Ironman Wisconsin Champ!

Ironman Wisconsin Champ!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Muncie 70.3

A week ago I competed in the Ironman Muncie 70.3 in my home state of Indiana.  With this being the first professional triathlon race Indiana has hosted in nearly a decade it was a race I had highlighted and had on my mind since the day it was announced.  All season long I had planned to be on my A game for this race.  Race week we had 30 pro men confirmed and typical July hot weather coming raceday.  With hot weather, a flat bike course, and a deep talented pro field assembled I predicted we would see large packs on the bike and ultimately those who could keep it together on the run would have the successful results.  The race played out pretty much exactly as I anticipated and my prerace strategy of using the swim and bike just to setup my run seemed to be the optimal plan on this day.

Swim:  27:17  13th fastest split
There's really not too much to write about from the swim, it went pretty much as the swim always does for me.  Once everything calmed down and sorted out I was in the second pack, where I always seem to swim.  Out of the water we had 8 guys in our group and got word that the lead group was just a minute up. 

Bike:  2:08:22  11th fastest split  25.9mph
From the get go the pace was pretty hard on the bike and I did a good amount of pace setting in the early going as I hoped we could catch the lead group.  We dropped a couple guys off the back with the hard pace in the first 5k and we ended up with a group of four; myself, two of my teammates, and one other.  At the first turnaround 9 miles in we were still a minute down on the lead group of 8.  I spent a decent amount of time at the front setting the pace the next 20 miles hoping to catch a glimpse of the lead group.  Problem was we were a group of 4 chasing a group of 8.  To our credit though our group ended up only riding about a minute slower than the larger group up the road and despite the lack of officials on course I thought everyone was doing their best to ride legal and keep the race fair.  At the 30 mile turnaround I was pretty certain that we were not going to catch the lead group, I was a little tired from the hard effort the first half, and I began to remember my prerace prediction that in the end it would be a runner's race.  I've been running well all year and didn't want to screw that up by riding too hard with a hot run coming.  So I spent nearly the entire last 25 miles sitting at the back of the group and conserving as best I could.  45 miles in I could tell the entire group was tired so I decided to make an effort to breakaway.  Went to the front at 50 miles, tried to make a break but the legs were totally shot.

Run:  1:17:36  2nd fastest
Started the run 12th and felt terrible.  Two athletes ran away and I couldn't match their pace.  Just tried to relax and hoped the body would come around.  I took a lot of aid through the first two aid stations and that seemed to really help as the legs started coming around and finally things started clicking.  Moved into 10th at mile 4 and set my sights on 8th, the final payout.  Just seemed to get stronger and stronger as the run went and everyone else seemed to slow down.  Caught 8th at the turnaround and not long after moved into 7th then 6th.  Ran several miles in 6th place and was pretty sure that was where I would finish as I could see 5th about 30 seconds in front but he was maintaining his gap on me the entire way.  Then, at mile 10 where I typically start to fade I just felt really strong, pulled in 5th place and ran as hard as I could, never faded, to a 5th place finish.

Overall:  3:55:36  5th place
Pleased with my performance and my race execution on this day was near flawless.  Been awhile since I've had a good race result and all my results so far this year have been garbage so feels extra good in that respect and helps to validate that despite the slow start, yes indeed I am getting into good shape.

Another one of the big highlights of this race for me was that Bretscher Multisport had its first ever "team race" in Muncie.  We had 7 athletes make the trip to Muncie and I think all of us enjoyed the experience a little more because of each other.  Triathlon isn't exactly a team sport but with the camaraderie we shared all weekend it certainly felt like one.  We started things off with a nice dinner Friday night and then finished off the weekend with a nice team photo and claiming our fair share of hardware at the awards ceremony.  Highlights of the Bretscher Multisport athletes include....
Julie:  7 minute PR of 5:12 and 45th overall out of 455 women
Mike:  61st out of 242 in the 40-44 age group and a new "hot weather pr" of 5:23
Ron:  Runner-up in the 50-54 age group and 1 minute short of a lifetime PR with a 4:33
Dana:  New PR of 4:15,  7th place overall age grouper on the day
Billie:  50 minute PR of 4:51 and 21st of 176 in in the 30-34 age group
Paul:  New PR of 5:18, 21st of 127 in the 50-54 age group
Congrats all!

 Julie, Daniel, Mike, Ron, Dana, Billie, Paul unveil the team banner

Daniel, Ron, Dana bringing home hardware

Now I turn my attention to Ironman Lake Placid in one week.  I'm running phenomenal right now, swimming good enough, cycling I'm still not convinced.  Despite Lake Placid being a mountainous course compared to dead flat Muncie I think my race plan is going to be almost identical.  I've got to swim and cycle in a way that sets up my weapon:  the run.  In my one and only go at the Ironman distance I over-rode the bike and ended up running about 15 minutes slower than I thought I would heading in.  I did that on a flat course.  With Lake Placid having six climbs that are miles in length I expect the bike to be one of my greatest ever tests in patience.  For five hours I'm going to have to stay patient and keep my competitive instincts in check.  If I have my legs starting the marathon I believe I have the fitness to run sub-3 hours.  Today I spent some time looking through the history of Ironman Lake Placid.  What I learned is that 9 hours has never finished lower than 6th overall.  I plan to aim for around a 5-hour bike split and hopefully that will lead to a 3-hour run split which should put me around 9 hours overall and a rock solid result.  I'll be happy to finish top-8 on the day but coming off of Muncie, secretly, I want to match or better my 5th place result from last week.  It'll be an adventure no doubt and right now I'm just trying to drill it in my head that yes, I am about to race another Ironman.

1 comment:

  1. Excited to see how Lake Placid will go for you. Had a great time at Muncie and being part of the awesome Bretscher Multisport Team.