The hills are alive with dozens of crazy ass fans!
The 70.3 World Championships, the peak of my season, is on Sunday. In short – I’m feeling good, ready to roll, and can’t wait to race.
Here are the quick details:
What: 70.3 World Championship
Where: Zell Am See, Austria.
When: Sunday, 10:45am local time – 1:45am PST, 4:45am EST. Likely finish ~5:40am PST.
How to follow / watch:
- Ironman.com – Ironman is going to provide some live video coverage as well as GPS tracking for the pro races. So check this place out for sure.
- Twitter – @ironmanlive, @jessemthomas if I find someone to update, maybe @laurenfleshman, or search for #IM703WC.
There are a number of previews from triathlon media – Slowtwitch, Triathlete Magazine, First off the Bike. Short story is that basically everybody is back from last year’s super stacked field – AND even a few other top guys who weren’t there last year. It’s maybe the best field ever in any 70.3, and definitely the best field I’ve ever raced against. Most of the media has me placing anywhere from top 15 to cracking top 10 or so. And I’d say that’s pretty fair.
Unlike a lot of races, and my normal hemming and hawing, I’ve got a pretty clear goal – to finish in the top 10. A top 10 would be an improvement on my best finish ever – 12th last year – in a more competitive field. Plus I’d make some prize money and get to go to the awards. Bam! All of that would be awesome.
But like any tough goal, there’s a good chance I won’t achieve it. So I still hesitate writing it down, making it public. I could have a really good day and still get beaten by 10 or more guys – the field is that strong. But in the end, we don’t go out and train our asses off every day to achieve goals that are easy. So there it is.
But if top 10 doesn’t happen for any number of reasons, I will be happy if I race my ass off to the finish line, and get the most out of myself. I guess, that’s all you can ever really ask for.
Excited To See What I’ve Got:
Regardless of goals, I am legitimately excited to see what I can get out of myself on Sunday. I believe I’m in the best overall shape of my career. And if coach Matt and I hit the taper right, I should be ready to roll better than I ever have. The course suits my strengths:
- Likely, a wetsuit swim
- Bike – massive climb about 13 miles in it that should help spread out the groups up in front of me, and hopefully allow me and other non front pack swimmers at least begin to bridge the gap.
- Flat and fast run with lots of turnaround points and places where you can see at least a minute or more in front of you. Hopefully PacMan some guys up.
I Need to Stay Tough – Shocker:
I think the keys for me to a solid performance will be to:
- Stay tough mentally and physically in the second half the swim when it inevitably feels like I’m going backwards.
- Stay tough on the second half of the bike even if the front packs feels out of reach
- Stay in it to the end of the run as World Championship races tend to have people blow up in the last half after they’ve either gone too hard or realize their initial goal is out of reach.
So basically, a lot of staying tough when the poo hits the fan. If you guys are thinking/watching my race, feel free to send Juju along those lines my way – poo hitting fan staying tough juju. Luckily my mom, dad, stepmom Janna, brother Darren and his girlfriend Courtney are here so I’ll have some love out on the course as well.
So those are the things I’ll be thinking about on Sunday, race wise. But I’ll also be thinking a lot about my family, Lauren and Jude in particular who I miss a whole bunch, and will definitely be a primary source of energy/motivation/inspiration when I’m hurting. I’ll even be able to see Jude’s handprints on my new Dimond….
Some Reflection and Thanks:
Being away from Lauren, Jude and Picky Bars has given my mind some time to reflect this week. And when I take a step back, it’s kind of freaking crazy that I’m racing in Europe at a World Championships as a professional triathlete with a legit shot at a top 10. I wouldn’t have expected or dreamed this 5 years. I mean this sincerely, thanks to you all for enabling it all. It’s unreal. Huge huge props to my sponsors Pearl Izumi, ROKA, Jaybird, Red Bull, Picky Bars, Dimond, Accenture, DigiPower Refuel, Rolf Prima, and Powertap. You guys are not only great companies but great people to work with. Some of the best in the biz, and I really appreciate.
And of course, as always, the thing that keeps me going through the ups and downs of it all is thinking about the story I’ll tell to the DOZENS of crazy ass fans that read this blog. It’s been an awesome ride and I really appreciate you guys following along and participating in the way you do. Here’s to the next step on Sunday! Thanks again, and see you on the other side!
Here’s a bonus few pics from the week: