Time: 9.4 hrs
Not much in the way of anything resembling structured training this week, but that's the gloriousness that is being done with Ironman training!!! Even though I didn't get in the volume I wanted to last week due to my injuries (which still haven't healed yet...) I definitely felt like a recovery week was a good idea considering I hoped to race well at Stumpy Creek this Saturday. I swam three times including the race, biked four times and ran three times. That's only ten total workouts this week which met set a 2010 low.
Going into this race I knew the field was going to be super competitive; guys like Tom Clifford, Sam Dannenbring, Brad Perry (DNS), Frank Fawcett, Mike Selle, Scott, Behme and Fletch. I thought that on a good day I could put myself near the front with a strong swim and bike but I knew beforehand that the run would be a handful. I was not wrong!
Swim: 23:38 (11th)
The swim start was a bit surprising but once we got going the wave was very bunched. It didn't string out much right away (probably due to the lack of swimmers like Lisska/Perry being present) so to about 400 meters in I was still in a big crowd. At about halfway to the first buoy (messed up rectangle course...3 left turns) I settled in behind Fletch's feet and didn't let go until about 100 meters to go. Fletch was a great person to swim behind because he didn't kick really hard every time I slapped his feet (which was a decent amount in the first half of the swim...sorry dude!) and he didn't surge or swerve at all. He picked a great route, which was good because when I would sit to make sure I was in the right place I could not tell at all where we were going... At the last turn I got a side stitch so I slowed a bit to get rid of that and lost his feet but with only 100m to go I wasn't as worried about it. Came out of the water just behind him and ran up over the mat feeling pretty good about the swim (I had no idea on the time but I knew swimming with Fletch was a victory in and of itself)
Ran up the wrong aisle and then jumped over to the correct side and took off the speedsuit, put on my shades, helmet, and shoes and ran out through the arch. Fletch wasn't in a hurry but I told him to come ride with me so I headed out to catch Selle who was mounting his bike as I was getting to mine.
Bike: 58:03 (1st)
Started out on the bike with a mission to catch Selle. My legs felt pretty strong but were certainly tight through the first 2-3 miles as they were getting used to the work I was trying to get them to do. I caught Selle fairly soon and then reeled in the women's winner that was just ahead of him. At that point I saw a group up ahead all riding in a pack (not a literal pack). I couldn't tell yet who was in it or how many there were but I forged on ahead to try and catch them. As I got closer I realized two of the riders were Triple Threaters and one was a Triangle Multisports guy and the other was an unknown. I assumed the Triple Threaters were Scott and Frank and that the Triangle guy was Clifford (I assumed it was a guy but I was wondering where Amie Krasnozon - great swimmer and good biker - was b/c I hadn't seen her yet) but I wasn't sure just yet. I made my way up to the back of the pack and passed all three rapidly so nobody would be convinced to sit on my pace. By the time I caught them (Frank, Duncan Chapman, and some other guy) I saw that the other 3T (Scott) had gapped them by a decent amount so I moved on ahead to catch him. It took a mile or two and I sat on his pace for a bit before making the pass and exchanging some encouraging words. After I passed I suggested we rotate to put some time on the chase group and when he next passed me he said "I think we're in the lead dude, the motorcycle has been here the whole time!" We passed each other a couple of times and it turns out he was right, the motorcycle in front of us was the lead motorcycle! I pushed hard to the end and ended up coming into T2 in first place, which was pretty cool although I knew it wouldn't last since I was mostly sure I didn't have a fast 10k time in my running legs.
T2: 54 seconds
Racked the bike, removed the helmet, threw on socks and running shoes, grabbed the race belt and went out onto the run course. Scott got out of T2 a good 3-4 seconds in front of me...
Run: 40:13 (15th)
Not much to say here. Scott was sprinting to drop me out of T2 and as much as I'd like to think I could have sat on his shoulder for a little while I'm most likely just kidding myself. The course was pretty darn tough and I was by myself for the first lap and the first mile of the third before I heard Frank yelling at me that Tom was coming up on me fast. He wasn't kidding as Tom came roaring by me at about mile 4.5; there was NO way I could speed up to sit on his feet. Frank caught me a little while later and we ran in together. Needless to say, not a blazing run split but to be honest I didn't expect much out of myself. While I think I could have run 6:30 pace for a pretty long time I certainly could NOT go any faster.
It was a really fun day; I had great times for the swim and the bike and really enjoyed leading the race with Scott for the very short time in which I actually led. Hopefully next year there will be a little more of that...