I've been home for 3 weeks and enjoying some down time. It was great to be able to sleep in for the school holidays and relax. I'm back into the swing of things at work this past week and it was good to be able to do it without being tired from training. I have also enjoyed working out at the gym and catching up with friends. With 1 more week off and I'm going to be ready to get back into it, although I'm not looking forward to those early mornings!!!
3. The Roth Challenge was next. Hearing so many great stories about Roth this was a race I really wanted to do. It was a star studded field and had a great atmosphere. Unfortunately the weather wasn't great and was bucketing down from the moment I got up. The swim was 1 loop in a canal about 12km from the town centre. I was 10th out in 53 minutes along side former World Champion, Leanda Cave. The bike was wet and cold. It was 2 loops with an extra section back into Roth and T2. I felt good early on the bike but lost about 10 minutes with a flat at the 35km mark. A couple of kms later it didn't feel quite right so I stopped at the bike mechanic stand and they put a new front wheel in pretty quickly. I got back into a good rhythm and continued. The spectators over the bike course were awesome. The famous "Solar" climb was lined with cheering fans despite the rain and the other climbs had commentary and music too. I had a tough time over the last 60km feeling the effects of the awful weather and by the time I got to T2 I was out of the top 10. However once onto the run I felt totally different. The run was along a trail that followed the canal with a few sections through towns with more commentary and music blaring. I managed to pass a few girls who had passed me on the bike and I was holding a good pace. I finished strongly, trying to catch fellow Aussie Charlotte Paul who I had in sight but couldn't quite catch. I crossed the line in 12th place stopping the clock at 9.41.36, my Ironman PB. My marathon split of 3.16.33 was also a PB. So even in a day with a couple of mishaps I was stoked with my race. The race finish at midnight was amazing. The fireworks were the best I have ever seen. I'm looking forward to racing in Roth again one day.
4. The final race for the trip was Ironman Canada. Although I recovered well from Roth, I didn't have an ideal lead into IMC. 3 weeks out I hit my head pretty hard and had multiple layers of stitches. A forced rest enabled the cut to heal well and I had the stitches out a week later. However that wasn't the end of my troubles. The race started well. Penticton is a beautiful place and the swim was 1 lap in the lake. I had a great swim exiting the water with the leading group. The bike course was also 1 lap with basically - a pretty quick section to start, followed by a big climb, rollers, an out and back section, another tough climb, and a fast finish into T2. Although I couldn't go with the girls early I still felt like I was riding ok. On the out and back section I could see that the lead girls were riding well, but the rest didn't seem to be too far ahead. But around the 140km mark my back started playing up. Over the next 40km I could hardly ride on my aerobars and therefore lost speed. I started the run and didn't feel too bad on the flat but as soon as I went up a rise my back was hurting. By the 20km mark I was in too much pain to continue and had to stop. Needless to say I was pretty devastated. It turned out I had a couple of discs out of place, most likely a result of the impact from my head injury. Looking forward, I can't wait to have a go at IMC again one day, It was a great course and a beautiful place.
It's great to be home after a fantastic 16 weeks traveling around the world. It was fantastic to have the opportunity to race in some of the best and biggest races on the Ironman circuit. Both the Quelle Roth Challenge and the Canadian Ironman lived up to the hype. I also competed in the Switzerland 70.3 and a local Swiss race. We visited a number of places around the world and managed to do a few touristy things along the way. The places we visited included, Montreux and Vevey in Switzerland, Roth and Frankfurt in Germany, New York, Los Angeles and Las Vegas in the USA, Toronto and Pentinton in Canada and Raratonga in the Cook Islands. So if anyone needs any travel advice don't hesitate to ask. We met some awesome people and learnt a lot about traveling and most of all traveling on a small budget.
My results were mixed while over seas. I was very happy with my middle two races, a little disappointed with my last one and either way on my opening race. Below is a brief description of each race.
1. Ironman 70.3 Switzerland: This race was a bit of an experiment as we had only arrived 3 days earlier. We did an organised practice ride (1 lap 45km of a 2 lap course) a few days before the race and the the terrain was hilly and the pace was hot. The day of the race the lake was 15 degrees (freezing) I had an excellent swim and exited the water in about 5th position. The bike proved to be even harder than i had imagined and i felt pretty ordinary for most of the bike, i exited the bike transition in about 16th with a lot of work to do. I didn't feel great on the run but managed to work into it and ran 1hr 31min for 21km which i was happy with. I finished 15th overall (At the end of the race i concluded that most of my time in Switzerland would be spent on my bike going up hills).
2. My second race was a local race about 40km from Montreux in Yverdon Les Bains. The race was an olympic distance draft legal race and i was going into it with plenty of tough bike miles in my legs. The day was a scorching 30 degrees but as it turned out i had a great race. The women started 5 minutes behind the men and i managed to catch all of the men bar 4 to record the fastest swim split of the day. I then found a good pack of men to work with on the bike and almost managed to break the hour for 40km. I also ran pretty strong and finished 11 minutes in front of the next female and 4th overall having run 38.30 for the 10km. The race was a good confidence booster for the coming weeks.
to be continued....