After a tough race and thinking he'd messed things up, Pablo walked away with a deserved 14th and a ticket to race in the World 70.2 Champs! Read his report here:
Ironman and Ironman 70.3 Weymouth are must do events for anyone focused on long distance triathlon!! On September 11th I raced there with the aim of giving absolutely everything I had, in what has been my return to the half distance!
The whole weekend was very relaxed and I knew everything was ready since Friday when Huw lent me his Cosmic wheel-set to avoid racing on my heavy training ones. Check in on Saturday, my “traditional” 2 pizzas lunch before any half ironman, a walk in the expo, visiting Portland island and off to sleep to rest for the big day.
As soon as I woke up and saw the full of stars sky I knew we had an awesome day to race ahead. With 19 degrees at 5.30am, I was hoping it wouldn’t be an oven out there by midday! The swim started exactly as sun rose in front of us with a flat ocean and a water temperature of 20ºC (wetsuit was optional as it was warmer in the water tan outside!!). Perfect conditions for an easy and quick swim in 26’ plus. A long transition to get to the transition carp and quickly to the bike.
Once I was on the bike, it didn’t take me too long to realise I had made a silly mistake. My isotonic and my carbs drink were still in the hotel room cooling down in the fridge! Luckily, I did a lot of training while fasting this year so those painful trainings were well worth it! I decided to hold the pace a little bit until the first aid station with 16 miles in however, the truth is that my legs were working better than they had for a long time. I don´t know, maybe it was the training with the power meter before this race following Cippo’s advice and the well structured training plan, along with resting, drinking and eating properly. Whatever the real reason, or all of them together, it actually gave me the confidence I needed. Plus, knowing which power I could maintain for the whole bike split made me go through those steep hills (+1097m for the bike split) way faster than I did when I spent a week training there earlier this year. I ended up averaging 241watts of NP (for those who actually know what this means, I’m still confused haha) and although I could have pushed myself a bit more, I decided to stay on those watts bearing in mind I had a windy half marathon to go.
When the bike finished, I just needed to stick to my racing plan. If racing was so easy, everyone could get one of those precious top places though. When I entered the transition carp I noticed that from the 5th till the 10th in my AG were there. I had no clue about the pace they could run, but I decided to push myself the first 3km and open a gap with some of them. It actually worked well as I was 6th with 3rd, 4th and 5th in sight. Keeping my pace meant that I had a 90% probability of running out of gas and losing positions, but I still did it. For 13km I was fighting for those positions but after that my body said that that was enough.
It is incredible how your body goes from such a high to the deepest bottom in a matter of seconds and meters. The only thing I had left was the will of finishing and so I did. My mum was there after travelling from Spain at the last minute to see me fulfil my dream and I just wanted to hug her after crossing the finish line. This time it was even more special considering I raced fund raising money for those affected by cancer as this year it’s been 5 years since my grandad and his dad passed away. I’m proud to say I gave absolutely everything and finish 14th in my AG and 102 overall. They took me straight to the medical assistance after finishing and I stayed there for almost 50 minutes. Nevertheless, before that happened I did hug and kiss my mother and gave her the finisher medal as she deserves it as much as I do.
I did “screw up my race”, but in the awards ceremony I received the big prize. The slot for the Ironman 70.3 World Championships in Chattanooga, Tennessee, is mine!! Seems like I will be travelling to the US again!!!!
HUGE CONGRATULATIONS, Pablo!