6 Weeks till Kona – Chisel

6 Weeks till Kona – Chisel

Nothing fancy here, just a good old race report from last weekend’s Superior Man Half Iron-Distance race.

Swim – 33:02, 1:34/100 yards

Time-wise, my swim was slower than I was hoping for, especially for a wet suit swim. But considering it was the 12th fastest and there was some pretty solid guys racing, I’ll take it as a good day. The swim started by jumping off a boat into decently cold water. Fortunately, I was able to regain my composure pretty quickly and swam strong the entire way. There were some currents at play, which pulled the buoys all over the place and added another level of difficulty to the course. Fortunately, I had identified a couple of landmarks along the shore to site off of so that I didn’t have to rely on the buoys. Good plan, good execution…all I could do was move onto the next leg.

Bike – 2:19:41, 24.1 mph

Superior Man 1I knew that the majority of this course was straight and relatively flat, so I was excited to do some good work in my aerobars. Once I got out of town and onto the highway, my main focus was riding strong, hitting my power number, and keeping on top of nutrition. After my meltdown in Springfield a few weeks prior, I knew that I wanted to nail hydration and nutrition on the bike to set myself up for a good run. Throughout the bike I managed to pass a number of athletes but also got passed by more than I would have liked. Each time I got passed, I put in a bigger effort for a few minutes to see if their pace would settle down. Some times this worked, and sometimes they just rode off. When this would happen, I’d try to keep my confidence up by telling myself that I could run faster than most of the guys. I honestly wasn’t sure if this was true, but knowing that the run is my strength helped me to keep focused through the bike and look forward to chasing once I put the running shoes on.

Run – 1:17:53, 5:57/mile

Superior Man 2I love running, but running after a long bike ride can be so much different. It really tests your overall race execution because if you check off all the right boxes in the first 2 legs of the race, than you’re likely to have a good run. If you falter in any way, you’re likely to end up with more of a death march. Having gone through a death march in Springfield, I knew I needed to fix that leading into Kona. Thanks to a solid nutrition/hydration plan (GLUKOS!!!) and execution, as well as fully functioning power throughout the ride, this run was everything I was hoping for. Miles kept clicking off in the low 5:50’s, and I was feeling strong. The guys that passed me during the bike started coming back, and I moved my way up to 4th overall. One decision that I think made a difference was walking through/stopping at all of the aid stations. By taking these extra few seconds to make sure to get water and/or calories in my mouth vs. all of over my front, my energy levels were much more consistent throughout the entire run. This is definitely a strategy that I’m going to take into Kona.

Finish – 4:14:47

Coming into this race, I knew that I had a sub-4:20 half iron in me. I’ve known this for the past couple of years, but I haven’t been able to put it all together. When I saw 4:14 as I crossed the finish line, I was over the moon with excitement! My previous best time was 4:25 at Liberty in 2014, and I’m pretty sure that course was short. One of the words that goes back and forth a lot with Alyssa and Team HPB is “chisel.” The work we put in on a daily basis and the races we do are all about chiseling away at times, goals, challenges, etc. This finish time is huge proof of that. Alyssa has been putting me through the ringer the last couple of years, but the work is definitely paying off.

Now that this race is behind me, the focus turns to nailing a few big weeks of training in the final push to Kona. It’s September 2nd, summer is pretty much officially over, football season is here, IMWI is 9 days away, and fall is in the air. All of these things remind me that October is right around the corner. Time to chisel a few more rough edges off the old block and put some polish on!

Thank you to GLUKOS Energy for creating such a great product that gets me through every training day and race, Alyssa for the great coaching, and every else that supports me in any way!