Finish better than last year: 38th place and qualify for the 70.3 World Champs in Clearwater. Some age groups have this a tick easier and some harder - I've got 400 people in my age group.
Last year I swam 39, rode 2:32 and ran 1:39.
I detonated and went from 7 min mile pace to 9 mins or slower for the final 5 miles, so with the running I did over the past few months I should have a much better run!
I also started the race at 6:37am, the first wave behind the pros - it wasn't even sunny when I finished it was still almost breakfast time! This year I start at 8:14am - I won't sleep any more but hope I can get in a good 3-5k run before getting into my wetsuit and have a good breakfast.
Over the past few months I've also done a lot of work on the bike and have raised my watts by about 30 since last year while also dropping my heart rate by about 10 beats - not to mention swimming with a master's group which has more than doubled the swimming I've done in the past.
I've even listened to my coach a lot and trusted him with just about everything. I provide feedback and he gives me my workouts.
I've also done a lot of bike training with a heavy Power Tap wheelset - adding some flat protection to the inside of the tire or running 'Slime' tubes. This makes the transition from going to the race wheelset a wonderful experience! The training wheels are heavy and slow and then when I race at the same wattage - my wheels are disturbingly light.
I also have a new race bike since last year, a new aero helmet and a new wheelset. So that has to count for something.
I'm also NOT racing in flats, but rather my super comfy and awesome and race proven Under Armour Spectres. They have a nice 'footsleeve' that helps hold the foot in - great for when racing without socks and I put in Yanks - they seem to help keep my feet in the shoes without any weird pressure spots. Macca wears these too you know, but not for races as he's testing out some new racing flats.
After Vineman, I'm driving back to Seattle with another car and my bike and a few other items I left down in Tiburon. On the way home, I'll be stopping in Eugene to go see Erich and to visit Pre's Rock. Once home, I'll get back to commuting by bike - except I've got a new office in Bellevue and it's on the 22nd floor and I've got floor to ceiling windows - which will be awesome as I change for my ride home in the office. I've also got a new home from which to commute from - it's about 30 mins from the office - but there are a few ways to add some miles to that. I don't mind a 30 mile commute each way, but a shorter option would be nice. I'll also try and get out for a few more crits on Thursday with Rhaw Shaw, Chris Tremonte and the Ben and Courtenay show.
I think that's it. Got to pack now.
I did want to note a few more observations from Seattle:
- People frown here a lot. Not enough smiles. I used to think that the people who ran or rode while smiling were crazy, now I realize they're just happy to be out.
- Outgoing is the last way I'd describe people here. I must have said hi to 4 people while running the other day and none of them said anything. They were also all slow.
- Bus drivers here have been super courteous to me. I've had more drivers wait for me to pass, wave me in front of them or simply give me room. There is hope!
- Traffic is horrible. I don't get it but riding a bike is almost always faster. I drove in twice and it took 1.25 hours to get home or I travelled something less than 15 miles per hour - IN THE CAR ON THE HIGHWAY. I can ride in in 1:35 or about 19 something mph.
- Sometimes I think the riding is almost better at this time of year than just about anywhere (country roads in New England I think still are the best). The terrain has a lot of rollers, there's a decent network of bike trails with next to no exposure to cars and there are some great smelling roads out there! I'm not sure if I like BBQ's or flowers more while I ride. You get both here. The roads are actually a bit rougher and more than once I've nearly had my hands knocked off the bars from bumps or hidden dips in the road. Fewer stop signs and cops too.
- Greta and the girls LOVE it here. We have had a lot of fun on the weekends - spending the past 2 weekends over on the Olympic peninsula. I didn't think they could be happier than they were in CA, but they are.
PS: I think you'll be able to track me racing on Sunday here: http://ironman.com/events/ironman70.3/vineman70.3/?show=coverage
Think good thoughts: Swim better than 39, bike better than 2:32 and run better than 1:39. I think my transitions were all around 2:30 or so. I'll go faster.