....and then they changed the course...from completely flat to climbing 3700 ft over 56 miles!!
Original Course - Nearly pancake flat in a straight line
New course - through a couple freaking mountains....
I saw this and I have to admit I had a few reservations...at first.
I chose this course (aside from the other benefits) because it was so similar to Ironman Kalmar that I'm working towards in August. Flat, fast, steady. A chance to see how it feels to just hunker down in the aero bars and and put in the time with sustained power.
Well it doesn't even resemble its former self, it now includes a 3700 ft of climbing, starting at sea level and going up too 2100ft of elevation at the peak. Well that makes things...interesting. 100 days out from the race its time for a little mind shift. I do understand why they did it. Its the ETU European Championships, and last year the drafting was out of control.
What the hell, I didn't get into this crazy world of triathlon for easy, or comfortable. I got into this for the thrill of pushing my body beyond what I thought it was capable of, the titillation of competition and reaching new heights.
Its going to be a rough course, but hey, its not exactly a picnic for the competition either. I've been called an adrenaline junkie and what better to get those juices flowing than a twisty windy decent among 2000 other athletes. If I saw this course on my motorcycle I would be drooling, craving the feeling of my knee dragging along the pavement into the corners, pushing the outer limits of what my tires can hold onto. Nothing stimulates me more than a challenge, and the more I thought about this new course the more fired up I got to get the training in so I can properly take on this course.
It helps that my biking has been improving. After a frantic 8 weeks of having a bike and doing high intensity miles to survive Buffalo Springs 70.3, I pretty much put the bare minimum in on the bike after the race. I used it for Sunday group rides while spending my time running building up for the Marathon. Now I've had a chance to put in some base focussed mileage, and build a foundation that I was sorely lacking before. Although all on the trainer, I think its going to set me up well.
So I'm signed up, flights are booked, and I'm all in. Training isn't 100% focussed on this race, its a B race on the path to Ironman, but I'm going to race it on the day and see what I can do.