Photo from Mount Royal, Frisco, Colorado.

"That is happiness; to be disolved into something complete and great. When it comes to one, it comes as naturally as sleep." - Willa Cather

Sunday, 12 May 2013

Mallorca ½ Ironman

So here we were in Mallorca with the HG tri club, on a trip planned around doing a ½ Ironman. I had promised myself lots of rest after the 100 miler last weekend ("no running for 10 days" - I could be quoted saying). But on Thursday, we took an easy bike ride on the 90k route and I realized I felt fine. And as long as we were here and I had signed up, I might as well give the ½ Ironman a go. I mean, I could always just drop out of the run.

Then on Friday, we had to spend hours doing various check in activities, and this involved lots of running back and forth from our  hotel with the baby jogger. And I realized- hm. My legs aren't even sore. It is interesting how running a really hard marathon can kill your legs for weeks, but an even-paced 100 mile maybe isn't as taxing. I would say, though, that my tendons - in many places- just feel worn down. (mostly my achilles and hamstrings).

This was a sold out race with over 3000 atheletes. Sounds exciting, but basically this meant lots of waiting in lines - for the registration, bike check in, chip pick-up, toilet, etc.

The Swim

Beautiful lagoon-type setting in Alcúdia. Sunny, no waves. Just perfect. The only problem was, there were well over 300 women in my wave start. Imagine jumping into a pool with over 300 women and everyone trying to swim at once. Total chaos. If I were a front-of-the-pack swimmer, I would have just swum ahead of the fray, but I am in the back half of the swim and I was caught behind women who I couldn't pass for the first half of the swim. It was so hard to get into a rhythm. I wish I knew what to do to avoid this - then I would tell  you, but it was kind of rough. The second half went things opened up.

Slow time of just over 42 minutes. But, really, what can I expect for not having been swimming more than once a month the last 6 months??

The Bike

THIS was the highlight of the race. I felt great and the course is nothing short of fantastic. There are around 2,800 feet of elevation change and these are pretty much all in one enormous climb up into the Tramantura Mountain Range and down again. Both climbing and descending are my forte in cycling, but on the long, flat stretch back to the finish, I had to settle for half of the people I passed repassing me on my rented road bike.

Bike time: 3:16

The run

Huge triathlons have really fun runs because there are so many cheering fans lining the route. Mallorca is no exception to this. What a fun atmosphere! I just ran an evenly-paced race, nothing to write home about. I felt fine, but no reason to push it, as this was just training.

Run time: 1:40:25

Lots of time was eaten up in the very, very long transition zone: transitions were around 7 and 5 minutes.

Total time: 5:53:25. (164th female/356)

It was a really good experience. The beauty of the course, the camaraderie of our tri club and the exciting atmosphere more than made up for the waiting around the day before. Plus, because our race numbers were made according to where we live, I ended up with a Danish flag on mine - and the support from the Danes from the sidelines was absolutely incredible. Wow! It almost felt like I was cheating using all of the good energy I was getting because of that flag. Thank you so much to all of the supporters on the course!

SR raced, too and had an incredible run in 1:22:58. He had a good bike, but difficulty in the wind with no tri-bar. (his total time was 5:32:26 One of the irritating things about triathlon is you have to buy a really high end tri bike in order to compete with the top athletes. (oh and you need to learn how to swim well. too ;o)). In my mind, the sport of triathlon would be a lot more fun if everyone were given the same type of bike to ride on at the start. I imagine Ironman would have more than enough money to provide these...

Now onto a day at the Alcúdia waterpark with the kids. And then back to run training the next few weeks with Ole. (we don't have the money or time to get serious about triathlon, but it's a fun sport).


cherelli said...

Niiiiice! What a beautiful location for a HIM! Unfortunately there is little you can do to escape the swim start chaos - even as a stronger swimmer (although I guess you can get out of the fray faster) but I've found starting a little wider (rather than in the middle) helps, even if it increases the distance by a few metres. Your ability to backup "big events" is awesome, enjoy your family holiday!

mmmonyka said...

HIM one week after a very hard 100 mile race?!? Are you crazy?:)

Sounds like a good race that is becoming popular. Now I am really looking forward to it next year (ok, i have not even done a half ironman so maybe i will hate it this year and then of course i will not fly to mallorca). I too will borrow a bike on site, but i will try to get a high end tri bike:)

What did you do in transitions???

sea legs girl said...

Mmmonyka, I am confident you will both love and do well at ½ IM Mallorca if you come.

The swim to bike transition involved covering about 1 km first in the wetsuit, the change, then running out with the bike. It took FOREVER! I feel like I have gotten really good at transitions and really don't do anything but what is necessary in them. But I looked at the first place guy's transitions now and they were 3 and 2 minutes so I'm obviously not using my time as well as I could!

sea legs girl said...

I am convinced now that the pros have a different setup in their transition zone because the head of our tri club is a transition pro and he took 6 and 4 minutes respectively.

PiccolaPineCone said...

Holy crap. I kept meaning to congratulate you on your 100 miler but kept not finding the time/right words (both to congratulate you and to get past the dreaded "prove you're not a robot" test)... I never thought I would get two congratulations behind! You are a machine. I truly don't understand how you do it. Maybe it really is a question of the old adage - the more you do, the more you CAN do. Anyway whatever it is, congratulations. That sounds like a damn fine HIM even without having run one of the toughest 100 milers in the world the week before.