Last Hard Week
One of the challenges with the race season is that it is very hard to know what will happen 6-9months before it starts. You might get sick, your bike might get crushed by the airline, you might get hit by a car, etc, etc. My season was somewhat planned out with Trapaniman (1/2) in April to check the form, IM Lanzarote in May to get back on a hard course and then finish with Laponia IM distance in the north of Sweden in July. This did not work out. Except for Trapaniman I have not raced at all this season – thats life.
On the way back to Sweden from Italy and Trapaniman my bike got crushed by Norwegian Airlines and more or less straight after that I got The Man Cold. I had to do some serious adjustments to my plans.
Instead of racing in May and June I had to focus on trying to get back in shape and build up for an ironman distance race later in the season. I ended up only having two weekends where I could race a full distance, one in July and one in August. So the choices ended up being between Ironman Maastricht or a small local Slovakian race called Slovakman 226 that I found on www.trimapper.com.
If you have read any of my earlier blogs, I am sure that you can guess which one I am going with.
Small races mean no crowds – small crowds mean no drafting. Quite simple mathematics. Also, I prefer paying money to local clubs and passionate organizers. Sixth of August I will finally race again in Slovakman 226.
This past week has been the last hard week before the race and for all of you whom have done multiple Ironmans, you know whats it like – Its the weeks when the training load is so high that you feel like you are on the point of breakdown. Its also the week when you cant help but to question yourself if this is really healthy, not to mention – is it worth it.
Doing 500km/week in aero position at 50 is quite interesting. Hearing guys who have not even turned 40 talking about how difficulty recovery is when you are older just makes me smile and think about what they will say at 50. Hell, Mark Allen won Hawaii at 37 and set the run record that still stands today.
For the next eight days leading up to the race I know how it will be – been there many times before and have to remind myself what its like; fatigue, heavy legs and body, feeling swollen, constant hunger that I have to resist to feed as Im not burning the 4-5,000kcal/day that I have for the past 4-6 weeks. Possibly a feeling of power and speed 2-3 days before race day when the body is getting close to completely recovered. Or no feeling of power – at all. Worry that I have trained to much, too hard, too little or too slow. Concern that I will have problems with injuries that inevitably surfaces now – in the final weeks before the race. Doubts, fear of failure, fear of the physical pain, concern of my ability to go a little harder than what is really possible for the full distance – instead of playing it safe.
Those are thoughts that I think most of us go through and its all part of the race experience. Deep down, I am happy to be able to be in this situation again and look forward to the challenging day as well as the days leading up to it.
With regards to splits, watts, and finishing place – I dont know.
On the evening of the 6th I will know.
My goal is to go as fast as I can for the whole duration, remain focused and in a positive flow and that typically leads to as good results as one are able to achieve. The reward is when you can look yourself in the mirror after the race and know that you did your absolut best, you raced honest and clean and you looked the devil deep in the eyes and came out alive.
Good luck to everyone else who’s about to race! Go Hard, Go Deep and Be Happy!
// Der Böse Schwede