A win, a World Champs top ten and a lot of training...
September 24, 2015
I do triathlon to go as fast as possible swimming, biking and running. That means a lot of training and sometimes that means there is a bit of a radio silence on the blogging side.
The last couple of months have treated me well. I’ve been focusing on two World Champs (Ironman 70.3 and Ironman World Champs). In the start of my prep for the two big ones I started the inaugural 70.3 Dublin. My mother is Irish and my husband likes Guinness (the race finishes within 1km of the factory) so I pretty much had no choice in this one! I was happy to see the direction my bike and run were heading in pre 70.3 World Champs, I wasn’t so happy to see the swim time. It was my slowest swim ever (even slower than my first 70.3 swim when training consisted of swimming 1km in a 20m pool followed by a long Jacuzzi). There was a fair bit of confusion before the race on which buoys we had to swim around and think we may have swam half way back to England in the process. Thankfully panic over, my swimming is also going in the right direction! It was also possibly the coldest swim I’ve ever done. After chipping the ice off my feet in T1 I managed to pull together a strong bike/run and get my first win of the season. A nice confidence boost .
The Ironman 70.3 World Champs now rotate every year and 2015 saw the first World Champs in Europe. Zell am See was chosen as the race venue and if you follow any triathlete on Twitter/Instagram the chance is you’ve seen how incredibly stunning it is as a venue. Truly beautiful.
At first I wasn’t sure I would race the 70.3 World Champs, it’s within six weeks of the build to Kona and as my first attempt at Kona this year I’ve wanted to give it my best shot. I decided to race and I’m glad I did. I was fairly disappointed with my swim. As a World Champs (meaning more toes to draft on) I had hoped I’d be able to find a toe, but thanks to some tactical errors at the start, I swam solo and exited the water further down the field than I’d expected. Onto the stunning bike course; I was very happy with how my bike felt. Feeling strong throughout without getting caught up in any heroics (if you haven’t ridden that power before, the chance is you won’t be able to come race day) and worked my way up to a top ten position. At about 85km my whole world fell apart when I got a five minute penalty for overtaking and then cutting in too soon causing the girl behind to break. I was gutted. My first penalty. At a World Champs.
Photo Credits: Marcel Hilger
I looked on the bright side and took my five minute rest just before T2. Although it’s incredibly frustrating seeing the girls you overtook at 5km come rocking past, I thought back to a year watching Kona when it seemed just about everyone got penalties (including the eventual winner, I think?). I have no idea what position I started the run in. I knew I was far down. To be honest I didn’t want to know. At first my head was out of the race but as I pushed on and realised a top 10 was on the cards I began to find my run legs. I finished in a credible 7th feeling really positive about where my fitness is going into Kona.
Fast forward a few weeks and I’m officially in Ironman Zombie mode. I’ve had some incredible sessions, I’ve had some not so incredible sessions, but I can honestly say I’ve never been as fit as I am now. Kona will be my third Ironman and the first one that I’ve prepared for without working a day job. Having 100% focus on training is incredible and I think having balanced work with training for so long I think I possibly appreciate it more. It’s quite easy to motivate yourself when I compare my previous office with my current office.
It’s now less than two weeks until I head to Kona, until then you’ll find me turboing next to the swimming pool (that’s not a joke!)
Of course... I was lapping the IM World Champ here!!