„Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get.“
Every Race is different! You never know what you get on raceday. You know the distance you will go and you know the course profile and the climate, but if you are going to have YOUR day that’s sadly nothing you can plan but only hope for.
Although I had a great season so far, placing 1, 2, 3, and 2×5, my goal races didn’t went as planned. So instead of heading to Kona this year I went to IM Barcelona, looking for some early points for Kona 2017 and another victory. That’s what I came for. Once again struggling on the swim I wasn’t too far behind the leader, so I was still in good mood in T1, just realizing, as I made my way to my Cervelo P5 that my left quads started to close up. I took it easy, tried to relax and kept going, but it only got worse. I even had to stop close to the mounting line and tried to stretch it out. Somehow I made it onto my red bull, at first not flying at all. The first 3k of technical section through narrow streets of Calella we weren’t allowed to go into the aerobars, so fine for me, still time to stretch, massage and work anyway on my quad to get it again ready to race. Passing the roundabout at 3k, allowing to go into the aero position I was surprised I could do the position, even better than any other, so I got even more optimistic cause it’s manly a flat course in Barcelona. I knew I was 6 min behind the leading woman, the ever amazing fast swimmer Lucie Zelenkova. Approaching the first turnaround halfway out I already gained 90 sec. I started to calculate and tried to stay calm and pace myself, if I would just keep gong like this I could catch the other girls at 90 k, so still much time left. And so far everything seemed to work out as we had discussed it before the race. Going out just felt easy, having a tailwind, the way back, facing a headwind was still fast. Shortly before halfway through the bike, I spotted a group in front of me and Chris shouted at me that’s only 20 sec, and shortly after that I passed them, taking the lead. It was a mixed group of us pro woman, some pro men and AG men. Although I caught and passed them I did not manage to break away. So it was a game of being patient again and staying focused. On the way up to Argentona I attacked again and tried to get away from the pack, not looking back a single time, even going down I pedaled as hard as I could just to get passed again some km later. On the last turns and slight uphill I again managed to stay in the front and made my way to T2. Still not sure if I could stand on my left leg and swinging of the bike I took it easy, and then running felt kind of okay, even sitting down to take on my Asics did work. I just left my bags and ran out of T2 when Anna came, so I knew I did not have much of a lead. I wanted to take it easy in the beginning of the marathon, knowing that it will be hard on the second half as always, but something made me run much faster than planned, feeling just fine. Knowing that this was very risky I still kept going and getting payed off by building my lead more and more. The run course is mostly flat with some short down- and uphill. Each time passing this part of the course I got scared my leg would shut down, close up again. It did not feel smooth but I was kind of hopeful I could make it to the finish. Going onto the last of three laps I knew I could bring the race home in 1st position if nothing unexpected happened. I did not smile at all, being in pain but tried to fake a smiling face – seems like it did not work at all 😉 only on the last two km of the run, when I knew for sure, even if I had to walk I would take the win, I just could not but smile all over my face!
Taking home my second IM victory, setting a new PB on the bike, the run and finish time of 8:54:27 entering the sub-9 club, setting a new bike course record and putting down the second fastest female bike split in 2016 with 4:40:13 (Daniele Ryf had the fastest time in Roth) I was more than happy!
Congrats to Lisi Gruber and Anna Watkinson for competing the podium, AND of course, congrats to Patrick for another great race and win!
I am loving enjoying to cross the finish line, I wanted that tape and I got it. The probably best part of winning, except for the victory itself, the ceremony and the shower of champagne is coming back to the finish line for heroes hour to welcome home the last finishers of the day.
I am so thankful for all your support and messages, it’s overwhelming! I am proud of having the best coach and husband on my side, believing in me even when I struggle. Friends and family I often don’t have time to see and of course my partners in triathlon.
First step is taken on my mission #roadtokona2017