Mont Tremblant World Championships have now come and gone and I have had time to digest my race and I am now looking forward. After a great season of really strong swim, bikes and runs I went into this weekend feeling strong and confident. I had been dealing with a bit of a sensitive low back issue but felt pretty good about where it was. I knew I had all the strength and speed in all three sports to get onto the podium this year and I was going to make sure I put myself in a position to achieve that.
I had a great start in the swim next to Javier Gomez and got onto a good group and by halfway through the swim I was in the front group of 8 swimmers. I felt strong but worked hard to maintain my position till the swim exit. Out of the water in 6th I ran swiftly through the 500m run to T1 and with a quick transition I got onto the bike in 4th.
The weather had turned cold the previous day and so we mounted our bikes in 10C weather and I was riding with a fleece beanie to try and keep heat in. As I powered through the opening kilometers of the bike in the cold air my back started to tighten and I tried to focus on maintaining power and establishing myself in the now forming front group of 8-10 guys. As we worked through the first 10km of rolling hills I began to really struggle to find rhythm and any power to ride with the group. As we turned onto the highway at 10kms I had already fallen off the group despite putting every ounce of effort into the pedals. I was trying very hard but I was just unable to apply any power to the pedals. As guys one at a time rode by me I was riding at a power I normally do for 3hr base rides. It was so frustrating to be watching guys I have ridden with and beat before just ride away. I finally settled into a group where I could maintain a reasonable pace but I continued to lose time. I struggled through the last kilometers of the bike and moved myself to the front of the group for a quick transition and see how much I could make up on the run.
My running had been going very well coming into the race and I had done a lot of work on running off tired legs. So although I had a terrible ride, and my back and quads were tight I pushed myself to go after the run and any places ahead. I struggled the first 4km of the run but at the far turnaround at 5km, I had loosened up and found my stride. I was back in 24th place starting and I pushed as hard as I could for the remaining 16km. I caught one guy at a time and picked off my last spot with 1500m to go pulling myself into 14th place by the finish.
I felt so prepared and relaxed going into this race and saw myself on the podium at the end of the day. However, the conditions and my body had alternate plans I was disappointed to not be able to perform at my potential but I dealt with what I had and gutted out a really solid run. I will have to wait till next year now to get that podium at 70.3 World Championships.
Moving forward, I am currently in Lake Tahoe and very excited to be doing my first Ironman this coming weekend. I decided to move up my "fall" Ironman I had been planning to this weekend as I am really fit from my preparation for Tremblant, but this is also a very challenging course with lots of hills on the bike and a starting elevation of 6200ft. I am excited for the challenge of my first Ironman and I am not sure how it will all go. I have been mentally preparing for every situation but at the end of the day, I am looking for a great learning experience as I move to Kona Ironman World Championships being my main focus next year.
I spent 24hrs at home after Mont Tremblant before heading here to Lake Tahoe so I could acclimate to the altitude and learn the course. I am feeling recovered from last weekend's race and looking forward to the race and challenges that will come this weekend.
I look forward to telling you all about my first Ironman experience.