With the temperatures slowly fading to more sustainable 30's, my trainings in September became a lot better, gaining back my lost strength and endurance. I planned to race three events - sprint triathlon, mountain trail run and halfironman triathlon. As my focus in last 3 months was primarily on running, having just few bike rides and almost no swimming sessions, i knew the triathlons are gonna be a bit painful. But this sport has a special place in my heart, i love the community and the buzz of the triathlon transition area, so i decided to still give it a shot, as it fits nicely in my training programme as a sort of a crosstraining session :)
The month of September started nicely, as i was honored to become a LaceLocker advocate for Cyprus. I wrote about this little gadget in my last blog, over the last few weeks it just proved to me to be a very valueable part of my kit - make sure you check out http://www.lacelocker.com !
Larnaca Sprint Triathlon
So - to the races! First on the list was the sprint triathlon on 21st of September. It had a special ring to it for me, as it was happening almost directly under the windows of my appartment in Larnaka, right at the seacoast in the town centre. My better half Andry also took part as a relay team runner and she performed great as always - with a sub 4:00min/km paced run she helped her team finish in the 4th place! Here she is crossing the finish line:
My race was a bit less successful :), but i enjoyed it very much. Started with a shocker when i realised 10 minutes before the start that my Garmin's battery was flat, so i was to race "blind" - which is not always a bad thing, but i'm quite a 'numbers guy', so i was a bit sad about it. The swim was on the main city beach, which is very shallow, so it took a while of water-running to get to swimming :) I knew from the first meters it's gonna be a struggle, but i managed somehow and got out of water in the last group of swimmers. Following was a bike leg on a very short loop, with a 1k section of cobblestones - bit of a Paris-Roubaix sensation. I managed to keep my planned avg speed around 30kph and backed it up with an OK run - final time 1:15:11 , which made me quite satisfied.
Troodos Magical Mystery Tour
Next on the list, week after, was another race from Mountain Madness series - "Troodos Magical Mystery Tour". It was almost 20km trail race, very hilly (over 1km ascend/descend), mostly technical single track with this lovely profile:
As the name "Mystery Tour" suggest, we didn't know the race route until the last night before the race, so i was unable to do my usual homework of rendering the route elevation profile. I started a little bit too fast, and after first 6km with 600m ascent my heart was trying to jump out of my chest :) But i managed to pull it together and finished in 2:43 , securing 13th place, in the better half of the field :) I was satisfied with my performance, legs are getting stronger and there is definitely a good progress with my training for the Arctic Ultra.
K1Man halfironman triathlon
This was the third time i was attending this well organised race by K1 Triathlon club. It's always a highlight of the autumn racing, but also very challenging.
Swim was a classic survival mode for me, but 1.9km in 47 minutes was an ok time, considering that this year i've been swimming only at the races and no other training at all :) I quickly transited to the bike, got in the nutrition and started the fight with the first climb. On the 90km course there were four challenging climbs, which were slowly sucking the power from my legs. Last 20km of the bike leg i realised i started to slow down significantly, fighting the headwind and the last steep uphill, and i knew the running won't be pleasant. The final leg consisted of five 4.2km loops - after battling the first one i started cramping badly in my right calf, but Andry mixed me a strong magnesium coctail and after a while problem was fixed. Now the only enemy were my inner daemons, telling me how lovely it would be to walk a little bit.. Here is where Andry stepped into the game again - i don't know how the girl did it, but everytime i slowed down to walk she suddenly popped out of nowhere shouting encouraging words and forcing me to start running again :) I still managed only 2:17 run(crawl) split, but it would be much worse without her, my mind was broken after the bike already. Overal i finished in 6:21, which is far behind my PB, but i had a great day as always out there. My triathlon racing was always more of a personal challenge, rather then actual competing with the others - these guys are really really fast and they work very hard for it.
To win is to finish:)
Plans for upcoming weeks
I am still following my training plan for the 100Miler, averaging 300-330km of running in last months. I would love to finish my personal challenge of 3000km in one year, i still have over 800km left, but with the current pace i should be able to make it by the end of the year. I will probably take part in two more races - Aphrodite Half Marathon on 23rd of November and the final race of Mountain Madness on 30th of November. In December we will go back to Slovakia for 10 days with Andry for our final "arctic" bootcamp, and also to spend Xmass with my family. Hoping for a loads of snow and sub 0 temps :)
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