Ciesze sie Was poinformowac, ze po raz trzeci w przyszla w niedziele wystartuje w zawodach triathlonowych w Szczecinie na dystansie olimpijskim non-drafting w barwach mojego klubu AS Podroze Szczecin. Dziekuje organizatorowi ENEA za zaprosiny na ta impreze. Trasa jest plaska wiec mozna oczekiwac szybkiego scigania.
Actually I have ended my career in the Olympic distance. Nevertheless I am using these short events to keep up my motivation and racing is the best training. After the Ironman in South Africa I was quite tired and was looking for such a new motivation. I took the Polish Champs into account and started my preparation. I had some overweight and so my first goal was changing my diet. I managed to lose 5 kilos in 6 weeks. Moreover, I changed my training, training less, but with higher intensity. That was a good change for my body and it was fun doing some harder track sessions. Two weeks before the race I twisted my ankle and I have torn my ligaments. Thanks to my physio I was able to run with a special tape.
I arrived in Poland (Elk) with lots of confidence and a good shape. Unexpectedly I had a good swim and exited the water in 3rd position with 20sec to the leaders. I felt great on the bike and closed the gap immediately. I pushed hard and with two other athletes we tried to break away from the chasers. After 10k we lost one athlete, 5k later also the other dropped back. So out the sudden I was alone in front and made the desicion to try it by myself. At km 25 I realised that my lead was not big enough and I decided to drop back and save energy for the run. With in total 7th athletes I entered the second transition area. I started slowly due to my ankle, and “checked” the situation. After 3k I pushed harder and took the lead, which I did not give back to the end of the run. I locked up my 5th titel and that was a great feeling. I love to race in Poland and I have some more races on my mind 😉
My first Ironman this year kicked off in Port Elizabeth (South Africa). I had a pretty good preparation in Australia, but did not feel the punch from the beginning. The swim was okay, but I exited the water only in 5th position. The first kilometers on the bike were very fast, maybe a bit too fast. After 25k I almost caught up with the leaders, but this shows that the first kilometers were too fast. Up to the halfway I was well positioned, but felt rising weakness in my legs. At kilometer 100 I was out of power and could not push more. I started eating all the gels I had with me, but nothing helped. For the next 50k I was losing tim to the leaders and I dropped to the 12th position. I asked an Agegrouper for a bowerbar. He gave me two chocolate powerbars and just 10min later my tank was full again. I could push hard again and the last 20km on the bike passed very fast. When I reached the transition area I was quite frustrated, but I seeked my chance in a good run. It was very hot and I like it. I maintained a high pace through the most of the run section passing many athletes. The last 10k were very very tough, but I could lock up the seventh spot at least. I am not happy with this result, but gained some important points towards the Kona ranking. Now I am ranked 35th and hope to defend my position until the end of the qualification.
I am proud and happy to announce that I have been voted for as the best triathlete of the year. XTRI.PL and Akademiatriathlonu.pl have organised two sports galas respectively, in which unfortunately I could not participate due to my preparation for the Ironman Cozumel. But in these both galas the jury voted for me the most. It is a great appreciation of my performance. This was maybe the best season of my life, even though it started bumpy. Thanks to my family and all my supporters.
My last race this year took place in Mexico. It was after Arizona and Wales my third Ironman. I knew it would be a hard race because of the tough conditions on this small island. It was quite humid and hot. I arrived a week prior to the race in Cozumel and had some time to get used to the climate. Cozumel is a great island and a destination for tourists from all over the world. Cozumel in the language of Maya means swallow like my surname when translated from Polish to English 🙂 So that was already a good sign. Before the race I felt great and I had a good feeling. The swim was shortened due to the strong current on race day, so we swam only 3,1km instead of 3,8km. I exited the water in 5th position, which was already a good start. I swam easy and tried to save energy and just stayed in the pack. The bike course was a flat one, which I thought would be an easy one. But the strong wind made it tough. Up to the 80th kilometer I was with the first pack, but started feeling tired. I decided to slow down a bit and save energy for the run. So the last 100km I went solo, but I maintained a consistent pace. I lost 20min to the leader and 10min to the main pack, but that was calculated. I started the run in 9th position. I felt great and my legs felt okay after the hard bike (4:46h). The first 10km I ran in 38min and the halfmarathon in 1:19h, which put me already in 4th position. The distance to the 3rd was still about 5min so I decided to control the pace and lock up my 4th position. I ran the marathon in 2:49 h, which was a good effort in the heat. Finally I finished 4th after 8:13h and gained valuable 980 points for Kona ranking. Now I am in 17th place overall in Kona ranking with 2680 points, which almost gives me the ticket for Hawaii. At least it is very realistic that I will get this slot, which would be another highlight in my career.
After the race it was time for recovery and some other enjoyment. We did kitesurfing and diving, which is another passion of ours. Here a video our guide made on the last of our ten dives we did.
The Ironman Wales will remain one of my nicest triathlons and memories I have ever had. I start with two weeks before when I caught a stomach bug and I was out of training for several days. I did not want to race in an Ironman in this condition, but Ela persuaded me to go and give it a try. In fact just few days before the race I started feeling well and I felt fresh legs. I knew that I was to expect a very hard bike course with many hills and a typical English weather. 10 degrees and pouring rain during the race.
Just to let you know the exact distance. An Ironman is a 3,8km swim, a 180km bike and a 42,2km run! This was my second Ironman after Arizona last year. The swim took place in the Bay of Tendby. Chilly 18 degrees water temperature allowed us to wear wetsuits. The swim was easy and actually just a warm-up. I quickly took the lead on the bike and pushed hard but controlled. I was in the lead for until km 120. Then I went to the back of three other contenders Scott Neyedli, Wiltshire and Fraser. I felt great until km 165. Out of the sudden I ran out of power and started suffering. I guess it was too cold for me and I did not put enough energy into my body. I ate as much as I could, but that was not enough. I still managed to finish the bike in second position behind Neyedli and started the marathon with heavy legs. Despite a toilet “jump” I managed to cut a 4min margin to the leader. At km 35 I was just 1:15min behind Neyedli. I was still optimistic to win the race and so my first Ironman. But it was not meant to be. As earlier on the bike I ran out of power also on the run and hardly managed to keep my second place. The last 7km were the worst km in my life. My legs were so sore, especially while running downhill. Every muscle was aching and I only wished to get to the finish line as quickly as possible. After 9:18h it was done! I finished second in my ever second Ironman. I am very happy with this result and happy to have collected 1600 points for the Kona Ranking.
I had a great stay in Wales. Thanks to my host Vicky and Paul. They made my stay so much pleasant. I will never forget this little town Freshwater East, where I was staying four days. What an idyllic and quiet place with just short way down to the beach 😉 Now it is time to get some rest and get ready for Lanzarote and Cozumel! 😉