- July 14, 2014
- By Linsey Corbin
I have been wanting to put pen to paper - errr, fingers to keyboard - about my superb race day (well, superb in my eyes!) from Ironman Austria - but just haven’t been able to. I guess its hard to convey the feelings that come across when you accomplish more than you thought possible.
For those that missed out the Cliff Notes version is this:
I went to Ironman Austria and raced on June 29th
I won !
I set a new course record !!
I set a new American record !!!
I broke the 3 hour barrier for the marathon !!!!
I set swim, bike and run personal best’s !!!!!
So yeah, that was a superb day at the office for me.
Before I get to my race-day objectives I want to give a quick note about my preparations for the race. A huge thank you and mass amount of gratitude has to go to my A-team: Chris Corbin + Team “J”: Jesse Kropelnicki, Jeff Troesch & Jay Dicharry. A sentence won’t justify all that Chris Corbin does - but anyone that knows myself knows that Chris is the strawberry jelly to my crunchy peanut butter. Jesse is “the man” behind the magic and also my coach. He brought me on board this year and had a vision - I feel like I just did the executing. Some of things he told me to do were straight up crazy - a few 8+ hour training days! Some of the things he told me to do I didn’t believe would work - running 10 minute miles! Some sessions were boring - sorry, Krops! Some of the things he told me to do made sense - go hard until you are cross-eyed. But the best thing he brought to the table was a consistent, confident and healthy Linsey. Meanwhile, Jeff kept my head on straight and Jay kept my body functioning at a high level. June 29th came around and I truly felt I did 100% of the work needed for a great race day.
So rather than write about the race I thought I’d share the three objectives I had before the race in no particular order:
1. Break a 3-hour marathon
2. Break 9 hours
3. Celebrate a great day of racing at the finish-line & be able to remember it
Sub-3 hour Marathon
8 times I have been within a stone’s throw of that sub-3 hour barrier. On Sunday I was determined to get there. I came off the bike and Lisa Huetthaler was hot on my heels. We entered the change tent together and I was off and running. I took the run out aggressively in hopes of the sub-3 hour marathon I felt I was prepared for. The rest of the marathon consisted of 17x10 minute repeats - that should be easy, right? Then I would eat, drink and get back to thinking about simple things such as turnover turnover turnover and willing myself to move as quickly as my body would let me. Some 10 minute sections felt awful, others felt like I was running in Chariots of Fire. Each 10 minutes was a re-set. The crowds at Austria don’t let you slack off for a moment - the course was lined with people for the entire 26.2 miles. It is one of the most motivating marathon environments I have raced in. Thank you to everyone that cheered for me - it spurred me on to a great run!
Sub-9 hour Ironman
I broke the famous 9-hour barrier once - at Ironman Arizona in 2011. Ironman Austria is known for producing fast finishing times. Breaking 9-hours certainly wasn’t one of my top objectives for the race but it certainly was a nice goal I had that I knew would be the cherry on top for my day. I exited the water in 53 minutes (hello, fast swim!) and didn’t get too excited about the possibility. There is still a lot of racing left. I stuck like glue to my race plan laid out by Jesse and felt strong headed into the last half of the bike ride. I still wasn’t thinking of sub-9, instead I was thinking how can I eat more CLIF Shot’s, am I hydrated and what time is it at home in Oregon right now? I got off the bike right around 5 hours and 45 minutes race time (hello, fastest bike split!). That’s when I started to get a wee bit excited - sub-9 could be a strong possibility! Again, I didn’t let myself get too excited or ahead of myself and went back to sticking to the plan like glue. As the marathon went on I was doing math in my head and realized as long as I kept it “together” I could break 9 hours. Once I was into the real meat of the marathon (aka - the wheels can fall off at anytime), it became more real that if I kept trucking along, I would be at the finish close to 8 hours and 45 minutes. At that point I took upon the mindset of: days like this don’t happen very often Corbin, you better be draining the tank and making the most of this! It was time to grit my teeth and get on with it. I can honestly say I left it all out there that last 10km in hopes of having a fast finishing time.
Finish line part-ay
Ironman Austria is famous for its incredible finish line party: cheerleaders, crazy fans, thick crowds, fireworks, music, a giant celebratory beer. In 2012, I was fortunate to win Ironman Austria - however the day was very hot (100 degrees F) and I was sure I’d need to be hauled off on a stretcher after finishing. I don’t remember an ounce of my finish. Bummer. 2013 I had high hopes of returning to Austria but was sidelined with an injury. Double bummer. 2014: One of my top objectives for this years race was to have a performance that was celebration worthy and make sure that I held it together enough to soak up the atmosphere. I can happily say that when I reached those last 100 yards - it was pure celebration, elation and happiness.
Thank you to the race organization for welcoming myself & Chris like family to Klagenfurt. You are beautiful people that put on an incredible race! Thank you to all of my long-standing sponsors for the support on & off the race course. Thank you to Jesse & the QT2 Systems team. Thank you to my training partners. Thank you to everyone that took time to cheer for me on & off the race course - it really means the world to me & motivates me to push the envelope. Saving the best for last - thank you to Chris xoxo.
Since the race I have been enjoying some easy days - a trip to Italy (yum!), catching up with family (yeah!) and enjoying some time at the lake & river (ahhhh!). It’s back to work now as my eyes are turned towards Timberman 70.3 & Ironman Hawaii.
I hope everyone is having a safe & fun-filled summer. Wear your sunscreen, stay hydrated & see you out there!
Thanks for the support.