The week leading up to the race was very relaxing and things were going very smoothly prior to race day on Sunday. Jocelyn and I were staying with new friends Sarah and Nick in Spokane from Tuesday night to Thursday evening, and then they graciously moved us closer to Coeur d'Alene and put us up from Thursday to the following Monday evening at their beautiful and peaceful lake house in Newman Lake, WA. From this ideal, low-stress base camp, we had an easy 20 minute drive to CDA and race affairs. Thanks Sarah and Nick!
teammates prior to the big day.
|The CDA crew.|
|Pittsburgh represents. Go Ballou Skies!|
|Ironman Cornman Potato-heads|
We headed down to the beach, took some deep breaths, and then helped each other into our Blue Seventy wetsuits and went our separate ways to the start. I worked my way down to the front and lined up just a little to the right of the buoy line with Chad and Matt. We had a short wait as we dipped our toes in the chilly 54 degree water, and then just a few short moments later, it was 7am and the gun went off.
Top Gear, and was having little difficulty hitting my goal wattage in the opening 35 miles or so out to the far turnaround to the south of town.
Out of transition much quicker than earlier that morning, I set off running at my goal pace of approx 6:50 miles. I had been running very well lately, had run a strong 70.3 run PR in NOLA back in April, and had it in my head that on a good day I could flirt with cracking 3 hours. I set off with this goal in mind, and tracking down Chad and the other AG guys ahead of me. The first few miles I felt great and my HR was very reasonable, but when I hit the first hill at about the 5.5 mi mark, I got my first inkling that there might be trouble in River City.
|Still feeling alright and with some spring in my step.|
|The slog down the final stretch. A couple guys blowing by me like I was walking.|
|About to collapse.|
And then as disappointed as I was with my race, there were so many other positives from this day and this race. First and foremost was Jocelyn absolutely crushing it and winning the women's amateur race, taking 4th overall (including the pro women!), en route to a 10:09:19. Jocelyn has worked so hard, had so many races where the odds were stacked against her, but she has pushed through, worked harder than ever this past year, and it paid off in a big way. This race was long overdue for her, and she deserves it more than anybody in my opinion. She has inspired me more than I can say and sets a daily example of what it takes and how to ALWAYS get the work done.
Thank you Jocelyn, thank you to the Ballou Skies team for constant support and inspiration, and thank you to the QT2 team for the guidance on the training front. Thank you to the rest of my sponsors, supporters, friends, and family, for your never ending support and positive influence on my life. Training is back on track and I have a new perspective. We'll see you in Kona. :-)