Ironman St. George 70.3 was my only DNF and I owed it a Payback
I originally raced St. George in 2016, but it ened up being the only DNF I have ever had. I went into the race with a torn labrum in my hip and a lung infection. To add to that, the weather was in the upper 30's to lower 40's with a rain/snow mix. So needless to say there was a lot going against me. I made it to just shy of a mile on the run and had to call it. I was hyperthermic and in so much pain. After taking a couple years off after that race to have surgery on my hip, rehab and get back to race shape, 2019 was going to be my year. I completly changed my approach to training as well as hired a metabiolic and nurtition coach. All of these got me as ready as they could for this race. Going into it, I had no plans on time, power, etc. just wanted to enact plan "f" (finish).
Luckily I don't get nervous before races, so I was just anxious to get the race going. The water was 62 degrees and even in a wet suit is cold. The race started with a rolling start and there was not time to get in the water to get use to it. After the pros went off, they start the age groupers 3 at a time every 5 seconds. So once the horn went off for you, you just jumped in the water and started swimming. Luckily I got use to the water pretty quick. Just slow and steady in the water. All the people fighting to get out of the water fast usually waste too much energy and I catch them pretty quickly on the bike. So my 40 minute swim was no record breaking feat.
Took about 4 minutes to get through T1 and out on the bike. One by one I was passing people. I would hammer it on the flats and descents while saving my legs on the climbs. No need to waste energy there. Just steady up the climbs. I was not until about Snow Canyon that I was not able to pass anyone else. It is just a long slow and steady slog up the hill. But the last 10 miles are downhill and fast ack into town.
Took about another 4 minutes in T2 and I was off on the run. I always traing to run to the aid stations. So basically run a mile, then walk about 30 seconds through the aid stations. I am not a pro or going to win my age group, so I figure I should take advantage of the aid stations and get what I need in my body. Mile by mile I was ticking off the distance. Just keeping my pace going up the hills and taking advantage of the flats and downhills when I could. I felt amazing. People were passing me on the flats, but when it came to the hills, I was easily catching and passing them. After the last climb with about 2 miles left, I realized it was all down hill from there. I picked up the pace and skipped the remaining aid stations. I just wanted to get it done.
Well I did. I came in about 40 minutes faster that I had planned, but I also did not pay attention to my watts, pace, et.c while I was racing. Just did what my body wanted to do. We went fast when it felt good and backed of when it didn't.
No I did not win the race, nor did I come close, but after all that I had been through, I feel I cushed this race. If it was a possibility to buy the perfect race, this would of been it. Everything just fell into place. I felt strong through the whole race and could not of asked for more.
Annd to top it off, my wife and son were waiting for me at the finish line. What else could you ask for.