I haven't been keeping up with the week by week updates for the last few weeks, I've been tired, tapering and busy at work. I will try to get my numbers in so that I have a tally of how much I have done before Köln.
1 week out from Köln was the club championships. It starts in Nieder-Olm with a 300m pool swim, then a ride to Gau-Bischofsheim, it was 16.5km last year, then a pretty tough 4km run to end it. Last year I was ill with low iron/HGB so was way below my best. I did a 57:xx then, but this year I was hoping for a sub 50 time, though that seemed tough. The winner last year did about 45 mins.
I got there in good time, had a bit of a chat with the guys I know from the league team and was in good spirits. I watched one of the other non-TCEC starts, it was pretty slow going, the fastest swimmer swam 5:50, with most way slower. Our start time was 8:50 and at 8:50 there was no sign of an imminent start, until they shouted, LOS! The swim is a bit chaotic as there are no divides, not lanes, and everyone swimming out and backs trying not to hit each other! I seemed fairly mid-pack. I went out too hard and after 50m had to remind myself that it was 300m! I got out of the pool and stopped the watch at 5:10, faster than expected.
I ran down to my bike and had a decent transition. It was crowded at the start of the bike, and I passed a few people. My hamstrings and shoulders were feeling tight, maybe a result of 9 days off the bike! I caught a group, well 3 people, who were very clearly pack riding. I decided to hang off the back of them until the hill in Selzen, when I would try to get past without them hanging on. I managed that, but soon enough on the flats and downhills they got back to me. I was riding a bit out of aero as my shoulders weren't happy. I pretty much managed to stay near those guys until the end. I noticed the route was a bit different this year, it was 1km longer as it cut right earlier than last year.
After getting my feet out of the shoes far too early, I got to T2. I had a very quick change into my shoes, and set off. I was surprised to leave Heiko behind at the start of the run, but maybe I over-cooked it of the first hills. Last year I saw the winner Konstantin coming back down the first hill as I was going up it, this year I was a lot further along the course, which was a positive! I'm not sure he has to worry for next year though. The run was fairly uneventful. It was hot and sunny, my HR was sky high and I kept an ok tempo round the course. It measured 3.8km at the end, and I ran a 15:55, ok for a hard and hot course.
So after a long wait, I heard my result was 51:30 or so. I was reasonably placed in the club, but 1 minute faster would have been 4th. I managed to shred my feet in only 16 mins in my new Zoots, I will have to try tightening them and wearing socks, otherwise they will be out of the rotation!
All in all it was pretty good. I am a little worried about the bike, so I will get out 2-3 times this week for a spin to keep loose. My run and swim were good enough, especially if the weather is as predicted next week, i.e. cool and cloudy.
I might try a final post before Köln, but if not, see you on the other side!