Sunday, 26 April 2009

B minus

The picture is the Barcelos cockerel famous to portuguese legend and Nandos!

So back from Lisbon and I am not entirely sure what I have learnt (except for the cockerel legend). Overall I kinda did what I set out to do but somehow it was not entirely satisfactory. The swim was a solid 30 mins (and a second) so just above my target but pretty much where I want to be. It was quite a feisty affair with 600 in a mass start with a turn at 300m. The field appeared to me quite talented with a significant number using this event like me as a warm up to Lanzarote.

A leisurely transition and the out on the bike a 4 lap course. My plan was to go steady on the first and then push hard on laps 2 and 3 then hold on for the 4th. This worked well; I had a familiar dead leg feeling out of the swim but allowed them to slowly tune up to speed. The bike was essentially an out and back with a 1 mile hill just before turn around. We had a whole section of motorway closed off for us which was fantastic, but there was a strong headwind on the way out which was less good. It did make for a fantastic return leg with speeds topping 42 mph, and in general was good practice in holding a tight aero position for a sustained block of time. I was disappointed to clock what I thought was a slow 2.37 for the bike leg but the whole field was at least 10-12 minutes slower than last year which again puts me about where I felt I should be. I did however start to fade of the pace a bit in the last lap with a few I had passed in lap 3 clawing me back and then riding away from me. I felt that I had may be a bit more power to squeeze but it was not easy and settled on maintaining a steady rhythm through the last leg.

Finally out onto the run. I wrote the plan was to run steady 8 min miles as per goal IM pace. Fact was I had only one pace and that was to keep going. I think/hope it was down to a lot of running in the last 10 days and the deliberate non taper for this race (OK so I had a rest on friday but trained as normal the rest of the week) otherwise I think I could be in trouble come May 22nd. I got progressively slower on the 4 laps and was struggling a bit on the last. Still I posted a 1.43 which was worse than anyone who finished above me (so yes I did go backwards through the field on the run quite spectacularly) but was pretty much my target time (even if it was probably on 20.5 km).
I guess I learned I am still an aspirational AGer with no discernible talent but a lot of enthusiasm and that the breakthrough to elite superstardom will have to wait another week, lifetime or dimension.

As for the race itself. I think it is fab. The wind aside it is pretty well organised, a good strong field, fantastic venue found myself good accommodation and for a capital city relatively cheap. I think I may well be there next year if I am not doing London Marathon (or perhaps even the lisbon marathon which was the weekend before!)

1 comment:

Tom said...

great race mate, I wouldn't read too much into the run... you know you're in great shape, it just sounds like the bike was tougher than it felt, particularly with last minute travel and no real taper...

see you in a couple of weeks ;)