Well we did it! Like all IMs, IM austria was an amazing experience for AC and I.
Race-wise Anders has a great race going 10:42. He swam his best IM swim at 62 minutes and did a low 5:20 bike and was on a 3:50 run pace through 20 but faded in the heat. I swam a very easy 73 and biked at only 168 watts (vs 215-225 typical for an IM) and squeaked in just under 6. I had a great run through 13.1 miles (2:02 or so) but began to fatigue as the heat increased and decided to just shut it down after 25k to save my legs for IM Canada.
The swim was delightful. the bike was the scariest bike I have ever ridden--I am so thankful to be in one piece (and I took it very conservatively). The run at first was very gratifying but as the sun came out and the temp and humidity rose I melted. I probably could have thrashed myself and gutted out a sub 12 finish but would have probably blown IMCAN in so doing. I walked a great deal over the last 17k to secure my finish.
A couple of other observations: 1. the Euros are a cut above American triathletes. As great a race as anders had he still was only around the 70%. I was at the tail end of my AG. If I had done a 9:55 I still would have finished 7th (there were 3 slots in this race). The conditions on the bike were downright life-threatening and the bike boasted 7000-8000 feet of climbing and yet some guys went sub 5 in my AG--even Joe B would have had a tough time today; 2. This was my 5th IM in 44 months. I have another scheduled in 6 weeks which seems unfathomable to me right now. I would have expected my body to be able to cruise through 32-33k in the run, given my bike, before getting to the edge and so was disappointed in the fatigue I felt at 25k. this does not bode well for IMCAN. I'll need to think about this over the next week or so. Maybe it was the whole Europe thing again. I had 10 hours of sleep in the 5 days leading up to the race including just 1 last night and the night before--maybe there is something in that. all that said, I'm nearing the end of my IM career--it takes a big toll on my body and I've already decided to dedicate 2009 to just doing local Sprint races and having fun.
Not to say this race wasn't fun. IM's are amazing. I'm so thankful to even be able to do them. Maybe I have one more shot at greatness in me....I'll post a full race report in a few days as time permits.
I need to put this very sore and tired body to bed now.