July 26, 2019 - This was my third year in a row racing IM 70.3 Muncie. I don't know why I keep going back because it's so darn hot but it's such a fun race and I love the bike course! Still couldn't figure out the swim however I was a little faster than last year. Set a new PR on the bike course and had one of my best 70.3 runs to date despite the heat!
4:00 am wake-up call on Saturday morning. Double checked my gear, checked out of our room and headed to Prairie Creek Park which was about 40 minutes away. Arrived to transition at 5:15 to set up.
Swim was a rolling start. I was lined up with the 44-46 minute group because it was non-wetsuit and was going to be a slower swim. Got into the water right at 7:30 am and was able to get into a nice groove once I got around the first turn at about 200 meters. All was well until the turn around. There was a lot of congestion around the turn boys and I struggled to get around some of the other swimmers. This continued for the majority of the back half of the swim. I found myself too close to the buoys, got caught up in a lot of traffic and was unable to get back into a rhythm. All things considered, I felt like it was a decent swim, especially without the aid of a wetsuit. Two minutes faster than last year on a new swim course. A lot of other athletes said they felt the swim was slow also.
Swim Goal: 45 min Actual: 48:10
T1 – 4:30 It’s a really long, uphill run from the water to T1. I was ok with this transition time.
My goal for the bike was to maintain the 160W average power and not burn out my legs for the run. The course is mainly flat except for a couple slights ascents. I ended up slightly under my speed goal of 22 mph and my average power was 151W so I probably could’ve pushed a little harder and broken the 2:30 mark but I felt good about my bike split and still set a new bike PR. The power meter helped a lot!
Bike Goal: 2:39 Actual: 2:36
T2 – 2:40 Got through this transition quickly and didn’t forget to stop for sunscreen.
I decided to lower my expectations on the run slightly due to the heat of the day. I was hoping to maintain a pace of 9:30 which I was doing for the first half of the run. When I hit the turn-around I saw that I was on pace for a sub 2 hour run and felt like I could hang on. I cramped up a couple times but the base salt helped and I was help to push on without issue. Unfortunately the heat finally got to me around mile 8 and I had to slow down. I took a Gu Roctane every 30 minutes and took full advantage to every aid-station to stay hydrated but the heat was still too much to handle. At the very end on the last hill my left leg cramped severely and I had to stop and walk the rest. I was able to muster up enough power to run through the finish shoot but it wasn’t pretty!
Run Goal: 2:04:00 min Actual: 2:07:51
I’m pretty happy with my performance overall. The swim could have been better had I stayed clear of the buoys on the back half of the course. I felt like I had a solid bike but might have been able to push a little harder to break the 2:30 mark but how would have that affected my run? The heat and hills took a toll on the run but I was able to keep my pace up much longer than my previous two times at Muncie.
Finish: 5:39:08 which is a 6 minute course PR!