Wednesday, May 1, 2013

New Orleans 70.3 Race Recap

I love 4am wakeups, not!
I have mixed feelings about New Orleans.  I seem to never race great there but always seem to have fun.  I decided I wanted one more crack at 70.3 before switching over to short course for a few months and New Orleans is within driving distance and I was hoping to capitalize on some fitness gains from Texas 70.3 just two weeks earlier. The last two races San Juan 70.3 and Texas 70.3 were good races but I didn’t put it all together.  Mostly because some lower leg issues have forced me to cut way back on my running.  I really feel I can swim 26:00ish, bike 2:13ish, and then run 1:18ish with transition times that puts me right at 4 hours total.  Sub 4 hours would be an awesome race for me.  Spoiler alert! I didn’t break 4 hours in New OrleansL but let’s talk about the race anyways.
I took off on Friday after work with training pals Carlos Miranda and Robbie Wade.  We decided to drive about 5 hours crash for some sleep and then finish the drive the next morning.  I did get awesome sleep and by 12 o’clock on Saturday we were in the Big Easy.  We went through all the normal pre race hoopla to get ready for the next day; pro meeting, pre-race workout, hotel check in, bike prep, etc.  I had two new equipment changes for this race I was excited to try out.  My Mizuno Wave Ronin 5’s had arrived a couple weeks earlier and I received my HED Jet Disc and HED Jet 7 wheels the week before.  Well lets just say they both rocked!

Transition set up and ready to roll!
So here is the race report.  After setting up my equipment in transition I headed over to the swim start.  I was a little nervous about the swim as it was being held in a small harbor.  They were having us swim an “M” shaped course and I thought sighting was going to be a challenge (read last year’s NOLA 5150 experience here to find out why).   Well my swim start was a disaster; the race official false started us with about 75% taking off early and 25% sitting there wondering what the heck was going on.  Unfortunately I was in the 25% and had to play catch up.  I made it to the 3rd pack but missed the 2nd pack.  I chose to swim comfortably in the 3rd pack vs. try over work myself to maybe make it to the second pack.  I came out of the water with 4-5 other guys in around 26:20 not a bad swim but not as good as my Texas 70.3 swim.    I was into Transition in 16th  Place.
I made good work in transition and came out with the 3rd pack on the bike.  I was happy to have guys to work with.  Unfortunately the pack I was in didn’t work well together and it was showing in my bike splits.  At mile 30 I decided to push hard and see if I could separate myself.  I had a good push and broke away from the other guys and made up some good time.  I came off the bike in 12th place but now for the real test, the run.
I was anxious to see how my run would hold up, I knew New Orleans was a pretty fast course and was hoping that would help with my lack of run conditioning.  The plan was to go out at 6 minute miles and work the times down after the first few miles.  The first mile I came through at 6:05, every mile after that I settled between 6:15 and 6:25. By mile 2-3 I had a few guys roll past me.  I never faded but never really got going.  I ended up running a 1:22 well above what I’m capable of running but about 2 minutes faster than Texas 70.3.  Unfortunately I had 3 guys moving much faster than me go by between mile 10 and 11.  I ended up in 18th place on the day with a 4:04:41, a new personal record for the 70.3 distance.  I’m happy I went and raced, I’ve got even more racing experience to add to my race bag and some valuable lessons learned. 

Highlight of the trip, after the race me and few other guys caught the event bus back to the transition area.  One of those guys was runner-up on the day Trevor Wuertle.  Super nice guy saw me drooling over his beer and shared it with me, mmmm.  For a hilarious recap of his race check it out here you won’t regret J

Up next I’ll be blogging about the Kemah Triathlon I competed in this past weekend!