Ironman Austria July 2011

Well, it has been a while, but Internet at my parent’s in Switzerland is not the greatest 🙂

It has been quite the summer, with me being able to visit my family in Switzerland, taking along all my five children!!! Getting there was so much fun, I realize how boring it is to fly on my own, LOL!

We got to Switzerland about two weeks before Ironman Austria, so it was great to train in the alps a bit. Also, I could not believe that I had access to a 50m outdoor swimming pool (FREE of charge for everyone!!!)

Very quickly July 3rd came and thank you to my Sister in Law for watching my three little ones, so I could have my oldest two with me 🙂

I felt pretty nervous going into the race, but I felt good. I lined up on the far outside for the swim, a few rows back from the front…BAD MISTAKE! People where not moving right away, so me pushing through, but too late, the faster swimmers where gone…what was I thinking? The rest of the swim was a fight with others, trying to overtake, being kicked, punched in the nose, so I lost a lot of energy right there. Heading into the canal, I thought the pace would pick up, but far from that, I knew then, that I would be behind my competition for sure.

Run to T1, change, all went ok. It was amazing how many people where cheering us on at the start of the bike, and I was especially happy to see my coach Barrie Shepley and Sean Bechtel, somehow they always managed to pop out and make me aware of them! It always makes me feel more confident 🙂

The bike in Austria is very fast, not flat, but you climb up short and descend long, and that gives you enormous speed. I only had one incident where I missed a turn and crashed straight into a barrier…was more careful the second loop. It was amazing to ride my Specialized (from Gears) and I was very lucky to use a disk wheel and a 808 Zipp (thank you so much Scott Thornton!) I definitely noticed the difference.

On my second loop at around 150km I started to feel bad. I tried to eat more, but it was a little late, but luckily after about 20mins I regained my strength and I was happy to finally reach T2.

Heading out on my run, I right away overtook #2 in my age group, I felt OK, but not great, I had pushed quite hard in the bike portion and had to struggle a lot in my swim, and now I felt it. I overtook a few people, and some overtook me, and after around 8km, #2 overtook me, and I simply could not respond and it made me so frustrated, but I had to be ok with it. I lost a bit of my confidence, and this is never good, in Ironman you have a chance right until you cross that finish line!

After a while I started to feel better again, and I finally picked up my pace. It was so amazing to have so many Canadians at this race, mostly travelling with our team and I felt so bad that I could not respond and cheer them on also, but I tried to work really hard and chase down #2 again. In the last 15km I caught up to Scott, I had to laugh, he REALLY shaved his LEGS 🙂

The last 10km I think I ran my fastest, and to see Barrie and Sean (of course Barrie making me run faster once more) and Sheldon up on the bridge, made me stick to my pace and wow, the people at the finish, it was outstanding!

I finished in 9h33, a personal best for me, placing third in my age group, 16th overall, and 5th amateur.

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