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.
I’ve spent this week in one-week training camp organised by our triathlon federation. It was good to change surroundings (and climate), renew old friendships and make some new friends.
Conditions in Zadar were excellent. Good weather, nice pool and great roads without much traffic. I’m like a pig in a mud when riding the bike in a new area.
The plan was to head to Mallorca as soon as possible and travel to first few races from there (probably Challenge Dubai and Ironman South Africa). However, I had a problem with my Cervelo bike and filed a warranty claim 2 months ago. What was supposed to take 7-10 days is still not resolved so all my plans are currently on hold. I hope it won’t take much longer to get the bike.
Last week big part of Croatia was hit by a snowstorm. This is not unusual for this part of the year, but unusual thing was that it snowed in parts of the country that rarely see any snow (in some parts it was 17 years since last snowfall). I found some excellent photos on crometeo.hr forum, and we all know that pictures are worth a thousand of words (so below you can see 3000 of them, words not pictures :))
Even my hometown got 25 cm of snow. I always loved snow (I tend to love things that are rare), but this was the first time that I was actually happy it didn’t snow too much in Zagreb (my current residence). There were only a couple of centimeters which made Sunday’s long run a bit slower but also a bit more interesting.
Training is going really well, but there’s nothing spectacular to report. One more week of swim-run, big volume, focus and there will be a switch to more balanced schedule. Can’t wait…