I won the Swedish Champs, olympic distance, on Saturday!
After European Champs (2nd) and a dismal World Champs (16th), I´ve had a month of initial recovery followed by a great block of training with the goal of racing a fast Ironman in Almere, Netherlands coming Saturday. I´ve never really raced one of those speedy courses and Almere is certainly one of the fastest:)
Anyway, that training, which included a number of +8 hour days, had left me a tad bit tired and flat last week but a few massages and cold dips had me back feeling snappy and hunky-dory come Saturday. Or so I thought...
With the abscense of Björn, who´s doing his best tearing up some US races, I was hoping not having to go full throttle on this cold and windy day but as soon as we got lined up on the beach with a heavy smell of neoprene being peed in, magicmarker and testosterone flying high, I knew that there´s no such thing as winning easy or racing comfortably. It´s all ugly to me. Always has been.
The swim had all the ingredients of my personal nightmare; long running in shallow water with a turnaround on the beach after one lap. That´s helluva lot of running for a swim! And I´m a terrible hurdler/watersprinter, never could get those knees up fast enough. And it totally winds me so when I came ´round lap one feeling all maxed out and agegroupy I knew that it wouldn´t get any worse in terms of effort...The fast boys ditched me like a bad habit and when I got out onto the bike I was a minute back, going on two, judging by the way my legs felt. I snapped out of my misery and bore down on my 56-11 in the tailwind and had made up a lot at the turnaround and by the time I hit 20 k I was in the lead. So the second lap was all me trying to do my best Björn-imitation racing out of sight out of mind and I figured I´d almost pulled it off as I had a minute twenty once I slipped my flats on.
But don´t count your chickens bla bla and all that cuz´sure enough these young kids don´t let up so easy. Erik Strand, Swedens representative in the U-23 Worlds in Hamburg, tried to run my down and flew out of T2 like a bat out of hell and he put a ridiculous 45 seconds on me in the first lap of 2.5 km. Sure as hell made me feel like Godzilla running when I saw the young speedster in my rearview mirror. But as lap two and three wore on I kinda held on to my slim lead which at one point was down to ten seconds. So in the last few k´s I had to dig a little bit in my suffercabinet and I managed to kick it up a notch and held firmly to the line. Which was great since I was just about to get tired!
Anyhow, it was a great ballbreaker for next weekend and I even managed to win the Swedish Cup after having won three of five races and placing 2nd in two, one of which Björn beat me in; the Swedish Sprint Champs.
And here in Sweden the fun just won´t stop so today I raced an invitational supersprint outside of Stockholm with a 100 metreswim, a 3 k MTB and a 1000 m run. Held in quarterfinals, semifinals and a final with the best four, it was a true mayhaim of lactic acid and neardeath-experiences in the woods. Damn, those stones and roots on the ground sure makes it harder huh? And I´m totally content with the fact that I`ll NEVER race one of those X-terra races. Some people just dig bruises, cuts and guts. I don´t. Shit, I don´t even like camping that´s how bad I am at roughing it. So with all those excuses said I made it to the finals only by running like a mofo but once there I was outgunned and outnumbered and finished fourth.
Hopefully now a few days of R&R with the Swedish Bikini Team will make me perky and brimming with energy and if all goes well I´ll send you all an update with the results from Holland. If it doesn´t, you´ll have to find them online yourself:)