samedi 31 octobre 2009

The Challenge of the Year

I am seriouly considering the Long Distance Triathlon (May 23) and then the Ironman (Oct 3) in Barcelona!!
Je réfléchi sérieusement tenter la Longue Distance suivi du Ironman à Barcelona en 2010!!

Je suis fou? Mad?

mardi 27 octobre 2009

HALF EVOLUTION CHALLENGE COSTA DE BARCELONA-MARESME 23 mai 2010 on and up in terms of category - Long Distance (1.9k swim, 90k bike, 21k run).

I'll be looking for an Olympic Distance closer to home before then, and maybe a Marathon.... but i'm definitely hooked on triathlon!

Je cherche aussi un Court Distance avant cette date, et peut-être un Marathon.... je suis accro au tri, c'est confirmé!!

mardi 20 octobre 2009

Triathlon de Barcelona

What a weekend!!
Arrived in Barcelona on Friday with Esther - beautiful weather!! Beautiful Esther!!!!!! We spent the afternoon wandering around Barcelona....eating tapas, oggling at the sights and people... it's a beautiful city - pity i'd forgotten my camera!!!!!!!!!
Saturday we did the same around the beach and hotel, collecting the race number, looking at the course and swim area... i paddled in the sea - a bit cold!!!!!
Sunday  - woke up at 6 to a cold, dark, blustery morning.. not ideal. The Hotel breakfast room (now this was a 4-Star Hotel - Princess - close to the Olympic Village)  was full of quietly concentrated triathletes - Irish, English, American, German... one Irish guy ate everything on offer on one plate - in about 5 minutes - he thought the triathlon meant breakfast, lunch and dinner at one sitting i think. He was happy enough anyway....

The atmosphere at the Transition area was a bit tense -
it was still dark and the wind blowing. At the swim start
the waves were crashing down on the beach, and it was
clear that the first part was not going to be easy - the
elite runners were due to start at 7.55, but at 8.15 they
were still waiting for the waves to calm down. Finally at 8.20
they set off....I was in Wave 03, white swim hats, and
we finally got into the waves long after 8.30....I had my
plan in my head - head to the right as the tape dropped to
avoid the kicks and elbows, which are typical as everyone
tries to advance. I wanted to keep out of the washing machine
effect,  but this proved pointless as the waves and the swell of the water were doing a good enough job of it without the swimmers!!!
I dived under the first two big waves and over another, trying to get my bearings - the huge buoy at 450m.It was difficult to swim in a straight line - something i'd trained at in the summer in Barcelona already... so i knew what i was in for - which makes a change!
I finally realised where i was when i heard the bell ringing on the buoy - i had gone way too far to the right, and so had to stop and check before making a 90° turn towards the buoy marking the first left turn - then a straight 700m or so before turning left again and back to the beach.... not easy.
  Overall, the swim was brilliant though... i had a really good rhythmn

 going and was kicking and breathing well.  I wasn't bothered too much by others swimming into me, and when someone did get too close I kicked harder to let them know i was there... a good tactic. Anyway, I couldn't stop smiling to myself as i really got into my stride - looking  up to my right and seeing all the other swimmers,  then to my left with the coast in sight. I was really enjoying it and though i felt pleased to feel the sand under my feet at the end, i could have gone on for much longer.
28m30 on the clock - quite good for me (my reference being 27mins in the Seine at Paris). Position 503

Esther was in the crowd waiting on the beach and shouted to me -  i was laughing all the way to the bike. I wasn't laughing long though - I must be the slowest triathlete in history in the transition area - what goes on first after the wetsuit is off? Mine went like this - socks, shoes, helmet... number gel into back pocket - it was windy so i decided to put a hat under the helmet - helmet off, hat on, helmet on.... very windy, i'll put a windbreaker on, so n° belt off, jacket on, belt back on, energy gel into jacket pocket; ready? Bike down off rail, get out of transition area... forgot to zip jacket up - too late to stop - too many bikers now - on bike, do jacket as i begin the ride....
Get this sorted out.... nearly 5 minutes here!! I should be aiming at 2!!

Once on the bike and the jacket zipped everything was well!!The route was good - a nice cycling surface as the sound of the tyres revealed... a bit blustery as i head up
the Diagonale for the first time, but as i head back down the wind
is right against me.

So i said to myself,  get the head down and get pedalling, you're
in  Barcelona!!!! I managed to keep up with a group of riders, but as we u-turned i was Mr Cautious - too many recent falls
have made me a bit race shy i think... i'd rather pedal slowly than be picking bits of road out of my leg - i later passed quite a few who'd fallen - one onto the tramway lines on the Diagonale.

 It's too far to travel to fall off the bike... quite a few flat tires too
by the look of things - so i'm quite happy to finish the 3 laps of 13.3km in 1h09. Position 661 - cycling still remains my weak point !!!

The transition to the run was much quicker, but i still need to learn to tie my laces without looking....
After the Paris Tri I had decided in advance to take the first 2 kms slowly and then try and speed up....
this is how i'd trained (Friday had been Pool - Track sessions).
It was hard at the beginning as the muscles (especially the thighs, calfs as well as the back)  stretch out again after the tightening on the bike. By the time i'd got to the first drink station (at 2k), i'd already begun to feel like i was running well, well i felt like i was running...... I took a few sips of water and headed towards Barcelona - and the Ciutidella Parc, passing the Olympic Towers on the left. This was KM 4, and coming out of the Parc KM 5 - I was running well now and passing lots of runners. KM 6 came up at the Arc Triomf - with a water station at the bottom of the square. A few sips again, to take the dryness away.
As i run this kind of distance i always imagine i'm at the end of the 100Km de Millau - so at KM 6 i'm saying "this is KM 96, only 4 to go", and this makes the last 4 seem like nothing. I was still passing runners as we turned left after the Ciutidella now on my left, the Olympic towers now on the right.
A short steep hill (about 100m) was waiting here... i took it well but slowed for a few seconds to get my breath again as it flattened out. KM 7 right ahead now.
I could just see ahead of me the groups of cyclists who had passed me as we arrived at the transition area - Alicante Triathlon Club. AT KM 8 i caught them and went past them. 2KM to go - nearly there!! At Millau I would be crossing the bridge back into the town - i still see it clearly, i've arrived already, i'm telling myself.

I really try to get my legs going now - the final effort - no problem. KM 9 - the descent to the beach in sight
ahead, onto the beach walk, the Finish line in sight...
Two of the Alicante group go past me... i can't catch
them, but i'm still going past others. One final sprint -
yes, i can ... there's Esther shouting to me.... the clock
shows 2H37.... this is 1min slower than Paris.. but wait,
that time MUST be from when the first Elite swimmers
set off??? I ask an official - Si, si, he tells me... i'm trying
 to work out my time as i get the medal!!
Finally I'm at 2h26m17s - 10minutes faster than Paris... so i'm happy with that. But I'm really satisfied with the run... i enjoyed it and kept a good speed going:
41m44s for 10km to finish around 500 in all. This is pleasing because I thought i'd lost the ability to go at anything like this speed over 10km (not that it's particularly fast...) - 4'14"/km. I passed over 160 runners for a position 406 in the run-  so a big improvement on Paris (47mins).

A short film from you tube:
Molt Béé