Vineman Aquabike Race Report
Last weekend, I was able to RACE again at the Vineman full ironman distance Aquathon. This is the full 2.4 mile swim and 112 mile bike of the ironman but without the run. After racing an aquabike at the last couple triathlons I have signed up for this year due to my shin/ankle injury I was stoked that this was an actual legit division to race. The issue with my shin has kept me away from running longer than expected (and much longer than I wanted) but I have been running again and playing it safe. I was stoked at the opportunity to really be able to RACE this and know try some new things out.
I will keep this report short – I used the same fueling strategy (Vitargo) and same bike setup I had last time when I race the full ironman here but I changes some of the doses and intensity. Most of this came in the form of my mental approach. I have got a lot of 2nd places and I have always thought that it is a small mental difference between me getting one more step up on the podium. I still do. Part of that is that I am so focused on pushing myself and when it comes down to it I feel like I am already exceeding my expectations for performance and pushing myself. I don’t often go into a race with the expectation of winning, at least not to the level that is required. However, this year that is all changing. . . Part of getting to the starting line is to have someone to chase and someone (or ones) to take you to that place or pace you would not have gone to alone. It is also being able to accept the risk and fail. Im okay with putting it out there and saying I am not only racing but training to win this year. Its a good learning lesson and maybe part of why I am getting over injury but that is part of the lesson. Im getting there. Vineman was a big step in the process.
Basically, it came down to deciding that I am going to go for it and take a risk of blowing up or not finishing. I trained going into the race to win and there are only a few racing I have approached with that mindset. I often run out of course to catch people because I start the charge too late or later think back to the move I should have made. That is racing. Why not me? A better question to ask.
Here is a snip from my training log later that day.
“Passed a lot of people until I got to about mile 35 or so and Tim Sheeper passed me back. I pushed a little harder and again passed back. Flashbacks to last time I was on this course… What..? Funny I am still learning after all of these races. More about myself. I was not going to repeat last time, I was not going to let this come down to a sprint at mile 80, 90, 100. I was willing to lose the race to win. I didnt not want another 2nd place. I gave myself 20min and went as_hard_as_I_could to get out of sight and out of mind. Leg searing sanity questing hard. It worked just as I got over chalk hill and then kept pushing through the halfway point. There was the only out n back at mile ~60 something and I saw Tim just over a minute back and I was faded and hurting. The difference between competing and going all in to win is a mental battle that is a stress management nightmare if your not positive of your intentions and motivations. I knew I had to put in another effort until mile 80 and I did. I rode the rest in prayer and as focused as I could muster…surprisingly didnt fade. Endurance was there and the mind was ready. 2:22 at 56mi / 4:43 at 112. Negative split! Ended up putting 7min on Tim and he was the man to beat. Both of us under the CR(5:53 in 2008). I could have easily taken another second and reasoned that someone always turns up but to today I decided to be that someone”
In the end, I found that most of the time I get 2nd place (or just dont win) it is the one year someone shows up. I have a long list. There is always a reason. I had to think I was physically capable, that I had done the work and trust that my mind would pull me through. If not I would have something deep to learn for next time. It was painful and I spent a lot of that second lap in prayer but it sure felt good to get back to some dream crushing with new goals! The entire OC and Nova Masters swim team had a solid day and we all picked up some vino to celebrate.
Next up… Training my body and mind to go for the win at the Leadman Epic 250 in Bend and bust the 9hr mark. Hope to see you out there.