After a bit more than half a year of triathlon training I am now a proud Half Ironman 70.3 Finisher! Hell yeaaaah!
Today we swam 1.900m, cycled 90km and ran 21.1km in the Lisboa International Triathlon under clear blue skies and a very light breeze making it a bliss to go through the bike course in a very decent 30km/h average (at least for someone still averaging 27km/h a couple of weeks ago).
So we arrived at the location around 6.30am to place the bikes and all the stuff (bike and running shoes, socks, fuel, etc) on the transition park. After a short queue we were allowed to the park where we had our names placed on the bike racks. Everything was properly setup around 7.30am and we then moved near the swimming spot and watched the start of the Olympic distance race. Then at 8.15am we finally entered the water and the race started at 8.20am.
As I had wrote before when it all started, swimming seemed like the biggest challenge, but as training progressed I quickly realized that the bike is where it really hurts, because it is the longest leg of the race, so it is basically where your performance matters the most.
Anyway, last Sunday we did race the Triatlo do Estoril under lots of gusty winds and I felt like I was going really slow the whole course. All the teenagers and 20 something raging on the bikes, going head to head and drafting a lot, made me feel a slow turtle on the course.
Today it was a different story. The swim was OK even if I could only get into my rhythm after the first 600m or so, when the pack spread. Also there was no wind slowing me down and the running distance was something I am adapted to, so I was able to cycle the 90km in about 3 hours and then I was still able to push through the half marathon (plus I was on my backyard where I know by heart all the little cracks on the pavement – really). And it does make a difference because since I am not strong on the water nor on the bike I could at least take advantage of my experience with running to finish with a reasonable overall time for a first timer.
I was very happy to find all the personal effort and commitment coming to a good result. The goal was really only to finish it right, which I did and I managed to beat my finishing time expectation for quite a lot. I was not worried with the time; I even kept my bike computer on the odometer all the time so I wouldn’t be influenced by the average speed.
I have made a couple of mistakes (for future reference: I forgot my bike gloves and fuel for the run on the basket and I left my running shoes laces undone) but I have learned a lot (also for future reference: I don’t need so much fuel or fluid on the bike).
My training buddy, who I challenged for the face 6 months ago when he hadn’t still ran a marathon also did finish with a very good performance.
Again the proof that with hard work and commitment anything is possible.
And now I am already looking for the next challenge. Let’s see what the future brings!
Overall Position – 157
Age Group Position – 33
Total time – 05:07:17
– Position – 178
– Time – 00:36:17
– Position – 185
– Time – 00:02:32
– Position – 247
– Time 02:55:40
– Position – 140
– Time – 00:01:41
– Position – 52
– Time – 01:31:05