Monday, April 9, 2012

Change of plans

...and after
Thanks to the R souls who operate the AP-7 motorway, who decided allegedly at the last minute not to allow the ICAN Half Ironman to use their road this year, the bike route has had to be radically changed, as you can see above, from a relatively flat course to a very hilly one. This would be akin to changing a rowing regatta from taking place in a lake to the sea or moving a formula 1 race off-road. It may not seem like a big deal, but given that folks are willing to spend thousands on bikes that are specially set up to go on the flat (triathlon or time trial bikes) it would seem that it is for some. And that is not to mention the need to adapt your training to a more mountainous route and one that will take longer to complete.

Enough of my complaining. Hats off to those of you who are still competing. I just don't think I would enjoy it and I would feel silly riding my triathlon bike with a disc wheel up those hills. And, let's face it, my heart hasn't been in this competition since the beginning. I chose Marbella so my parents (who live in Malaga) would be able to come and watch and even they are not sure that they would be able to make it. Also, I think I have been following a strict structured training programme for too long. I'm fed up of having to do 99% of my training on my own, much of it indoors, and having to pass up the opportunities as they arise to go on a ride or a run with friends.

I was able to get my money back from ICAN and from the car hire (just) but ended up losing about 100 euros on the train. To be honest, I would have been happy for those 100 euros to have gone to ICAN, as I think they have been the losers in this story. Who knows? Perhaps there is more demand for hilly triathlons as most people have road bikes better suited for that kind of terrain. It's also a more Mediterranean style of cycling (although remember that drafting or riding in packs are still not allowed).

My first thought was to sign up for another Half Ironman: the agreement with my family had been to do one a year after all. I looked into the new 70.3 Ironman in Norway that looks great if not a bit remote. But then my wife reminded me that it wasn't the race itself that was the problem, just the training, and she wasn't happy about me spending another couple of months preparing. Then I got a brainwave: why not do the Lisbon International Triathlon again this year? That was nice and flat and around this time. In fact, I felt stupid for not having thought of doing it earlier. Then I found out that registrations had already closed. To be honest, it's a bit of a relief. I can't face doing any more 3-4 hour "brick" (bike-run) sessions.

So what now?

I've got the 10K race on the 22nd of April, that runs alongside the Madrid Marathon, and is my chance to qualify for the International San Silvestre. It's also the first race I will run in the 40+ age group. I'll focus these last two weeks on getting some speed in my legs. Although I have just come back from Asturias* and found that all the sea food, cider and wine has tipped me over 90 kilos... Then I'll have to see how I feel about things. I'm thinking of continuing to work on my swimming but to use running and cycling just to keep fit, at least until I start to prepare for another triathlon. I'll probably keep up some kind of weights programme as I do think this is important. Right now I'm not feeling the bug to compete, maybe I won't again, maybe I will... Whatever happens I want to keep on enjoying being fit.

* By the way, in some tiny village in Asturias a guy stopped his car and got out to ask me something... He said, "I saw you running the other day - who makes those shoes you were running in?"


  1. Like you I'm able to do anything in moderation and I'll start with ultra trail this summer.

    You're wellcome to Madrid I'll be running the complete Marathon.


    1. Gracias Miguel! Vivo en Madrid, de hecho, y aunque no corro el Maratón, si compito en la de 10 que va en parallelo así que igual te veo... Suerte!!!