Initially Caroline Kearney was supposed to be the last race before heading over to Germany for my 70.3 in September. But first things first…
The weekend after Two Provinces I headed over Frankfurt to meet my family and to see some of our Americans. It was overdue to meet my dad’s aunt I had not seen for ages and my cousin was over with her two kids. Afterwards, I went up to Hamburg for my best friend’s wedding. In the morning I met my mum for breakfast on the Alster river, in the afternoon and evening I attended the wonderful ceremony and celebration. Those days were really packed but I tried to see as many people as possible in a short time.
Of course this short trip with very little sleep did not happen without the usual delays on the airport, the train and also a false fire alarm just after checking in at 0.45am. In case someone is wondering – yes, I do still like travelling.
It probably took my about a week to recover from the lack of sleep. I am definitely no 20 years old who can party all night and does not need any sleep.
Somehow it sometimes feels that I only live for work and training at the moment but I really enjoy that. Most of the time the weather allows to spend time outside on the bike and running in the park but I also know that the new semester is coming closer and closer, so I use the time as well as possible to do all that sport before I will be back reading academic articles and doing group work. Cycling 140K through the counties Dublin, Kildare and Meath is actually quite nice, especially when the weather is nice. I also ran the Rock n’ Roll 10K since to make at least one of the runs more interesting.
Saturday then it was finally time for the Caroline Kearney Memorial Triathlon in Mullingar. I knew that it would be a flat course and I wanted to see improvements from Kilkee. Needless to say that all three disciplines were much faster due to the lack of hills on the bike and run or the waves on the swim. I also got more training done, of course.
The swim was in Lough Ennell. I am not the biggest fan of lake or river swims as the water always seems mucky. Lakes at least mean that the water will not become too choppy as in Kilkee. It also seemed that we are mostly swimming through some plants that have grown so high that they reach the surface or just above the ground. Although the waves were quite big, I got less hits than during the previous races.
During the race briefing it was mentioned that towards the end it would get shallow, deep again and then shallow. Somehow it would not get deeper again and so I stood up, started to open my wetsuit only end up back in the water when the marshals shouted “hole”. Apart from that the swim went well and I have the feeling that the swim is pretty much where I was last year. Just in time for Rügen.
The transition was a longer run up to the transition which went quite alright.
The bike course was a flat 40K with the occasional up and down. I noticed that all those hours on the bike a difference, although it was short compared to what I have done on the weekends. During most of the bike I had an occasional back and forth with a BMC rider. When one was too slow, the other one passed and got away. Otherwise, the bike was uneventful and I am happy but I think there is always something that can be improved.
Somehow I always find that I spend too much time in T2. This had nothing to do with the fact that I put on socks this time because I did not want to run a 10K without them, but in general I think that I could get faster.
The run was an out and back course with two U-turns just after 4K and after the 5K mark. The course was quite flat with a few ups and downs but nothing major. On the map it looked quite straight with the one or the other turn. On the way out it was fine as the fast runners were on their way back. On the way back, there were not that many runners left and the road got emptier. On the way out, it also seemed that I did not notice that there were some parts where you could see the turn in about one kilometre which was not too motivating. It just seemed that the run would never end. Otherwise, the run was alright. It just prepared me for the suffering during the upcoming half.
After the race I visited a colleague on maternity leave and her little girl. On the next day, I watched the Ironman 70.3 Dublin run in Phoenix Park to cheer and to see the circus that will await me.
Of course, Caroline Kearney was initially supposed to be the last race before the Ironman 70.3 Rügen but… Yesterday, I signed up for another sprint race purely to do some last tests two weeks prior to the race, just to see if I am happy with everything. This will hopefully also keep my mind from starting to panic early, and that will definitely happening… See ya soon!