Pre Race -
The race was located in Monroe, MI which is about 90 minutes south of me near the Ohio border. Where I live in Michigan, there are actually hills, some pretty big. In Monroe, you don't even have a freeway overpass. It's the flattest course you will do in Michigan. Now you'd think that would mean a fast time. Unfortunatly it doesn't. The roads are very course and slow. They also have a lot of holes in them and are poorly patched. On top of that, it's mostly farm land which means a lot of wind. This course is actually the slowest half course I've ever done. The run is flat too but the course is really cool. You run around these lagoons a couple times.
I woke up at 3 on race morning and packed up and headed out. I had a Coke and a Powerbar, and sipped on a flask of EFS Liquishot on the way down. I also sucked down another bottle of EFS drink on the way down as well. I wanted to make sure I had everything topped off.
I did this race a couple years ago and the water is pretty much always rough. This year wasn't much different but a little better. I don't mind swimming in swells in the ocean but too much swapping around is tough for me. Going out it was a lot of swapping around. Then the course goes to the right and comes in a ways before making another right and going parallel with the beach. Then turns around again and comes back the other way. I really don't like what the race director did for this swim course. How hard is it to just go out and come back? Here's a pic of the weird swim course.
Anyway, got out of the water in 32 minutes and took off onto the bike.
On the bike I was feeling pretty good. The course is pan flat but the roads are really rough and it's alot of open fields so it can be pretty windy at times. It's a lollipop 3 loop course. There's 1 aid station on the course that is at the beginning of each loop. I thought I had road myself into the lead but I was actually in third place. The 2 in front of me had pretty decent swims.
The run on this course is the best part. It's a two loop run course that runs around the lagoons at the park. It has some out and back sections on it too where you can see the other racers and count what place your in. At the start of the run I was 3 minutes down to 2nd place. I could see him ahead of me and I felt like I could catch him. I kept feeling something digging into my left foot though. Almost like I had a rock in my shoe. I stopped a couple times to see if I did but I wasn't finding anything. Finally about 3 miles in I passed the guy for 2nd. I stopped shortly after that though as the pain was starting to get worse and I could feel a nasty blister starting to form. But at this point I was 2nd overall and I didn't want to drop out because of a blister. I put my shoe on and kept running. I would stop about 4 more times through the course of the run to keep checking to see if there was something up with my shoe. After the race I realized that the new bike shoes I bought, were actually the cause of the blister. I had gotten some really bad hot spots on the bike and by the time I got to the run my feet were already hurt. I realized this a couple days later when I went for a ride and I felt like my feet were on fire in the new shoes but I put my old shoes back on and they felt fine. Anyway back to the race.... So after a few stops I ended up finishing 2nd OA. I felt pretty strong the whole race and it gave me a lot of confidence going into my build for IMLP.
Big thanks to Gear and Training for all the support so far this season. I am looking forward to putting your name as far up the podium as I can!!!