the front group, I swam a solid tempo and felt pretty good. I wore my PZ4TX speed suit (no wetsuits for the PRO's) with a brand new sleeved top that Borah Teamwear will come out with in 2018. I came out in 55', about 4' back of the pack.
The bike for me was pretty solid. I pushed the first 30 miles pretty hard to try to limit the losses to the front group. Despite the effort, I still lost 90 sec or so. It was at that point that I decided to dial in back and stick to my game plan. The rest of the ride went well...there was a lot of bike traffic on the second loop and we had a FIERCE headwind for the last 30 miles, but I felt like I handled it well.
I got onto the run and I was a bit worked, however my targeted pace was there. Unfortunately it didn't last; I ran well for about 10 miles and then the wheels slowly fell off. This was also about the same time that a massive front came through (note the blue line drop, which is temperature). I think the reason for my fading was probably a combination of things; the first 30 miles of the bike came back to bite a bit, not having any more places to run for and I just think in general it was not my best day of running.
Despite slowing in the last half of the marathon, I still finished 11th in 8:46 and with a smile on my face. I told myself before the race that we never know how many fast races we have in us and that it's important to be grateful. I did that, along with enjoying the day and I am happy with the result. Thank you to all who support me.
Next up for me is TBD. However I still have a few goals in the back of my mind...and if you know me, you know I don't let goals go very easily. More to come soon!