Jocelyn McCauley was brimming with confidence following her IRONMAN New Zealand win and she pushed 4x Kona Champion Daniela Ryf into the late stages of IRONMAN Texas before relinquishing the lead with only 10-kilometers of running to go.
All photos by David Reynolds from @digitalknightproductions.
We spent a full day with McCauley who lives outside of Boise, Idaho but used The Woodlands, Texas as her final training camp to prepare for the heat and humidity in Kona.
We met McCauley, coach Bevan McKinnon and training partner Hannah Wells, a pro from New Zealand with a few half-distance wins to her name, bright and early at 7:30AM at VillaSport Athletic Club.
According to McKinnon, McCauley and Wells had what he termed an 'Aerobic Day' in advance of a race simulation the following day.
After a long warm up, McCauley's main set included 6x250's max effort with ample rest in between each interval.
McCauley swam 4000 yards wearing the newly released FORM swim goggle which reads split times, distance, pace per 100 and other metrics delivered right into the field of vision.
A speedy transition from pool to showers and onto their commuter bikes back to their homestay's house a short ride away.
Breakfast and a Skype video call with her young daughter and husband back home in Boise before continuing on with her training.
McCauley puts final touches on her Quintana Roo PRSix. One interesting equipment choice is her MORF Tech bar set-up. Late founder, Frank Springett, was a good friend and McCauley dedicated her win at IRONMAN New Zealand to him following his tragic death.
McKinnon and Wells joined McCauley for an easy three hour ride with a few race pace intervals mixed in to keep sharp.
Though she ran collegiately at BYU her bike has been a weapon. At IRONMAN Texas in April she was able to shadow Ryf for the duration of the bike.
McCauley and McKinnon have spent considerable time refining her bike position this season and it shows. We rarely saw her leave the aerobars throughout their ride.
Wells suffered a double flat which slowed them down on the ride back into town but a quick wardrobe change had the two right into a 45 minute low effort brick run.
McCauley has two sub-3 hour closing marathons to her name this season, 2:59's at both IRONMAN New Zealand and again at IRONMAN Texas.
In speaking to McKinnon earlier in the day, both athlete and coach think a top five overall placement in Kona is possible and hope that might be enough to earn top American honors.
One final big day awaits McCauley and Wells in Texas' heat and humidity before packing up for Kona.
You can follow Jocelyn McCauley on Instagram at @jocelynmccauley.