Dining, Resting, Relaxing…and Racing in Austria
Hello from Kaprun!
An idyllic Alpine Spa nestled in the Austria Alps has thus far proven to be the epitome of an athlete’s home away from home while preparing for the main event- the 70.3 World Championships this Sunday, the 30th of August.
While not as rich in history as it’s big brother, the Ironman World Championships, the 70.3 series Worlds have come a long way from the inception in 2006.
And with the announcement a few years back than rather than trying to rewrite history, the event would be held earlier in the season and change locations each year in order to draw attention and keep it fresh and fun, it became far more appealing, at least to me.
I’ve had the opportunity to race at 70.3 Worlds several times and once the timing was rearranged to allow for it to be held a month prior to Ironman Worlds in October, it became much more appealing and inviting.
While it was notable to race when it was held in Vegas, I must say it’s quite a bit more personally special to me to race here in Austria, as it’ll be my first race in Europe and I can’t even begin to convey how exciting that in and of itself is.
The whole vibe is different here; with sport being such an integral part of the culture, even though it’s not particular to triathlon per say, the energy is just different somehow, though no less important to those racing. Perhaps it’s just a bit less of a chaotic feeling seems to be in the air amongst fellow athletes
To recap, a half ironman is a 1.2-mile swim, followed by a 56-mile bike ride, finishing off with a half marathon (13.1 mile run) done in that order.
And no, the fact that it’s half the distance of ironman does not mean it’s half as hard.
In fact, in my experience, there are pieces of the half distance that are more difficult as than the full and vice versa.
In other words, neither are easy but both are wonderfully challenging, incredibly emotional and always an opportunity to push yourself through new limits to see just how deep you can go to achieve things you may never have thought yourself capable of.
It’s a real treat to be in a place where it’s so easy to rest, relax, partake of the massage, the spa and, to get to the point of this how this relates to my blog, finally, the food, which is nothing less than healthy, fresh and absolutely Paleoista approved.
As with anything, you’ve got the choice to steer what’s available in any direction you choose.
This particular hotel, The Tauern Spa, happens to be an incredibly reasonably priced all-inclusive and your rack rate includes breakfast and dinner, both of which have exceeded expectations.
Dinner on our first night was a lovely salad of several types of mixed greens, tomato, cucumber, carrot, mushroom, cauliflower and olives with a healthy measure of olive oil. For the main, we had the choice of Arctic Char or Venison and it was with ease we were able to nix the dumplings in favor of a mélange of leek with shallot sautéed with cepes and a hint of rosemary.
This morning’s breakfast after a caffeinated, quick 3k swim with some fast 100s in the hotel’s saltwater 25m-pool consisted of lox, eggs and veggies, veggies and more veggies. All of the above were set out on the buffet, just as easily accessible as the pastry, muesli and toast… again, you choose what you’re putting in your own body and thus determine both how you’re going to feel and function as a result.
As the expression goes, #ItsNotThatHard
Off to enjoy the day, athlete check in, a quick test ride on my racehorse…err, bike, another massage and some visualization are all on the agenda for today.
More tomorrow about the race details so that if you’d like to virtually follow along on Sunday, you can do so!
 “A Short History of the IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship.” IRONMAN.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 27 Aug. 2015