First of all it was a great race. These Olympic distance races (1.5, 40, 10km) are totally different than a Half Ironman or a Full Ironman. They are very hard but also lots of fun. What I really liked though is that you can go all out without thinking about what to eat and drink. It’s just you and your will.
The race started at 9am on Sunday morning. The week before (Wednesday) I did a quite long and hard workout, which required an unusual amount of recovery time. Even on Sunday I didn’t feel like racing, but I hoped it would become better once the race was on.
As usual the swim was pretty uncomfortable for me but resulted in an okay time (24:55min). The water was great, the buoys easy to sight and it was not too crowded. So, nothing to blame the mediocre swim time on. Oh maybe there is something: The ramp on which we had to exit the lake was fully covered with algae, hence super slippery, and I probably lost a minute to make it out of the lake;)
My transition was good and after the first 5 minutes on the bike I found my rhythm and actually started to enjoy the race. About a month ago I started to run after every bike workout and never did the two sports individually. As a result a developed a pair of running legs which feel super fast no matter how long the bike workout was. I experienced this for the first time about 2 weeks ago. I was cycling super hard in training and got mentally prepared for the painful run which is about to come, but once I started running I was blown away by my running performance! I repeated this couple of more times to see whether it was not a random good day or so, and hell yeah it wasn’t. I was able to actually run after the bike with a fresh pair of legs and no cramps anymore!! Cramping was my Achilles heel and I finally I have it under control. This self-confidence in mind, I wasn’t worried to go hard on the bike (average heart rate 163) and enjoyed the ride. I finished the ride in 1:02:37, which includes the transition, and started the run.
The first 3 km were tough and I had to get used to my pace, but my legs stayed super fresh and for the first time in my life the run wasn’t governed by cramps but rather by the fact that I was just not able to run much faster. My Garmin always told me I am running between 3:45 and 3:55 min/km, and amazingly I was able to speed it up for the final 3km. I finished the 10km (which were actually 10.7km according to my Garmin) in 40:39min with an average heart rate of 166.
All in all, this race turned out to be a success and was yet another proof that my training is working out for me. On Monday, I finished the longest workout in my training program and now I am officially tapering for Ironman Canada.
I feel super strong, stayed injury free and was able to improve my running significantly. I am now even confident to say, that a spot for Hawaii is absolutely possible, if mechanicals are not plaguing me again, and/or I won’t experience a major melt down during the run. My prediction for the race is 9:30:00 hours.