It's been a while since I've written about my races this year, but I've definitely been training hard, and racing as much as I can. This year, it was all about the Ironman 70.3 World Championship in Port Elizabeth, South Africa. I didn't really change much of my training, but I did what I do best: be consistent. I'm not going to lie, building up my fitness was anything but easy. I knew it was going to be a hyper competitive race, and I wanted to deliver.
Like a true hyper focused, type A triathlete that I usually am, I was going to write about ALL the things I did wrong, because you know, we can always do better, and good is never enough. But let's be honest, traveling half the world (literally!), racing in one of the most beautiful places on earth, and spending time with friends and family was AMAZING!
The travel: Living in the Bay Area meant that this was going to be a long trip. 40 Hours of travel, including an 8 hour layover, definitely took a toll on my body. However, I was always measuring my HRV (more of this on this post) and making sure that stress, due to lack of sleep, possible dehydration, and long sitting hours wasn't affecting my body in a negative way. My biggest advice here is to just take it all in. The mindset plays a big role here. If you are excited about the journey and enjoy every step of the way, traveling will add to the enjoyment rather than stress you out.
The city: Port Elizabeth is one of those little cities that has it all: Incredibly friendly people, the most beautiful beach fronts I've seen, and access to amazing safaris! Everyone in the city knew about the event, and honestly, it made you feel like a little rock star. The beauty of traveling a week in advance meant I could really absorb all the good vibes of the city, and get rid of jet lag!
The event: Weather was a big playing factor, Port Elizabeth is the windy city after all. Forecast would change every day, and the men's race in September 2nd predicted a storm. I've learned from previous experiences always to be ready for any condition, but I would be lying if I told you I wasn't frantically checking the weather forecast every 30 minutes. However, as much as I wanted perfect conditions, I knew everyone racing that day would be doing so in the same playing field. Despite the weather though, the event was truly one of a kind. I've done my fair share of triathlons, including other Ironman branded events, but this one was truly world class. Every single part of the city was immersed in the race, people were cheering along the way, and volunteers were spot on. Did I suffer? Yes. Did it hurt? Of course! But I loved the event from beginning to end.
My takeaway: Will I do this again? Of course! In fact, I'm already planning my next seasons, and aiming for a 70.3 world championship in 2020. Why two years from now? Because I have other goals in mind for this coming year. Mainly focused on the full distance with some 70.3's along the way.
I know things didn't go 100% according to plan, but this was my first world championship, and I am incredibly proud of it. I did everything I had to do that day, and gave it all I had. I want to thank Speed Hound Endurance for all the support they gave me throughout the season. This is a company that truly cares about triathlon and the every day triathlete trying to get through training and life. My coach, Inaki de la Parra, for being a friend and mentor, and of course my wife, who really makes everything happen. She is my inspiration and the reason why I put passion to everything I do.
Off to the next season!