Erika Csomor, the great lady of Hungarian triathlon, after last year, is already certain that she will pay her respect at the Keszthely Triathlon in the end of May this year again. Interesting changes have occurred both in Era’s life and sports career, we asked her about these and about a number of other things.
- What kind of feelings do you have related to your season last year? Perhaps it was a little bumpy in the beginning, but by the end you really started up. Are you satisfied with it, or not?
Yes, last year indeed did begin rather bumpily, since I had some health problems at each race, despite the fact that I wasn’t either injured or sick. About 23 years of competitive sports and over 50 long distance triathlon races (I don’t count half distance races as long distance) have had their effect: my base and top pulse rates are both extraordinarily low, so is my blood pressure. Even though I don’t train more than in the past, I have still shown symptoms of overexertion. I greatly reduced my training regimen and I also rest more between training sessions, thus in the second half of the season I already performed well. Still the shortfall of the season’s first half left a void in me.
- What kind of conclusions have you drawn from the last year, and with my apologies, with your advancing age, what do you need to pay more attention to?
I must realize again and again that I don’t need very much training any more, but more time for regeneration. Otherwise, thank God, I am perfectly healthy, not considering some psychological changes. Occasional nightmares about triathlon, sometimes bicycle repulsion, dread of water and so on. But to be serious, it’s rather difficult to find motivation and pleasure in daily monotonous training work anymore. I still love competition, but I am rather fed up with airports, hotels and time-zone changes.
- What are your plans for 2015? And we aren’t only curious about your sports career plans.
This year, which will be my umpteenth last professional season, I will try to return to shorter distances, both in races and in travel. Therefore, I am planning to train less but more intensely. Currently, I train children involved in triathlon at Fradi, and occasionally I also train together with them. At these times there is a huge prestige contest in swimming, but even in running. We are building the team, slowly but surely, and there is an excellent location for that in Népliget. According to our plans, even I will be competing in green and white colors this year!
For me the primary goal of 2015 is to make it to the 70.3 World Championships in Austria, which will not be easy in the case of professional women. In case of Ironman, at the past 4-5 races I have already sworn, never again, but of course I am like the young elephant: I learn slowly and forget quickly.
Considering my preparation, I am certain that there would be a few things in the past years which I would do differently in hindsight, but of course, in hindsight everyone is very smart. We can state now, since we are already in “hindsight”, that I have become very clever, young people and especially their parents learn from their own mistakes. Still I trust that I will have a few students who will listen to me, and will get farther than me by learning from my experience.
- What was the strangest place where you have been as a triathlon contestant?
I have a lot of funny stories from my travels in the past 20 years, since most of the time I set out by myself into the great unknown. Perhaps the strangest one was the homestay accommodation I managed to get on Maui. Since in Hawaii hotel prices are exorbitant, sometimes we stayed at volunteer hosts on the neighboring island. The enthusiastic volunteer happened to be a hippie with a lot of household pets. And they generally accompanied us everywhere. All of them were rather embarrassing, but I especially hated the parrot that woke me up early in the morning and I am sure that it was picking on me for some reason. Usually it was adorning my host’s shoulder, but unfortunately sometimes I had to carry it as well, as the result of which the scars made by its talons were on my shoulders for weeks after.
- How did you like the first Keszthely Triathlon? Are you planning to compete again?
I liked the race in Keszthely last year, regardless of the fact that I was struggling the whole way. The first one was very successful and presumably the second one will be even better. Perhaps also for me. I liked the running course the most, that was quite spectacular, and the bicycle course and its concluding part is also very pleasant.
This year, according to my plans, I will try to even the score with Gabi Zelinka, after last year’s race. I would like to prove that old ladies can’t be written off so easily!