Triathlon or no triathlon

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May 27th 2013
Published: June 12th 2013
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Hamburg - Brunsbüttel

The swimming poolThe swimming poolThe swimming pool

... the red arch is where goal was later on.
My first triathlon of the season, the Waltriathlon in Brunsbüttel near Hamburg on the 26th of May, was a challenge in many ways. Firstly, I had not had a lot of time to exercise. Remember my last blog entries, there was so much travelling in April and a lot of work to do. The two weekends of May that I was in Hamburg, I had to work on my Ph.D. because there is a congress coming up in which I would like to present some of my results. Secondly, I had done a pretty good job in not looking well after myself right the week before the triathlon. The Tuesday before the triathlon, I went to Münster for the Congress of the European Association of Work and Organizational Psychology where we had submitted two papers that I was going to present. So from Tuesday to Saturday, I was busy attending the congress, preparing my slides for both talks (did them right the day before the talks), and working. Moreover, some of my colleagues from all over the world were at the congress, and I wanted to spend as much time with them as possible, which meant a total lack of sleep and far too many glasses of wine.

When I got home from the congress on Saturday night,
From pool to transition areaFrom pool to transition areaFrom pool to transition area

Right after getting out of the swimming pool, we had to run on this path in order to get to our bikes.
I was feeling tired, exhausted and had the feeling that I had caught a cold. Additionally, it was pouring with rain outside. When my alarm went off at six on Sunday morning, I was seriously considering just staying in bed. But I had prepared all my gear, and the weather forecast for Brunsbüttel (about an hour by car from Hamburg) said it would be dry there. So I decided to at least try. It was hard to stay awake while driving, but when I finally arrived in Brunsbüttel, I was feeling quite okay, and it was in fact dry (while it had been raining cats and dogs in Hamburg when I had left) and not even too cold. Just quite windy.

When we were allowed to enter the swimming pool, I took a short lap to warm up a little bit and was feeling okay. There were only four women in my lane, which was quite good because nobody got into the others’ way. However, after a while I found myself having trouble with my breathing again, almost like last year. I forced myself into breathing slowly and deeply and forced myself to maintain in crawl style. After a
The transition areaThe transition areaThe transition area

... full of bikes and all the loads of gear you need when you do a triathlon.
while, it got better again, but I could already see that I would not be fast.

The bike route was a lot better than the one from the previous year. There were not many turns in it so that you could go fast, and the road itself was on good condition. It was an out and return route. On the out part, we had to battle with quite a strong headwind, which then was tailwind on the return part. It is always better when it is this way round than the other way round. However, I always find it extremely exhausting to race against the wind, and what you gain once you have tailwind does not compensate for what you lose when cycling against the wind. But I got back to the changing zone without problems.

The route for running was two laps just below the dam along the water of the river Elbe. The wind was not too bad there, so I managed to maintain my speed. The last few metres before goal were the final challenge: up the dam! But finally I was in goal and still alive.

My overall time was 1:28:37; swimming: 12:00;
The start of the bike routeThe start of the bike routeThe start of the bike route

You are not allowed to get onto your bike until you have passed a certain point.
cycling: 45:19; running: 31:18. I was happy with my result and proud of myself for having participated in spite of my very successful self-handicapping. And right when I had loaded my car and headed off towards Hamburg, it started to rain. Lucky me 😊.

Additional photos below
Photos: 5, Displayed: 5


Katha looking for her resultsKatha looking for her results
Katha looking for her results

... after the triathlon. Picture from

Tot: 2.093s; Tpl: 0.17s; cc: 12; qc: 32; dbt: 0.028s; 1; m:saturn w:www (; sld: 1; ; mem: 1.3mb