Photo Credit- Darach Glennon
Im a little behind, Ive jumped up to the most recent race Galway 70.3. Estonia 111 is delayed..
I raced one of my A races yesterday. Galway 70.3. I was ready to offer more than I did last year. Weather made it impossible for me to perform but this year would hold no such excuse. The day before mirrored last years race day but sitting over a cold bowl of Millet porridge at 4am on race morning it was calm. The porridge was cold because I made it the night before & I dare not wake up my kids or I would be receiving a frosty reception from my wife when I cross the line.
I was in my new Endurance Junkie Suit that was custom Logoed (is that a word!??) by the guys and it was great. Comfortable and breathable. My compressport Quads and calf gards were also on show to hold me together. The quads I cannot fault!
Setanta blue was represented well and some vying for a spot for the world championships in Vegas 2013. Peter Tommany was the only man to receive one so well done to him and all the first ironman 70.3 medal finishers. I had a few shout outs on the course but unfortunately I could not reply.. Talking meant breathing harder and i was breathing hard enough!
The pro wave went off at 7am and the field was strong, some top international athletes came over to experience An Gaelteaght. I was hoping to grab a podium or top 5 at best and repeat the performance Owen Cummins gave last year. He had the ‘balls’ to race pro last year. something that I admired.
Sitting in my G Range wanting to show the sailfish guys im improving i was more nervous than usual and wanted some peace and quiet but had my father for distraction. He was unsure whether he’d be too warm if he wore a jacket or should he move the car closer. ‘Would ya ever shove your jacket and f@%k your car’… God love him he always is on the receiving end of my foul tongue. Sorry Pat! But that is what dads are for!
I felt good and had a spring in my step all week. As usual I came out behind on the swim, It was fairly uneventful but some went to a yellow bouy. To be honest you could of told me the bouys were purple and id believe you. I honestly hadnt a clue where i was. I worked as hard as I could to ensure I gave myself a chance to be at the pointy end of the race. We were sold on the fast swim course but it wasnt so.
Our bikes where held in the local park on grass and I had a problem losing a shoe and my chain coming off after the mount line. What seemed like an eternity was later to show 1.5 mins. As you will see in the pic my friend in the jewellery trade Robert Blacoe sponsored me. Id do anything to give back to my sponsors..even stop!!
Too much time to be losing given the opposition. I get asked all the time what do i do on the bike. I answer by saying what and how do good swimmers swim??.Its my thing & Its something i love and i probably train a bit more biking and i dont cheat around my bike sessions. If i have 3 hours to do, i do it. If ive an hour swim to do, 50 minutes is fine. That will be addressed. My plan when i get on the bike is to keep power low. No big spikes(driving down on the pedals). The race is not won in the opening half hour, but it can be lost. I get up to speed and try and use my power meter and heart rate monitors as gauges. Most of my training through the week is on perceived effort but on race day i like to have these tools so i dont think Im a hero. You can feel invincible in the first 30/1hour of the bike leg. Leave your ego at T1.
I got upto speed once we hit the main road and settled into a sustainable pace. Age groupers that caught and passed me in the swim were soon in my draft, some longer than others. One age grouper in fact blatantly cheated for 80 odd km. I always get the usual ‘clunk clunk clunk’ sound when i pass guys after the swim. They stay for as long as they can and usually die off but this guy held on. His name escapes me but dick & head ‘Spring’ to mind. If you really want to know who he is he was the highest Age group finisher.;-) He raced a clever ride. Would get in my draft at hard sections of the course for a ‘lift’ and would navigate in and out of the illegal draft zone. But fair play to him, he came around me at the last drinks station and for the fun i sat for a few minutes. You guessed it, pace went down and power dropped by 50 watts. So i went back and towed him home. Words were said running up to T2 and he told me to read the rule book. Yes- he told me!!. also shouts as we went through small villages “get back” were for his ears. I just dedicated too much time in this report to him. All in all i rode strong but it didnt come as fluent as Antwerp. It was an out and back course and I eagerly waited to meet the front Guys to give myself time check. They arrived sooner than expected. 3 packs looking like they were working together. For me, it’s time to really nail my swimming and experience those ‘packs’ in a race. (legally of course)
I was about 10/12 watts down. heres my file .I put time into the top 10 on the bike but not enough and I was way off top 5.
I ran out strong and held a comfortable pace and i just seem to hold that the whole way. If i had to describe it I had no ‘zing’ but felt i ran ok. 1;24 was as shock as i thought i ran faster but at least this year I knew where the finish line was. Last year i went round for lap 4!!
I finished 12th and gave what I could on the day. Ive run alot better but thats racing. The best thing about the run was running past all the supporters at the finish line and Joanne helping everyone along .Although I finished 12th, Galway gave me the reception fit for the winner. The support was great and the atmosphere was electric in salthill. Thank you once again for all the support from both competitors and spectators! & to IronmanIreland.
I dont know if im fit for it but I have one race left to wrap the season up. I’m in for Barcelona or IM Wales. How I recover this week will determine which one I do!!.