It couldn’t have been a better end of season like this! After last’s year result of my first IM but also after the results of this year, I dared to set an under 10 hours goal for the Podersdof National Triathlon Championship (Austria). This is how it went.
Together with my team members we decided to go again this year at Podersdof for 2 reasons. First of all, the track is approachable, bike and run on flat ground, the wind being the only thing to take in consideration. Second of all, the event organisation is impeccable, the asphalt is perfect and the drivers are civilised. Like last year, we arrived on Thursday in Podersdorf as the race started Saturday. We decided to come Thursday to make sure we’ll be well rested and ready for the big day. This race was for me the most important competition from 2015 and I concentrated all my trainings for it. Friday, the day before, together with the guys we made a small race simulation. We swam in pretty high waves, we biked 20k and ran 4k. the weather wasn’t too good and prognose for Saturday wasn’t much encouraging. We got a little upset and we resign ourselves with the thought of a mediocre race.
The morning of the race was rainy and cold, but in neoprene was still better.. Despite the weather, the lake was calm, no waves. Wake up was at 5 and at the pension we stayed served breakfast at 5.30 (and it was enough as i’m such a big eater). At 6 we went at the transition area to leave our bikes. Luckily, around 7, when the race started, the rain stopped. And again nearly 1000 participants got crowded, made space as they knew best and each got elbows, palms, legs on his head, ribs, back… But normally in few minutes all calmed down and i found my place in water to comfortably swim again brass. The first 1900m were swam in 36 minutes and i got out of the water after 1h16m, my best time so far, 30m better than last year. Obviously I was very happy when I looked at my watch to press lap. But the nicest thing was the moment I got out of the water a powerful sun hit me, I would say good karma. Last year when I got out of the water in the transition place were only 2 bikes left, one of which was mine. This year it took me some time to find my bike.
After a pretty quick transition, a little after 2 minutes, I started running towards the exit from the transition place. Because it rained the evening before, the ground got in my shoes and I couldn’t click my left foot. I was forced to stop and clean it. We had to bike 6 laps of 30k on a trail with perfect asphalt, a few dangerous curves, but with a beautiful view through vineyards. I had in my head only one number: 5! Bike in 5 hours! Anyways, in my head, during those 180k I only had numbers, calculating each sector :). I had to finish each lap in maximum 50 minutes. The plan was in place until km 120 when the wind started. In the 4th lap I caught up with Dani and Tudor – they looked excellent in our new team costumes. Pink! 🙂 Despite the wind, which was getting stronger, I finished the bike in 5h8m with an average power of 183W. Time this year was 20 minutes better than last year. Hydrating and nutrition: I had 3 energy bars 3 GU gels, one Gutar and about a litre and a half of Iso and water.
A minute and a half transition time followed and then I started running. Total time in that moment was 6h30m and in transition are weren’t so many bikes, which meant that many competitors are behind me so, psychologically I was super good. I wanted to run a marathon at least with the same good time as the previous year. That meant I had to keep a pace under 4.45. so I started and all went well. I ran with 4.30, but after 5k I started to feel weak and a terrible need for food. I got a full bar while running and a GU gel. Almost instantly I started to feel gaining back my power and running back with 4.30. We had to run 4 laps of 10.5k around the lake, in their natural reservation. Laps 2 and 3 went the best. But in the last one the wind started blowing harder. A last dose of energy I got it from half of Gutar, 10k before the finish and I started fighting the wind. Time was with me and I knew it will be a good marathon and under 10h IM. In the last km, when I met Dani, he said I should keep up and finish under 9h40m, so I accelerated, running with almost 4min/km, squeezed my teeth and even passed 2 competitors.. And I was careful not be swept away by the wind at the finish line. Marathon finished with 5 minutes better than last year, 3h12m.
End of race: 9h42m04s. Happy, i’m very happy. Thinking of Kona.
What’s next? A week of doing nothing! Just going to work, massage, lots of sleep, I’ll eat from everything and I’ll go out :). Then I will continue with swim practise, increase the bike volume and decrease running pace.
I got here after a lot of work, many hours of training and I have to thank everyone that helped, my team colleagues in the first place, Tudor and Dani, Cloud Troopers Intl., 360 Sport and Gu Energy Romania, Philgas, our swim coach, and all those who supported us during the race and took us lots of photos: Leti (also my biggest critic), Doru (Thanks also for the massage! ^^), Aniela, Marius, Rares, Cerasela, Moni & Riky, Claudiu! Thank you!
Congratulations also to all those who participated in the race and got great results!
This post is also available in: Romanian