On the road to Kona 2011September 19, 2011
I have raced a few races this late summer after I did the first half of the marathon at the KMD Challenge Copenhagen event - iron distance racing in Copenhagen on August 14. It was a great day where our team raised awareness on men and cancer through the information campaign Whoisnumber one. Former 3 time Olympic swimmer and World Champion, Jacob Carstensen did the 3,8 km swim (fastest time of the day in 44:07), 8 timer 24 hour Le Mans champion and race car legend Tom Kristensen did the 180 km bike in just over 5 hours - he even had a flat! I did the first part of the marathon in about 1:14 and then the real star of our team - Jacob Pallesen - a cancer survivor - did the last part of the run.
He did the last 21,1 km in 1:26, a really good time and it was a great experience to be able to support this great initiative. As we split the marathon between us, we didn't compete in the relay competition, but that wasn't the point for us. We did this to support Whoisnumberone and in doing so we gave Jacob Pallesen, a great guy, a unique experience and that was the highlight of the day.
Win at 70.3 Timberman
The following Sunday I raced the 70.3 Timberman which resulted in a good win where I had 8 minutes down to 2nd place. Two weeks later I participated at the Hy-Vee triathlon, a special place for me as I have won the two previous times I have competed there. It was in my Olympic Distance days in 2007 and 2008 and I actually hadn't raced that distance since the Olympic Games in Beijing in August 2008.
I got a 5th place finish which for me was a good result after three years with my focus in iron distance racing.
I won 70.3 Timberman after a breakaway on the bike. Even though this was a 'must win' race for me I was surprised that I was able to take an 8-minute lead with me off the bike. It was important for me to test my bike strength as it has been a key point in my training all year to find a high bike level. On the other hand I suffered a bit on the run but was able to keep my 8-minute margin to the finish line.
Training with Matt Dixon in San Francisco
While I was in the States I could stop at the headquarters of my coach Matt Dixon for a week in training camp. It was a great way to get to know each other and we talked through all kinds of details. We're really on the same page and get along great.
I'm impressed with his insight to not only training but also the other factors that make a complete athlete. Although his key area is training he has a lot of good approaches to equipment, nutrition, mental mindset etc.
I have different kinds of specialists around me in my setup but I as an athlete appreciate to have a trainer around me that knows the big picture.
Top 5 in Des Moines
In Des Moines I got a satisfying 5th in my first international competition on the Olympic distance since the Beijing Olympics. Luckily it was a non draft race which suited an ironman athlete like myself better than draft racing.
Unfortunately I was not aware that the swim rules were USAT regulation and not WTC as I'm used to. Even though the water was so warm it was a non wetsuit swim we could swim in the neoprene suits as most did. I swam in my textile suit. I can of course only blame myself for not knowing the rules but I was surprised about the legal neoprene suits in a WTC race. This way you get reminded to remember to check these things before racing.
After a rather difficult swim I kept my focus and concentration out on the 40 km bike section. I chose to take my position as a challenge because I was further down on the leaders than expected. I was able to bike my way up from 22nd position to a 7th place heading out on the run. When exiting T2 a thought crossed my mind. That it was actually a pity that we didn't get to go a few laps more on the bike as I was just getting warmed up after the 40k. That's ironman thinking, I guess.
Out on the first lap of the run I did not feel that good. The quick transition from the bike and then running fast was a feeling long gone and I could not run out in 3.00-3.10/km pace as many of the others could so I lost a bit of time on that first lap. On the next three laps I felt alright on the run and did not run mush slower than the fastest guys. I finished the race in a good way and took 5th.
At Playitas until the summer of 2012
I'm back at Playitas now training the last few days before I leave for the US. I leave on September 23 and will have 3-4 days in San Francisco with Matt before heading for Kona. It's nice to break up that long travel so I can get into the time difference more gently and don't have to fly for that long in one stretch.
My swim has suffered a little these past weeks so I will have to change that before Ironman Hawaii and I'm focusing on that at the moment.
My family and I have decided to stay at Playitas until next summer. The kids and Anita have settled in nicely here and we have our daily life working out just fine. Emilie and Caroline have started school again and they are thrilled about it and that is very important as a parent. This will make my winter training much easier without me having to battle the tough Danish winter so I'm of course happy about this decision.
I will get back to you before the big day on the Big Island October 8.