2012 Ironman 70.3 Lake Stevens – Trev
I had a decent weekend in Lake Stevens with another top 3 finish. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t want the win, and was thinking I could win the entire day. It wasn’t until the last 2 miles where I was pretty darn sure it wasn’t going to happen. Oh well. It was a close race, and I raced hard all day.
I’ve actually got a bit of history with this race so it was fun to be up fighting for the win. In 2007 this was actually my first race in the pro field, even though I was technically not allowed to be racing IN the pro field. At the time (in 2007 to be clear), I was registered as a 25-29 year old age group athlete, but somehow when I went to the registration table they gave me my swim cap, my timing chip, and a high five for the Pro Field without checking my license. Somebody messed up, but I didn’t say anything. Lets have some fun in the Pro field!! So yeah, I got my ass handed to me that year, I think I was 14th Elite…but first age grouper!! I couldn’t find the results for that year so I can’t say for sure.
After that race, a friend of mine, and coach of Heather at the time, Clint Lien, asked me how fast I thought I could run a 70.3 half marathon run. I distinctly remember saying – “If I could train specifically for 70.3′s I bet you I could crack 1:15″. I probably didn’t run faster than 1:24 that year. In fact, in 2008 I still only ran 1:21:48. It’s been a very slow and steady progression to finally cracking 1:15 three times this year. I believe I finally got to 1:18 in 2009, but only once. Then 2010 was pretty similar if I remember correctly. 2011 though, down to 1:16′s. Now, 2012, under 1:15 regularly with 1:13:30 in NOLA, 1:11:50 in Boise with short bike, and now 1:14:30 in Lake Stevens on a course that ain’t flat.
What’s the point in saying all that?? I guess just never give up, believe you can get there, and set some goals that you believe you can achieve. Now looking forward, I’ve got to believe I can run 1:13′s and 1:12′s regularly. Ironman marathon times?? Heck yes I’m going to run under 2:50 soon.
Anyway, back to the 2012 race. I definitely like the new Lake Stevens bike course. A one-loop hilly S.O.B. with some real downhill cornering. It’s the way a bike course should be, in my opinion. None of this flat, out and back Galveston, TX junk. All said though, the flat courses favor me a bit more than the hilly ones, so I can’t complain too much!
I love an interesting bike course, and LS has that…and it was made even more so by the pouring rain. Lots of crashes. If you crash lots in the rain, or corners in general, here’s a tip for you: Don’t brake WHILE cornering, and don’t put all your weight on the front wheel. Shift your weight back and out a bit. When it’s really slick, slow down before the corner, then turn. If you’re still too fast in the corner, only use your BACK break *lightly* with your weight on the outside. If you’re STILL too fast for the corner because you’re a machine that loves to take risks, straighten up the bike, then brake hard with the back brake and pray you don’t fly off the road. But DON’T BRAKE WHILE turning or you’re going to crash!!
But don’t feel bad if you continue to crash. Even the best in the world crash. While leading the Giro d’Italia. On a straight.
Quick rundown of my race: I swam well, for me. Out in 3rd with Chris Legh and Chris Bagg. Only 2:30 ish behind Tim O’donnell. He’s smashed me by 3:30 in the water alone this year, so I’ll take that as improvement.
Bike: Rode hard for 25 miles, then Chris Legh rode harder for 25 more miles and dispatched me good, coming into T2 40 seconds ahead….I was 4 minutes+ behind Tim O’donnell at that point, but knew he had an Ironman in his legs 3 weeks ago so figured he’d fade. If you’ve never done a 70.3 three weeks after an Ironman, let me just tell you it never ends well on the run. For this reason I was still confident I could catch Tim.
Run: Nothing else to do but run hard. I really did not expect Chris to run that fast. I know he’s good and strong on hilly courses like Wildflower, but didn’t think he’d have sub 1:15 in him. He proved me wrong and even put a few more seconds into me, catching Tim and taking the win. Honestly, cool to see Chris take a win if you know anything about his history in the sport. See the video below for some gut wrenching shots from 1997 (literally, in that I’ve heard he had gangrenous intestinal tract removed after). PS. First Endurance is WAY better than Gatorade.
Tim, well, he did crack in the last few miles, but still held on to a 40 second gap. A testament to how good that guy is. I don’t think we’ll ever see him at a 70.3 event 3 weeks after an Ironman again, now that he knows how much it sucks!
Next up Ironman New York City – August 11th.