I’m starting this blog in the early hours of the morning before the sun is up, and it is one of those rare times that I just do not care if I am up. Yay offseason! Jet lag is a strange mistress, and she has left me wide awake at 3am after traveling back from my last race of the season: The Tongyeong World Cup. So what better use of my time than to write up a blog? At the very least, I can kill some time before I need to hit the caffeine for the rest of the day.
After Chicago, I was able to take a bit of rest, and then jump back into training for Tongyeong. It was a bit hard at first, but my workouts were going well, and I had the added incentive of spending some time in Kona, Hawaii to watch the Ironman World Champs. This was an awesome experience, and besides being able to train in an amazing place, I was able to meet a whole bunch of cool people. I have been watching this race on TV since I was very young, and to finally see it in person was awesome. And while this race may be in my future, watching did not inspire me to grab my Speed Concept and go hammer 100miles in the desert. That race is long and HOT!!!
I am really grateful I had the opportunity to train in Hawaii and watch the World Champs, and I just wanted to give a shout out to the Girards and the Altermans for giving me a couple of places to stay while I was on the big island!
After a couple weeks in Hawaii, it was time to escape the heat and return to one of my favorite races on the World Cup circuit, Tongyeong. It was a bit of a long travel day, but I arrived to much cooler temperatures. After a few days of rest and sharpening up, I was ready to try to snag another podium here.
My plan was similar to last year, and I wanted to swim and bike at the front, and then run for the win. Basically, I wanted a hard race. I definitely accomplished 2/3rds of my plan, and got the hard race I was looking for. I had a great start, and I was immediately at the front of the swim. I ended up swimming next to a Korean athlete the entire time, which is always a little annoying since swimming side by side is slower than single file. I tried going ahead and then behind, but he just wanted to stare me down the entire swim, so I just tried to ignore him and focus on getting around the course quick. I ended up exiting the water 2nd, but was able to get a few extra seconds out of T1.
I tried to push the first lap of the bike really hard, and I believe I did just that. Other athletes also tried to break away, but it was apparent that nobody was going to get away today. However, I completely ignored that fact, and rode like there was no tomorrow. I was a bit stubborn and looking for a repeat of Chicago. I thought if I could just keep pushing, the group would eventually give up. So I continued to attack for most of the five laps. My power file shows it too. My normalized power was 343w for the day, with plenty of spikes to go along with it.
This left me a bit physically and mentally out of it on the run. My first lap was respectable, but I really did not feel like I found my legs until lap 3 and by then it was way too late. I ended up well back, but came away having learned another hard lesson about reading the race and adjusting my plan on the fly.
Overall, I do not regret going after it. I was definitely stubborn on the bike, and it was not the way I wanted to end my season, but it leaves me wanting so much more for next season. I am far from finished, and while my season has been very up and down, I have had a number of very promising results. I am going into this offseason confident and looking to have a much more consistent 2016. I am excited to take a bit of a break and then get right back to work. I will be moving back to Tucson this winter for some sun, and I am looking forward to catching up with some old training partners there.
Thank you everyone for the support this season!