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Wednesday
May312017

IM Lanzarote (31.05.17)

This was the second time that I have raced IM Lanza and on reflection I think that it was about a B/B+ kind of performance. A moderate swim, a less than moderate bike, and the run managed to be the redeeming feature!

Total: 9:44:29
Swim: 0:57:14
Bike: 5:37:18
Run: 3:03:53 

I'm not down on the race or my performance, finishing 2nd place is decent enough. It's just an evaluation of where I feel I am at this stage of the season and how I put the race together. The swim was on a par with the recent 70.3's and the Sailfish OWS the week before.

I was slow getting started on the bike. Ok, very slow, and my legs didn't start to come round until about 100/120km. It's a good job it is a 9-10h race is all I can say about that. The positive to take from the bike of course, is that the legs are there. If they weren't, there is no way that I would be getting stronger and kicking out more Watts in the last 80km. Now I 'just' need to tap into that power from the start. I'm confident that it is there and it will come through in due course with some more intensity training and mental conviction.   

Out on the run course and my legs were happy to pick up where they'd finished the bike. Firing. As I came into T2 on the bike I saw Lucy G and Jeanne not far ahead on the run course - in reality they were nearly a km down the road, but it seemed close! Having not had a bike split since about the half way point, it was encouraging to know that I wasn't too far behind. Anyway, carrot, stick, I ripped through T2 and continued the chase.  The first few km I was trotting along with a couple of AG guys, aware that it was 'a bit' fast and that my HR was 'a bit' on the high side but decided to relax and stick with the pace. We switched places a few times through a couple of aid stations and eventually one guy went ahead and dropped me and the other guy, and at about 5km he also dropped back so I was running solo. The HR was still on the high side, but I was coming up to passing Jeanne so kept the pace until I was clear of her. Another couple of km and I could see Lucy G a 90s/2min ahead of me so that was more encouragement. By this point I'd pretty much decided that I would continue to run the run as I'd started it, without thinking about the final kilometers and having faith that my body would go the distance without blowing up in the later stages of the marathon. Provided of course that I kept fueling and getting the water in at the aid stations. I would have liked the special needs aid station to be half or 2/3 of the way through the run course, but for some reason it was in the first km / 32km mark and wasn't much use to me for the strategy that I use to fuel. Hey-ho; carrying gels and aid stations was fine and I just kept counting down the kilometers, drinking at every aid station, trying to keep the cadence up and the HR down. I always tell myself on the run that "it's not over until it's over" and there is everything to race for right until the finish line.  The commentator felt otherwise though and announced to the world that I'd not catch Lucy by the finish as I came through the 30km mark. Er, thanks Till. A good job I wasn't looking to you for encouragement then. I however felt from Lucy C's previous marathon pacing and performances that the race was still on and kept running accordingly. Of course we know how the story ends; credit to Lucy for the win! But regardless, I'll not be changing my strategy of racing to the finish!

Oh look at that, two lines of commentary on the swim, five about the bike and an extensive paragraph on the run. How do you think I felt about the elements of that race?!

So what's next? It seems that the strategy of training races is suiting me well. The fitness is coming and I'm feeling robust. Initial plan at the start of the year was to race at IM Austria (PEWAG Team home race) and given my body is recovering well, I've entered 70.3 Luxembourg as another training race and that should lead me nicely into Austria at the beginning of July.  

A big thanks to everyone who is supportive of my triathlon endeavours. I know that trying to follow races online is an exercise in frustration management and seeing me finish 6th and 9th (at recent 70.3's) leaves some wondering how I'm doing physically and emotionally. But rest assured; I'm in a good place and I know that there is genuine and personal support there regardless of whether I win or lose (or am 1st loser ;). For that I thank you, it goes further than you might think. 

I know I'm a bit behind the moment with this report and there will be another blog soon about the training. Thanks as always for taking the time to check in and follow -

 

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