When you hear the word “Barcelona”, what is your first impulse?
Sagrada Familia? Las Ramblas? An attractive and bustling metropolis?
Among other things, it might be the sun, the beach and warm temperatures. A perfect place for the joys of life, including…
A long-distance triathlon?!?
Calella, just outside of Barcelona, is the venue of “Ironman Barcelona”. Early October is usually perfect for a visit of Catalonia, except for that last Sunday morning, on race day. There was heavy rain and the streets were flooded when I stepped outside in the dark early morning. I saw wonderful lightning over the sea and got a little scared: Getting electrocuted by a flash while swimming didn’t seem like such a great prospect. I was glad the clouds moved in the right direction (as in “away”) and we were able to start the race with a half-hour delay.
The 3.8 km swim wasn’t easy for me. I swallowed some salty water and was unable to stay with the leaders, fighting my way through the waves. This is something I really don’t practice often. (Not surprisingly, the lakes in Berlin tend to be a lot smoother) 😉
But I did feel good and confident and moved my concentration to the bike leg. The bike course is along the seaside and almost entirely flat. Nothing spectacular, but perfect for me as I tend to get a little lame at even the slightest grade… Instead, I pushed a great pace of over 37 km/h on average and managed to make it back to the transition area after a mere 4:49h on the bike. “Boom! Good job”, I thought to myself. My enthusiasm carried over to the first quarter of the run. I felt really good, almost too easily running my target pace of 4,5 minutes per km. But after 10k I started feeling the wear and tear of the race. I couldn’t quite keep up my pace and gradually got a little slower with each lap. While I never completely imploded, I did end up running the last 10k in just over 50 minutes (way slower than I’d hoped), amounting to a 3:23h marathon.
Overall, I’m very content with my new long-distance PB of 9:22h and already looking forward to next season. But for now, I’ll just take a break and rest my legs.
Stay tuned –