Monday, February 20, 2012

Still on Track

Long overdue blog post but here it is.

I am still on track for Ironman South Africa on the 22nd of April and in preparation I did the IM70.3 in East London end of January.

Ironman South Africa 70.3 went rather well and the last three weeks of training certainly helped. I took my annual leave during the first, two weeks of January and had a "training camp" while we were down at the South Coast. Back at altitude for one week recovering and then it was down at the coast again for the race.

Results wise I finished in 4h58:44, giving me a 5th place in my age group out of 410. Overall I managed 57th place out of the odd 3000 athletes.

My swim was below par and almost 4 minutes slower than before but I could make up on the bike and the run. My Bike split was 6 minutes faster than 2010 and my run almost 3 minutes faster.

My trusty old P4, waiting for me in T1.

With the result I managed to qualify for Ironman70.3 World in Las Vegas in September. Very Happy with that.

During the first week of February we visited my home town Polokwane and I saw they had a bike race the same weekend. As part of my training I decided to do the race instead of cycling on my own to do my bike training for the Saturday.

There was no taper for the race and I did some hard intervals on the bike the Thursday and also did a 17km run on the Friday before the race on Saturday. I didn't expect a great result as I raced on tired legs but I guess doing the smaller races also help building the ego as the field wasn't big with just more than 100 entries for the 100km.

One thing I am not used to doing bike races is the drafting. I am so used to non drafting races and from the word go I was at the front. For the first 35km it was just me and two other guys working at the front. The rest of the riders just sat behind, doing no work.

At one stage I fell back to see how big the group was and to my surprise it was almost the whole field, having a leisurely ride while drafting all the way.

I had to remind myself that I was doing the race to train for Ironman and coasting along at below average heart rate and wattage is not going to do it for me even thou I was at the front all the time, rotating the lead. Can just image how easy the guys had it at the back.

When we hit the 35km mark and I saw an uphill I decided that this is it. I broke away and for the next odd 10km I rode at the front and was increasing the gap by the minute. At about the 45km mark one guy caught me. From there on I was riding in second place and was holding a gap of between one and two minutes.

When we hit the 70km mark, my legs were screaming and I could see the guy pulling away. In the end I managed to hold on to second place by about 1 minute, with a small group of three chasing me. At prize giving I saw the winner was in the 20-29 age group and I was the first 40+ year old and 2nd overall.

I was happy with the result, especially after the hard week of training and that I rode 65km on my own without drafting.

Just for interest sake, I had a look at my power file and for the 1st 35km my average watts was 220. During the last 65km my average watts was 267. Just shows you the effect of drafting.

Just some pictures of me and DJ having fun at the supermarket with the Star War masks while Kim was buying groceries.