Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Lisbon International Triathlon, here I come!

The next stop on the road to becoming an Ironman is the Lisbon Half Ironman distance Triathlon on the 30th of April. I did it last year and it was the first Triathlon I had ever done. To say that it is an "easy" Triathlon is like saying that my bike is a "cheap" road bike. It was the perfect venue to debut as a triathlete because the course is nice and flat, not too windy, not too hot - the water is salty (good for flotation) but not open sea, the race is organized to perfection and the hotel is within walking distance of the transition areas. The only problem with the event was that a large ash cloud from a volcanic eruption had lead to me (and thousands of others) being stranded in London. I managed to get back just in time to drive down to Lisbon with my bike in the back of the car. I bought a t-shirt from an entrepreneurial guy with the logo "2.4 - 90 - 21.1 - I made it!" and a graphic of a volcanic eruption.

In the race itself, I suffered from terrible cramps in the run (which took me the best part of two hours to complete) but was able to finish anyway - in a time just over 5 hours which wasn't too shabby - but as soon as I crossed the line I was whisked off by someone who took my pulse to check I wasn't about to expire because I must have looked pretty terrible (see photo below). I was in such bad shape that I couldn't even get on to the massage bed without cramping for another half an hour after the race, even though they shot me to the front of the queue. I remember how the masseurs freaked out when they saw my shoulder, thinking that I had sustained that injury during the race! I'm pretty confident that I have overcome the cramping problem (remedy: salt stick tablets and lots of them) so I'm hoping to break the 5 hour mark this year.


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