Frankfurt Ironman, European Championships - 4th place
It was a shorter than ideal short build-up, a few minor interruptions from sickness and bruises, and in hindsight, I might have liked to pick an Ironman towards the end of my Altitude training block. But, how often do we get the perfect race lead-in, getting to the start and the finish line is basically part of the race, pros and age groupers alike.
Overall 4th at a Continental Championship event is epic. And I loved the process. Logging some big run milage and certainly not skimping on leg speed, the mental prep, and excitement of a new event and the race prestige and atmosphere. I gained a lot.
However, I can’t help but feel a bit defeated by the distance. I swam awesome on the feet of one of the best swimmers in our sport. I biked great to start, knew I was pushing the envelope, but also knew that usually pushing at the start balances out to an ideal average heart rate, power and IF, right on the limit of my threshold, to run well off the bike. I ate a well-calculated balance of calories, surprisingly didn’t enjoy my mars bar ‘treat’, that in the 39deg heat had turned to gel consistency, but had no problems keeping a healthy gut until 35km mark on the run. Things went downhill (except for the course) at about 120km on the bike where my legs simply dissolved. The magical second wind I’m often gifted with didn’t come this time. I started the run with the frame of mind of a whole new race, aware of how much you can gain (or lose) over the 42km. I was conservatively comfortable and optimistic the first 10km. At 22km (when I normally would be finished) the realisation I was only halfway through the marathon hit me with unbelievable devastation and emotion I drew a few tears. I reminded myself that food releases happy hormones and that post-race regrets are so much greater than my current pain. Followed by a few cheers from familiar faces I managed to climb the ladder out of my temporary meltdown. Maybe a semi-dramatic detail of the day for a professional, but it's all relative.
No one enjoys being beaten by an inanimate thing. And not a super accurate depiction of my form. So for sure, I’ll be back for another shot towards the end of this year. Kona is still a very cool goal.
Wilier, Venice, Italy
Hills district Camp, St Moritz, Switzerland
I also had to discover the hard way, that the combination of a couple of easy weeks and the novelty of delicious bread, cheese and chocolate, make your running shorts look more like a thong. #raceweightmotivation. Since then, I’ve had a nice array of 1min - 10min heart rate, speed and power PBS up mountains and on my favourite gravel track run loop.
5150 Zurich, Switzerland - 3rd place
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