Last weekend it was time to visit Belgium for a duathlon race. At the same time there was a triathlon so it was also a race between the duathleets and the triathleets. The race was in a very small town near Brugge, called Damme.
Distances we had to cover were 8km run, 90km bike and 21km run.
The plan was to run and bike around my threshold heart rate to get the fastest times possible.
Start was at 10.30 and after a delay for 30 minutes(because a car drove into the canal) we finally could begin. After 100 m i had stop already, because my number fell of my belt and i had to pin it back. A little disappointed i went on and ran with my hear rate just below 170 bpm. With a speed of 4.20 min per km i could take over some athletes who had started to fast. I could maintain my speed but all other athletes were faster runners then me and i came into the transition zone after 35.30 min.
Quickly to my bike and after i took a gel and sport drink i was ready for the second part. We had to ride a 30 km lap 3 times. It took us into the polders of West-Vlaanderen were it is always windy. Iam from Holland, so no problems for me there. With my heart rate around 150 bpm it feld comfortable and enjoyed the scenery. 1 Lap contains 2 strokes cobblestones, and it was challenging to keep our bottles on the bike. Not my cup of tea.
First round i finished around 52 min and i felt strong to keep it going at this speed. In the second lap more athletes were struggling to maintain speed against the wind and after overtaking a few it grew my confidence that i was doing well. After lap 2 and 3 i finished the bike part in 2 hours and 42 minutes.
Quickly my running shoes on and starting the last and hardest part of the race. i felt good and tried to keep a steady pace and my heart rate below 160 bpm. First 5 km i could keep my pace just below 5.00 min / km, but i knew that was to fast to maintain a half marathon and i slowed down around 5.10 min / km. First round done and into the second round i still felt great. After 15 km my right leg quadriceps were feeling sore so i decided to slow down a bit so i could finish strong. This could be my best time ever and that keeped me motivated all the way to the finishline.
I finished the half marathon in 1hour and 48 min.
Total time 5:09. I did not see that i was standing in front of the time registration so officially i finished in 05:11. Not very clever of me.