So that was lanzarote. One year of training later and I raced nearly identically in every aspect to last year. Except that at nearly every step I felt fitter and stronger, even when I felt tired and slow out on the marathon course. I guess I had a choice of finding perhaps 5 minutes more out on the run but once I felt a sub 11 was beyond me I was not to bothered about the time and started to enjoy myself!
So to the swim start. This was my roughest of 4 IM swims. I got kicked punched blocked and generally chucked around. I think last year was just a lucky swim. As a consequence I was quicker in my second lap and had the joy of overtaking numerous others as I came back against the tide on the second lap. I am not sure why the swim was so rough this year but I was struggling to swim straight and found myself close to the bouys which was probably the cause of all the grief.
Out of the sea and on to the bike. Last year I went off like a bat out of hell. This year I felt much more evenly paced and generally enjoyed most of the bike. My key mistake was to believe the Km markers which were completely out. I guess I wanted to believe them too! (they were well short and at half way showed me headed for a 5.30-40 split time when in reality the 170 km matker came with about 25 km still to go instead of the 10 it should have been.) This lead to me virtually sprinting the last 5 km in a desperate bid to get under 6hrs (and I failed.. tho' not on my bike computer). Could I have gone faster? probably. Could I have gone significantly faster? I doubt it. So there must be a lesson there somewhere.
Out onto the run and I really struggled to get my HR down. Accroding to my HR monitor it was stuck at 170. Either my HR monitor is bust or I have a problem... I think the HR data is out of wack. But I still took a while to get going, and as I wrote in the intro could perhaps have found a bit of pace as the run went on but not more than 5 minutes max.
A week on I can honestly say I really enjoyed the race, perhaps most of all down to the fab support from tri londoners both in the race (Jo, Marc and Alex) and from the sides (especially Steven and later in the day team Sayer).
I need to think a bit more about what I have learnt in this cycle of training but now its time to start focusing ahead to this years "A" race- Ironman Switzerland