Wow this has been a very busy summer. You hear people talking about the lazy days of summer...well let me tell you it has been anything but! It seems like every weekend is booked - whether weddings, races, family activities with everything in between. This time of year is a lot of fun
Starting with my Birthday weekend, June 13-15, (I can't believe I am 29 years old now. My lovely wife tells me, "Wow, you are almost half of 60!" Thanks love.) one of my best Friends, Mark Shumski, got married. I had the pleasure of being in his wedding almost 3 years after he was in mine. That was a fun filled weekend in the Pittsburgh area and I even got to run on parts of the Great Allegheny Passage.
The next weekend was Syracuse 70.3! I was excited to race this as this was the closest big time race to Rochester, NY where I grew up. It was nice having my parents, my in-laws and so many other friends there supporting me! I was also able to help out my sponsor Bolle Sunglasses at the expo booth....
I was fortunate enough to have gone up to Syracuse a few weeks before the race to train on the course with good friends Mike Hoffman and Scott Bradley. In addition, workouts leading up to this race were going very well so I was expecting some big things. As race morning came I was feeling good and excited to be racing again as it had been 7 weeks since I had last raced St. George 70.3.
As the gun went off I wanted to do my best this time to get on and stay on the feet of the other racers. I told myself to go out past my comfort zone for the first 500m and reassess then. I was doing really well swimming with a pack of a few guys till around 1300m then I started falling off. It was one of those feelings where you are mentally still trying but the arms on not working the same. I started to fall off the pack but get pushing. I ended up holding tough though and came out of the water just under 28:00 mins. I was not very pleased with the time as I was hoping to be closer to 27 mins but at that point I just had to start riding.
If you haven't done Syracuse before there is a hill you climb from mile 3 basically to mile 14. You would not think Syracuse, NY would have such a long hill but its there and it is a big smack in the face during the race. After finally cresting the climb I was finally able to start getting into a rhythm. I gradually kept moving myself up. I caught up to a group of riders, then two more..finally at mile 35 I just didn't see anyone up ahead. For the last 20 miles I didn't see anyone. I finally came to T2 in 12th place with a bike split of 2:18:13 or 24.3 mph. I was slightly disaapointed in this as I feel as though I lost focus the last few miles of the ride as I didn't have anyone else to chase. This is a good reason to have a power meter- I was happy to have it there to keep me honest and just try and hit my numbers.
Off the bike I new there were others to catch. Chelsea let me know there was a guy 1 min up. I did my best to stay controlled the first loop as I knew that this course was a tough one with some pretty steep hills. After loop one of 2 I was only about 20 seconds down. I was able to finally move into 11th place at around mile 8. Sadly though I didn't have enough left in the tank to catch 10th place and I ended up in 11th overall with a 1:21:27 half marathon split for a total time of 4:11:16
Overall I didn't have a bad race nor a great race. I did however have a well balanced race that I paced well. It would have been nice to have a little more running legs at the end but it wasn't meant to be that day. It was so great though to have the support of my family and friends there! Racing back home meant a lot.
Now it is time to buckle down the training over the next few weeks and get ready for Challenge New Albany. I am excited for this half distance event and even more excited to get to go back to Columbus, OH where I did my Doctorate degree...O- H - I- O!
Till then I will be ramping up the swimming yards, bike and run miles in preparation for IM Chattanooga!