3 reasons last week was a good week (in ranked order….😉 )
- Nik og Jay (a Danish boy band) – made a comment on my Instagram profile. #lifegoals
- Got away with a way overweight bike bag. Thank you, TAP – I will try to be slightly more reasonable in the future!! #liftgoals
- I did this race. Finished on the podium. 💁🏼 #bloggoals
So let’s go.. Challenge Lisbon race report!
I went to Lisbon on my way home from a 2,5 week training camp in Spain. The purpose was to get familiar with the half ironman distance before the European Champs rolls off in a month time. I had hoped to get my half IM debut last autumn in Lanzarote, but I crashed and broke my hip and rib just before the race. It took my hip ages to recover but by January, I slowly got back running and by the end of Feb, I was finally pain free again. I’m still not on 100% run volume and I’ve only had few long’ish runs under my belt. But, instead I’ve used the opportunity to increase my bike volume…like quite a lot – and to get used to the TT bike, riding alone and have less “free km”. Besides the sloow build back on my run volume, I’ve had some great months – as in, I haven’t had any small or big illness or injury breaks. I’ve had days where my impatience has got the better out of me, and got me like “I want to be faster, fitter, better NOW NOW NOW” but most days I’ve been relaxed in knowing that I’m progressing 0.01% every day. I trust the path that coach Krüger is taking me.
On his route was a stop that was called “complete half IM”. So I kinda went to Lisbon with that performance goal in mind – but we also had some process goals on watt target and run pace. Result goal wise – well, we did not explicit it – but the fact is that now being pro, at some point I need to get some income – and a top6 in Lisbon would give me that.. I ended up ticking the “complete half IM” and “earn money” boxes but was slightly off my watt target and slightly-plus off my run target.
I got to Lisbon Thursday and was fortunate to get a brilliant home stay at Abigail and Miguel. Abigail was a fantastic local tour guide, mainly taking me to the hidden gems of places to refuel (restaurants), and also training partner. I sometimes forget how much I enjoy homestays – it just makes the travel unique. And for this race it was also great to have a bit of distraction from the white hotel walls….as I honestly was a bit more nervous than usual! I think that nerves often kicks in if you doubt your preparation – and I know that I can prepare better for a race like this…well okay, in the end, you always can, right!? – but the point was just to relax in the fact, that there was nothing more to do about it, and just go out and give what I already had prepared myself to do.. In the end, I have at least never been better prepared to go the distance that I was on race morning 😉
The swim went fine; relaxed hard, so to say.. The water was calm and fairly warm around 18 degrees. I chose to swim in another wetsuit than normal because I’d had some great open water swims in my B-First model from MAKO in Spain and I didn’t really dare to risk doing anything else. Once again, it gave me a smooth swim.
Around the last buoy I got stuck in some fish net and I felt that my Suunto WHR watch got loose. I luckily grabbed it just in the last second before it would have been gone. I did some one arm fist swimming with the watch in my hand for the rest of the swim which is actually a great drill, you should try out!
I was out of the water in 3rd, in 2nd after 4 km and never looked back from there. I had a lonely ride and was only overtaken once by an age group man flying past me when I was already at 46kph 😮 Lucy Charles, in front, was out of reach and she led from start to finish! #respect On the first lap, the chasing girls were not far behind as I could tell from the turn around points but I slowly I build my gap to the chase. I felt in control and time flew by. I remember the time I thought “Well, now we’re rolling!!”, and as I looked down and saw that I’d already covered 53km, I was in chok for a second. That’s like I’d already done an Olympic distance and I felt like I was just about to wake up… Am I really that old? 🤔
Onto the run, I was surprised how fresh my legs felt. I grabbed my Suunto watch and basically did not take my eyes of it for the first hour. A thing I need to work on (!!), is that I have NO sense of how “slow” I have to run out compared to the short course racing, where adrenaline is life-time high and the legs are kicking around in what feels like cadence 250. So I am still quite addicted to see my pace (clearly dictated by coach), and even so I spend the first hour reminding my self to “slow down, relax, chill time, a little easier etc“… But I kept my pace down…aand that was until, by a bang of a second, my “natural pace” slowed down – like a lot – and I had to switch over to grind mode: “Hurry up slowly, higher cadance, pick up the feet“. It wasn’t that it was particularly painful; I could still tell my self “Oh dear, it’s just a slightly faster cool down, so you really can’t convince me that you are suffering“…but if I didn’t focus all the time on picking up those sweet feet, they were just going onto “slowmo-lets-go-for-a-froyo”-mode. In the end, I managed not to crumble tooo much and get my butt over the finish line in 3rd, after I’d been overtaken by Vanessa Fernandes halfway through (former olympic medalist). I am pleased about my race. On the day, I gave it all I had (= this is what makes me look at it as a succesful race) – and in order to get more, I will need to work for it. And I’m hungry to do that!
I was really amazed about how well the race was organized – aid stations, trafic regulations, cool setup, kind volunteers and a damn sweet course; it was just all on point so I hope to be back next year! ☺️
A special shout out to Suunto that helped me financially getting to this race, and thus directly is a big part of the “podium victory”. Let me also take this opportunity to thank those who covers my back. You know who you are. I thought of all of you on the course 🙂
Next up is Danish Sprint Championships in 2 weeks. I have a title to defend and I look forward to be back at the venue where I “tri’ed” the first time.
The Taymory T60.5 speed suit is the most comfy, I’ve tried. It’s just made for all three disciplines! Bike setup: Specialized Shiv with Roval CLX60 wheels and Sworks Turbo cotton tires. CeramicSpeed oversized pulley wheel system (OSPW), UFO chain and bottom bracket. Specialized Evade helmet. Photo: Brit Sørensen