I was hoping to finish my US campaign on a better note than 11th place but it wasn’t to be. Learning is all good but you do get to the point where you should have learnt it all and I do kind of feel like I am there now. Oceanside was a fantastic event, a tough course with so many great athletes fronting up. From the gun I got into a good pace and was leading the swim till just after the halfway point but knew things were going ok and I could conserve sitting on the leader’s feet. Out onto the bike it took a few kms to get the blood to the legs but I was pretty comfortable in the lead group which expanded to a dozen riders. It felt like a bike race, there were points where the pace was so slow then the next minute it ramped up. In the last 25km I made my way to the top 5 places which eased the yo-yoing feeling being further back and put me into a nice spot heading into T2.
I came off the bike in 3rd and managed to pick up 10sec with my ITU style transition so was out in front of the main pack. With so many stellar runners I knew the pace would be fast, so I tried to settle into my pace and not worry too much about what was going to happen around me. Things were going well, there were a few changes in positions early but at 18km I was in 6th although starting to suffer. Then what very athlete worries about finally happened, I popped, my run was reduce to a slow hot crawl pushing well back into 11th place.
After the event my partner and I had a little ticky-tour around Texas which was a lot of fun, I am usually seeing these places at events so time is limited to actually enjoy the culture. This time the bike stayed in the box for a couple of weeks while we ran our way around Texas from Dallas to Houston.
Noumea International 28th April
With a couple of weeks training in the legs it was off to Noumea to race an Olympic distance event. I planned to use this race to help kick start my build for Cairns 70.3 sometimes there’s nothing better than shocking the body with a fast standard distance race.
I didn’t expect there to be such a competitive field so I was a little nervous standing on the start line unsure if I would be able to handle the pace. As always once the gun goes its time to push and I managed to come out of the shortened swim in 2nd position. Onto the bike the rain was teaming down and the wind blowing a gale. I hit the lead and was trying to push and get away from the fast runners as they were enjoying a little tow into the wind. Tim Reed was flying and came past early, I tried to stick with him but my legs just wouldn’t cooperate and slowly drifted off the pace about 15sec back. Still in second I started to pull back a little time until I bailed on the final round-about on the slick roads. Was a bit gutted but got back up checked the bike, the body got the drink bottles that were scattered over the road, thanked the spectator for seeing if I was ok then set off again surprisingly still in second but not by much. The rest of the ride I was a little more cautious and a little frustrated but at least I was still in it.
Onto the run it took me a while to get going and by that time I had dropped to 4th place and remained there till the end. The crash aside, the results were probably a good indication of where I was feeling my fitness was at.
Am really looking forward to getting home now, there’s been a lot of time away from where I love. Am looking forward to getting back to the home training ground and cranking out some good sessions – in the cold no doubt!