You can always judge how happy I am with my race by the amount of time it goes from it to the report. Obviously, I’m not very happy with Ironman 70.3 Aix. I hope it was just a bad day and not a more serious problem.
The swim went ok. I haven’t lost too much time, but on the other hand, there was way too many guys in front of me. During the first half of the bike I felt pretty good. Not sure how good you can feel while pushing your limits, but I felt like I’m riding well and the power numbers were not too bad either. During the second half of the ride someone shouted that I’m 10 minutes behind the leader. I didn’t feel so good any more.
After disappointing first 2 legs, I wanted to have a good run. First lap was ok and when I wanted to pick it up in the second lap I got a stitch in my stomach that forced me to jog. That stitch stayed there until the end of the race.
I was much more happy with the video then the race
First chance to check if Aix was just a bad day comes this Sunday. I’m racing Croatian championship in middle distance triathlon in Petrcane. Two years ago I won Croatian championship in olympic distance triathlon there, so I hope I’ll still have only good memories of that place after this weekend.
I raced two times during the past weekend. On Saturday I had national championships in olympic distance triathlon, and on the next day team-relay championships.
Swim is crucial in draft-legal events and this time I swam well. I got out of water in second group, 1:40 min behind the lead group of four. It’s a bit funny as this time I started at what felt much easier intensity and swam much better than in my last race. I’m faster when I swim at 90% intensity than when swimming at 100%.
We worked well on the bike and after 10km we caught all swim escapees. I did a few attacks hoping that one or two stronger cyclists could join me, or that I could maybe go solo. All my attempts were marked and I decided to wait for the run. Those attacks reduced the size of our group but all main contenders were still there.
After rusty transition I had to make up some time. I hit the front about 1km into the run. One kilometer later I only had Italian Butturini for company. I planned to attack on the uphill section at the mid-point of second lap, but Butturini started to lose contact before that, at around 6km mark. Last 4km seemed to last forever but I slowly increased my lead and managed to win my first national championship title at this distance.
Next day we had team relay race. This was the first time we had this type of race in Croatia and first time for me to race in such event. Every team is made of 2 woman and 2 man competitors. Each of them has to do 300m swim, 6,5km bike and 1,8km run before next team member takes over and does the same distance. It was a fun event. My team finished 2nd, but the title stayed in the club as we made 2 strong teams.
On Sunday I’m racing again. This time European championships at middle distance at Challenge Rimini.
This past Saturday I competed in Croatian championship in cross duathlon. While completing my entry form, few days before the race, I saw that I’m now in “seniors 2” category (30-39 years). I thought my aging problems were solved by not counting years any more, so this came as a little shock. Next year our federation will have “elite” licences so this problem will be solved.
Meteorological (March 1st) and astronomical (March 20th) spring arrived but we’re still waiting for temperature related spring, so we had cool weather with northerly wind and temperature hovering around 5C. It snowed the day after so this was not so bad.
First run was 3,4 km long and included one section over beach known for its speed killing and endurance draining skills. I managed to separate myself and entered the first transition 13 seconds before chasing group of four.
We had two lap bike course with 2 technical sections per lap. Those with better MTB riding skills had an advantage and yet the course was not too challenging for beginners. I’m not one of those with good MTB skills as I rarely use it for training, so the plan was to avoid hitting the trees on technical parts and go hard on flat sections.
I held the lead untill the end of the first lap. The chase group, in the meantime, halved in size. After the first technical section in the second loop one guy with MTB background passed the group and caught me. We rode together until the next technical section where he gave me a lesson on riding a MTB. On the next, flat part of the course, I managed to take back most of the time lost and entered T2 in second place only 5 seconds behind the leader.
After quicker than planned transition I went after the leader. When people started shouting “helmet”, I realized why the transition was so quick. I forgot to take off the helmet. Going back was not an appealing option so I decided to leave it on until the finish line. I took the lead not long after T2 and held it untill the end.
This is my second national champion title and not a bad way to open a new racing season.
Last Saturday I took part in Croatian sprint duathlon championships. There were four of us in the lead group and I was setting the pace for the first 4km of the run. During the last kilometer one guy made a big acceleration. Unfortunately I was the only one from our group that couldn’t match the pace and I was left in no mans land.
Leading trio was 15s ahead in T1. Once on the bike I was very close to catching them. So close that I hadn’t put my feet into shoes until half way point. But I lacked that little bit of extra speed and couldn’t close the gap. By T2 they managed to increase the lead by further 15s. Second run was too short to change anything and I finished in 4th place.
This weekend I’ll race half marathon in Zagreb and I hope to improve my PB which was set exactly one year ago in Eindhoven (1.13.50h). Interesting thing is that booth races are held the day after Ironman World Championship in Kona.