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TEXAS 70.3 2014

Over the weekend I raced a 70.3 in Galveston, Texas and I reached a whole new level of pain and discomfort that I have reached before! Galveston was my second 70.3 in a week, I have never raced two 70.3's a week apart before and it was quite an experience. I have had to do quite a bit of traveling during the week, which was not ideal but I did my best to get in as much good recovery as possible after Oceanside. I felt ok leading into the race and I was really interested to see how my body would respond to doing two big races within a week.

 

The weather reports leading into the race were for some big thunderstorms with high winds, and the possibility of the race becoming a duathlon, thankfully the weather held off and we were greeted on race morning with some cloud cover and wind but no thunderstorms.

 

 

On race morning the swim was declared a wetsuit swim allowing me to pull out my Blue Seventy wetsuit for the first time this year. The swim started straight into a strong wind that created quite a lot of chop in the water making it a challenging start out to the first buoy. I sat in second behind Brandon Marsh on the way out, he was setting a good pace and I was happy to follow his lead and let my body warm up into it. When we hit the first turn it was one big pack and I was worried we were going to stay together as one big pack for the rest of the swim. Once we turned the first buoy the wind became a cross wind and it felt like we were swimming a lot faster than on the way out to the first buoy, I was surprised but happy to see that three of us had broken away from the pack before the final turn for the exit. I snuck past Brandon on the last turn and lead out of the water in my Blue Seventy wetsuit and felt good. I didn't have the smoothest transition and exited transition second behind Brent McMahon.

 

 

It was quite a twisty bumpy start to the bike before you head onto the straightest, flattest road I have ever seen. The bike course was 45km out, u-turn, 45km back. I went through the first 40km in 48min, a good indication of how strong the tail wind was! My power was not great and I was hoping it was the tail wind assistance and not fatigue in my legs. I was passed by a few athletes on the way out but I was still within sight of the leaders. Once I hit the turn around and felt the cold wind on my face I knew my lower power numbers was from fatigue in my legs rather than the wind, I was a little bit concerned at this stage that I was going to start going backwards. I lost lots of ground on the return journey and was struggling to get any decent power numbers. With the road being so flat and straight with such a strong wind I was very thankful for my super comfortable Cobb Gen 2 saddle, I don't think I got out of the saddle once! I kept my head calm and focused and concentrated on keeping my Shotz gels intake up so I could keep the body going, you never know what might happen if you keep fighting on. I was a bit nervous this was going to be a death march.

 

I jumped off the bike a fair way down the field and started running and surprisingly felt ok. I had a GPS watch on to give me kilometre splits and my pacing was good. I pushed hard as I wanted to try and catch as many people as possible. I was holding ground to the very front runners while catching others. I passed many guys on the run and the twisty 3 lap run course made the run kilometres tick over quite quickly. On the last lap I started to struggle and had a kilometre where I dropped off the pace. An age grouper on his first lap helped pace me through my bad patch until I felt better and I could finish strong. I was grateful for his help at exactly the right time!

 

I finished in sixteenth place which was not great but I did take away a few lessons and learnt that I can push myself deeper on these longer races that I thought I could. I was uncomfortable for most of the bike and the run and I am happy that I stayed focused and pushed the whole way to the end. I will gain lots of strength from these two races and I can go back to Boulder and sit down with my coach Ben and discuss a few points in training that we can improve.

 

I am happy at how my American season has started with a long year ahead, I am excited to keep improving results and learning more and more as each race passes. For now I will have an easy week in Boulder to recover from the last two weekends 70.3's before getting in some hard work leading into the St Anthony's triathlon in three weeks. It is one of the hardest Olympic distance non-drafting races of the year, it will be fun to speed things up over the shorter distance!

 

 
 
 
 
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