Kim Loeffler victorious at Cancun 70.3
Loeffler primed and ready for heat of Kona
After a long and hard six-week training block in Boulder, I was starting to get race fever. My training was going well, so I made a last minute decision to race the 70.3 in Cancun. I was eager to test my fitness and see how I would do in a hot humid race in Kona-like conditions.
After suffering badly in the cold rain in Lake Placid, I was really looking forward to racing in the heat. No matter how hot it got, I would not complain. I love racing in the heat. I\'d take hot and humid over cold and rainy any day! The field was competitive with some very fast swimmers; Michellie Jones, Pip Taylor and a few fast ITU girls. I knew I would have my work cut out for me. I came out of the water in 8th place about 8 minutes down on Michellie and about 3-4 minutes down on the pack. I could feel the temperature rising, so I took the first loop of the bike conservatively. It was in the 90\'s and the humidity was close to 80%. I knew I had to pace myself and keep my hydration in check on the bike in order to have a strong run. The run is usually my strength and I\'ve struggled with it in my past few races. I didn\'t expect a stellar fast run because of the heat and humidity, but I wanted a strong steady run. I noticed at the first turn around on the bike that I was not putting any time into the women ahead of me. At this point I was really wishing that I had my Zipp wheel on rather than my beater trainer wheels. I had a little luggage issue while traveling and was forced to do the race with my training wheels. Fortunately, my Cervelo P3 is one of the most aero bikes out there, so I knew I really wasn\'t at too much of a disadvantage. I picked up the pace during the second loop and started to reel-in the women ahead of me.
Entering T2, I was now only 2 minutes down on the lead group of three women including Michellie Jones. I was on a mission to catch the girls and made a quick last minute decision to save some time in T2 and run sockless. I am a forefoot runner, who gets pretty bad blisters, so this was quite risky for me. The new K-Swiss racing shoes are so comfortable that I didn\'t even think about my feet until about a half hour after I finished and realized pleasantly that I did not have one single blister on my feet.
Just as I had done on the bike, I started the run conservatively in effort to control my core temperature. Unfortunately, Michellie had to withdraw from the race with an injury, so by mile 2, I was in sight of the lead women. My first 5k was actually my slowest of the run. It was hot but totally tolerable so I picked up the pace and by mile 4 I moved into 2nd place. I knew Pip was a good runner and I wasn\'t sure how far ahead she was. At about mile 5.5 I could see her up the road and she seemed to be struggling with the heat. I moved into first place and lead the race for the remaining 8 miles.
It was nice to get the win, but it was also nice to see how well my body handled weather conditions much worse than Kona (sans wind!!). My strength is good, my heat tolerance was good and most importantly I am healthy and mentally fired up to battle with the best in the world in three weeks. I have the best of the best this year in terms of coaching and equipment. I definitely have no excuses come race day. I am fortunate to have the support of K-Swiss, Powerbar, Cervelo, Zipp, Lifesport, Blue Seventy, Fuel Belt, Katalyst Multisport, Ski Rack, Rocket 7 and Vasa, Thank you all for taking such good care of me and I look forward to seeing you in three weeks on the Big Island!