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Published: September 23rd 2012
Katha on her bike
Not as fast as last time...
Three weeks ago, I participated in my fourth triathlon. I am sorry it took me so long to write this story. Right after it, I was simply too busy helping with the preparations for two weddings (Hetty and Stefan’s in Garmisch near Munich and Marie and Matthias’ in Schorndorf near Stuttgart), a congress in Berlin, and a week of further training in Cologne. But here you go.
My end of season triathlon took place on the 2nd
of September in Büchen, about 60km east of Hamburg, somewhere out in the green. I had chosen it because it was not farther than 100 km from Hamburg so that I would not have to make travel arrangements, because the swimming part would take place in a swimming pool and not in open water and because it was out in the green. The distance would be 500 m swimming, 20 km cycling and 5 km running again.
I got up at five o’clock that morning because it was a 50 km drive to Büchen and we had to register between seven and eight in the morning. The briefing would be at eight. As it was early on Sunday morning, not many people
The cycling course went from Büchen through Müssen, Klein Pampau and Siebeneichen back to Büchen. For my distance, I had to complete the lap twice.
were in the streets yet (which I really love), and I got to Büchen in no time. I registered and was surprised that the organisers did not use a chip for the measurement of time. Usually, you wear this chip around your wrist and it measures your time every time you run past a machine. Instead, I was told the helpers would write down the participants’ times when they passed certain points. Hopefully the helpers would pay attention…
I attended the briefing, then set up my spot in the changing area. First thing: Make sure the bike’s tyres have enough air. Next to the bike, I built up one pile with my cycling and one with my running equipment. The cycling pile consisted of my shoes (already opened) with the socks in them, my helmet and glasses and a windproof jacket. And, of course, some carbohydrate gel. The running pile consisted of my running shoes and more carbohydrate gel. Of course, I attached a water bottle and my number to my bike. I would have to put the number around my waist after getting out of the swimming pool.
It was a chilly morning, and when I took
The swimming pool
The "Waldschwimmbad" in Büchen, 50 metres long. For my distance, we had to complete 10 laps.
off my jumper, t-shirt and sweatpants, I was really cold. But I had to wait for another half hour until my group would start. Last time, I had not done any warming up, so this time I jumped into the pool before the start and swam a few laps. Then I went to the lane I was going to share with three other girls. I was a lot more confident than last time: When asking all the other girls how much time the 500m would take them, it turned out that I was the fastest (or better: the least slow), so I asked whether I would be allowed to start off first. I was!
The swimming part went alright. It was a pleasure not to have anyone in my way, and I swam the 500m without any problems. After getting out of the water, it was rather far to the changing area, and running barefoot through all the little rocks was not easy. But I got to my bike, got changed and, with my helmet on my head, ran to the starting line. You are not allowed to mount your bike before this line, and when you come back after cycling the course, you have to get off your bike and push it into the changing area. When I arrived at the starting line, I had some trouble clicking my shoe into my pedal, and it seemed to take forever until I could finally head off onto the course. But then things went okay. The course was rather flat and there was not much wind. The only thing I did not really like was that cars were still allowed on the course. Usually, this is not the case. So I really slowed down at each intersection although there were always helpers who told us whether the road was clear.
We had to do two laps on the course. One lap was 10.6 km long, so the cycling course was 21.2 instead of only 20 km. When I had completed the first lap, I looked at my watch and realised that I would not be any faster than last time, on the contrary, I would be slower. Still, I tried to go as fast as possible. I got back to the changing zone, already knowing that it would be impossible for me to compensate for the time loss I had had during the cycling part. After taking helmet and glasses off and changing my shoes, I headed off onto the running course. It was a rather nice track that ran through a forest, but also one that was sloping up and down slightly. I was looking out for the “km 1” sign, but it took forever until I passed it. The “km 2” sign was even worse. But from there it was only 500 metres to the turn point, and I got to the “km 3” sign in no time. The last two kilometres seemed to take forever again. But finally, goal came into sight, and I was able to speed up a little bit.
My results are: swimming: 11:41; cycling: 49:28; running: 30:38. Overall finishing time: 1:31:47. Results are available here
. I was not totally happy with the result. I had hoped to be a bit faster than last time, where my overall finishing time had been 1:27:00. The cycling course had been 1.2 km longer this time than last time, but still, this would only add about three minutes to my overall time. On the other hand, I had not exercised as intensively as I had wanted to, and I had travelled and worked a lot. I know, excuses, excuses… But it made me feel okay with my result.
I enjoyed the rest of the day anyway. It was a beautiful warm day and I drove back to Hamburg to meet Mizzi for lunch and just sit outside in the sun with her for a while. It was nice, and I did not do much for the rest of the day except for a number of phone calls. The next triathlon will certainly come up next year. For me, three super-busy weeks with lots of travelling were to come.
Tot: 2.728s; Tpl: 0.064s; cc: 27; qc: 154; dbt: 0.1676s; 2; m:saturn w:www (126.96.36.199); sld: 3;
; mem: 1.7mb