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Montag, 7. September 2015

Podesdorf, Triathlon Austria, the Pheasant and my first unfinished race

Saturday, 5th of September 2015, five days before my birthday, it took place in Podesdorf / Neusiedler See, Burgenland, Austria, the 28th edition of the half- and long distance triathlon
I run the long distance race (4,2 km swim, 178 km cycling and 42 km running) here for the first time last year in September and I enjoyed it a lot. 
Last September I finished it after 14 hours and 32 minutes, being my 4th triathlon during one month (9.8.2014: Eisenman in Litschau, 30.8.2014: Tri the Zell and 31.8.2014: IM 70.3 in Zell am See under extreme difficult conditions) and the goal for this year was to finish it after about 13 - 13:30 hours.
Austria Triathlon on both distances is a special race in a very special environment, Nationalpark Neusiedler See, on 99,9% plain terrain and no shadow on the routes. Last year it was too hot, this year it was nearly too cold because of the wind which started as I still was on the bike route (13:45).
The most difficult thing on this race is no drafting!! As the bike route is plain and mostly straight, no drafting is a challenge
You will see a lot, but a lot of drafting and a lot of athletes shorting the curves.
And too many throwing away various packaging on the route inside the National Park Area. I am sure I wont be technical official here because then it would be some DSQs for disrespect the rules and the environment!
It is probably the fastest cycling route you can have for a long triathlon, there are 6 laps each of 30 km.
The swim takes place in the low and brown water of the huge lake (Neusiedler See) in Podesdorf. The deepest point of the lake seems to be about 180 cm!! This is an advantage when you have to swim over 4 km because when you want to rest, you simply can stand on your feet and save a lot of energy! Otherwise I cannot explain my fastest time I get here for the second time: 1h43' in 2014 (training about 70 km last summer!!) and 1h32' in 2015 for 4200 m swim (I trained only for 20 km this year, as I am allergic to open water too now!!)!! There are 2 laps for the long distance, one lap for the half distance. It is a very enjoyable swim in this brown unclear water, I cannot explain the reason!
Running route is 100% plain. You have all chances here to suffer because of the heat, of the wind or of the cold, as you are not protected in any way. The segments with some trees and shadow are very short. You have to run 4 laps, each of about 10,5 km.
running route at km 5
Although I wasn't worry about the race, the night before the start I could not sleep. I have all the time this issue and it is not a pleasant habit. The hotel I booked in February, I wanted to stay there, I liked it, the bed was good, it was silent .... but I could not fall asleep.
And for the first time in my last ten years I had a rational feeding packet ready for my race :-)
On Thursday it was warm, over 24°C. On Friday in the morning it was suddenly cold, about 16°C because of a strong wind. No way to swim in the morning, it was crazy!! Later in the afternoon it was OK, sunny, warm again and almost no wind.
During the night before the start ..... rain! A lot of rain and pretty cold. 
I had a nice breakfast at 5:15 a.m., plenty of time. 
It was a rich cold rain as I reached the transit area to check in at 6 a.m.
I left the hotel in my neoprene suit cycling the 700 m to the transit area!! I had nothing else with me, to be very honest!! My triathlon equipment was for a warm day, not for an autumn day! The only option I could have it was to stay longer in T1 after the long swim and to change the tri suit, putting a dry one for the windy cycling route. This was a very good idea. I also took a wind vest, another brilliant idea for what it was going to happen on the bike route!
Start at 7 a.m., the lake was plain like a mirror. It was a perfect day, cloudy, not so warm, a bit of rain .... OK, maybe too much rain in the morning. 
I stationed 13 minutes in T1 changing the triathlon suit and eating half a sandwich!! Yes, I always had stomach problems and I really need ”normal” food for an ironman distance!!
My Garmin had troubles, I was too slow somehow, but I had a good feeling. I knew I will have a good cycling too, so I started the 180 km.
First 90 km: average speed was amazing, 29 km/h! I knew I will finish the cycling segment in no longer than 6 hours and 30 minutes. There are many direction changes on the route which make you decrease the speed, otherwise 6 hours could be fine even for me (but it would be too boring).
Km 90-120: average speed per total was now decreasing to 28 km/h.
It was 13:45 as I felt the wind is much stronger and I still had to ride about one hour - one hour and half, about 50 km. In this video you can see how strong the wind became after 2 p.m.
Then it happened: a hurried wild pheasant came running from the right crossing the road in front of my wheels! I panicked and I felt on the left side crashing my left knee.
it was something like this guy crossing my way .... important meeting I suppose!!
I did not hit the running bird but I was down in pain. No ambulance, no volunteer, no technical official, no other athlete. Stupid cycling shoes, I hate these shoes!! Helm OK, I actually felt in grass as I was in a curve and somehow I managed to have a soft shock. 
I continued the ride after few minutes, the wind was crazy and I was cold. I still had to ride about 40 km, but my average speed suffered a lot, of course. I knew I had a good cycling segment so far and this was because of two big changes I took for this race:
1. I managed to eat properly;
2. Although you can ride 99% ”sitting” on your aerobars, you will not be able to stay in that position for 5-6 hours. Every time I had to stand up for few relax moments I did breathing exercises. Breathing properly is very important while long cycling, keep this in mind. I didn't pay attention to that until about few days ago as I started the Ironman-Couch-Course by Ironman University. Now I had the opportunity to test it and it worked nicely for me, so it would work nicely for you too if you choose to pay attention to details.
At that moment I wasn't sure anymore I can run the 42 km at the end of the cycling route. But I wanted to finish the cycling, no matter what!
The last lap of 27 km wasn't so nice, the wind was stronger, I was in pain and I didn't find enjoyable anymore the entire stuff
Somehow I wasn't sorry. I was sorry because I had a good race, it was my first long race when I correctly managed the feeding procedure and I felt exceptional ..... eating almost all the time on the bike and managing an average speed between 28 and 30 km per hour it was as a dream became true for me!
I saw during the ride today 2 athletes giving up the race because of flat tire. I was in a better mental status than them, this is for sure. This was a reason to try to finish my cycling segment, right? Flat tire would mean for sure to give up the race as I am not so quick in mechanical issues. I am able to change the tire, but I need at least half an hour.
Totally frozen and tired and sad I reached the T2 at 15:43 instead of 15:15 as I wanted. 
At that moment I had absolutely no idea what I was going to do .... 
I let the bike and I took something to eat from my box, a sandwich. It was my best race, the only race where I managed to properly eat on the bike segment, so I was well prepared for the long running hours and I had plenty of time!! 6 hours was plenty of time. 
I decided to stay in T2, to eat, to find a corner to be with me alone, to check me out, how I feel, how I think ..... 
After less than ten minutes I went to an official and I said I give up the race
My body began to tremble, the left knee was in pain now and that was the point I said to me: "It is just a race! To start a marathon will be not enjoyable. The body is under shock, it trembles, go home, take a long hot bath and take care of your knee. Think rationally, not emotional! If you do not take care about yourself, it is anybody around you and you have a cat in a hotel room, you have to drive back home, to be healthy, to do the entire work which is waiting for you back home! Be rational!"
An I was. 
It was sad, but I am enough experienced through the school of life for not understand the value of a right decision and for not know that a race is just a race, a game is just a game and my life is my life. I suffered enough for letting me suffer because vanity or stupidity or false values which are implemented by others but not by myself.
Without looking back I managed to collect all my things and to walk back to the hotel - about 700 m only, lucky my! -.
I took a long hot bath, about one hour - the body needed to be warmed again.
Then I realized I need to eat something hot and I went down to the restaurant having hot soup twice. A very good idea.
Back into the room.
I had no bandages, no medicine ..... not OK.
What to do?! Strong muscle pains in the shoulders, strong knee pain, still frozen fingers ....
I remembered about some Aloe Vera Creme samples I had with me in order to give it away ..... 
It was like a wonder! Three samples of it were enough for that evening, night and for the rest of the next day. I applied the creme on my shoulders, knees and legs and after only one day I feel as I did not started the race, as I did not swam 4 km and cycled 180 km!!! I recommend all athletes to have some of these stuff in their luggage, I had miraculous results and on Sunday I even was able to walk and ride again for about two hours enjoying the charm and flair of the National Park.
The funny story about this particular solution is that I saw the tube few days before as I visited the distribution center of Forever Living Austria. I asked about the benefits and my sponsor told me about them and I did not pay much attention, as I usually do not have troubles and I did not use to apply any solutions or so. And now I was in a new situation applying this particular products which I almost ignored only few days ago.
For those who are interested to buy original Aloe Vera Products from Forever Living, please do not hesitate to contact me, let a comment here with your e-mail (the comments are not automatically published). It does no matter where are you from and where you are living, Forever is world wide and the discounts apply all over the world, just ask me. It would be in the same time an exceptional opportunity for you to get an additional income as we are looking for ambitious talented people who enjoy a healthy life style and networking with people having same passions, hobbies and life styles :-)
The products are good, the soap and the skin products are like velvet. It is a pity many desperate sales people managed to contribute for a bad name of the Forever Living Company. We are not desperate to find clients, the products are simply too good. The company is offering a fair way to everybody to work in a pleasant flexible way for a fair (second or main) income. Visiting the Austrian Distribution Center and Shop in Hagenbrunn (only 12 km away from me, I go there by bike :-)) was a good experience who convinced me to take part to all seminars, to use and promote the products.
The National Skiing Federation of Germany is using these products offering them to the athletes during the races in winter.
the location & the general atmosphere;
the swim route;
the run route;
the bike route only partially  - too much traffic after all, but not so bad as in Oradea for X-Man! And the drivers here are very different, the athletes are respected and protected.
friendly staff, including the police people.
*the common start for half- and full distance! 
*volunteers, ambulance left the bike route to early as there still were athletes on the course!!
   I have no information about hydration points or what do they offer on the routes because I did not stop. For the cycling route there is a lab station at the beginning of each lap.

1 Kommentar:

  1. Cateodata e mai bine sa fim rationali, desi nu e usor, ai dreptate. Felicitari pentru cursa, data viitoare va fi mai bine, si felicitari pentru articolele scrise, desi nu comentez de fiecare data le citesc aproape pe toate :)


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