This time last year we were finishing up a 2 week road trip to Vegas, Tahoe, Napa, Disney, and Phoenix. It culminated with 70.3AZ where I went 4:39. 3rd M35-39 and 15th overall out of 1,136. My bike of 2:21:30 was around the 8th fastest. Fiona watched and had the urge to do the race once again. The first time we did it in 2017, we werent huge fans with 45 turns and OK roads. But the results were great. I went 4:29 taking silver and taking 9th OA of 1,262. Fiona got the bronze and 6th OA Female of 469. 33swim, 2:38:44 bike, and 1:49:12 run. Five years later and the results improved yet comparable. Today Fiona finished bronze again, 8th OA Female but was faster on Bike and run.
As I said, Fi was interested in racing, I was interested in supporting since I took the spot to my first 70.3 World Championship which is in 2 weeks in St George, Utah.
Saturday 6am. I woke up and did a 4hour trainer ride. We grabbed our things and drove 2hrs Tucson-Phoenix seeing lots of crashes from the rain storm we were trailing. A very gloomy day, the most rain I had seen in 5 years in AZ. We knew the swim was now going to be cancelled. Tempe Town Lake is swimmable only by permit. They test the water and need 24hrs to test if it rains 0.2″ or more… it wasnt going to happen. We arrived at Springhill Suites 5min from Transition. The hotel sucked under total renovation. No pool, gym, brekky in random room, and it smealt. I did a half marathon run on the IMAZ course scouting the new run leg for our race in 5 weeks. My goal was IMAZ Goal pace of 8:12/mile for a 3:35 marathon. I was a bit aggressive but went with it on 7:59 and perfect race HR of 133-135. I saw lots of homeless people, tents, and garbage. For all the money going into this place, it sure is a bit dumpy. A race I dont think we will venture back to as a result. I felt great carrying a waist camelpack and 2 gels that got me through the half in 1:44, 2nd of the year after my 3:07 Mesa marathon.
We headed to dollar store. Fiona had ramen for dinner, I had some hot pockets and TV dinners. We watched The Matrix Revolutions and went to bed. I slept like shit, my foot was hurting from the run.
Up at 6am. Much later than originally planned and benfit of Fionas high 1,100 bib number from late checkin. I got the free brekky. Fi ate some bread, RedBull, and Gatorade. We checked out, I dropped her at Transition and parked the car. I lined up where she was getting ready and checking out the tracker for her competition.
She went off in a TT style, 1 athlete every 5sec. I cheered Fiona on nearly 20 times with 18,000steps. She looked strong while many others were sitting upright on their $5000 bicycles. She was back and forth with 3 girls in her A/G the whole time but she said she kept power steady on around 197NP at 90%IF; exactly where she needed to be. She finished in 2:33 taking 5min off from 5 years ago. She also had the 6th fastest female bike. She drank all her gels, nutrition, and passed a ton of ppl.
On the run she continued passing earlier starters but was very much holding her own slipping back 2 OA spots but ran herself onto the podium, coming back from 4th position in F35-39. Her 1:47:25 run bettered the 2017 race by 1:30.
Fiona would have swam 30-32 giving her a sub5. And while its not Fionas goal for IMAZ, I believe she could go under 10hours once again.
I asked Fiona is all the time, money, and effort that we put into the triathlon lifestyle worth it with todays effort. She said yes. She started with the health benefits and elaborated further with working towards a goal. I couldnt agree more but mentioned that the pride I had on her success was such a pleasure to witness.
2 weeks till I get to compete in my first 70.3 World Championship. 3 weeks later we will toe the line once again, in our 3rd Ironman Arizona. Stay tuned!