29. juni 2009

Mission completed!

Sorry for late update from the race, the internet at my hotel is not working. Here is the short story, pictures will follow later.

A very crowded swim start, a lot of beats and kicks when almost 3000 starts at the same time. Other athlets all over, felt I didn't get enogh air - as usual in these starts. Relaxed after a while, and completed the swim without using too much power. 1hour9minutes were slower than expected, but everybody used long time. And when I saw all the other bikes still standing when I picked mine, I realized it was a good swim. (I'll never become a good swimmer).
Passed a lot of my competors on the first 20km flat part of the bike leg, then the hills started, first some minor (4-5km),, a bit flat and downhill then THE hill - 21 km up to 1120meters. Started conservative, using low gear in the heat (30 centigrades). Still 110 km left on the top where I speeded up and bypassed a lot other cyclists, then partly flat and some minor hills, got a bit cramp in one of them. slowed down a bit, and it helped. Then the long, fast decents - speed 60-70kph, except in some of the sharp turns. Noticed the cramp noe and then, and took it easy the last 20flat km. Even if I didn't push 100%, the time 5hours 15minutes for the 180km hilly bike part were better than expected.
Due the cramps I started the run carefully, just let my legs move without pushing along Promenade d'Angles. But I checked the speed - fast enough. Felt the cramp now and then, and pain in the stomack after each aid station (a glass of Coke). Just ignored it and followed my plan, coke and some salt tablets. Got more exhausted and painful legs, needed my mental strenght too keep going in the heat. Due the stomack and cramp I didn't start my final kick as usual with 10km to go, I just kept going and increased the speed significant the last 3km. A shocking good run, 3h21min is my second fastest marathon run(as part of an Ironman).
Total time 9h53min, number 71 of the 3000 competitors. With a lot thougher competitors than last year, I was only number 5 in my age group (358competitors in M45-49) - and I am qualified for the World Championship in Kona, Hawaii October 10.
I felt very optimistic when I stated my goal for a sub 10 race - 9.53 is superb!

And my family is happy; looking forward to a 2 weeks holiday in Hawaii!

Today I'm just relaxing - a trip to the beach, cycling around. Is of course very tired, hurting legs and blisters on my feet. Almost no sleep tonight because of the pain. Gets thougher for every year....

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