As usual in the pro race, the front went out fast. Joerie took off and I basically never saw him again. I ran with Tom Jeffrey for a while until the hills starting kicking in. I backed off a little bit because I was already feeling a little tired. I usually can tell if I'm going to have a good race by how I feel at the start. I didn't think I was going to have a good day! Near the halfway turn around of the first 8k run, there was another huge hill! I couldn't believe this run course. I have done plenty of hills in my life, but not this many while trying to race a long distance event. I came into T1 in 3rd place out of the pros with a 5:26 pace for the opening 8k. I typically will run under 5 minute pace for opening runs...so this shows that this was a tough course.
Two pics of me runnin' all alone finishing up the first 8k...
Onto the bike...I was drained! The first run took a lot out of me, and I was in no mood to ride hard for 1.5 hours. I did my best to get some power out of my legs, but it just wasn't happening. I rode alone for the first 10 miles until Aksel Nielsen from Denmark came rolling along. Once he passed me I did my best to just ride with him. Not drafting but keeping my distance and stagger rule. I pushed on the cranks and was able to hold my distance with him. The roads were junk out there because of the chip and gravel..so it was hard to get a decent speed going. At about mile 13, a huge hill came into place which slowed speeds down to 8 mph. I turned the cranks and slowly got through it. At the top of the hill though my legs didn't want to move anymore! After a quick drink and mental toughness, I told myself to keep going and stay with Aksel. We made it through the first loop and onto the 2nd of the 36 mile ride. I actually started to feel better and passed Aksel. I tried to make a move but he stayed right with me. The second loop was actually easier for me and I ended up having a faster 2nd lap than 1st...so thats a plus! I still felt that I didn't have my usual power that I have been having on my training rides. I'll be rested up though when Long Course Du Worlds comes along on the 21st this month.
Alright...so going into the last run I realllly wanted to get into the 3rd place spot and hold it. I was running with Aksel, but once the hills started, I had nothing. It felt like I was walking up these hills and basically just wanted to stop right there on the course and walk back to lay down in the grass. But of course would I really do that?! No way, I just shuffled along up the hills and basically enjoyed my 4th place position. I knew I didn't have enough energy to catch 3rd and 4th was about 4 minutes back, so I plugged along through the last 8k with no real goal other than finishing in my position. I made it through the last run with a 5:59 pace (slowwwwwwwww!). But overall, it was a good day and a decent race. I just wish I had the energy and power that I typically have. I did have a hard training week so that may have been the cause.
I ended the day in 4th place overall for the pros. It was good progress from my first Powerman race which was in Alabama this year.
Up next for me is the Long Course Duathlon World Championships in Richmond, VA on Oct. 21st. I will be racing in the U23 division for one last time. My goal is to place Top 3 in the U23 division. In the short course duathlon world championships I placed 5th for U23...so I'm looking for some improvement.
I was going to run the Chicago Marathon on Sunday, but due to needing some time to recover and getting some solide workouts in...I opted to pass this weekend. I really love the Chicago Marathon, but right now my priority is to place well at LC Du Worlds.
*Last note..thanks to my dad for driving me out to all these races. Its been great having somebody to go with and having somebody that supports me so much. I wouldn't be able to do it without him!