Done it! How was it? Good! Not the performance that I chased but at least a good result! 5minutes less than the other year. But looking at each fraction 10min better!! So… Where I lost 5 minutes!? In the changing area… But let’s start from the beginning.
The day before was cold. Freezing. And the day of the race even worst, it started raining in the early morning.
The water was 14.9 degree Celsius. I started panic! It was so damn cold that I was afraid of not finish the swimming. I had even the neoprene cap with me but (thanks to a non-athlete suggestion) I luckily did not used it. Yes, it was so damn cold that even if I approached the water with the firsts I took almost 10minutes to actually jump in the water to get to the starting line, but the cap was too much. I would have had my head too hot with fog in the goggles if wearing the cap.
Anyway, as I said, I went in front of the small bridge to get in the water with the firsts, but I decided to jump at the last minute to avoid a waiting position for ten minutes, freezing. There were almost 100meters between the bridge (where enter) and the starting line and I used all the centimeters to warmup and lose time as much as possible. Wise choice. I was warmer and ready at the countdown. BANG! As usual I took the first group but I was so afraid of the cold water and my swim condition (I trained a lot less and I felt really not ready nor fast in the water) that I tried to get the draft of some guys. The swim course was pretty easy: go and back. As usual I had the first 300/400mt fast-pace with consequent “hard-shoulders”. A couple of backstroke helped to relax the shoulders and see the situation behind and back.
At the turn back, I saw a good distance between me and the chasing group, but I knew that I had to boost a bit the way back. And so my “draft-buddy”! He increased the pace the last 500mt and we exit the waters together.
Only after the race I realized to be 3rd of my wave (age group until 29 years old).
I ran as fast as possible to warm up the legs and not lose time.
But in the changing tent..
My hands were not warm and my brain in a “hurry-up” mindset because I knew that I needed to not lose time. And as usual, more you are afraid of losing time, more you burn energy and time. I couldn’t fit the upper part of the body (yes… That is unusual… You should wear the upper body already under your swim suite.. But I decided before start to not have the wet upper part of the body on the bike leg. I usually suffer of stomach cramps and having the stomach wet on cross wind would have dedtroyed me). It was a good choice since the weather was really cold and windy but I panicked once my arm was not getting inside the vest. I don’t even know how many athlete passed me. 15 maybe 20! Once the vest was on I was so relieved that I started running but I forgot my bike shoes and socks! So… A disaster!
Here the 5 minutes loss!
I jumped on the bike after a good dose of anger! The bike course had no secret for me and I really bited the road in the first loop. I studied all the slopes and the turns to get the maximum and even with the wet road I really pushed! I indeed reached my record in the long descent! 74km/h!
The second lap was a small fault. In a sense that I felt a bit of fatigue on my quads and I decided to not push too hard as the first lap.
Result? Three minutes less than the past year.
Reminder for the next year: the nutrition strategy was perfect! Three half bars divided into the first and half loop and 3 gels for the last half. Actually I used just 2 gels but the third was for backup.
The drinking: mostly water (2/3 bottles) and one of electrolites. Usually I drink more electrolites but this time I felt a bit of nausea for all that salty and sweet taste.
The T2 went better even if I deliberately deicided to spare a bit of time to change the wet socks, avoiding blisters.
The first five 5km were a nightmare, I had the calvs hard like stones. I thought that maybe the compressing socks would have helped but after the first five kms the legs started feeling better.
I never stopped or had a real crisis like in 2015, but I ran too damn slow (slower than my usual standards)! Fear! Fear or having a crisis! I literally had this thoughts for 18km from the T2!
I ran with breaks!!!
I knew very well the course so I could manage the pace, but all was set on a “feeling-mode”. I had no pace meter, I had a watch but I couldn’t be able to really calculate the pace. (The days before I was not able to manage the gps watch to function for more than 3,5hours! Bad settings, too signals.. No idea… Maybe because I needed to buy a good 920garmin and not this fancy-jogging vivoactive!)
In the end, I accelerated just the 2 last kms, when the race was already done and I was afraid to not beat my record.
I did seven minutes better in the run! So really a good result! But I was disappointed by the bad management of the transistions! Really… A shit!
For the next time:
– be less scared
– follow the plan to improve the result
– get a gps-watch to get the pace
– force the first kms on the run to warm faster the calfs and the legs
– verify if the compressor socks on the calfskin benefit
– pro more transitions bike-run to have a better biomechanics change