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Showing posts from July 1, 2018

Ironman Austria '18 Race Report - 2.4 mile swim

2.4 mile swim
With two previous great swim performance at Ironman Austria (my first 1-hour swim and first sub 1-hour swim of 57 minutes), a little part of me was looking forward to a fast swim but a big part of me was wondering - will my body know what to do for 2.4 miles? I tried to clear those thoughts and just focus on the present moment and to not jump ahead with any thoughts on the outcome. This is the reason why I don’t wear a watch when I swim in races as I don’t want a time to get into my head or dictate how my day will go or is going.

When I got to the first buoy, I settled into a good rhythm. Because of the rolling start, there were not clumps of athletes but I always found myself next to other swimmers. Thankfully it wasn’t sunny out (very overcast) so this helped with sighting. Plus, I always wear a fresh new pair of goggles for an Ironman which makes for fog-free swimming. The water felt a bit choppy at times but I found a good rhythm and really focused on my stroke and g…

Ironman Austria '18 Race Report: Pre-race

Picture taken during our Thurs practice swim.
Pre-race
Surprisingly, I fell asleep rather quickly on Saturday evening around 8pm. Even though we arrived to Europe on Monday morning, flying from the West to East coast is always tough on us and we still weren’t 100% on the new time zone come race morning. Although I tossed and turned throughout the night, I felt mostly rested when the alarm went off at 3:15am. After all that had occurred during the week, I was so relieved that it was finally race day and the day that we had been training for was finally here. Just to briefly rewind our stressful week:
-Lost bikes for 24 hours after we arrived.
-Delay in our travel on Tues due to our lost bikes (10+ hours driving)
-Cool/rainy conditions on Tues-Friday
-Karel got a really bad calf cramp while swimming on Thurs morning and it lingered until Saturday morning which affected his ability to get in his normal pre-race workouts.
-Karel’s tubular tire got sliced (flat tire) in the first 2 minutes of ou…

2018 Ironman Austria Finishers - quick recap

As of yesterday, Karel and I have now completed a combined 23 Ironman races. With every race, we learn something about the art of Ironman racing. While physical readiness is important, the race requires such great mental toughness. With every Ironman, we get a one-day opportunity to test both our mental and physical skills. While we always hope for that perfect day of racing, we know very well that that day rarely comes but just a few times in an athlete's career. Therefore, the other 98% of races require a lot of focus, determination and strong will to not give up in order to reach the finish line. And let's not forget about all those mental demons trying to convince you that the pain is not worth the finishing medal and that quitting is the best option. 
After crossing our 3rd Ironman Austria finish line (my 13th Ironman and Karel's 10th finish/11th start), Karel and I can honestly say that this was one of the hardest 140.6 mile adventures that we have ever had to take …