Monday, August 22, 2011

EXFR Day 6 – The Blue Ribbon Event

Swim ~1km / Run 5km – Aquathon
Bike ~40km up the Col du Semonoz and back down

Everyone who knows anything about epic camp knows that the real test of your metal is the epic camp Aquathon. The KOM, yellow jersey etc are all fun and games but the Aquathon is serious business.
Lake Annecy is great for swimming as there are yellow marker buoys dotted around the lake about 250-300m off shore to keep the boats out. I had Steven swim a lap that I thought would be about 1km last night – it was probably about 1.1km so I extended the run out to 5km from the original 4km to appease the barrage of complaints that I normally get about long swims.
As it turned out when we went down this morning we selected the wrong buoys and the swim was well short (around 800m) - not good when you know you have an ubber Swedish runner chasing you down.
I jumped on Stevens feet early in the swim but in the chop lost concentration and he got away which probably cost me a good 20sec - not the ideal start in this critically important event. I took a good 500-1000m to get some rhythm going then I felt pretty good and I think my speed was OK. I can’t remember when I passed Steven but at the first turn (2 lap course) I saw Clas was nowhere near as far back as I expected. Rather than ease off I kept up a good pace to make him work at least a bit to catch me which he did at just before 4km. I then eased off to the finish to preserve some energy. So not the win I was hoping for but if I had stuck to my guns with the longer swim and 4km run it might have been a good race. However 2nd in the most important event of the camp was OK.

After a leisurely breakfast it was time to head up the Col du Semnoz. I rode this climb just over a week ago with IM Talk listener Hywell “towel” Davies. I had been in car for over 8hrs that day and was severely jet lagged and struggled badly up the 16km incline. Today proved to be a similar effort – this climb just does not like me and I don’t like it. However at the top it was great to chill out with an ice cream & frites.

On the way down the climb I was beginning to sense the signs of some epic fatigue as my cornering started to go to pieces. I was judging speed into corners poorly and overcooked a number of corners.

The afternoon was optional training and I needed the rest so I took it.

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