So as I wrote in my most recent blog post, this weekend was all about trying to regain the Danish Elite title. A puncture in 2010 forced me to retire from the race and also unwillingly give up my Danish Champion status (see month of defeats…for more details). Unfortunately 2011 is also going to be a year where I do not carry the status of ‘Danish Champion’…
Despite the Danish Championships having no relevance to my London 2012 qualification I was still very much hoping to capture yet another Danish title. Due to the tight schedule of races offering qualifying points for the Olympics the Danish Triathlon Federation opted to shorten this year Elite Championship. Now racing over the ‘Sprint’ distance of 750m Swim, 20km Bike, 5km Run it was to be a short and sharp battle to be crowned Danish Elite Champion 2011. Sprint distance racing has less impact on the body, therefore enhancing recovery time during this busy racing period. Definitely giving thumbs up to Danish Triathlon Federation on this one.
The week prior to this race was a tough one, not physically but more mentally. It was a week full of uncertainty and a roller coaster of emotions. Upon arriving back in Denmark (Monday evening) from Madrid it became clear that I had at some point during the race in Madrid encountered a heavy impact on the underside of my foot. Tuesday morning the pain was considerably bad, taking no chances, I visited Team Denmark’s base in Brondby to get an ultra sound scan. In my mind I feared the worst – a stress fracture. Fortunately at this point nothing was visible on the results. However the doctors were not so convinced and transferred me for a Scintigraphy. This definitely did not ease my thoughts and the 24 hour wait for the Scintigraphy were definitely anxious times.
As you can imagine my thoughts were very extreme “How will I manage to gain Olympic points now to secure my spot!!” this was the biggest. It seems many of us think the worst before we know the truth and this is something I am very bad at. Wednesday proved to be a good day. I got the scan and within 10 minutes I was able to get the results….I had no damage to any bones in my foot. What a relief!!! It is still not known what the problem was 100% but the conclusion was that it was severe trauma to the ligaments in between my big toe and 2nd toe. A sharp object on the run from waters exit to T1 being the only real explanation.
With a few days rest from running and riding come race day I was ready and eager to race. I think the rest did me good. I was prepared for a hard day of racing and an extremely cold swim, water temperature recorded on race day being 12.7 degrees meant there was definitely no need to hang around!! Although this race was draft legal I was prepared for a solo ride and a ride where I would be trying to keep the gap to the front as little as possible. I guess you are probably thinking why? Well this is simple fortunately for us Danes/unfortunately for me we have a lady named Line Jensen who is an incredible swim/biker. It is no secret that Line is one of the best open water swimmers in the sport therefore I would need something special to stay on her feet.
As predicted I exited the 750m swim just trailing Tri4 team mate Anne-Sofie Lønnberg in 3rd. We had established a 30 second lead on the main chase pack containing both Michelle Vesterby and Camilla Pedersen. Line was a further 20 seconds ahead which meant it was now a case of riding hard, staying focused and keeping the gap as small as possible. I committed early and rode hard; however Line continued to extend her lead. From km 1 to km 20 I kept on pushing. Entering T2 1 minute 24 seconds down it meant I needed extra special legs to close this gap. I was definitely not going to end the day not having tried, so try I did…despite my best efforts 5km was simply not enough for me to close this gap. It is never nice to finish 2nd but apart from the Danish title I got what I wanted out of this race, which was a very solid/hard training session. Big congratulations to Line Jensen on a very impressive performance much deserved. Also congratulations to my Tri4 team mate Jens Toft on being crowned Danish Champion.
This race was part of my preparation for the European Championships which take place in Pontevedra, Spain 25th June. I will now focus on maintaining my current swim level while enhancing my running speed. I am looking forward to proving my ability amongst Europeans best in just less than two weeks from now.