Day 1 after my race and I got the flu…
The only thing about having the flu is that laying on the couch give me a bit of time to do a write up of yesterdays New Jersey Kick Off Triathlon. It’s not the 65 degree water that is too blame for my condition. All of the family is more or less in the same state, so while the kids are coughing and watching “How to Train a Dragon” on the floor I get to stay on the couch with my laptop.
Yesterday started out at 4am. I could already feel that my body wasn’t 100%. I had that slight sensation of being a bit “off” but when a race is up, you don’t turn around and stay in bed.
I arrived at the race at 5:30 at what was felt like night, but after 10 min the first rays of sun started to come out and I could see that this would a beautiful day to race.
I got my area set up and got on my new wetsuit – quite a feat considering the very tight fit. But with some help from some of the co-tri guys out there I got the last 5 inches of zipper closed. Not all that was left was to try out the water. At around 65 degrees (18 Celsius) the water was the same (or a perhaps even a bit warmer) than the water back in Denmark on a typical summer day. It was a very interesting feeling swimming in a wetsuit and I could definetely feel the uplift from the suit.
After 10 min in the water, the race (and my second open water triathlon) started. I started out in 3-4 line and the first 100 yards felt fine. There was a lot of traffic but even though there was quite a bit of pushing and hitting I didn’t bother mee too much.
It wasn’t a very pretty swim. It more resembeled a desperate try to stay afloat. I didn’t get my breathing or arm movement right and after 200 yards I was out of breath… Bummer!
I had to do 100 yards of breaststroke being really angry with myself that I once againg was unable to keep up with the pack. But I realized that being to finish in a slower time was better than drowning on the spot. So I continued another 50 yards of breaststroke before I got my breath back and went back to the freestyle. At this point my body was much more comfortable and I was able to finish the swim doing freestyle in a relaxed pace and even pass one or two swimmers. I was 58th! in 14:00 min. out of the water. Not my finest hour, but I was glad that I had made the final strech doing freestyle.
The transition went fine with the only delay being some problems getting my one foot out of the wetsuit. It cost me 10-15 secs but overall I was pretty happy with T1 (1:15).
On the bike I soon got a nice rythm and started reeling in some of the guys in front of me. It was a very nice day with sun and no winds and a few km from the turn around I got a look at the first few guys. I kept counting riders and realized that I was around 30th at the turnaround. That wasn’t really satisfactory so I upped the pace on the way back towards T2 and passed 3-4 more guys before entering T2. At this point my legs felt fine even though my lungs were starting to remind my that the pace perhaps was a bit too fast. I ended up with doing the 22nd fastest time (28:31).
After T2 I went out on the first 2k feeling absolutely terrible. I had a lot of pain in my chest/stomach (not heart related tough) and my legs were not going as fast as I wanted. After 500m I had already gotten passed by a guy from my age group and at 2k he had 60-80m on me.
I instead tried to keep up with a guy from the 25-29 age group that kept the 4:25 pace. At that point I was sure that I basically had to settle with my slow 4:25km pace and the guy from my age group in front of me would be impossible to catch. But somehow my mind decided otherwise and told I told myself that I had to up the tempo even if that meant a risk of blowing up on the last km’s. So I did just that, moving away from the guy that I had been following and all of a sudden the distance towards my fellow age group rival didn’t expand. In fact at the turn around point at approx. 2.9 km it had descreased to 40-50m and all of sudden reeling him in didn’t feel impossible. At 4k my tempo was 4:12. At 5k it was 4:03 and all of a sudden I had passed my main competitor. As I passed him he said some encouraging words (Thanks!) and I answered him by going as fast as I could the last .75km doing it at a 3:56 pace. The time at the finishline read 1:08:46 with my run baing at 24:22 (27th fastest).
So overall a place as number 24 and a 3rd place in my age group.
On one hand I couldn’t have been happier with the mental side of the race, being able to harden up on both the swim and espicially the last part of the run.
On the other I feel terrible based on the slow swim that I had and my inability to keep up and finishing the swim part without relapsing into breaststroke.
And I did get a very nice beer glass for my effort that I instantly used for the one weekly beer that I allow myself. Thanks to JS Multisport for putting on an excellent race. Especially the chocolate cake at the end was a nice touch!
Next race is in 3 weeks! See you there!