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mortensommer.com http://www.mortensommer.com a bag is not the end Mon, 27 Jul 2015 15:16:43 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.2.21 Ironman Frankfurt 2015 race report http://www.mortensommer.com/blog/ironman-frankfurt-2015-race-report/ http://www.mortensommer.com/blog/ironman-frankfurt-2015-race-report/#comments Mon, 27 Jul 2015 15:16:43 +0000 http://www.mortensommer.com/?p=805 Germany, the hottest place in Europe to do an Ironman

Sunday the 5. July 2015 was a really hot day in Frankfurt! In fact, both Saturday and Sunday of that weekend broke the record for “hottest day ever recorded in Frankfurt”, with temperatures up to 39 degrees in central part of the city on Sunday.
Germany, the hottest place in Europe to do an Ironman

Sunday the 5. July 2015 was a really hot day in Frankfurt! In fact, both Saturday and Sunday of that weekend broke the record for “hottest day ever recorded in Frankfurt”, with temperatures up to 39 degrees in central part of the city on Sunday.
With these facts given up front, it was no surprise to me, or the other 3063 athletes that had signed up for the race, that this was going to be a hot and tough day. Mentally I was ready for the challenge. I did Ironman Zürich 2013 in similar conditions, so I felt that I was well prepared and did not worry about the heat. I knew it was going to make the race a lot more complicated, and that all plans I had made the past months was up for revision and all dreams for a new personal best on the distance was most likely not going to happen.

The swim venue for the race is the very nice Langener Waldsee, approximately 14 km away from Frankfurt. During race week drastically increasing water temperatures was reported, which could mean a non wetsuit swim. I went for a swim on Thursday before the race and already there the temperature was close to the magic 24,5 degrees where wetsuit would be prohibited.

Race morning started with an early 04:30 shuttle bus to the lake. Prior to the race I was lucky to get into the first start group of about 500 people starting 10 minutes before the rest of the 2500 age groupers. This obviously ment minimal fights in the water at the beginning, actually we all started doing crawl right away. I had a good start, felt good on the first section and just “followed” the feet on the guys in front of me. On the second, and longest leg of the swim, I started to focus on going as deep as possible on the swim. I tried to push the pace and be as efficient as possible. On the last 3-400 meters of the swim, I could feel some air in my bag and knew that I probably had to get that sorted out before jumping on the bike. I exited the water in the time of 01:12:38 which is a good time, taken into consideration that it was non wetsuit and sea water.

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As predicted there was something in the bag after the swim and I chose a toilet stop and could ride with an empty bag and totally forget about it on the ride.

The first 14 kilometers of the bike was on a big and straight road directly in to downtown Frankfurt. On this part I felt it difficult to to push my 200 watts, which is my usual pace for the Ironman distance. I simply felt that my legs were “missing” power – a bad sign! I kept pushing for the first half of the ride and managed to stay on target watts, but it took more effort than I liked. On the second half the heat really turned on – it was literally like riding with a hairdryer in the face and all the water I poured over my neck and body almost dried up instantly. My watts dropped to about 175 on the second half and I felt than pushing harder than that would be disastrous for the run. Instead I focused on taking in all my Squeezy energy and minerals as preparation for the run. I used a mix of regular energy drink mixed as syrup in my front bottle and supplemented with water from the aid stations, gels, wine gums and a energy bar. Calculated to 70 grams of carbohydrate pr hour for five hours. I reached the hot T2 in downtown Frankfurt in 05:10:47, a quite disappointing split as I had still expected to ride below the five hours. The legs simply was not there, and in the heat going harder on the second half was not an option, so I still think I made the right call on the moment.

frankfurt1

I managed to get through T2 relatively fast. There was no need for a toilet stop, but I did take my time to put on socks and shoes properly to avoid blisters.

Out on the run first focus was to find a pace that I could sustain throughout the run. I knew from Zürich that the heat would slowly drain the body for energy and going out too fast could be catastrophic. I started out in a pace 15-20 seconds slower than my pace from the last Ironman. The run was hot! But the organizers had done everything to help us through, including two extra aid stations, making it 7 on the 10,5 km course, they moved about two kilometers of each lap into shadow underneath trees and had ordered 14 tons of icecubes! Already on my first lap I saw a lot of athletes walking as I passed by them – crazy as they obviously had been faster than me on the swim and bike, but then exploded in the heat. I started out conservatively and my half way split for the first two of four laps was only 1:55 hour – 10 minutes slower than in Nice last year. I slowed down on lad three and four which i did in 1:00 and 1:05 respectively. I was actually feeling okay all the way on the run. Hot and in the need for a lot of cooling, but definitely okay. On the run I had the feeling that I did my best and I did run all the way, except through the aid stations. But, still there was a feeling that the heat and slow runtime made me mentally lazy. I crossed the finish line with a run split of 03:57:08.

Before I get to the result, I found som statistics from race director Björn Steinmetz: 13,6 percent of the 3.064 who had bought a start number did not jump into the water. Only 2.076 of those who started the race made it to the finish line. This means that 572 participants abandoned the race, and about 400 of them did so in the marathon. This adds up to a crazy 34 percent of DNS or DNF and is probably the highest number ever in an Ironman race*.

My overall time for the race summed up to 10:29:38, which is not really a usable number for me. It is not “fast”, nor is it slow when looking at the circumstances. Competition wise I was 55 in age group, and 249 overall in the race, which are both satisfying numbers and puts me whithin the fastest 10 percent of the participants. I had hoped for better splits on the bike and run, but must say that there is absolutely still things to learn, also after 5 ironman races!

There is not something like “the perfect race”! There is always something that you need to take into consideration, being the weather, your preparation, the course or something fourth.
Mentality is SO important, especially in a race like this. There is no doubt, that because I knew up front that PR was out of scope and because my bike split was slower than expected, it was difficult to dig really deep on the run and push the pace up where it should have been. In Zürich two years ago, I ended up walking from time to time at the end of the race, and I was literally giving all I had, both mentally and physical. But, this time I was able to run all the way and actually increase the pace a bit on the last few kilometers. So that run could probably have been a bit faster with the right mentality or the right goal within sight.

I still need a bit of rest before I start up on structured training again, probably sometime next week. I can feel the body was working overtime in the heat of Frankfurt and that the “system” still needs to rest even though my legs doesn’t feel that bad, here a couple of days after the race.

The next big race is Ironman Chattanooga in end september, and I really look forward to this race, especially now where Frankfurt turned out to be quite a different race. As part of the preparation for Chattanooga I’ll participate in the danish national championships on the half distance in Aalborg on August 16th.

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A bag is not the end – now at Facebook http://www.mortensommer.com/blog/a-bag-is-not-the-end-now-at-facebook/ http://www.mortensommer.com/blog/a-bag-is-not-the-end-now-at-facebook/#comments Sun, 06 Jul 2014 09:31:02 +0000 http://www.mortensommer.com/?p=789 I have today launched a new Facebook page with the same name as this blog – A bag is not the end. The page aims to create a forum where ostomists from around the world share experiences, find solutions to problems with appliancies and last but not least share all their amazing achievements.

I hope [...]]]> I have today launched a new Facebook page with the same name as this blog – A bag is not the end. The page aims to create a forum where ostomists from around the world share experiences, find solutions to problems with appliancies and last but not least share all their amazing achievements.

I hope you will welcome this page on Facebook and give it a like :-)

https://www.facebook.com/abagisnottheend

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Ironman France, Nice 2014 http://www.mortensommer.com/blog/ironman-france-nice-2014/ http://www.mortensommer.com/blog/ironman-france-nice-2014/#comments Thu, 03 Jul 2014 16:54:39 +0000 http://www.mortensommer.com/?p=757

Her følger min beretning fra Ironman France 2014 i Nice. Det hele startede på en smuk halvskyet morgen i bugten ud for den berømte by Nice og strandpromenaden “Promenade des Anglais”.

 

 

Fladt vand og lidt skyer gav idelle rammer for svømningen, idet for meget sol kan gøre det rigtig svært at [...]]]> 10308057_10152976083519392_6944024537745055618_n

Her følger min beretning fra Ironman France 2014 i Nice. Det hele startede på en smuk halvskyet morgen i bugten ud for den berømte by Nice og strandpromenaden “Promenade des Anglais”.

 

 

Fladt vand og lidt skyer gav idelle rammer for svømningen, idet for meget sol kan gøre det rigtig svært at navigere. Jeg stiller mig blandt de første i den startgruppe der hedder 1 time og 10 minutter om at svømme de to runder af 1,9 km. Dette resulterede i en overraskende god start uden alt for mange slåskampe eller slag fra de andre deltagere. Vi kommer i gang med at crawle med det samme og der kommer forholdsvis hurtigt så meget spredning på feltet at man faktisk kan begynde at svømme. Jeg sørger på første runde hele tiden for, så vidt muligt, at have nogle ben at ligge på og den plan lykkedes ganske godt. Jeg runder mellemtiden med en kort landgang efter små 34 min og sætter ud på anden runde. Det lykkedes mig her ikke på samme måde at finde ben at svømme på og jeg må derfor selv gøre en større del af arbejdet.

I ugen op til race var jeg i en smule bekymret for hvordan jeg ville reagere på det meget salte vand, når først pulsen blev høj og der blev svømmet tæt. Det viste sig ikke at skabe nogle problemer og jeg kommer fint igennem anden runde, hvor jeg egentlig bare forsøger at svømme hjem så hurtigt som muligt armene nu tillader.

 

Vel oppe på stranden begynder tiden at tikke for skiftet til cykel. Her har arrangørerne dog begået noget af en brøler! De har indsat en trappe op fra stranden, i stedet for den rampe der har været anvendt de tidligere år. Dette resulterede i KØ for at komme op i skiftezonen og jeg mener kø! Ifølge mit ur stod jeg stille i ca 1 minut nede på stranden før jeg begynder at bevæge mig op imod skiftezonen – det er altså ikke godt nok når man nu lige har givet den alt hvad man kan på svømningen. Herudover går skiftet ganske som forventet og jeg begiver mig afsted ud på cyklen.

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Jeg får en fin start på cyklingen. Der er selvfølgelig mange deltagere på vejen, men jeg kommer relativt nemt igennem feltet uden alt for mange situationer og tætte overhalinger. Jeg ved at der efter ca. 20 km venter en 500 meter lang stigning med op til 15% over det sidste stykke og mange bjerge senere på ruten, så jeg holder et jævnt tempo med fokus på ikke at ligge for hårdt ud. Der er dog hele tiden mørke skyer ind over bjergene – et signal om hvad dagen senere skulle byde på.

Jeg havde to dage forinden kørt det første og sidste stykke af ruten igennem i bil, og havde derfor set den første stigning på forhånd. Jeg rammer stigningen og som ventet er det hurtigt ned i laveste gear. Der er ikke andet for end blot at vride den op og det sidste stykke må bakken forceres stående. Efter lidt yderligere letkørt stigning rammes første reelle nedkørsel. Det viser sig hurtigt at det nyligt har regnet her og vejen er fugtig, specielt i mange af svingene hvor træerne skygger og der potentielt er spejlglat pga pollen fra træerne. Jeg kører derfor denne nedkørsel ret konservativt og straks piver det udenom med franskmænd der tilsyneladende er vant til den slags forhold.

Kort efter nedkørslen påbegyndes rutens største fysiske udfordring, en 20 km opkørsel fra kilometer 50 til 70. Jeg havde forinden, sammen med min træner, lagt en strategi for hvordan ruten skulle køres og planen var at køre konservativt på opkørslerne med undtagelse af den sidste korte, for at have noget tilbage i benene til de flade stykker. Jeg begynder derfor opkørslen med fokus på at køre jævnt og ikke at træde for mange watt. Det går ganske fint opad med en god rytme og som sædvanlig overhaler jeg stadigvæk virkelig mange andre deltagere på stigningen. Men, som bekendt skal intet her i livet jo være nemt! Med 7 km stigning igen begynder det at dryppe og efter yderligere en kilometer er det decideret regnvejr med nu våde veje og temperaturer et godt stykke under de 20 grader, nok nærmere 15-16 grader. Dette sætter lidt en dæmper på tingene og jeg begynder at spekulere på om taktikken for cyklingen skal revideres. Forinden var regnvejrs-plan-B at køre mere til på stigningerne og de flade stykker end oprindelig planlagt, fordi det forventeligt ville være svært at træde særlig meget på de tekniske stykker. Med udsigten til at det ikke blot var en enkelt byge valgte jeg at skifte til Plan B, hvilket skulle vise sig at være en rigtig god ide. Jeg når toppen af stigningen, godt våd og halvkold. Heldigvis stopper regnen med toppen af bjerget og der kommer nu et godt langt relativt fladt stykke med mulighed for at træde lidt og få varmen, selvom vejene stadig var våde.

Herefter følger dagens næstlængste nedkørsel, som heldigvis blev kørt på stort set tørre veje og det var derfor muligt at udnytte de mange bløde sving på denne nedkørsel til at holde fart i cyklen. Jeg holder forsat fat i Plan B med at køre lidt hårdere end oprindelig planlagt når det er muligt og nærmer mig den sidste lange nedkørsel på ca 30 km inden der venter et fladt stykke på omkring 20km ‘hjem’ til Nice. Nedkørslen begynder fint og jeg bliver ikke overhalet af så mange franskmænd som på den første nedkørsel. Da vi er ca 2/3 nede og kommer ud af den sidste by begynder det at regne og hurtigt er vejen våd og spejl glat. Jeg vælger igen at køre enormt konservativt og det viser sig allerede efter få sving at være en klog beslutning, idet der her er to ryttere der glider lige bag mig og må en tur i asfalten. Denne hændelse får resten af vores ‘gruppe’ til at køre endnu mere forsigtigt og vi lister ned de sidste 6-8 km. Vel nede på det flade var det fortsat øs regnvejr og dette fortsatte hele vejen tilbage til skiftezonen. Jeg kører sidste stykke med god fart, men triller igen igennem alt hvad jeg støder på af rundkørsler, fodgængerfelter mv – nu skal jeg bare sikkert hjem og have løbeskoene på!

 

Sikkert tilbage i skiftezonen bliver cyklen parkeret og løbeskoene taget på. Skiftet går planmæssigt, men jeg giver mig tid til at få tørret fødder og sat sokker korrekt inden den lange løbetur som starter ud i regnvejr. Det bliver derfor ikke verdens hurtigste skift.

 

Løberuten består af fire runder på strandpromenaden med ‘en kegle i hver ende’. Taktikken for løbet er derfor simpel. Vurder efter hver 5 km hvordan det går og korriger herefter! Jeg starter ud på løbet med rigtig meget mentalt overskud og lidt for meget fart, omkring 4:45 min/km og jeg ved at det er 15-20 sekunder for hurtigt i forhold til hvad jeg forventer at kunne holde af tempo. De første 10 km går derfor utrolig nemt idet jeg hele tiden blot fokuserer på at løbe langsommere. På anden runde får jeg stabiliseret tempoet på 5:00 min/km og har fortsat et stort mentalt overskud. Jeg må dog lige stoppe op og tage begge sko af for at rette sokkerne, da de våde veje har givet våde fødder og en fornemmelse af at sokkerne sad og foldede, hvilket kan give nogle ubehagelige vabler.

Jeg har i tidligere konkurrencer tabt en del fart når jeg nærmede mig de 20 km, så på anden runde fokuserer jeg meget på at få indtaget nok med energi i depoterne og holde rytmen. Min fornemmelse er på det her tidspunkt, at jeg rent faktisk løber med overskud og jeg tror på at jeg kan skrue tempoet på den sidste omgang, så jeg kan slutte med stil. Efter anden runde er regnen stoppet og vejen er så småt begyndt at tørre op. Tempoet falder nogle sekunder på tredje runde og der skal til at arbejdes en smule med det mentale og fokus bliver på at holde rytmen og koncentere mig “om at løbe”. Solen er nu begyndt at bryde igennem og straks er varmen er vendt tilbage til Nice, hvilket pludselig gør at nedkøling også skal huskes undervejs.

Da jeg løber forbi mål på vej ud på sidste runde er jeg mentalt indstillet på at det kommer til at gøre ond og jeg er klar til at give det sidste. Jeg kan se det ikke er urealistisk at lukke marathon på 3 timer og 30 minutter, hvilket vil være en milepæl for mig. Jeg giver den derfor hvad der er tilbage på sidste runde og den sidste 5 km hjem løber jeg næsten i samme tempo som de 4:45 min/km jeg lagde ud i. Jeg rammer mål med en marathon tid på 3:30:55 og løber den første halvmarathon blot 1 min hurtigere end den anden, hvilket jeg er overordentlig godt tilfreds med.

 

Alt i alt var det en dag der bød på et helt andet race end det jeg havde forberedt mig på. Ikke så meget sol og varme, men regn og glatte veje. Heldigvis var jeg i stand til mentalt at omstille mig undervejs og disponere efter forholdene, specielt på cykelruten. Svømningen i det salte middelhav var en joker og jeg svømmer kun få sekunder langsommere end min hurtigste tid fra København i 2013. Men både jeg selv og andre målte ruten til at være 2-300 meter for lang, hvilket reelt giver en forbedring af svømmetiden med 3-4 min. på en langt sværere svømmerute. Jeg havde håbet på at kunne køre cykelruten hurtigere, men efter omstændighederne er jeg tilfreds med cykeltiden og det at jeg kom igennem uden styrt var langt det vigtigste. Jeg slutter med at løbe min suverænt hurtigste marathon til dato – tiden fra København 2013 blev slået med næsten 17 min. Så jeg er både glad og tilfreds med resultatet.

IMG_2594

Svømmetid: 1:09:51
Cykeltid: 5:31:34
Løb: 3:30:55
I alt: 10:26:25

Dette rakte til en placering som nr. 67 i min aldersgruppe Mænd 30-34 år og en samlet placering som nr. 299 ud af godt 2500 deltagere.

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September 11th http://www.mortensommer.com/blog/9-11/ http://www.mortensommer.com/blog/9-11/#comments Wed, 11 Sep 2013 20:20:54 +0000 http://www.mortensommer.com/?p=738 September 11th 2011 was the ten-year anniversary for the horrible attacks in the U.S., that we all know so well. But, for me it was also a day which marked a new era…

After my surgery in august 2008, and a recovery-period with the theme “get to know yourself again”,  I started doing road bike [...]]]> September 11th 2011 was the ten-year anniversary for the horrible attacks in the U.S., that we all know so well. But, for me it was also a day which marked a new era…

After my surgery in august 2008, and a recovery-period with the theme “get to know yourself again”,  I started doing road bike racing again, as I had done before. The first season in 2010 was tough and I got dropped in most races – simply due to lack of physical shape. But, after the last surgery and correction of my ostomy in late November 2010 and a good training throughout the winter I finally had caught up and in 2011 I was able to participate in the races, go in breakaways and so forth.

So, what is so special about today – 11th september 2013? Well, today it is exactly two years since I last rode my race bike in a competition and since then triathlon has been an huge part of my life. On that day in 2011 I only managed to be in the race for about 4 k’s before I was forced into the asphalt, due to a big crash in the peloton. As my rear wheel got blocked by another bike flying through the air, I took the flight over the handlebar and landed on the back, sliding towards the curb of the road. I hit the pedestrian street curb quite hard with head and shoulder first with a speed of about 50 km/h (at least that was the last registered speed on my computer). The picture below shows the impact on my helmet, which luckily spared my head completely.

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But, I wasn’t supposed to go through the situation that easy. I immediately felt pain in both my shoulders and after getting picked up by an ambulance and put on the spine-board, a CT scanning showed a fracture on both my left and right shoulder blade. I escaped surgery because of the placement of the fractures, but still had to have my right arm fixed for weeks before i could start the rehabilitation process.

A month before this episode I watched my wife finish her first ironman distance triathlon and I was hooked right away. I HAD to do that as well – ostomy or not. There was only one minor detail – I wasn’t able to swim crawl at all!

So why do I write all this history? Well, because I want to prove, that even though things look bad there is light at the end of the tunnel and if you really want to – you can do it!

Obviously it was quite a challenge to both recover from the bike accident and learn to swim at once, but as you can read else where on this blog i managed to succeed and finished my first ironman distance in august 2012.

Today it is almost a month since the finish of my third and latest Ironman triathlon, with my second Ironman taking place only three weeks prior to that. Looking back two years from today shows the trail of an amazing journey, where triathlon has given me so much! First of all the possibility to fulfill the dream of what i first thought was the ultimate challenge that i could give myself – completing an ironman in less than eleven hours. Later on I have experienced, that the distance itself is not really the challenge, it is first of all your mentality and then the surroundings can make the race faster or slower, depending on water temperature, waves, temperature in general,  climbs and rain on the bike and last but not least the support from the spectators on that final run can really make a difference when you’re out close to the limit.

Let this 9/11 be my tribute to a wonderful sport that has given me so much more back than I could ever have dreamed of.

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KMD Ironman Copenhagen 2013 http://www.mortensommer.com/blog/kmd-ironman-copenhagen-2013/ http://www.mortensommer.com/blog/kmd-ironman-copenhagen-2013/#comments Tue, 20 Aug 2013 14:44:12 +0000 http://www.mortensommer.com/?p=719 [Sorry for this being only in danish for now…]

Sådan! Med gennemførsel af KMD Ironman Copenhagen 2013 i søndags kan jeg nu skrive endnu en Ironman på CV’et med et yderst tilfredsstillende resultat på 10:05:10! Da det var min anden Ironman på 3 uger havde jeg inden starten gerne solgt den for 10:30-11:00 timer og havde [...]]]> [Sorry for this being only in danish for now…]

Sådan! Med gennemførsel af KMD Ironman Copenhagen 2013 i søndags kan jeg nu skrive endnu en Ironman på CV’et med et yderst tilfredsstillende resultat på 10:05:10! Da det var min anden Ironman på 3 uger havde jeg inden starten gerne solgt den for 10:30-11:00 timer og havde slet ikke drømt om at jeg kunne skære omkring 43 minutter af resultatet fra sidste år.

Det blev som forventet en hård dag og specielt på løbet måtte jeg betale for prisen for to konkurrencer så tæt på hinanden.

Dagen startede men en fantastisk svømning hvor jeg endelig er blevet i stand til at følge “med feltet” og dermed få glæde af at ligge lidt på ben af alle de andre. Jeg kommer op af vandet i 1:09:44 som er min klart hurtigste tid på en ironman-distance svømning til dato.

Efter lidt fumlen med skiftetøjsposen og våddragten i T1 får jeg vest og ærmer på og kommer afsted på cyklen i 4:48, som må betegnes som “knap så hurtigt”.

Der er medvind hele vejen op ad strandvejen og jeg får hurtigt godt gang i cyklen. I starten får jeg presset lidt for hårdt i pedalerne men finder hurtigt ind i rytmen og holder stabile 192 watt på første halvden af cykelturen. Anden runde bliver lidt mere blæsende og vi slipper ikke for et par byger gennem Birkerød og Lyngby, men jeg holder momentum og kører 185 watt på anden runde, hvilket giver et snit på 189 watt (Til sammenligning kørte jeg 178 watt i Zürich for 3 uger siden). Jeg stiller cyklen i T2 i 4:58:11 og sætter dermed også en klar personlig bedste cykeltid på distancen.

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Efter at få tømt ud i posen og dermed kan få en “ren” marathontid er jeg klar til løbet og forlader T2 efter 5:24 for at begive mig ud på løbet i noget nær perfekt temperatur – ikke for varmt og overskyet.

Efter en fin første omgang på løbet begynder trætheden at melde sig og på runde to falder tempoet drastisk efter ca 17 km. Da jeg løber ud på sidste runde aner jeg dog muligheden for at komme under de 10 timer og får skruet lidt op for farten igen og lukker marathon på 3:47:05.

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Det var en dag der bød på mange oplevelser og indtryk. Undervejes oplevede jeg både at blive underholdning til Don Ø’s frokost som han indtog på en havestol i indkørslen, mens han kiggede på alle atleterne cykle op ad strandvejen. Jeg oplevede at blive heppet på af H.K.H. Kronprinsse Mary og sidst min ikke mindst at overhale H.K.H. Kronprins Frederik på sidste omgang og løbet og give ham en opmundrende kommentar med på vejen.

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Ironman Copenhagen here i come http://www.mortensommer.com/blog/ironman-copenhagen-here-i-come/ http://www.mortensommer.com/blog/ironman-copenhagen-here-i-come/#comments Fri, 09 Aug 2013 11:40:57 +0000 http://www.mortensommer.com/?p=716 Due to the result in Ironman Zürich which was in many ways unexpected I have decided to take on the challenge and participate in Ironman Copenhagen on Sunday 18th of august.

And yes, this is only three weeks after Zürich which is a short recovery period. But, the fact is that I felt the heat [...]]]> Due to the result in Ironman Zürich which was in many ways unexpected I have decided to take on the challenge and participate in Ironman Copenhagen on Sunday 18th of august.

And yes, this is only three weeks after Zürich which is a short recovery period. But, the fact is that I felt the heat was such a limiting factor in putting the effort and reach the desired intensity. Don’t get me wrong, Zürich was incredibly tough to finish and the run really pulled some energy, but again this was more due to the heat and not so much because I got tired. Already two days after the face, the only soreness in my body was in the big front leg muscles which is normal after a long run and off cause I felt generally tired due to the long period of activity.

I feel that I have recovered really well and I am looking forward to join the first ever Ironman race on danish soil (the past three years the Copenhagen event has been organized under the Challenge-family and not Ironman). My expectations to the race is quite mixed as it is impossible to know if I have recovered enough before I get in the running shoes and run that first few kilometers. I feel quite confident that I’m able to perform well in the swim and I have felt good on my last couple of bike rides, but it all comes down to the run, which is a joker.

The coming week will, as well as the past two, be spent trying to regain as much energy and power as possible before next Friday with race briefing, bike check-in on Saturday and the race on Sunday.

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Raceberetning Ironman Zürich 2013 http://www.mortensommer.com/blog/raceberetning-ironman-zurich-2013/ http://www.mortensommer.com/blog/raceberetning-ironman-zurich-2013/#comments Fri, 09 Aug 2013 11:36:51 +0000 http://www.mortensommer.com/?p=715 2013 udgaven af Ironman Zürich den 28. juli blev ifølge arrangøren en af de sværeste i racets historie og det var uden sammenligning det hårdeste jeg nogensinde har prøvet! Et Ironman race i fantastisk smukke bjergrige omgivelser i og omkring Zürich blev gjort ekstremt af temperaturer på 30 grader (i skyggen naturligvis) omkring middag og [...]]]> 2013 udgaven af Ironman Zürich den 28. juli blev ifølge arrangøren en af de sværeste i racets historie og det var uden sammenligning det hårdeste jeg nogensinde har prøvet! Et Ironman race i fantastisk smukke bjergrige omgivelser i og omkring Zürich blev gjort ekstremt af temperaturer på 30 grader (i skyggen naturligvis) omkring middag og ikke mindre end 34 grader om eftermiddagen.

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Som følge af de høje temperaturer i Schweiz den seneste periode lå vandtemperaturen på omkring 26 grader og i sådanne tilfælde foreskriver reglerne at svømningen gennemføres uden våddragt. Da svømning ikke er min stærkeste side, og slet ikke uden hjælp fra dragten, valgte jeg at starte lidt længere bagude end jeg ellers ville have gjort. Racet blev skudt i gang og de 2400 triatleter skabte en sand kødrand af spandex i vandet. Med min konservative tilgang undgik jeg de værste slåskampe, men slap ikke for tæt trafik, hvilket resulterede i at jeg først fik frit vand til at finde eget tempo efter ca 800 meter. Herefter var første delmål den lille ø vi skulle løbe over inden anden omgang. Fik kort kigget på uret – ’44 et eller andet. Slog det meget langsomme udlæg væk med at det nok var starten der havde trukket voldsomt ned, så jeg sprang i vandet igen fuld af fortrøstning. Der var igen lidt trafik efter øen, men fik relativt hurtigt frit vand igen. Generelt var fokus på at få godt flow i armene og bruge benene mindst muligt og uden at gå helt dybt gav jeg den hvad der var tilbage i armene på sidste del af anden runde. Får noteret en svømmetid på 1:30:59, hvilket blot indekerer at udlægget ikke var så langsomt som først antaget.

Sikkert igennem T1 og ud på cykelruten der allerede var godt varm. De første 30 km gik fantastisk med små 40 i snit og hvad der føltes som en trilliard overhalinger undervejs, hvilket også skulle vise sig ikke at være helt forkert. Herefter går det første gang op over det kuperede stykke med tre stigninger og ned til søen og retur til start igen. Anden runde forløber ligeledes fornuftigt, dog med lidt mere anstrengte ben op ad stigningerne. Generelt var den største udfordring at få drukket nok og at få kølet kroppen med koldt vand, så det blev til pænt mange dunke fra depoterne undervejs. Jeg stiller cyklen i T2 efter 5:27:10 og hele 649 placeringer bedre end da jeg kører ud af T1.

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T2 blir udover skiftet også brugt til en tur på det lille hus, så efter 6:26 er jeg på vej ud på den steghede løberute. Finder ret hurtigt et pace 10-15 sek langsommere end det jeg oprindeligt havde planlagt og får løbet første runde i fornuftigt tempo selvom den er hård da jeg lider under manglende væske eller energi efter cykelturen. Anden omgang er om muligt endnu hårdere og det er her jeg støder på de største mentale udfordringer for den trækker virkelig søm ud. Heldigvis skyer det lidt til i slutningen af omgangen og resten af løbet er temperaturen knap så høj omend det stadig er over 25 grader. Tredje runde går forbavsende godt og på den fjerde og sidste runde har jeg de sidste 5km overskud til at løbe efter at holde tiden under de fire timer og rammer målstregen i 3:59:22 som samlet nr 373 og nr 76 i age-group.

Alt i alt var det som sagt en vanvittig hård dag hvor både krop og sind blev sat på en ekstraordinær hård prøve. Resultatmæssigt er det svært at forholde sig til fordi omstændighederne gjorde løbet til noget andet end jeg havde gået og forberedt mig på hele foråret. Alle drømme om en sub-10 eller ihvertfald 10:15-10:30 viste sig urealistiske allerede inden start. Det at stille op med det ene mål at komme igennem er selvfølgelig i sig selv også et mål, men her dagen derpå har jeg det nu lidt svært resultatet, selvom det jo ud fra resultatlisten må betegnes som ‘godkendt’ :-)

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Final test before Zürich http://www.mortensommer.com/blog/final-test-before-zurich/ http://www.mortensommer.com/blog/final-test-before-zurich/#comments Sun, 07 Jul 2013 17:21:42 +0000 http://www.mortensommer.com/?p=702 Its been a while since my last post on this blog, but I’ve been so busy training

Today I raced the Danish National half ironman-distance race in Aalborg. I raced in Aalborg last year as well, where I got a personal best on the distance in 5:03:29, so the overall ambition was nothing less [...]]]> Its been a while since my last post on this blog, but I’ve been so busy training :-)

Today I raced the Danish National half ironman-distance race in Aalborg. I raced in Aalborg last year as well, where I got a personal best on the distance in 5:03:29, so the overall ambition was nothing less than an improvement of that, but with a focus on a fast swim and bike leg, where as the run was only supposed to be the ‘safe ride home’ in a decent time.

I got off with quite a good start and managed to stay out of the worst fights and only got one foot dangerously close to my head, Otherwise i stayed out of trouble. The plan was to start of with the pack and find my rythm and then increase the effort halfway through. I followed this strategy and ended up doing a comfortable swim, though the final 500 meters was hard. I got up in 35:55 and this is by far my fastest ever recorded swim on this distance, so I’m happy with the result.

T1 went well, I’ve managed to get into transition-routines this spring, so theres nothing to report here.

Out on the bike we faced a fast route starting out with round 10k’s of headwind, before turning left for some crosswind on the more technical section with small roads and some hills. After this back towards the turning-point close to start with tailwind from different directions. The course was ridden twice with a bit more wind on the second loop. I started out a agressive and quickly found into the rythm overtaking a lot of riders (actually close to a hundred according to statistics). First lap went well and my own unofficial half-way-bike-split was 1:10. Second lap was tough, the price for going out fast and the increasing headwind was payed back. I hit T2 in 2:23:32 which is still my fastes bikesplit, but i was aiming for round 2:15-2:20.

T2 was okay, though I struggled a bit with getting the gels into the backpocket of the tri-top, which obviously had a price in terms of making a fast transition.

The run was tough! After 2k’s we reached the seaside and from here there was tailwind out to the 5,25k 180 degree turnpoint, meaning headwind back. Second lap of the two was a killer and it took some effort to be able to maintain a decent pace home. I managed to run according to strategy with a run a bit above the desired 1/2IM pace of 4:30/k. Official time was 1:38:57 including the toilet stop right after T2 for emptying the ostomy-bag before the run, whereas my own split (from after the toilet) was 1:36:14, which is in fact is a new personal best by 9 seconds.

Conclusion is that the effort is approved with a new personal best on 4:43:16, cutting round 20 mins of the old record from last year. Finished as 63 of 230 in my agegroup (18-39 years) and 114 of 414 all men which is almost top 25% :-)

Now focus is on putting in the final hours in the preparations for Ironman Zürich which is now only three weeks away.

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Preparing for the new season http://www.mortensommer.com/blog/preparing-for-the-new-season/ http://www.mortensommer.com/blog/preparing-for-the-new-season/#comments Wed, 20 Feb 2013 14:50:05 +0000 http://www.mortensommer.com/?p=681

In my constant search for optimizing my equipment and thereby achieve my goals I have now purchased a set of Rotor Q-rings in order to optimize my pedaling. What makes the Q-rings special is their oval shape, compared to normal round chain rings.  This means that the pressure on the legs changes within each pedalstroke. The idea is that one [...]]]> Rotor Q rings

In my constant search for optimizing my equipment and thereby achieve my goals I have now purchased a set of Rotor Q-rings in order to optimize my pedaling. What makes the Q-rings special is their oval shape, compared to normal round chain rings.  This means that the pressure on the legs changes within each pedalstroke. The idea is that one can manage a larger gear (more tooth and thereby higher speed) when pressing the pedal down compared to when the pedal is moved “forward” and “backward”. There for the chain ring has more teeth where one can push a higher gear and less teeth in the weak spots.

I have also spend a lot of time filming myself on the home-trainer in order to optimize my position on the bike. This is a quite complex process, as there is a lot of angles, eg. the stretching of the legs, the bend in the hips and the elbow vs. shoulder angle that must be taken into consideration. Sure one can consult a professional bike-fitter and get things done based on their experience. I’ll do a number further tests to see if I succeed to find an aerodynamic and stable position on the bike that I’m able to keep for several hours. Otherwise a bike-fitting session will be next step :-)

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Getting up early http://www.mortensommer.com/blog/getting-up-early/ http://www.mortensommer.com/blog/getting-up-early/#comments Thu, 24 Jan 2013 12:46:19 +0000 http://www.mortensommer.com/?p=672

I now have repeatedly discovered that it is quite difficult for me to get up early for the morning swim training session. At least if I had a training session the night before. This morning was no exception.

Yesterday’s workout after work was 2.5 hours of cycling, in this case on the spinning bike [...]]]> Getupearly

I now have repeatedly discovered that it is quite difficult for me to get up early for the morning swim training session. At least if I had a training session the night before. This morning was no exception.

Yesterday’s workout after work was 2.5 hours of cycling, in this case on the spinning bike with the tri-guys. When the bell rang at 05:00 this morning, I was literally in another world (the dream) and not ready for another workout. Now, a few hours later, I’m on my way to work and feel a bit guilty or annoyed because of the missed swim workout.

I do not know if it is because ulcerative colitis is still in my body (although the colon is gone), it is actually the absence of the colon that makes the body requires several hours under the covers or is it simply the long dark winter nights here in the north part of Europe?

Do you have any input or experience with this? Please give your comments below or using Twitter with tag #abagisnottheend

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