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Lanzarote 2010 by el mitten ( with pictures ...ooooh)
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mitten.




Joined: 10 Nov 2006
Posts: 2110
Location: Sarf East

PostPosted: Thu Jun 03, 2010 11:32 pm    Post subject: Lanzarote 2010 by el mitten ( with pictures ...ooooh) Reply with quote

Preparation for Lanzarote was never gong to be as smooth as my previous run-up for France in 2008. A combination of a relatively undemanding job and an understanding boss allowed me to hit virtually every session and arrive at the line confident that I could make the distance. This time around a still (fairly) understanding boss but a much more demanding job, coupled with life in general led to some alarming gaps appearing in my training plan and a mild sense of panic. Still, if it was easy everybody would be doing it, so I put the base period back by two weeks and a solid block of training after Christmas had me feeling more confident.

This time around I also felt more confident about training on ‘feel’ rather than sticking rigidly to the HR zones as I had in 2008. While that undoubtedly worked for me then, I tried to raise the quality of sessions by going harder when I felt good and trying to identify and cut out junk miles. I also resolved to build on a solid but conservative 12:46:06 in France by putting in 1% extra at Lanza to see where it would lead.

My first training ride on the island was a quick introduction to the fabled wind. Half an hour into a solid 30mph headwind had me gasping and dried out immediately. The upside was that turning away from the wind on downhills was like being fired out of the barrel of a gun.



A course recce the next day really was something - gusts of what had to be close to 40/50mph up at Haria nearly blew the hire car off the road and prompted a classic comment from mrs el mitt that “you might have to walk this bit “


They don’t put these things here for fun

As it turned out, the wind died down over the next two days and race day dawned with 10-15mph breeze. Enough to let you know it was there but not a force to bludgeon you to death. Seeing the transition starting to take place in PdC had set the excitement building and racking on the Friday had brought the place alive. Race day as ever was buzzing



Swim – 1:04:46
Having swum 1hr exactly in 2008, I quite fancied trying to get 0:59:59 for a laugh so I managed to place myself well under the start tower, about 6 deep from the front. I was able to get fairly clear water from the start and stayed on the right and out of trouble around the first buoy. I normally do my own thing in the swim but this time I decided to try and get more of a draft to improve my time. Unfortunately this seemed to put me more into traffic & I tended to end up bumping into far more people than I would have liked. As I checked the clock on the turnaround it was at 31minutes. If I was to go for the 59:59 , I’d need to sharpen up. On the second lap I decided to forget about drafting and just swim



Despite this, I never really felt I nailed it and came out of the water in 1:04, bugger. Oh well, never mind. I’d gone round without a punch in the face and was eager to get out on the bike.

Bike. 6:39:10
I used the same bike as before. My faithful Allez Comp with clip on bars. I also used the tried & tested nutrition strategy of 1 powerbar, 1 gel & 1 bottle of energy drink per hour topped off with bananas & a bag of twiglets for when things got rough to cheer myself up. Bottle wise this translated to one bottle filled with a 10gel & water mix to see me all the way round. 2nd bottle for energy drink and an aero bottle on the bars for water & Nuun. I had a bit of a shock the day before when I finally read the briefing notes properly (note to self: read briefing notes properly) and realised that most of the bike stations weren’t doing powerbars. I had only bought four with me, thinking I would only need them as back up so I had to go on a last minute scrounging session, without success. Spookily as I exited transition, I saw two bars abandoned on the ground - and in the best flavour of mango passion fruit … result !!



With the wind dropping, the bike course wasn’t as bad as the recce had suggested but at 15mph or so it still kept you grinding away. Overall it was a real test but to be honest it was a little bit dull: partly because of all the lava fields, but also because of having previously done France which was technically more challenging and stunningly beautiful. Despite (or because of) this however it was far more mentally tough to complete and a real achievement. God only knows what it’s like in a 40mph headwind. Coming off the hairpins towards Haria, I luckily got on the tail of an older looking guy on what looked like a steel framed bike ( I assume he was a competitor but never really got close to see) who was absolutely tonking it. He clearly knew the road so I followed his line and we howled down the descent and through the town – definitely one of the high points of the ride. The Mirador climb was ok and after fuelling at the aid station I started to think about pushing on a bit. The downhill after this was spectacular. Checking my Polar after the race, I found I had hit 58.7 mph. I couldn’t tell you exactly where as I was far too scared to look, but it was probably here and it more than made up for the scenery.


The long and not very winding road

After the Mirador descent, there was long stretch of main road with a crosswind that was a real grind. The heat was really starting to bite and you could see the suffering setting in. What made it worse was that you knew you had to turn off for Teguise and face the last big climb to the village, but every time a Teguise sign post appeared, you went straight past it – arrgh. Eventually however the turn was made and up we went. It wasn’t too steep but it was very long and very, very hot and at that point of the race, very, very very hard … and then halfway up it came the filthy foreign drafter !! Mad

What is it about drafters in Ironman, particularly somewhere like Lazarote ? There we are, 140k into the race, grinding up arguably the hardest bit of the course into a nasty little headwind, and there’s a bloke two inches off my wheel. What made it worse was he was riding a Zipp'd up white P3 with World Cup stripes and I'd noticed him a couple of times earlier on the course doing a sly bit of wheelsucking. Does he really think I’m going to say – yeah ok mate, I’ll bury myself into this wind while you sit tight and have a nice tow all the way to the top ? A couple of shirty backward glances didn’t work so I threw a wrapper over my shoulder – cue a curse in foreign, BUT HE’S STILL THERE. I toyed with the idea of slamming on my brakes but thought that was probably stupid and dangerous, so I settled for standing up on the pedals, turning round and shouting “Feck off you cheating lazy bastard” in five languages which seemed to do the trick. Drafters … I’ll never get it. The bike course ended with a wickedly fast and enjoyable twisting descent into PdC and I was into T2 after 6:39

Run. 4:26:07
The run was hot. End of. I liked the one long/two short lap arrangement figuring that although the first lap would be tough, at least you knew you had broken the back of it. Support in the town was great but out past the airport it just got hotter... and drier... and bleaker. A lot of people were walking right from the start and towards the end it was more Shaun of the Dead than Chariots of fire.



I set a brisk pace and aimed to complete the first lap in 2 hrs. Much to my surprise I made the turnaround at 1h50m. So fast in fact, that there was no sign of the normally reliable Equipo el mitten. Typical I thought, I’m busting a gut and they’re jugging it up in a bar expecting to roll out and see me go through at 2 hrs - or two bottles .. of wine .. each.

On the second lap I started to suffer for my initial enthusiasm and dropped to a 1h19m. At the second turnaround I saw the race clock ( and a sheepish support crew) reading 11:03. Blimey, if I could do a 1’ish hr 10k, I could get home in 12:15. This time I really tried to up the pace. The thing was, the legs felt as if they could go round faster but I just couldn’t put my feet down harder – they weren’t blistered, just on fire and generally sore. If I could work that one out, I reckon I could go for a 4hr marathon !! I managed to clip a couple of minutes off – 1h17m and came across the finish in 12:25:26 – what a result. 20 minutes off my previous and a 4:26 marathon in that heat. I must confess to hamming it up a bit in the chute to get an extra cheer and team el mitten were right on the finish line for high fives all around.


In summary then, a fantastic day, a tough course, mentally and physically and a time I am really proud of. Unfortunately the next day we overdid it a bit at lunch and I missed the photocall at Ruta 66 but we got down there later on. A massive cheer is due to Wag1 and the girls for their unflagging support throughout the day

It sounds a bit corny but as I’m ‘retiring’ from long distance Tri ( just takes up too much time) and intending to concentrate more on the short stuff, I’d like to thank everyone on TriTalk for their support, advice & encouragement that helped me fulfil the Ironman dream – if you’ve ever thought about doing it but thought you couldn’t, think again. This forum is the best place to get you there so thanks everyone.

…. And of course to equipo el mitten (overdoing it at lunch)


Oh, and if you're ever driving around Lanza - don't forget to stop for Ironmen !!!


Last edited by mitten. on Wed Mar 02, 2011 11:50 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Badger
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 03, 2010 11:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fab stuff el mitt ... congrats el equipo ... swept away like voices in a hurricane
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theprawn




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PostPosted: Fri Jun 04, 2010 7:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

nice report and good racing. you have a beautiful smile.
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Carlito




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PostPosted: Fri Jun 04, 2010 7:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

well done. I love the fact that the biggest part of the report is about telling the other guy off about drafting. Amazing what we remember about a race.
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leeboy




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PostPosted: Fri Jun 04, 2010 7:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Superb report and result mr Mitten.


Well done pal.

Leigh
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Gibraltar




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PostPosted: Fri Jun 04, 2010 7:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Chapeau Mr Mitten!
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Shaun.OKeefe




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PostPosted: Fri Jun 04, 2010 9:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well done Dunc, I came in 4 minutes behind you, thanks for the swim sets you sent me I took 15mins off my swim this year, sorry to hear your retiring
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adrian73




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PostPosted: Fri Jun 04, 2010 9:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well done on the PB!! And great report too
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die trying




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PostPosted: Fri Jun 04, 2010 10:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great report and a pleasue to meet you out there. Great result with the PB too. Well done. Very Happy
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frazboy




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PostPosted: Fri Jun 04, 2010 1:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Superb report and inspiring stuff for 2011.

Fraser
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SJB




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PostPosted: Fri Jun 04, 2010 2:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great report and performance. Plus reports with lots of piccies always get my vote Laughing
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The Iain




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PostPosted: Fri Jun 04, 2010 2:40 pm    Post subject: Re: Lanzarote 2010 by el mitten ( with pictures ...ooooh) Reply with quote

mitten. wrote:
“Feck off you cheating lazy bastard”


Schaweet!

Nice work Mr. Mitt!
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Wheezy




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PostPosted: Fri Jun 04, 2010 3:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great report and pics. Well done Smile
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Wag1




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PostPosted: Fri Jun 04, 2010 3:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well done from me too, btw camera didnt turn up, you can always come back next & wear a grass skirt wiith us. LOL
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knightlancer




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PostPosted: Fri Jun 04, 2010 5:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I got singled out by the draft marshals, and was about to have a rant about the injustice of it as I wasn't drafting. Turns out they just wanted me to wave while they took a photo of my bike. Rolling Eyes

I got really narked at 2 German girls, Silke and Sigi, working together every time I passed them (frequent, due to punctures). Felt like kicking the lazy bints into the volcanic rocks up Fire Mountains.

Great report mitten, and well raced.
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