Ironman 70.3 Santa Cruz, CA
After Boulder 70.3 last month I had a stale taste in my mouth. It was my first Professional race and I am proud of how I finished, but I knew I was capable of a much more. That aside, I was hungry for vengeance. This race was a first in a lot of ways. First time flying to a race, first time to California, first ocean swim. EXCITED and NERVOUS would describe my emotions. Our home stay couldn’t have been any better. Doug and Margie took good care of Kendra and I and showed us all around Santa Cruz. Doug even drove me around the bike and run course! The day before the race I was very nervous; I remember telling Kendra I just didn’t want to suck on race day. That thought stemmed from fear of falling short of my goals. I know that if I’m scared/nervous but also really excited, it’s a sure fire way I’ll be firing on all cylinders.
I woke up at 4:30am, ate my staple breakfast of oatmeal, two eggs, and a cup of coffee. It was GO time. I biked in the dark to the race venue and set my transition area and headed down to the ocean start. I warmed up with a resistance band, got a nice 10min swim in, and it came time to toe the line.
I lined up next to super swimmer Eric Lagerstrom (who went on to win the race) hoping I could hold onto his feet throughout the swim. The gun went off and we all sprinted into the water fighting for position. I quickly lost Eric’s feet and I found myself swimming in no-mans land. I made a packed with myself before the race that I would only have positive thoughts all day. Throughout the swim I was thanking God for all the strength he’s given me in so many ways. I was excited for the day to unfold. I had a career best swim time, clocking 23min 13secs, placing me 4th out of the water. The run into transition was about a quarter mile long, I put in a little run surge to catch the two guys in front of me (Eric had about a minute on us) The 3 of us came into transition and mounted our bikes together.
I wanted to be aggressive on the bike so I quickly took charge, riding in 2nd place for the first 5 miles. Averaging 367 watts for the first 10 minutes. I was thrilled to find my cycling legs finally showed up for a race. I was pumped and ready to do what ever it took to stay in the front of the race. I want to add that at Boulder 70.3 Ben Hoffman passed me on the bike and left me in the dust. This time when he came around me and about 7 other guys we stuck with him for the first 20 miles. He then took off being the beast he is. I was working well with the group sitting out front pulling the guys a lot of the way. I was so stocked! My legs were burning but again I was just thanking God for the strength and power he’s given me. I didn’t care if I were to blow up on the run because I knew I would become stronger for it in the end. Either way I pulled the guys in the last 11 miles coming off the bike in 4th place only a couple minutes down to Eric and Ben! I ended up averaging 325 watts throughout the ride (a career best). I ran smoothly into transition but had a hard time getting my running shoe on which cost me a fews seconds, I ran out of transition in 5th place settling into a comfortably uncomfortable pace.
The run was my big goal this weekend. I had been running really well in training and I was fired up to at least run a 1:25:xx. I found my pace and I started telling myself to get the very best out of myself for 13.1 miles, 1 mile at a time. I kept telling myself "my body and spirt are more capable of what my mind wants to do”. I charged as a hard as my body and legs let me while suffering a terrible achy back. There were times I thought I would have to stop and stretch but I kept telling my legs to keep moving. Guys kept passing me but I kept positive and continued to tell myself “I will get the very best out of myself today”. The last 2 miles came around and they felt like the longest 2 miles I ever ran in my life. Everything hurt so bad but I knew I was close to breaking 4 hours so I continued to get the absolute best out of myself. I crossed the sandy beach finish line in shock with how big of a PR I had accomplished! 4:01:23 13th overall. I was so delighted and thankful as I had poured out every ounce of energy I had. I also met my goal run time clocking a career best 1:25:11. We continue to head the right direction.
I truly feel I’m doing what God has put me on this earth to do. You better believe I will be giving my very best until God’s plan changes for me. Until then I will set my goals to reach past the stars with a limitless attitude. That race, that result, was just what I needed. It has motivated me more than ever. I humbly see myself winning this race someday and many others. By Gods grace, I will, as he continues to bless me with health, strength, and courage to step up and continue to tow the line with the best in the world. I’m excited for the journey ahead and will continue to give my all to the sport of triathlon. Thanks for reading! Until next time!