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Pre 1997

Belgium Coast Triathlon, 3.8 - 188 - 42

This was a bad idea. I had just moved in with my girlfriend about three weeks before the race and I knew the race could be organized for the last time if not enough competitors were present. I think it would be bad for triathlon in Belgium if we don't have an ironman distance race any more, so I decided to take part.

Now of course, these things require dedicated preparation, and the only thing I prepared after Lanzarote was our apartment. But then, I did Lanzarote on minimal training, and recuperation had been superb, so I though I could handle it, not at the top of my capacities, but reasonable none the less. It worked for Lanzarote :-)

So early in the morning we run towards the sea and all is well. The water was very choppy, and though it seemed calm from the beach, the waves were a lot higher than I expected, which made the swim rather tough. However I exited the water in fifth position; just in front of Filip Segers. He immediately passed me on the bike, so I figured that it would be nice if I could keep him in sight. Would be a guaranteed way to get to the front of the race. Things looked good for the first half lap (oh yes, this is a seven lap thing), I even rode in front of him for a while. But then it was time for his turbo boost and I was alone. And it stayed that way until the end of my race. Have to say his turbo boost was pretty impressive, Filip closed the gap with the leaders (I think it was about 90s) in 15km or so. Anyway, I felt reasonably good, though weakening a bit near the end of the cycling, nothing unexpected. Got of the bike in fifth position and started my marathon. I wasn't running good, but not that bad either. But things got worse. The marathon here is a 10 lap event, so it is easy to lose count, but I think I had a bit of back troubles (it blocked for a while) at the beginning of lap 6, just in sight of my girlfriend and parents. This reduced my running speed even more but I was still trying to hang in there. But my mind started playing games on me. Hawaii is my big goal for the season and I was starting to fear that I might have to recuperate a long while to get this race out of my system, and with my form being much less than brilliant; I need all the training I can get, so after a lot of thinking (mostly during a walk with Kristien at the first half of lap seven) I called it a day.

Have to say it hurt. In a way, it still does, I don't do these races to quit. First thing you do is finish, then you try to go fast. Quitting sucks... hard. But then again, normally you know a couple of months in advance that you want to do a certain race, and it is a goal. You don't decide two weeks before like I did. So next time I plan on doing something this stupid, you can hit me (but not too hard please).

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