Well, the 2015 Season has begun along with Project 2015 – the "Project" being the IRONMAN World Championships! Usually, my major goal is a podium at the IRONMAN 70.3 Worlds but this year, podiums at both distances will be on my radar. That means a big increase in training mileage, injury prevention strategies and overall mental and physical "pacing" from March to October to ensure proper recovery and peaking. And with that in mind, I am very happy with my 4th place finish at IRONMAN 70.3 California last weekend.
My primary focus for the first part of 2015 is IRONMAN Brazil on May 31st and IRONMAN 70.3 California was a great race on route to this goal. This race will now set me up for a great block of training and take me towards one of my favourite races, the North American IRONMAN 70.3 Championships in St. George on May 3rd.
IRONMAN 70.3 California had its usual solid men's field assembled with Olympic Gold Medalist Jan Frodeno and former California champion Andy Potts. I got out of the swim just behind Frodeno and Potts and made up the 30-second swim gap early on the bike. There is nothing like a race to test new equipment. My Aquasphere wetsuit felt like it has the past many years – smooth and fast and thankfully my new ride - the Specialized Shiv – handled perfectly and allowed me to ride hard and fast. Twelsiuk and Sanders caught up to us on the bike but the Shiv was responsive and allowed me to use my bike handling skills to make up the deficit through the tricky bike chute entry that weaved around the pier. We all started the run pretty tight with Sanders blasting up the road and Frodeno, Potts and myself running together.
I was able to find the pace I needed at the beginning but it didn't come with much ease. At the 5 mile mark I struggled to maintain the pace but I focused and staying strong and waiting for the rhythm to come back. I didn't have that "Olympic distance 10k speed" in my legs but I knew I had the Ironman miles that would bring me through the end. My pace and rhythm seemed to come around at 15 km into the ½ marathon and I was able to pull back some time on Sanders and create some distance to Jesse Thomas in 5th place. It is funny how sometimes you want a race to be over and sometimes you wish the ½marathon is really a full marathon. That said, I accepted that this race is a step closer to St. George speed and IRONMAN Brazil and the IRONMAN World Championships. This race was my speed workout!
I finished in 4th place behind Frodeno, Potts and Sanders. It was a great first race back and a great springboard into the 2015 season.
Thank you to my sponsors – my new team, Bahrain Endurance 13 (congrats to teammate Jan Frodeno on his win!!), Specialized, Aquasphere, Fusion Apparel, SRAM/Zipp/Quarq, Compressport, PowerBar, Oakley, Nathan, Sportstats and of course, to my longtime coach, Lance Watson at Lifesport Coaching.