Race Results 2024

I know there is a race planning thread, but now we are into the season I was wondering if we could have a thread for results & any thoughts on positives/negatives from the training we have all been doing?

I’ll start - Ironman Valencia 70.3 this weekend. Definitely the first time I feel like I’ve had a proper triathlon training plan (certainly in the swim/bike) and it really showed. I took 5 mins off my swim time, 10 mins off my bike and felt amazing on the run, doing a 1.36 HM in relatively warm conditions (for someone from the UK at least).

Sub 5:30 for the first time and positives and plans to take into the next race. I’ve now upped my training to a Mid Volume plan to see if I can cope with the increase in hours.

How did you get on @Antonie ?

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Strong result Andrew! Specifically the run. Jealous of that time.

I did not start in the end. I got a call 1 day prior to leaving I should not travel given I lost my eyesight partly a few days before and I was told to come to the neurologist ASAP on Friday. So I spent most of Friday doing all tests instead of traveling to Spain. Nothing found except that I am very fit and healty.
They think it might have been a TIA of the eye, but they are not sure since it is hard to diagnose after an event. I think it is migraine related and no reason for alarm (I completely lost sight in 1 eye for a minute 14 years ago which was then diagnosed as migraine), but the hospital thinks better safe than sorry. So they stick to the possible TIA and want me to take blood thinners for the rest of my life.

So a lousy weekend with a lot of fitness, no race and lots of being very grumpy. Trying to find a race in the coming months, but that is difficult.

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Sorry to hear that @Antonie but sounds like you did all the sensible things. Health and life in general is far more important than this!

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Get well. That sounds like a terrible weekend when you were planning to have a triathlon party. Unfortunately that’s part of life hey. Big hugs to you and hope you will find a suitable race soon!

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Thanks both. Now let’s get this topic back to Andrew instead of me :wink:

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Andrew, congratulations on a great race! Would you consider coming on the Athlete’s Compass podcast to talk about your race, specifically your preparation and training? We’re interviewing everyday athletes who have hit some goals, and a sub-5:30 half Iron sounds like a heck of a goal! Message Marjaana Rakai or myself to set that up!

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My events are non competitive long distance brevets. Not races, nevertheless you do look at how they go, and how your personal performance was.

On Sat I did a 204km brevet, one I last did in 2022, before I’d starting training with Athletica. It’s hard to exactly compare editions, as weather can vary. But my view is that the headwinds were stronger this year. My average speed was 2 km/h faster than 2022 for same average and max heart rate. I didn’t have a power meter in 2022, but I do feel I’m getting stronger at my events.

I’m riding 220km this Sat, but that’s a route check of an event I’m running the weekend after.

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Following on from my IM Texas post, @Marjaana finished strong in hot and windy conditions and punched her ticket to Nice! No doubt we’ll be chatting about her experience in coming AC Podcast episodes. She now has a new journey on the horizon! :clap:

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Amazing job @Marjaana!!

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Awesome job out there!

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Congratulations Marjaana! Such an amazing result! Enjoyed tracking you all day :slight_smile:

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Whoa @Marjaana didn’t realize you placed so well in your age and gender bracket. Bloody amazing! What a finish and inspiration!

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Fantastic @Marjaana , time for some recovery :grin:

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Thank you everyone for the support! Ironman TX was a tough one. They all are. Here’s a “quick” recap.
The conditions were not favorable for the polar bear from North Finland, but I had to face my fear of performing in the heat and humidity one day. Fittingly, we discuss about performance in the heat in one of the upcoming episode of The Athlete’s Compass . Anyway, the humidity, heat and the strong wind was the same for everyone who toed the line.

Putting together swim-bike-run combo is always a challenge, getting to the start line is half the battle. My prep went very well until end of February when I got sick the day before my marathon, struggled with allergies for couple of weeks, then went on and pulled my back which resulted in a hamstring soreness that forced me to cut my run training. So just getting to the start line was half a victory.

Water temps were high, around 24-25c - officially wetsuit legal (?!)- I swam with swimsuit only. Sure I gave up 5-10 min not wearing wetsuit but at least I wasn’t overheating during the first hour of a very long day. I had a left calf cramp during the swim and tried to kick very lightly. Cool swim route along the canal and I spotted my family cheering for me, which was uber-sweet! 1:17 swim. meh, but ok, not a big deal.

As I am getting my bike shoes on T2- my left abdominal muscles cramp. My lovely volunteer helped me stretch my leg and applied gentle pressure on the cramp and it released quickly. Wasn’t feeling overly confident at this point. A lot of people on the bike course, and we all get met by hard-core headwind that sucker-punched my soul (and many others). They call it “Party on the Hardy”. Sick humor?! Riding to headwind with gust around 40knots. It was slowly zapping my legs and killing my usually cheerful spirit. I wanted to quit so many times. Thoughts in my head were not pretty.

But once we had been tortured with this for about 35K, we got to turn around and I was flying! Tucked myself into a smallest possible aero and tried to gain as much free speed as possible. THAT WAS FUN! The second lap wasn’t that bad because I knew I got to fly up north again with the tailwind.

It was getting very hot on the bike and I made sure to pour cold water on me every aid station. Even stopped couple of times to make sure I got my body cooled off.

As I approach T2 and take my feet off my shoes, my abs cramp AGAIN!
Handed the bike to a volunteer and ran to T2 ready to dive deep into the unknown - run. I’ve never had cramps during races - and now I had already had three! What else was coming? Would my hamstring hold on?

Bike 5:53 something. Not too bad.

At this point it was around 31c and humid. My plan was to get as much ice as possible down the suit, bra and in my hat to try keep my core cool. Walked every aid station and that was the mission. Ice, water, drink of coke and orange slices.

Mentally running a marathon seemed impossible and I was in desperate need of seeing my family. First 14K lap - could not find them. Second lap around 18K-20K in, I finally see them. Hugs and kisses and tell them I’m going through hell.

Since the swim I had tried to find one good reason to quit this torture, but I could not find any. Not one that would not make me feel like I had disappointed my three kids, husband who has to pick up a lot of slack due to my training obsession, and my amazing Coach @Prof and the entire team in Athletica. There was no way in h#*l I was going to stand in front of my loved ones and look into their eyes and see disappointment.

So I just had to fight through. It was not fast but I gave my all. When I finally spotted that finish line I was so mad I just sprinted because I wanted it to be over so bad. No celebratory hands up, but straight to embrace my youngest who is my biggest fan. We both ugly cried that came deep from the gut. He held me so tight I think it was the biggest squeeze I’ve ever gotten from him. He cried and said Mom I Love You So Much. THAT was the reason I made it to the Finish Line.

Run- slowest marathon (ironman or stand-alone) ever. But I’m proudest of this one because I was looking for reasons not to finish the entire time, AND I didn’t. I gutted it out to get to hug my family and having it done. I gave my finisher hat and shirt to my boy Axel.

Not once did I think of placement. I heard on the run I was fifth but then I started to fade. I had nothing more to give, and didn’t really care what place or time I came in. I had stopped looking at my watch a long time ago.

I was going to take a break from Ironman training, and do some shorter fun stuff for a while as it is really hard to get everything done as a mom of three kids with their own sports schedules etc. I wasn’t going to take my spot in the World Champs in Nice. I had already made up my mind that I would not even go to the Award Ceremony.

But - in 2022 I had turned down my spot to Kona - can you imagine how hard it is to say NO to your dream?! and it broke my little guy Axel’s heart almost as much as it did mine. And I just could not do that again.

Sunday morning I hollered “Yeehaw, heck yeah I’ll go” when my name was announced for a spot in France. It’s not Kona- but life’s funny that way. Sometimes you just have to know when to grab your chance.

So I guess one more big push, team? ! Who’s with me?!

Viva La France !

Now I need to find some hills!

MJ
If you have any questions about the IMTX course, please let me know- I think we will discuss more about races in upcoming episodes. Over and out for now.

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I was out on a very different ride to @Marjaana 's on Saturday. A 221km route check for my brevet event which I am running this Saturday. My event is called The Four Minute Mile and visits the stadium where Roger Bannister broke the four minute mile on 6th May 1954, the 70th anniversary next Monday. I treat route checks as C events, the important bit is to be fresh enough to complete (and enjoy) them, but I don’t need to be at my freshest / best.

It was a minimum of 4 degrees, and average 7 degrees Celsius. It also rained the whole time, a wet and cold day out. My wife made me a hot water bottle when I got back in, in the evening! Good challenging conditions, even without the distance.

Brevets are non competitive and very different to Ironman. Here I am enjoying a Thali with my event helper at the halfway point in Oxford.

My bottom bracket was failing in the second half and I had to nurse it home. It had done 21,626,80km, a decent but not extraordinary distance. Since the bottom bracket cost me £6 in a sale, I’d say I’ve got my moneys worth. I fitted a new one yesterday evening.

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amazing story !! good job and you’re welcome in France for Nice haha !

I’m doing my first ever triathlon this sunday, just a size S but if I enjoy it I plan to register for the Knocke-Heist Ironman 70.3 in september in Belgium, I live near the border!

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Good luck to your first ever tri! Those first ones are so special. Enjoy every moment

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Grand Bravo Marjaana. I did 70.3 World in Nice in 2019, I loved it. I am sure you will enjoy the race, its scenery and the crowd on the Marathon! Have Fun

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Thanks Jerome!! Did you use road bike?

No, I used my TT bike. A friend who did Nice last year was on his TT, and he wondered if a very profile road bike would have been better.

IMO it is whatever bike you are comfortable with. There are descents but also some long, flattish stretches. If I was doing it, I would take my TT but I can practices hills in California.

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