Thursday, June 12, 2014

Ironman Kansas 70.3

My mom and I had a mother/son road trip to Ironman Kansas 70.3 triathlon in Lawrence this past weekend. We had a spectacular time despite the very long drive and rainy weather. We got into town late Friday night. 
Turn down for what? 
I had told my  mom she would be getting to meet an  Irishmen. We had some wheels to hand off to him. His name is Robbie Wade a Cobb Cycling sponsored athlete who had been making his way up the ranks the last few years and finished 4th overall. 

W/ Robbie Wade - Cobb Cycling Pro Triathlete and he finished 4th Overall.

After the expo we went over the University of Kansas. This college has a history of Legend athletes from All Americans, NBA Professionals, and Olympians.  I was primarily interested in seeing the memorabilia of Billy Mills and Jim Ryun. When I was in high school my mom gave me the movie "Running Brave" which is based on the life of Billy Mills. Mills ran at KU and also became the 10,000 meter Olympic Gold medalist in 1964.  Jim Ryun was the first person in high school to break 4 minutes in the mile and we went onto set numerous records and won the silver medal in the mile in 1964.

The morning of the race it was almost deja vu all over again like New Orleans 70.3. Another tire problem at 4:00 a.m.. At least this time I was semi-prepared to do something about it, my friend Seth taught me how to change my tubular tires. Turns out it's easier than I ever thought it would be, no excuse to DNF a 70.3 again, right? This time the corkscrew of the valve had popped off my front tire before we left the hotel and I would needed a valve extender to switch tires. Thankfully the on site bike mechanic was able to take the other corkscrew out and put in the other tire. I did have my spare training set of wheels with me just in case something like this happened and I wasn't able to get it repaired.

 Jason (left) and Cam (right) as we go to battle. 
Heading down to the swim I was with the 30-34 year old males. We were the last people to go. I entered the water with my buddies Cam Mencio and Jason Lentzke. The swim was a semi rectangle. I got off too a good start I felt like there seemed to minimal initial contact this time.  After a bit of swimming I believe it was Jason who passed me in the swim and I hopped on his feet. I lost him towards to the end of the swim exit as the swim became more crowded from the swimmers who started before us. I exited the water in 31:50. A PR for me at this distance, it wasn't by much but still a PR and still about the same time behind Jason as two weeks ago at Cap Tex.  Cam an uber biker had a better swim for him and wasn't far behind me either.

Kansas isn't flat there are long rolling hills. On the bike I was close to feeling like my old self again. The first hour I was over 24 mph, however there were more hills and wind the second half. Early in the bike Cam had flew by me. I committed myself to keeping up with him and I would pass him a couple of times as I got into his draft zone before he would pass me right back. I lost Cam sometime later over a hill as I was taking a gel, I learned a valuable lesson about staying  focused. He eventually rode out of sight. My bike average was 23.8 mph or 2:21.12.  

Around mile 5 on the run. 
Coming in the bike and trying to get my running shoes on my right calf was cramping. Ouch!  I started the double loop run of what I felt like was a comfortable 5:52 pace and my heart rate was in my high aerobic zone. I came out of the run with Jason not far behind me. I had no idea he was that close to me on the bike. He would keep the pressure on me the whole run. I thought I might should slow down - but since I was feeling pretty comfortable and with Jason that close I thought I better keep the pace on and run away from him. The pace I set on the run lasted for about 3 miles until we got to this big hill that put a lot of crap into my legs. I watched my pace through the whole run slowly decline.It wasn't long and I had caught who I believed to be Tim Hola on the run, but he had started in waves before me so I think he was on his last loop I ran with him for a little bit and we talked about using each other to pace ourselves, he would eventually run away from me.  I was still keeping Jason in the background, but I knew I couldn't allow myself to back off anymore than I had already. By mile 5 the run was getting tough and I was taking it a mile at a time.  The second time up the big hill I tried to push up it a little more but it felt like my quads would crap any second. I just focused on getting over the top. The rest of the run I was still holding Jason off and I looked back with a half mile to go and seemed to be set. It's when I crossed the finish line he was closing on me faster than I realized just 16 seconds behind me when I heard the announcer call out his name. The run wasn't what I was shooting for in a  1:23:49 or 6:23 pace, but I'll take it today.

Making my way to the finish

     w/ Jason Lentzke from Big Sexy Racing 

Overall I finished in 4:20:21. This goes down as my second fastest 70.3 triathlon since 2010 (Not including the WC 70.3 in Clearwater) and just a handful of seconds from my best. Jason and Cam really helped push me out there. My mom and I had a great trip! I thank the Lord for a really good race. I still have a lot of work to do but we've been taking steps in the right direction.Thanks to Team Extremus for their continuous and Cobb Mobb powered by Cobb Cycling, also known as my employer. I ride the best saddles with the combination of our saddles and shorts I have zero issues in the saddle and don't even need lube for cycling. John Cobb has helped tune my bike fit up. Andrew at Sigma Swimming has been working with me on swim technique and helping me get my pace times down.  Next up in a short time is Buffalo Springs 70.3.

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