I woke up on Saturday knowing something special was going to happen today. Some of you know THAT feeling!
What can I say but WOW I'm so happy to get my second Ironman Victory in my 3rd year as a pro.
The build up for this race could not have gone any better, my training was spot on and I hit all the sessions perfectly. I did all my training in Scottsdale AZ, yes lots of early mornings to try and avoid the heat!!! but I love it and find it so easy to get out there everyday and train.
We flew to Santa Rosa on the Tuesday before the race as I wanted to get settled and check out the bike and run course a few times before resting my legs and chilling.
The day before the race I did a little 1hr tune up and I remember feeling so good and in tune with my body that I knew tomorrow was going to be a good day.
The morning of the race was super chilly and misty, and having a non wetsuit swim made it even more unbearably cold, but once you were in the water the chill disappeared. I did a quick 5 min warm up with a few sprints to get the arms warmed up before the start and I was ready to go.
My plan was to try and sit behind Barret Brandon in the swim but after about a minute him and another guy were already 10m ahead, so I re-consolidated and stuck with another group of about 4 swimmers. Just before the turn around I made a move to go to the front and stayed there setting my own tempo back to the swim finish. Myself and the group of 4 came out about 3:30 minutes down but I knew my biking strength would get me up there so it wasn't a concern of mine. I rode with Richie Cunningham for about the first 6 miles and when I glanced back I could see that I was pulling away a bit, but I just stuck to my own watts and did my own race from there out.
It only really started warming up on the second loop of the bike and by this time the roads where also already getting quit busy with cars and trucks as there were no road closures. Starting my 2nd lap heading to my Special Needs bags I shouted my number as usual for my bag and the volunteers shouted back that I need to stop and fetch my own bag so I did a U-turn and headed back to fetch my own bag (crazy)!! On the same lap of the bike I almost got hit by a truck and the driver of that truck through some very "nice" hand and finger gestures at me while he passed.
Finally I start the run with a 5 min lead and man I felt great. The run course had been changed 4 days before the race from a 2 loop to a 3 loop making it even more challenging with the infamous hill on all 3 loops. On the 2nd loop I was still feeling great and fueling really well. I got a time gap of 11min to 2nd place and by this time I started doing the math for my final loop and a smile appeared, I was even throwing the gangsta arm when I passed the Base Endurance tent at half way point on lap 2 as they were playing Chainsmokers - Don't let me down! which pumped me up even more to the final lap! By the 3rd loop I was all smile but was hurting in the legs. The last km I really got to soak it all in and had fun with the crowd to the finish line where I met Lauren which was really special and she handed over my medal.
Thanks to my coach Tim at Velocity Sport Lab. The hard yards are paying off