Thursday, July 17, 2008

Quelle-Challenge Roth

Congratulations to Yvonne Van Vlerken and Erika Csomor for both breaking the Ironman distance World Record on Sunday, in 8 hrs 45 and 8 hrs 46, in the most horrendous conditions I have ever raced in. They raced together all day and both deserve some serious respect for their performances.

I got what I deserved. An average result after a very fractured preparation and injury problems. I hadn't been able to run "cold" or long for the last 6 weeks, due to sciatica in my left butt. I went into the race not in the condition I wanted to be in. It is a hard way to line up against a World Class field. I tried to convince myself I was confident, but deep down I knew there had been important sessions missed. On top of that, I found the conditions on the bike just horrible. I was frozen. It rained heavily for the entire morning, non-stop. On a course with lots of tight corners I was riding the first lap like a Grandma. I didn't want to come off my bike, however I even thought at one point that if I fell off I would be able to quit the race...not what I should have been thinking. I have so many negative feelings and unhappy memories of long rides in the rain that I went into a mental downward spiral.
It was about 15 degrees, my feet were numb, my hands were blue and stiff, I was dropping water bottles because I couldn't use my teeth were clenched, I was crying...How the other girls rode so fast, I do not know. I was thinking survival not racing. The second lap was slightly better but I was still just thinking the faster I ride the sooner this will all be over.

I was surprised that my bike split wasn't 6 hours. It was 5:19, terrible for this course, but not so bad. I was thinking I could still pull off a sub 9:30, and get in the top 10. The first 21km went almost exactly to plan. I ran a 1:31 and was feeling good. I was in 8th position and at that pace Hillary Biscay, who finsihed 6th, was within my reach. At this point my right knee started to give way. All of a sudden it disappeared from under me, and then was fine. But it kept happening, more and more, until both my knees were just totally seized up. I was doing the Ironman shuffle in all it's glory. My 4.15s gradually slowed to 5 mins/km, but that wasn't the worst. At 7min/km doing the walk/run I was shouting at my legs to keep moving. I knew there were girls coming behind me and I didn't want to be re-passed. But I was, and in the end I just got myself to the finish line as quick as I could and that was the best I could do. My second 21ks was 1:51...To give me a finish time of 9 hours 41, in 11th spot. Ironically my third fastest IM time to date, out of my 15 races.

Not the race I had hoped for. I am glad to be able to put this chapter behind me, and to move on to the next phase of the year.- My preparation for the World Champs in Hawaii and focused training in ideal locations- Penticton Canada and the Big Island itself.

I will be back to fight another battle, tougher, fitter and stronger. I am happy that I was a contender in Quelle Challenge Roth 2008, a race that will go down in history. I'm excited that us girls are stepping up and getting some well deserved attention. I am inspired to keep going at my goals. This was just a minor blip:)

Thank you to the race organisers for having me in Roth- it is an awesome, awesome race with an atmosphere like no other. I will be back next year.

Photos coming soon...


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