I spent the summer with the big goals and small goals in mind. Racing Steelhead 70.3 fit neatly into the larger, big picture goal of world domination at the 2018 Lake Placid Ironman. Summer goal...get some bike power...enough to average 20+ on the 56 mile leg...and be able to run "well enough" off of that.
I short...mission accomplished. I had a great summer of training...mostly having fun, running long (highlighted by an amazing 20 miler through the Tetons) and pushing the big gear on the bike. I made a calculated decision NOT to swim much. Once...sometimes twice...a week. Just not enough time. I figured I had the least to gain by time in the pool. One day I hope turn my attention to knocking 10 mins off my Ironman swim time...but not this day. I also spent A LOT more time strength training...and I really think that it paid huge dividends in the swim and bike portion. The lead up to the race was spot on...racing to a forth place sprint finish two weeks prior to race day and knocking out a ten mile run one week out with ultra-running legend Rob Krar.
The water had a little chop on race morning, but the swim went out without a hitch. Not fast...but easy and smooth. I hit mile 20 on the bike in :57 mins. I had vision of a serious PR, until I got a flat at mile 23. It was a slow clumsy fix...and I was left with a slightly under inflated front tire, but I was back on the bike in 13 long minutes. Hammering. And passing. Not including the flat, I average 20.5 mph. Goal accomplished. Well...almost.
The stomach was a little off as I entered the run. I took a few miles to get water and real calories into me. Once the stomach settled, I was able to pick up the pace. In my mind I broke down the 13.1 mile run into four 5ks...and then 1.1 miles of glory. Each 5k I ratcheted up the pace. The final 5k found me hammering around 7:00. I finished at 5:30...knowing my actual race time was around 5:15. Very happy to handle to events of the day and optimize my efforts. It wasn't the perfect race. But I turned it into the best it could possibly be. In that regard, I actually would put this one up there with one of my better efforts.
Next up...I've got a few ideas. And a few surprises.