Ironman 70.3 St.Pölten
Race Splits: 00:32:31 | 02:38:05 | 01:28:26
Race Results: 04:47:35, 18th M30-34
My first race this season was a hard pill to swallow as it threw a lot of curve balls at me and didn't work out as planned.
I was excited to come back and race in St.Pölten, as I had a solid race there last year and given the good training I have done in Post and Pre Season, with an additional 2 week training camp, I felt like being in better shape than last year. I have had no injuries or sick days over the last 12 months, didn't miss much of my training and executed the plan very well (at least that what I think I have done haha)
This year's race had one significant big difference to last year: the weather and the conditions on the day. To be honest I underestimated what impact it could have, especially the cold and windy conditions. My excitment on race morning has disappeared given the fact that it was pouring down, the wind was blowing strong and the temperatures have dropped to below 10 degrees celcius. Anyway, I tried to ignore the weather and deal with the situation and circumstances.
I had a solid swim, 1 second slower than last year, I exited the water in 13th position. Transition was fairly smooth, although I lost a little bit of time as I put on some arm warmers which I thought might help against the cold.
The first 20km on this course are fast as you can ride along the highway hitting sometimes 50km/h or more. I was trying to get comfortable on the bike and letting my legs come to me which they didn't. I was shaking and freezing and felt so cold for the whole ride. Today I was just reading Matt's email about the impact the environment and the conditions can have on you and I first hand experienced that on the weekend.
I am a pretty small and skinny guy (170cm/59kg), not much fat on me :-) which is definitely a disadvantages. My muscles were not firing and I assume the limited amount of blood flowing to them explains why I just wasn't able to ride as I normally would. Pretty much after 40km I felt flat and exhausted from the cold. I just did the best I could to finish the ride. Towards the end things got better but I felt pretty empty coming to T2.
I tried to at least have a good run to finish off strong. It took me a couple of minutes until I felt my legs coming alive again and my body was warming up again. It was a good feeling and my confidence level and spirits were rising again. For the first 11km or so held a strong and sustainable pace. It wasn't feeling overly hard so I kept pushing. In all the excitment that I was feeling good, I totally forgot to consume enough calories.I just had 2 cliff shot blocks in the first 60 minutes of the run or so! Looking back, this was just such a rookie mistake which should not have happened. I paid the price.
Unfortunatelly at km 12 I also noticed pain in my left adductors which got worse as I continued. I was getting worried and was forced to slow down. I thought this is not the race to lay it all out and push through. I have a more important race coming up soon, so I just wanted to finish the race. I still managed a 1:28 half marathon, which is not too bad considering the circumstances. I know if I had fuelled better on the run I might have ended up with a much better time. Anyway a lot of lessons learnt to take away from this race.