My First Olympic Triathlon Distance

1700m of swimming, 40km of biking and a 10km run. I have done these distances, individually, multiple times. It so happened that Germany is currently experiencing an unreal heatwave and we started our race at 39degrees Celsius, or 92Fahrenheit, at 1pm in the afternoon.

The Swim

Downstream on the Main, this swim was fun. Not only has the river’s water temperature reached 27,5Celsius, the stream is also fairly fast. I averaged 1:24/100yards, coming out of the water after 25Minutes. I was lucky to be a little bit before the main field of roughly 700starters because Kitzingen is a very local race and the transition zone on the river banks war packed.

The Bike

The first km were flat and I got pretty comfy in Aero. My legs felt pretty good. As always, I loved the biking. Pretty early I was able to find a group that was about my pace and went go back and forth depending on the terrain.

At km 30 I heard someone shouting from behind: “Hello Wifey, how are you feeling?”. I tried to stay behind Pouya, but I could not keep up. Very suddenly I was experiencing some harsh tummy pain that almost made it impossible to stay in aero. It made me a little worried about the upcoming run, since the same thing had happened during my middle distance in Mallorca (for which I am still owing a race report).

The Run, or: Questioning my sanity

The race strategy was to not overpace as I had consistently done in all runs, except for my best 10k where I was able to run negative splits. I started with a 6:17km / 10:11mile. It felt not great, but ok. Running in the sun was very harsh and after the first km I had trouble breathing and I experienced sharp pain in my tummy again. It forced me to go into a run/walk-mode and mentally took a lot. I kept thinking that it would be ok to quit, that I do not have to finish this if it’s hurting so much. After 4km they offered Coca Cola and I figured it would either make my pain worse and force me to give up or it would make it better. This time Coke did the job, the pain gradually went away, leaving me scared and anticipating the next wave. After the first round Juli and Matthias (who had already finished his Sprint) were cheering me up. Running by, I told them I would quit. Juli then followed me and gave me a real pep-talk; the second 5k-loop went much better, I came in with a pretty disappointing run time.

I was proud for fighting through the pain and not collapsing in this ridiculous heat.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I am hugging my conniption fit inner child on this sunday morning

The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort or convenience, but where he stands in times of challenge and controversy. (Martin Luther King)

Once again I visited the Martin Luther King Memorial in DC and, in deep admiration, paused for a moment in front of his quotes; They are humbling. The above one captured my attention so much because I currently find myself confronted with some life challenges.

When you want it all…and end up on the couch with your solace giving jar of Peanut Butter

Last week I tried it all: working out, eating clean, enough sleep, performing well at work and packing up my apt for a move on saturday. And this is the situation I found myself in most nights: Cancelled all workouts, munching on potato chips with Peanut Butter, sleep-deprived, insanely frustrated at work because for the first time I have taken on a project that does not have clearly defined goals and I am suffering. And instead of packing smartly, I ended up packing “miscellaneous” boxes – basically just randomly throwing stuff in so at least one thing would be DONE in my head.

There is a stubborn inner child taking over at times that can be quite annoying

Surely I could have asked for and I certainly was offered help. But I wanted to get it done by myself. I want to say it’s not me, it is a very stubborn, unreasonable part of me. Once set on an idea or task, however insurmountable that workload may look to a reasonable person, there is no turning back. Or accepting help. I call that part of me my annoying inner child. Why? Have you ever seen a young child throw herself on the floor in the supermarket, screaming, wanting something. Yeah, that’s how I feel at times of challenge.

Letting go

Just like the child’s conniptions in the supermarket only last a few minutes, my inner child gets appeased fairly easily; Or defeated by exhaustion. Maria Rita reminded me this week that while welcoming bad feelings is crucial, it is just as important to let go of them as easily. So, after a good night’s sleep, after moving out of my apartment and in with my boyfriend and after waking up next to him with the Boston sunlight announcing my favorite day, I am hugging my inner child this morning and tell her: You’ll be fine. I don’t want to get rid of you, I am accepting you as a part of me.

 

 

A cross-country ski marathon…because “why not”?

Cross-country skiing plus shooting – Biathlon – is one of my favorite winter sports to watch. I always wanted to cross-country ski, but every time I am close to mountains downhill just seemed so much more appealing.

A couple of weeks ago, after I walked my marathon and realized how much I love long weekend training sessions, I decided to sign up for a cross-country ski race. Not just any race, the “American Birkie“, the US version of the Norwegian Birkebeinerrennet, a cross-country ski marathon.

The only – not really logical – reason for me signing up for a ski marathon is: Why not? It will be a great motivator to go out and explore the beautiful North-East more, we have a great group of grad school friends  all doing it and a good story never started with “I don’t think I can do that.”

My first time on skate skis

As you can imagine I am awaiting snow this year more than ever. While you can train endurance and stability in the gym it does make sense to ski as often as possible. Last weekend I was finally able to put on skate-skis for the first time in my life. I should mention that my first challenge was to attach the skis to my boots, but once that was taken care of and I started skating, I realized: this is not as easy as I thought it would be. But it is a lot of fun! Especially if you find yourself in the middle of the forrest on a beautiful sunny sunday, skating alongside your boyfriend (who was crazy enough to sign up as well).

waterville_cx

Whether I’ll be able to actually ski 50km at the end of February does not really matter at this point. What matters is that I finally did what I have always wanted to do and I am learning something new. I will for sure keep you posted.