Let me start off by saying that Mooseman is a great, great race…fantastic staff and great venue. I looked forward to this race for about 5 weeks following Devilman. This was my third half of the season believe it or not (and its only June!). It was also a great weekend to hang out and chat with our athletes who were all race ready and very inspirational overall.
Saturday was the Olympic race where we had a whole bunch of QT2 athletes racing. Almost everyone had PRs even after adjusting for the short swim, which was great and started the weekend off with a good tone. This included my wife Chrissie who placed 19th overall in her first Olympic! My only complaint is that I spent about 6 hours on my feet that day….not great for a half the next day….definitely need to bring a fold out chair next year.
Sunday started with a weather forecast that I actually love…hot and humid (I hate the cold). It was absolutely perfect conditions on race morning with calm clear skies. The swim started with an unbelievably fast pace that put me in shock for about 5 minutes. Once the dust settled I was able to get into a grove and hook up with Coach Pat Wheeler for the remainder of the swim. Every single race we do together ends up like this regardless of how the race starts….Pat and I side by side. Very strange. Anyhow, Pat and I had a smooth swim with very little contact following the start.
Onto the bike, I had set a fast early pace with the goal to catch a few of the faster swimmers early on. This worked well as I was into 10th place by the 10 mile mark averaging about 22.8 mph. One thing I did notice on the bike immediately was that it was very very hot. Based on this, I got ahead on fluids early and maintained that fluids pace throughout the bike leg, which was more than my fueling plan calls for. I felt strong through the first loop and rode pretty much alone for the entire ride. Toward the last 10 miles of the second loop, I tried to pick it up a bit in an effort to even split the loops, which I believe I was pretty close on. I came off the bike in 10th place.
Onto the run, my goal was to head out at 5:53 pace. It was immediately evident that given the heat, this would not be possible so I dialed it into 6:03 pace with the goal of slipping no further than 6:33 pace for an average of 6:18 pace. It was a VERY hot run reminiscent of Kona last year. I rode the edge of being sick, and or cracking the whole run but was able to hold on. The run course was a mess with people cracking left and right. It was one of those days where if you didn’t have your race fueling down to the letter, you were in trouble. Through the run I managed to pass a few people (averaged 6:21 pace) and ended in 7th place over all in 4:18:XX versus my goal of 4:13. Given the conditions that day though, I think the 5 minutes was easily given up by the heat. Looking forward to next year’s race already!
In other news, Coach Cait won the half iron by over 10 minutes and hit all of the goals we had set going into the race. It was so nice to see her hard work and dedication over the past 5 weeks pay off. It also gives credence to the effectiveness of setting hard, quantitative goals and executing a plan to the letter.
Next Up: Ironman Lake Placid where my goal will be a Kona slot and a 25+ minute PR over my 2006 race at that venue. I believe I’m on pace for this given my current performance indicators and using a 2.23 factor on my Mooseman time (4:19 x 2.23 = 9:38). Historically, the correlation between Moose and Placid is about 2.22-2.25 depending on the durability of the athlete (this is obviously a rough check).