22 July 2013

20.7.2013 - Finntriathlon Joroinen (70.3, half distance)

This was our main target for this year. We decided about 18 months before that during the summer of 2013 we would complete a half triathlon. A lot of our friends were here the year before and were going again. So it was an easy pick to go here for us.
The evening before the race we went to check-in the bikes. We also had a possibility to check the T1 area.

Jyrki's race:

I was quite afraid of the swimming part. Swimming is clearly my weakest dicipline. The swim course was like a diamond shape rectangle.
We started in age groups 3 minutes apart. I started the quite in the back since I knew I would not be among the fastest ;-) The first leg was easy and swimming started to feel not-so-bad. I even caught up on some of the earlier starters. At the same time some competitor from the later group started overtaking me. Anyway, the first turn was ok. My swimming was pulling to the left (as it had all summer) so I was never in the middle of the crew. Made it actually a bit easier.
The second leg was still quite easy but there was some wind that made some waves. Still no big problem. The third leg was horrible. The waves were "really big" - at least to my standards - and swimming the front crawl was not going very well for me. A couple of times I swallowed a lot of water. I had to swim the breast stroke for a couple of hundred meters. The last leg again the wind came more from behind and it was a lot easier. Coming to shore I was thinking about what I need to do and in what order.
  1. Press the lap on the training computer to get my T1 time
  2. Find my bag
  3. Take a gel
  4. Remember the number
  5. ...
It should have been easy since T1 and T2 were in different places and the bags were separate for both transitions. But as I got to shore I was caught by a familiar reporter who started to take pictures of me really close. Of course I forgot to press the lap... Everything else was easy. I needed everything in the T1 bag.
Swim time was 46 minutes, really slow. But it was expected.

Biking was my strongest dicipline, so I was feeling quite good. I started off quite hard (a bit too hard) with my heart rate going up to 170. I turned it down a notch and started enjoying. We made two laps on the course. I was overtaking quite a lot of people which of course felt good. I was not in a bad form. Saying hi and cheering our team mates every time we saw each other.  In the end my bike time was 2:28. A little over 36 km/h on average. It was actually surprisingly fast since I had not done many bike rides during the last year.

The second transition was quite a long run from the bike depot to the T2 bags. I found the bag easily and started to change shoes. No surprises here, but it was rather slow.  Then off to the run course.

The running was four laps around the woods and roads close to the finish area. The first lap was not as bad as I had anticipated. Counting out the steep hill in the beginning... Second lap was going quite good as well. The third lap started to feel in the legs. The fourth lap was quite painful. It was a weird feeling, my legs were numb but hurting...? I overtook Niina on my second or third lap. She was one lap behind. Changing some words with the love of my life, made it easier...;-)
Again a lot of cheering on with our team mates.
I tried to make a sprint in the end, but it might not have looked that way. The running time was 1:48 and I am very happy with the result.

When I finished I was really surprised when they called out my name and time. I  was thinking that a perfect time for me would have been around 5:30:00. It was 5:11:53! A good 18 minutes faster than I would ever have though possible.
The feeling was absolutely amazing. I did it!

Immediately after finishing I ran to where I saw some of our friends who were not competing. My first question was: Is Niina still running or did she quit? Niinas knees were so bad in the weeks before the race that she was sure that she couldn't finish the running part. The friend told me that she is still soon starting on the last lap. She is doing great!

Swim: 45:57
T1: 4:17
Bike: 2:28:36
T2: 5:02
Run: 1:48:03
Total time: 5:11:53
Average Heart rate: 158
kCal: 5445


Niina's race:

To be updated soon...

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