23 Nov 2016
PEDRO GOMES 6TH IN IRONMAN ARIZONA
I would be lying if I said I was super pumped for the build up to IRONMAN Arizona after what happened in Kona. I wasn’t. But that is exactly when your mental strength comes into play, so every morning I woke up and repeated to myself (my wife was a pretty good chorus on this one): Don’t. Give. Up.
With race day getting closer I set the goal to just finish the race, independent of the placing, and enjoy my “hometown” race with all my friends.
That wishful thought only lasted until the gun went off and then I wanted to win. The swim, however, didn’t go as expected, I mean talk about a lousy swim. It was a mix of bad placing at the start, lined up with the bridge pillar instead of having a clear sight of the buoys and poor feet choice out of the gate. But again, racing Ironman is all about overcoming obstacles and setbacks. At T1, frustration could have easily taken over and almost did for about 2 miles of the bike, but I then put my head down, embraced the pain and hammered the pedals as I hard as I could, what came to payoff with a personal best time on the bike (4h21) on what felt like a windy day. I started the marathon in 9th but I knew I still could run a good marathon and climb a few places. My goal for the marathon is always the same – run hard from the get-go and hold on when wheels fall off. This is the opposite of what I tell people to do, what all the triathlon books tell you and what all coaches advise, but, and with my own coach approval, it’s what works best for me.