I have been in Lake Tahoe for about 2 weeks now, together with my boyfriend Filip and my coach Jens, and I am slowly starting to adapt to the altitude here. We are at about 2000m elevation (6260 feet) and the training has been effected by the altitude, as the body hadn’t adapted yet. Training could be done, that was not a problem. Though, the heart-rate was about 10 bpm higher when I pushed the pace, and the pace was slightly harder to keep. The first few days I was more thirsty than normal and could sleep forever. After about a week and a half, this is all better now, but I am glad I have another 2 weeks before the race, Ironman Lake Tahoe, to acclimatize even better.
We have been training some of the sessions on the race course, and I can only conclude it will be a though day, regardless the shape I am in. The swim will be in the crispy clear, beautiful Lake Tahoe, where the water itself not will be very challenging, despite that it might be cold (maximum 20 degress C). However, the swimming at altitude could be a bit challenging, as controlled breathing when swimming makes you more sensitive for breathing thinner air. The bikecourse will be the most challening route I have ever raced, with a two-looped course including two big climbs (followed by steep downhills) switching with long flat “powersections”. With these variations in the terrain, the course is more challenging than you first might think. The run goes along the riverside of Trukee River, and is both beautiful and quite hilly. Only one climb, that you pass twice, but there are few flat sections on the course. Besides the course, the startfield has a lot of strong females, that definitely will help making sure I will push myself. So it will for sure be a challenging day Sunday in two weeks, but I really look forward to it.
The preparations for the race has not been perfect, though. About 1,5 weeks ago, when trailrunning in the woods, I feel in a downhill and hit my chest. At first, I didn’t think I had hurt myself that bad, but as the pain in the chest got worse each day, I realized it might have been a bigger trauma than I first thought. Turned out to be a broken rib, which has forced me to some adjustments in the training schedule, and painkillers has helped on my sleep. But the road to success is never straight, and I am already starting to feel a bit better. So the plan is still to race IM Lake Tahoe, and to do it the best I can.
A broken rib few weeks before a big race, and traning with lots of pain, can easily make you despair. However, there are things that makes my problems seem like nonsense. One of the most talented, and sweetest, triathletes I know, Camilla Pedersen, is in a coma since a week back, when she crashed on her bike when traning for Ironman World Championships. My thoughts go out to her, and her family, as they are fighting the biggest challenge of her life; getting her life back. Please, everyone, be careful out there, and wear a helmet – also on your everyday bike. Camilla did in her training, but she still suffered a major cerebral haemorrhage.