I have been a bit unsure what to say in my race report, because truthfully I am still not sure how I feel about my race. So it has taken me even longer than usual to put my thoughts into words.
Roth is one of those races I have heard amazing things about for years. And perhaps just like a movie you hear rave reviews about for far too long, I had certain pre-conceived ideas about the course, and about how my race could turn out. I was picturing smooth roads that basically were conveyor belts and did all the work for you. I imagined spectators whose cheering would feel like the wind at your back throughout the run. And dreamed about a swim course that flows as quickly as the beer in the beergardens, carrying everyone along without having to fight for every stroke and breath in the water. Well, although Roth may be a faster course, with an uplifting atmosphere, it still is an ironman, and hence a long, painful day.
A “dodgy knee” as Stephen would say, had made the two and a half weeks heading into this race a bit more of a challenge than usual. I have been very fortunate that the past 2 years I have had no injury setbacks. After spending the first 3 years of my triathlon life unable to run, more often than able to run, I am still grateful for each week, month and year that I can do any workout I wish without having to manage an injury. So when a few weeks ago I had to start cutting workouts short, and then changing and substituting workouts altogether because of a pain in the knee, it became a pain in my butt very quickly. This then became a pain in the head as I started to think far too much about the upcoming race, and just how likely it would be that I could or could not finish it without my knee calling it quits.
Well, we all know it has a happy ending, as I did finish in Roth, and managed to run my way up a spot to a third place. But I still have some mixed feelings about the race. The swim was ok, but my time was definitely a couple of minutes off how I am training, due to lack of aggression in the first 10 minutes. During the bike I lost the plot for quite a while, my mind and drive wandering a bit too much. And the run, well, crazily enough was the most solid part of my race, partly thanks to the wise words of Doc who appeared on the side lines of the run course with this gem ” If your leg falls off, don’t worry, I will pick it up, cause you are not dropping out of this race”.
I am very happy I had a chance to race at Roth, and finish, and run up to a podium spot. And when I think about the kind of ironman race I could put together a couple of years ago, versus the kind of race I can tough out now I am very happy to see that I am moving in the right direction.