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About me
I was born in 1983 in Germany where I learned to swim and cycle. For reasons I can;t remember I decided to go to university in England. I studied physics at Sussex uni and graduated 2007 with a masters degree. After a short period in Heidelberg in Germany I returned to lovely Brighton in 2008 to start a PhD. During my undergraduate degree the insufficient training times with the swimming club forced me to search for a new mission. Triathlon soon became my addiction of choice. The only problem was that I couldn't run. However, weaknesses can be worked on...

Running in a sauna at Kona 2009

Post Monaco 70.3 2008

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All about lizzy

Joined: 01 Aug 2005
Location: Brighton
Website: Visit poster's website
Occupation: PhD student
Interests: triathlon, physics, reading, food

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Monaco 70.3 Race Report
Wed Sep 10, 2008 8:51 pm lizzy
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Pre Race
I flew to Nice on Thursday and met my mum out there. We stayed in a hotel in Cap-díAil just outside of Monaco.
I felt ok, itching to race and had put all doubts I had about getting the taper right out of my mind. I put the bike back together and noticed that the back wheel didnít slide in very easily. Upon further inspection I also noticed that the rear mech hanger was bent. Thankfully I had a solid block of wood between the dropouts that prevented more damageÖ Thanks EasyJet for handling my bike so well. Rolling Eyes That was easily fixed but the real bike problem was somewhat self-inflicted. While tightening the seat post clamp I slipped of with the allen key damaging the screw in such a way that I couldnít tighten it any more. The bike shop at the race expo could only be persuaded to promise to get me a new clamp (the screw was non standard, so not easily replaced) when I started crying. In the end it all worked out ok but I really had to try hard to stop myself from getting very upset about this. Ultimately I arrived at race morning feeling quite calm thinking Ďwhat else could possibly go wrong after all this?í and not phased by all the fit-looking people with their bling bikes. I was also very eager to prove half a dozen guys wrong who over the last couple of days had told me that there was no way that I could possibly Ďride around 3 hours on THAT courseí. As it was I beat them allÖ Wink

The swim is a 1 lap out, along and back affair with a beach start.
I started as far to the right as possible in an attempt to avoid getting beaten up. I managed that quite well up until the first buoy. After that I tried to find someone to draft off because we were now swimming into some quite annoying waves. That was probably a mistake because for the rest of the swim people continued to swim into and over me. I even got shouted at by some French guy, for what I still donít knowÖ But I guess I was lucky that was all, Michelle Lee got her nose broken! 31:28 for the swim was not really what I wanted but at the time I really couldnít have cared less. I was glad it was done and the biking to come.
The transition area was endlessly long and reminded me a lot of Hamburg, so my 5min for both transitions went out of the window before I even started.

The bike course is a single lap, 1500m of ascent divided up into 3 major climbs. We had driven the first part of the course on Friday and the first descent is the most evil one I have ever encountered: Narrow roads, bad surface, unpredictable bends. And the only thing to stop you from tumbling down the mountain if you get it wrong is a 50cm high brick wall. On race day this was made even worse because it had rained lightly during the night and the roads were wet and greasy. I donít know how many people crashed but there were a lot! The climbs themselves are not steep and I rode most of them quite happily in 34/19, so I guess in principle there was no need for a compact crankset. In between the climbs there are actually quite long passages where you can get down onto the aerobars and just ride fast, so I was glad I had them.

My ride was pretty consistent, I went through 30km at roughly 1h, through 60 at roughly 2 and got back after 3:02,32. I enjoyed most of the ride, especially as I caught another girl (different AG though) on the first descent who I continued to trade places with throughout the ride but ultimatetively managed to drop (and I think her staying with me might have ruined her race a bit because she should have run better than meÖ). Thinking back however I know that I left too much on the first climb. As soon as I hit the second climb I could feel that my quads were hurting. They werenít tired but the felt somehow bruised. It didnít appear to affect my cycling too much because I still picked up plenty of people but I was really really worried about the run now. I went through a little bad patch then because I thought about what that might mean with regards to the Kona slot but then the other girl overtook me again which took my mind of that and I battled on.

The run is 4.5 laps and despite being described as flat on the race website actually has a big hill in it which you get to run up 5 times. I had been told that it wasnít flat before but that hill was a lot worse than I had thought. I spoke to several people after the race who measured the altitude of the run and apparently it is about 275m!!!
When I started the run my legs were in pieces already. Despite that I appeared to moving at an ok pace. My breathing pattern was very relaxed so my heart didnít seem to to have to work very hard. There were no km markers at all, and the only marker they had put out at all was at the wrong turn-around! I hadnít memorized how long each lap was meant to be either. I was in a world of pain expecting it to get worse with every step. Fairly soon I abandoned my plan to run all the way. I walked the aid stations, drank some coke, stuffed ice cubes down my top and under my hat and kept some in my hands. On lap 3 I realised that the pain didnít get any worse, which made me run a bit faster and reel in some other girls. I paid for that on lap 4 were I walked a lot, including the hill, and got ovetaken again. Lap 5 I remembered something: High cadence. I focussed on keeping the legs turning over and before I knew it I was picking up those girls again, running up the hill the final time and crossing the finish line knowing that I had achieved what I had come out to do: Qualify for Kona. My run time was 1:42,50 which is a HM PB for me, how that happened I have no idea. But itís promising for what I should be able to do when I donít overcook the bike. Itís also a statement of how good my muscular endurance is at the moment. I completely blew myself up and still run like that.
So my prediction was pretty good, 4.45 for bike and run, but a slowish swim and long transitions for a total of 5:24,27Ö

Happy? You bet! But I really didnít enjoy the run because I hurt so much and to be honest had I missed out on Kona because of the bad pacing, I think I would be kicking myself now. (That said, having spoken to second in my AG afterwards, she didnít want the slot anyway but was after the Clearwater one which I had no interest in...)

Wed Sep 10, 2008 9:02 pm Cleo
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I'm so pleased for you!
I hope you'll keep blogging so we can follow you on the journey to Hawaii.

Wed Sep 10, 2008 9:15 pm savaloy
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Chuffed for you Lizzie - it must be a great feeling going into the off season knowing you've already qualified for Kona Cool Time for recovery now Smile
Swim smart, Bike strong, Run tough

Wed Sep 10, 2008 9:56 pm TB
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Well done, great race and report. Good to see a fellow Sussex graduate doing well.... Tom

Thu Sep 11, 2008 8:12 am p00key
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Superb report , well done . I did see you result but could not work out if you had qualified or not .
Thu Sep 11, 2008 8:46 am Silje
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Well done Very Happy And good luck in Kona. Keep us posted Exclamation
Thu Sep 11, 2008 12:42 pm Lizzie
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Well done - great report and run time! Looking forward to reading about your journey to Kona...
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midsussex sprint tri(400/25/5.9)
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