After 4 years of racing triathlon, I finally put it together!
A complete race that reflected my ability and current level of fitness. My wife Vanessa and I have raced long course triathlons all over the country, but none hold a place in our hearts like the Ironman Coeur d’Alene 70.3.
We have raced the 70.3 there for the last three years with highly differing results. Vanessa has had two world championship qualifying performances and a blistering run this year, whereas I have had two utter melt-downs. In 2016, I let my ego get the best of me when I over-biked the cycling portion of the race, which in turn left me depleted and deflated for the run. In 2017, I was fitter, faster, and determined not to let my ego derail my race. However, a bizarre abdominal spasm 5 miles into the run resigned me to walk-jog the remainder of the race.
2018 has been a year of change. Adjusting to the move from Salt Lake City to Bozeman, implementing a new and different training plan, as well as a shift in goals for the season had a different perspective on my expectations for this race. Going into the race, I knew I wasn’t as fit or fast as I had been last year, but I wanted to put forth an effort I could feel proud of.
So on the day, that’s just what happened! My swim was a minute slower than last year, which made me happy, especially knowing how little I swam this year compared to last.
My bike was the same time as last year, but my legs felt significantly better getting off the bike compared to last year. Again, happy to know that the new training techniques and focus on the bike had paid off.
The run is where things have fallen apart for me in the past, but this year was different. Feeling fresher getting off the bike, I avoided the mid-run melt-down of previous races. While my run time was certainly not the fastest I know I am capable of, I was able to race the run hard and turn in a time that I felt was an accurate representation of my current level of running fitness. Finishing in 6th place, just 30 seconds off the podium, I had finally put to bed the race demons of races past and could be proud of finally putting it all together!
Now comes a shift in focus for me.
The last 4 years have been pretty triathlon dominant, and after an exhausting 2017 season, I was left feeling a little burnt out and uninspired. So I decided to embrace my new surroundings here in Bozeman and venture into the world of trail running. After the race in Coeur d’Alene, my focus has shifted to the trails as I prepare for The Rut VK and 50K Mountain Races. This will be a new and exciting challenge for me as I have never run longer than a marathon, especially not on the steep and rugged terrain that Montana has to offer. While I hope to log some long miles and lots of vert between now and Labor Day, I’m am enjoying this new chapter in my endurance journey!