Ok, so enough about me in this blog. I want to talk about the guys & girls (athletes) that give me the opportunity to help achieve their goals.
A few years back I did this in an unofficial way, however last year, after a discussion with my Coach, we decided that I should undertake the same role in an official capacity.
So, going through the level 1 coaching course and gaining my accreditation, I decided to offer up some of my experience and knowledge to a few mates. To my surprise, they accepted willingly!
Before it became official:
The first 3 to take me on board as their coach were great mates, Ben Robinson, Travis Atkins & Archie Ball.
After going through the training the learning for both myself and them, Busso 2010 we all had great races. Trav went 9hrs 40min in his first Ironman, Benny once again went very close to breaking 10hrs and Arch had another solid race (suffered many punctures but fought on well).
Fast forward to late last year.
I now had 10 athletes under me, taking my advice, learning from me as I was learning from them. Heading in Shepparton 70.3 I had 4 first time 70.3 athletes coming from various backrounds along with the regulars.
The athlete list was as follows:
Throw in Ben Hughes who contacted me whilst I was in Kona and Andrew Mill things were going ok.
Now at Shepparton 70.3 I was a spectator, I did the swim in a team with Fos & Justin. After this I set about learning a whole lot from my guys, about their physical & mental capacities on race day. Tom had come off a PB at Yeppoon & I knew a whole lot about Ben, Trav & Arch. However for the others, I was new to their pre race, race and post race mindset.
Cutting a long story short, I think that I was happier than each one of these guys, from the first timers to the "veterans" in my group. Seeing the joy on their faces about achieving their goals to discussing looking forward to the next one. I knew then that I wanted to expand my knowledge, experience and then pass it on to the athletes that wanted to learn.
This sport is as much about learning about yourself as training the house down. Getting the balance right and you become successful as fast as anyone. Not having the balance and when things get tough, it is hard to get out of. I am a big advocate of having a life aside from the triathlons. Whether it is work or social, you need something to fall back on.
So after Shepparton, I had a conversation with Adam Kelsall who had come from a 24hr MTB back round and the stable continued to grow. Going through a few long course races over the summer and the crew was improving and the results started to come. Top 10 results have become frequent and everyone started to bond on long rides and not only do we work hard, we also have fun.
One of my favourite memories to date was when we had 15 of us turn up for a long ride in the hills. Not only was it myself and the guys I was coaching, but Luke Gillmer joined us and another good mate, Matty Lewis and a few of his crew. Meeting before dark and just seeing the lights flicker from all, just made the atmosphere amazing.
Through out this time, I have been learning so much more about myself and my ways to express my knowledge to each individual. Some required the gentle approach (won't name names) and other the direct route. As I learnt more about everyone, the easier it has become to coach them.
Not long after this, along came a girl that went to Kona and through her husband going down the pro path, she decided she wanted a coach of her own. Wow, I was walking into unknown territory, coaching a girl. How different was this going to be? All I could think about was if this was going to be too hard for me, could I handle the female ways etc. Having a very long chat to Meg, we decided we would give it a go. She has been great and I have really enjoyed the experience of coaching a female, a lot different to males!! ;-)
Another female was next, a total newbie. Another learning curve for me, another great experience and also more learning from me. Megan (version 2 hehehe) is into the short distance races and is slowly going about her ways to tick off her goals and things are going great!!
5 more athletes joined soon after this, Kev Choate, Dallas Harvey and Rene Rutze, both a little older and looking at achieving their goals. All worlds apart in life (in great ways) and both taking the advice like ducks to water. Great times!! Jane Powell form South Australia also came on board with goals to improve her Ironman WA time. Kane Roach, another total newbie joined the list and ultimately has entered Ironman Melbourne 2013.
My younger brother, Nathan asked me to help him out as he entered Shepparton 70.3 without even doing any races. Job done and this first Tri was completed not long after.
Soon after this and leading into Ironman Melbourne, 3 more athletes approached me and at this time I had to put things on hold until we all got through the race. All 3 of them appreciated this as I explained that I wanted to help all the current crop get through Melbourne and it would be unfair on all if I tried to expand too quickly.
So, Melbourne Ironman....What a day!! Unfortunately I was a little ill post race and missed some of the finishers, however knowing that the following athletes completed their first Ironman under my guidance was to pleasing from my end:
Ben Hughes 9hr 27min
Dario Sorbello 11hr 33min
Jason Dwyer 12hr 35min
Dallas Harvey 16hr 41min
Include a few veterans:
Tavis Atkins 9hr 33min
Archie Ball 11hr 47min
And it was an amazing day. The top 4 achieved their goals and went a little better. Ben Hughes wanted to break 10hrs, Dario 12hrs, Jason 13hrs and Dallas just get a finish. Trav also did a pb and Archie broke 12hrs for the first time.
6 starters......6 finishers.
I would have had another first timer in Tom Lazarus at Ironman New Zealand, however having it shortened to a 70.3 race, meant he couldn't go faster than what I did at NZ 2010 10hr 39min!! Bad luck mate and good luck beating my Melbourne time next year!! :) Ironman Cairns is where we are headed to tick off this goal.
So, post Melbourne, we head to Port Macquarie where I have another 2 first timers in Adam Kelsall and Tim Tingiri. Benny Robinson is heading there as I am.
At the end of the season I would have had 6 1st time Ironmen and have loved every second of it.
The enquires haven't stopped there, this week I am starting with Michael Harvey, Tracy Schirmer and another lady (who wants to keep a low profile).
After Ironman Melbourne, 2 other mates (low profile) want to realise their dream of getting to Kona either this year or next.
The stable is just growing. I am close to my limit as I never want to get too big and not give the individual service to each and everyone of the athletes that I coach. From the first timer to the veterans in my group, the service is going to be the same. I pride myself on this and i know that each and everyone of these athletes appreciates it. I think that I hassle them more than the contact me!
My ultimate goals in this coaching caper is to help each and every athlete achieve their goal whether it is to get that elusive Kona spot or just finish their first triathlon.
Above and beyond this, I want to get a few guys racing as fast and well as what Andrew has got me going. Do YOU want to be this person??
I want to send a MONSTER thanks to everyone mentioned above for helping me grow and develop as a person along with supporting me as I support you.
There is 1 person that I haven't mentioned above as she deserves a special mention on her own. My own younger sister & occasional chef Naomi Wood. She too has entered Shepparton 70.3 which will be an amazing effort after just having her 3rd baby, along with the knee reco's she has had and the weight she wants to lose. But I know that if anyone can achieve their goal, NAOMI you are the one who can do it!
So, it is Thursday after the race of my life with the dedication that I could only dream of (see my new blog picture).
I am unsure why it has taken me this long to put pen to paper and write this report, after all, I broke 9hrs for the first time, was top 5 age groupers to finish and qualified for the Hawaiian Ironman for the 2nd successive year. The only thing that I can put it down to is the emotional factor.
It is really hard to accept the result that I achieved due to the lead in that I had. I suppose this is the driving factor for me going to Port Macquarie to race another Ironman in 5 weeks. I almost feel like I "cheated" the system by going so well after such an interrupted preparation. the emotional factor. Knowing why I raced, who I raced for and the result that I achieved. I also know at various stages of this report, tears will flow on reflection of the significance of the race for me, the support I received and even the special guest appearance from my Aunty and Uncle.
The only thing that I knew going into the race was that I had such an enormous base and that my running was going ok. With having time off to go to Perth (magic weekend) for a Watto's wedding and other things along the way I was really unsure of where I was at. With this in mind I really hit the social media hard with a few mind games here and there to unsettle a few of the guys in my a/g who were potentially a threat. This worked well for me and not so well for a few of them. In saying this I did manage to pick the top 5 in my a/g with Rob Creasy, Hayden Armstrong, Pablo Safrana & Tom Bakowski all mentioned pre race.
Now onto the race. Getting up at 3.30am to get the bus was slightly different, so I decided to make my morning routine slightly different to compensate for this. Yes I still had my routine vomits pre-race, this for some reason really settles me down once done!
Heading down to Frankston on the bus was unusual, however unique all the same, and I must say that I LOVED it. Got me thinking about the day ahead as all week I was consumed by work and the race wasn't really in the fore front of my mind. Thinking about the weather, my race plan and the "real" reason why I wanted to have a great race was a constant thought throughout the trip.
I did declare to my coach Andy during the race week that I would swim 58-59min, ride a 4hr 50min and I was going to run faster than what I did at Kona. Maybe a big call, however I thought that I could run under 3hr 15min. I just didn't realise what the day presented me.
Getting to Frankston, seeing everyone who travelled the distance to support me along with a few other athletes that either I knew, or coached put me in a really great frame of mind.
Heading into the swim was bizarre, I had received my NEW ROCKET SCIENCE WETSUIT only days be fore and it was the first time that I tried it on. Along with this it was going to be a swim start in the dark. This is the only criticism I have for the whole race, the swim start..... Everyone crept forward (me included as I was there to race and was not going to give anyone else an advantage!!) and the SUP's didn't really try to hold us back. Unlike Kona where there officials on the boards just simply prevent you from creeping forward, these guys did not enforce themselves on the pack.
So, after getting my self set, the horn sounded (also pretty pi55 weak!!) and the race was under way. I settled really well early and just focused on maintaining the feet in front of me. After about 2.5k I recognised Justin swimming next to me (I have this unusual knack of picking people I know in the swim) and after realising this I thought that I was travelling ok. Copping a kick to the left ear at the 2nd last buoy was weird as it made me cramp in my left calf.....no idea how that works!! Exiting the water in 56min 40 odd was pleasing.
My goal was to get into T1 and out as fast as I could and get the bike going.
With this taking place pretty fast, I was out onto my bike with my SCHNELL CARBON WHEELS, oh my god, these wheels fly. I set out to smack myself up on the bike to really set the scene for the remainder of my race. Catching the lead age group bunch after 50k on the bike was what I wanted. Having the likes of Sam Hume, Damien Angus & Greg Farrell behind me really gave me the opportunity that I wanted.
Getting to the 90k mark in 2hr 14min and the 2nd age grouper overall was amazing for me as I rode down some established pro athletes also. The 3rd 45k was all about consolidation and maintaining my lead. Damien Angus caught me out of the tunnel the 2nd time and just rode away. This didn't faze me as I never expected to be any where near him by race end.
Out onto the run knowing the support that I had and the ride of 4hr 42min which was my fastest IM ride, I was still confident of running a sub 3hr 15min Marathon.
This is the part of the race that I really am just in awe of. Running with the likes of Damien Angus (2010 35-39 WORLD champ) and Sam Hume (Multiple A/G podium @ Hawaii). Also being the lead age grouper for a while, having Brett Davidson run by me (He is the training partner of some guy called Craig Alexander!) And then one of my training partners and great mate Greg Farrell who went a lazy 8hr 48min to be the fastest age grouper just made me run with awe. I think that Ollie Allan who was the 4th age grouper home and 20 sec in front of me was thinking the same!
The run was just wonderful, having the support from everyone, getting time splits knowing I had 8min lead off the bike gave me confidence that I could pull something out of the hat and maybe even win my age group. Little did I know that Rob Creasy was absolutely flying and ran a 3hr marathon and after catching me at the 36k mark, I could not be happier for the guy to win.
Not only did I lay it on the line and have my fastest ride time, but also backed it up and had a 4min faster Marathon than I ever had before... Hats off!!
Having the pleasure of running with Damien & Sam (which still astounds me) I learnt so much from these 2 guys and the respect that I have for both not only during the race but also post race is as high as any other athlete I have ever met. It was an honour to mix it with them and I was lucky enough to have a better day and pip them towards the end.
The last few k's just flew by as I started to see everyone that supported me and just tried to acknowledge EVERYONE who was out there supporting, volunteering or just watching. Heading to the final 1km, Dad told me that I had some visitors waiting for me.
Little did I know when I got close to the finish chute I would see the sign my sister and brother in law made for me.
Seeing this instantly put a smile on my face as I know how much the day and my race meant to Naomi & Family. Going to where they were standing to give them an almighty cuddle I noticed my aunt & uncle also there, this day is just getting better.
After giving Naomi a massive cuddle, tears started to flow....I had better get out of there... I am an Ironman!! So from this I finished in 8hr 54min and saluted to Mum above as I knew she had been there with me all day.
Having Ollie Allan wait the 20 odd sec for me just also added to my day as he also had an amazing race. With my emotions running wild I picked him up and congratulated him. What followed this was just an awesome feeling.
My coach Andrew Sinclair, who was also the run director, presented me with the medal. After the performance that I laid down, to have my coach put the medal around my neck was just like a massive well done. Not only did he present my medal, but also Greg's. How he got the 1st & 5th fastest age groupers on the day just speaks volumes for the program and the guy. As you can see in the below photo how happy I am to see him.
Seeing everyone post race just really emphasised the support that I had and I was just elated to be able to produce the race that I did.
My times below:
BIB AGE STATE/COUNTRY PROFESSION209 34 Keilor Park
SWIM BIKE RUN OVERALL RANK DIV.POS.
56:59 4:42:23 3:11:33 8:54:42 27 2
LEG DISTANCE PACE RANK DIV.POS. TOTAL SWIM 3.8 km (56:59) 1:29/100m 135 27 BIKE SPLIT 1: 45 km 45 km (1:11:03) 38.00 km/h BIKE SPLIT 2: 90 km 45 km (1:03:22) 42.61 km/h BIKE SPLIT 3: 135 km 45 km (1:16:12) 35.43 km/h BIKE SPLIT 4: 180 km 45 km (1:11:46) 37.62 km/h TOTAL BIKE 180 km (4:42:23) 38.25 km/h 31 1
RUN SPLIT 1: 10 km 10 km (43:13) 4:19/km RUN SPLIT 2: 20 km 10 km (43:39) 4:21/km RUN SPLIT 3: 30 km 10 km (--:--) --/km RUN SPLIT 4: 42.2 km 12.2 km (8:54:42) 43:49/km TOTAL RUN 42.2 km (3:11:33) 4:32/km 27 2
TRANSITION TIME T1: SWIM-TO-BIKE 2:05 T2: BIKE-TO-RUN 1:42
The next photo clearly shows when the actual realisation of my race sunk in.
There are so many people to thank. Mostly, Andrew for helping me out of a slump not long ago and having faith in me to achieve what I did. Scott @ XOSIZE for his continuing support along with ROCKET SCIENCE SPORTS. Karl @ SCHNELL CARBON WHEELS, not only did I ride a 4hr 42min, it was also the 2nd fastest a/g time of the day and 17th overall, no way was I in this shape! Luke & Flo @ ON running for shoes that just keep getting results.... (Ask Caroline Steffan sho ran a 3hr 2min Marathon after a smoking 4hr 35min bike). Anthony from CBD cycles for a partnership that is in its infancy but with great potential.
Without the above, I couldn't achieve my goals, but also without the love and support from all my friends and family, this day would never have been possible either as the emotional content could have out weighed any race that I wanted to do. To have so many of them already commit to coming to Hawaii, I can assure that I will lay it on the line even more there to achieve a far better result.
Finally, to do this race for my mum on such a significant day for me was something that I will never forget and I know that up there, you will be smiling and never forget either.
I have so many other things that I want to recap on about the weekend, so I will leave it at that for now and get to the others soon.
So, 2 days out and a total R&R day. Just the day preparing myself for Sunday, getting my bike set up, my numbers done, my nutrition ready.
Along with this included shopping for carb loading, along with taper week, it is the part of Ironman that I don't actually like. I enjoy my food and drink, however feeling like I am forcing it down is not enjoyable.
Now as I have stated in previous blogs, I first got introduced to the P's by Fos. He is big on getting things right and I suppose that's why I am not stressed. I am prepared, I have done the training and am getting everything ready.
Along with the preparation comes experience, and I can account for 5 Ironman races and almost a dozen 70.3 or Long Course races. So along with learning how to prepare correctly for the race, I know what works for me. Now my method is not right for everyone, however I have learnt from previous attempts and near misses what I can do and can't do in my preparation.
The following statement really defines many aspects of my life. When I am going well both physically and emotionally, I simply make it happen, when things are down a little, want replaces the word make. The last 3-4 weeks have most definitely been making it happen. Making my choices without regrets which I know will give me the result that I want.
In saying this, I have been forced to do things that I would never usually do in an Ironman build, mix things up and take a few training risks. I have really responded to these well and the final verdict will be once I cross that line on Sunday.
This whole journey has been about me setting my own goals, ticking my own boxes and being ultimately responsible to myself. So as long as I continue to do this i will be:
Opinions from others doesn't affect me or my race plans, I can only control what I can do. I can alter my plans along the way, however I cannot worry about what others are doing. I see this way too often and see people lose track of their own progress, plans or goals. I just stick to what I am setting out to do.
On a final note, I have found my new number 1 fan, a mate's daughter. Absolutely gorgeous. See below.
So, the day draws closer, the excitement builds, the nerves gather.
The inaugural Ironman Melbourne is only a few days away and the hype is building. Plenty of people claiming that they are going the smash this, smoke that, people talking up there chances of going to Kona, PB's everywhere etc etc.
One thing people forget is the fact that there might just be better athletes out there on race day. People who have been in the sport longer, have a history of competing at a higher level or even just racing pro.
With all this in mind, just because you might not achieve your dream, doesn't mean that you haven't had a great day out there. If you do get the pb but still miss out on a Kona spot, well so be it, be happy. If you don't get a pb, don't go around making excuses, just maybe it was the day for you. There is nothing worse than listening to people making excuses for why they didn't make it.
I am really looking forward to the challenge of Sunday and after talking to a mate today, he made a valid point. The best age groupers in the country are racing Sunday (see previous post) which means that the competition is tougher and the times will be
Not only is the competition tougher physically, but more so mentally as these guys know how to get the job done. These guys don't crack when things might be going wrong, they just change their plans during the race. These are also the guys that take defeat graciously and never take away the better achievements from the others. They don't make excuses, don't complain about poor nutrition, equipment failure or blame volunteers, they are professional in their behaviour although racing age group.
Which one are you?
What I am trying to say here is just go out there do your best, have fun and appreciate what you have achieved. Many people wish they could do it but never will. Others just will never have the opportunity to. So for the rest of us, we are lucky, we are special, we are the ones who are able to achieve such a significant result no matter what the finish time is. To have that finishers medal hanging from your neck after crossing that finish line is somewhat an extraordinary achievement.
Enjoy it, remember it and love it.
Do you really think the following guy in the pic really cares about times etc? I am pretty sure he appreciates the fact the he can still compete.
Enjoy yourself, smile at loved ones who have made the journey to watch you, or been along for the roller coaster ride that we call Ironman Triathlon.
For me, having all my family coming to watch is amazing. I was lucky enough to have most of them there at Hawaii and am thankful that they really enjoy and understand to sport. This is amazing but there is 1 person that I am really racing for on Sunday. For those who have followed this blog, you will know that it is my Mum taken away 5 years on Sunday. Mum was there to watch my first 1/2 Ironman in 1999 up at Cairns and loved it. Or maybe she just loved the weather. Hard to tell as she was smiling all day.
With this in mind, I am going to remember that for the entire race, when I am hurting I am going to push harder, when I think that I have pushed for long and hard enough, I am going to push on more. The only time that I am going to stop is once I cross that finish line. I have 2 perfect motto's for my race and they are below.
If I am ever at the point of breaking, I am going to look upwards and know that she is there willing me on.
The next one is just ideal, makes so much sense and is so so true!
So, not only for myself, but for anyone out there, just think of how lucky we are to have numbers on and just the fact that we are the lucky ones.
This one is for you Mum...(25/12/53 - 25/03/07)
PS. I will blog again tomorrow which could be my final one before race day. Have to dedicate a few hours to my bike, well in need of a clean!!
So, after posting my tips on twitter about the my rough tips for Ironman Melbourne, I thought that I would do a more comprehensive run down of guys in my age group.
I know that I will miss 1 or 2 that I am unsure about however I think that I am aware of the main guys that I need to watch out for.
Hayden Armstrong - This guy is solid, have race him a few times and just have the wood on him, however I know that he has come to Melbourne to repeat his 14th Outright at IMNZ 2011. A 9hr 28min Kona means this guy demands respect, we had a good chat climbing Hawi last year and also after Yeppoon 70.3, great guy to boot.
Pablo Safrana - Pabs is a guy who I admire, just seems to race all the time and continually gets the results. We rode together back in 2009 & 2010 @ IMWA. He finished Hawaii 2011 in 9hr 23min. Would still have included him even if IMNZ was a full.... Finished 7th in the 30-34 in the revamped race. He has been to Kona plenty of times and no doubt wants to go back.
Rob Creasy - 9hr 17min @ IM Hawaii 2011 speaks for itself. Very consistent across all 3 disciplines & will at the pointy end of the field when it counts.
Tom Bakowski - 1 word = GUN, 8hr 59min @ IMWA 2011 with a 3hr 9min marathon. I have raced him a few times. Has 3 great disciplines and is my pick to stand on top at the end of the day in under 9hrs once again.
Tim Carpenter - Prob suited better to 70.3, however is a quality athlete. Goes around the 9hr 30min mark. Might just give the leaders to much start going into T2.
Gene Bates (Pro cyclist) - A pro cyclist. Unsure about this guy, but anyone who can ride pro, is worth the mention. No doubt with a solid swim, should be in contention heading into the marathon. But can he run??
Dane Heaysman - Have to mention this guy, made it to Kona and had a tough day, but the hardest part is making it. If I didn't know he was a new dad I would be sure that he would be knocking on the door once again. BTW Congrates mate.
Brad Manczak -5th @ IMWA 2011 in a time of 9hr 32min, his swim def lets him down, might just give too much start to the front runners.
James Monahan - A solid performer who doesn't have a real strength, however I know that he has been training the house down. Has to be 100% on race day to have a chance. Unsure if he has the ability to really trouble a few boys mentioned above.
Tristan Parker - My pick to have the fastest 30-34 a/g bike split. However in this sport, you still have to run a marathon. TP will need a good 10min lead to try to hang onto going into T2 to be any chance. (The Chris Lieto of 30-34) Since moving to MTC, am sure he has learnt a fair bit.
Hugh Peck - Finished just behind Bakowski (2nd & 3rd) at Port Macquarie 70.3 2011 in 4hr 22min and just in front of Hayden Armstrong. A couple of sub 10hr Ironmans, but has been a fair bit behind Pabs when it goes long. Could be a long shot.
Andrew Reynolds - Another Hawaii 2011 Finisher in 10hr 29min and was a 9hr 46min IMWA 2010, and a 9hr 48min IM Port 2011. Times seem a little off however, he knows how to get to the Big Island.
And then there is me, I would like to think that I am a chance, however as you read above, I have mentioned 12 genuine athletes who are going to challenge for a spot. I may have knocked off these guys in my previous races, however in Ironman, that counts for nothing. I know which athletes I will have to monitor when I get onto the bike and which athletes I can let go. I am not in my 9hr 9min Kona shape, however I know that I am not far off.
The only thing that I know is come Sunday, I will have nothing left when I cross that line and whatever the result, I will be proud as I would have given everything that I have. Don't get me wrong, I am going for a Kona spot, but so are the 12 listed above along with so many others. IT is going to be a really tough race and the finer details over the next few days regarding equipment and tactics will decide my race plan.
If I can be off the bike in the top couple, I know what it takes to churn out a solid race. Can I go sub 9hr? That is a BIG BIG question, a few of the above boys have an that's who I am chasing. Give me some wind on the bike and it will be game on.
After re-reading my last blog entry from Thursday night, it seems as I was really down.
This was not the case at all, everything is going really well. On reflection I know the reason why it might have come across that way.
So, after a great Run session Wednesday evening I was going to the local shop to grab myself a drink. Walking up to the door and seeing the attendant on the other side I was in my own little world until....
I walked straight into the glass door. Unsure of what just happened, I had a brief thought that maybe the shop was shut. I was looking straight at the guy and then bang.... After I hit the glass, the door kindly decided to open for me, little late there!
Being dazed, an egg instantly appeared above my right eye, probably very close to splitting. Once the realisation on what just happened, I just burst into laughter. I received many apologies from the store owners, however my laughter turned into embarrassment very quickly.
15min later I was on my way. Drinks in hand....Tail between my legs. I was very flat all Thursday as obviously the knock to my head was rather hard and effective in knocking the wind from my sails.
After a good nights sleep, Friday was a different day. Up at 4.15am for a treadmill session before I headed to swim squad. Another treadmill session followed Friday night and I felt like I hadn't missed a beat.
Today has included an hour run with a 2hr ride following and this afternoon is another 2hr run followed by a 2hr ride.
A few comments that I have received with a late taper have included:
Machines work better if they are used frequently!
never to late, come in hot not fried
So with this in mind and the program for Super Coach, things are still looking great. At the end of the day I want to end back here:
Not only do I want to get back, I want to go back with some of my closest mates and have a great time with them all.
Now that's a true indication of where things are at, thinking clearly, able to wear goggles also, makes a big big difference.
So after a Magic weekend at great mate Watto's wedding and having 4 total days off training, I was ready to get going again Monday.
A long ride and hard run with Benny Hughes gave me just the session I needed. Backing this up with another long run on the Tuesday and I feel like the ball is still rolling my way. The following 2 days have been a perfect mix.
This gives me just over a week until race day. A few more days of quality and then all systems are off until Melbourne.
Not much to really report. Back into the pool tomorrow for a week and then a monster weekend again.
This has been the most interrupted prep that I have had, however with the expertise from Andrew, things are still going along ok.
I am getting more excited for the guys that I coach and the conversations that I am having with them regarding their first Ironman Adventure and I could honestly not be happier with where they are and the goals they are setting out to achieve. All things going well, we are ALL going to have a great day.
I will endeavour to blog again over the weekend!
This one is for you Mum... (25/12/53 - 25/03/07)
Getting close to the 5yr anniversary :-(
This is going to drive me to push even harder on race day.
So, after the recent additions to the family early in the week, my sister was next due. The original date was 21/03/12. Due to a few family reasons, which I am so happy about, the baby decided to arrive early.
So in the space of 1 week, both my brother and sister have babies. Throw in my Best mate and their addition, things have been hectic.
Training has been going well still and the body is coming good. This might chance this weekend as flying to Perth for a wedding is going to be great.... But maybe not beneficial.
The challenge that I have is when to start taper and how many more big days I can squeeze in before it is too late. That is a discussion to have with Coach.
Now back on the family. Naomi not only has 3 kids, she has also decided along with her husband to enter Shepparton 70.3 for later in the year. People think what I do is amazing and motivating, however going through the next 8 months with them is something that I truly cannot wait for. If I cannot draw some inspiration out of that, something will be wrong. We have already mapped out a game plan around the kids, work and training and the end result is going to be plain and simple.
I have added 2 photos included mum & bubs. Things just keep getting better. I even must say how good my sister looks in this photo as it was taken no more than 2hrs after the birth.
There is a moral to the story.... To my dear Brother, Sister and best mate.....Start training for Ironman and all this "carry on" will stop.....lol
The way the coin fell could have been so very different. Heads I go back to sleep, tails I get up and go to swim squad.
Why was it this way?? Well last night, for some reason unbeknown to me, I just couldn't sleep. I saw midnight on the clock and must have drifted off not long after that. So when the alarm went off at 5.20am, the thought of heads (head back on the pillow did cross my mind) , but no, I got up, feeling pretty ordinary and headed off to swim squad. 4k set, 2k of speed work later I was a happy little camper.
I knew that I was going to have a long day at work and all I was determined to do was look forward to my afternoon session.
So after work, I was so excited to get in the car and head home. The plan was to get going straight away before I had the chance to kick back and relax, put the cricket on and then lose motivation to train.
Home, changed and out the door was the way it went. My usual 14k loop which has been taking me just over the 70min mark is now down to 60min, legs feeling great, the hill at the end is not as challenging. And throw in the fact that I am loving it all, it is so easy right now!
Not long ago, heads and back to sleep would have prevailed especially after a night of minimal hours sleep. I need and crave 10hrs most nights, so this was a big big win for me..
Taking that confidence of being able to win this mornings battle means that every time I think that way, I know that I can get up and perform ..
I read a quote today which went this way, "Experience tells you what to do; Confidence allows you to do it"
When you have the experience from good and bad, you know what you are able to do and what you are not. With this, Andrew and myself and very confident that what we are doing for this preparation will work.
This one is for you Mum... (25/12/53 - 25/03/07)
Even when you are not there to respond, I know you are there to listen!
So after a great Saturday on the bike (not the punctures, but getting through it) Sunday was my long run day.
Sleeping in a little meant that I was going to run doing the middle of the day...Perfect for running training for an Ironman as every Ironman I have ever done, I am always running after midday. So I set off at 11am with a plan to get as close to the 3hrs as possible. Nothing fancy just a good long run.
So I loaded my fuel belt and off I went. Felt weird wearing one again and I know that my shape is not as good as Kona due to the belt just being a little tight ;), must lay off the chocolates again!
Getting to the 1/2 way mark and having ticked off just under 19k's I was rather happy as I was moving along rather well for me. The nutrition was working well and the legs were going along just fine. My feet were letting me know that I was running, but nothing of a concern.
At the 32k mark I started to battle a bit, prob not enough intake for the conditions, however I was surprised that my legs and body were still feeling ok. Finishing up with 37.6k in the 3hrs was awesome and was really happy with it especially after a big day on the Saturday.
This capped of a great week for me..just on 19hrs training, with a run focus and ending up with 110ks in the legs (my 3rd biggest run week ever). To my surprise even my feet pulled up well, maybe it is not to late to achieve what I want!
The big goal is to replicate that for another week 1/2 before I taper. Throw the wedding in this weekend and it is going to be a battle.
The motto for now is the song below. A Queen classic!! Sums up just about all my training to date.
Today included a sleep in to recover and then a 2hr Mag trainer this evening. I was rather
surprised how much I loved it, could have just kept going. But at these times you really have t
o know where the boundaries are and know how close you can push them before you fall over. I am finding them and giving them a good old fashioned nudge.
Tomorrow I am back in the water and then will get the legs going gain tomorrow night with a mid length run with some intensity.
Time is running out and is waiting for no-one. I am on the IM Melbourne train and it is coming to town fast. I can either decide to jump aboard and see where it takes me or let it go by and start wondering. I am All Aboard!!
This one is for you Mum... (25/12/53 - 25/03/07)
On another note and very special for me, my brother Brian and his partner Livy had their first baby over the weekend, Harrison James. Now that was the second special thing for me over the weekend. The first one was my best mate and is as close as a brother as my blood ones are, Paul and his wife Erin had their 2nd baby, Lily Maya. Photos are below:
Harrison James on the left & Lily Maya on the right.
This takes my tally to 2 children, 2 God children, 2 nephews, 3 nieces and with another one due this month, it is all happening around me!! The best way to be, as we all know babies are cute, but better when you hand them back!! hehehehe
So, after a pretty solid week I was looking forward to a long ride with the lads today. A few softies pulled the pin after the weather forecast... Not mentioning anyone!!
We headed out nice and early with a solid 6hrs the plan. After 40k's I hit some metal and shredded my tyre...see below.
This put a slight hold on the ride, however with Darz spotting me a $50 to fix the hole for the ride. So back into and then Jas punctured. That fixed and we were off.
Getting into Geelong for the turnaround, another puncture, I had ran over a staple and had a slow leak. Lucky for us, Fos lives near by, so a quick pitstop, change tyre, restock tubes and we were off. Darz then realised that he had lost his spare bag, no buggy at the time...so we thought.
After 10k's back into the ride, more punctures. This time I had to ride back to find his spares bag as we were out of tubes, canisters and anything else that could possibly help repair the tube. After a bit of time we were back going, the weather changed and we were getting wet. For some bizarre reason, I was having a ball out there today, loving riding into the wind, the punctures did annoy me a little bit, butt just really loved the long haul.
Once back to the cars and 185k's later we headed out for our run. My legs were feeling really good so I thought that I would have a bit of a dip. Getting the first k done in 4min I thought that I would just do the same for the 40mins. 9.5k's later and legs feeling really good the run was done. The smile on my face was evident that I was really happy with the result of the days training. My body felt good, my feet held up well.
The afternoon was a quick bite to eat and then a massage, geez I needed that, after chalking up 75k's running this week and my long run tomorrow, I was sore in lots of spots, but very happy to have had the body tampered with!
So that brings me to tomorrow.... I am hoping to get through a really solid long run and have a ride off the back of it to finish a great week. The weather is not going to stop me, maybe make me look like a drowned rat, but none the less I am going to have a great time. Fingers crossed the feet can handle the 100+ k's that I would have pumped into them by the days end. Then to see if I can repeat next week.
Am glad to be making some inroads again. I am no where near my Kona shape but working towards it. Probably about 75% of it right now with a few more solids weeks to go I am hoping to get 85-90% of where I was. This would be a great result!
So today commenced with a solid 3.5k in the pool for me with a few solid efforts. I was surprised the pace I was doing for them and that I was holding my own in the fast lane. Things going ok in the water for me.
I decided to have a leg rest evening and just get some r&r before a big big weekend. So nothing really to post about today.
So in the rain, hail or shine I will be out there tomorrow suffering. The below might just describe the day!
But if I don't go one thing is slipping away, and that thing is time. Time to get more k's in, time to get some more fitness and most of all time to get to the start line in the best shape that I can. As the saying goes:
This is true in so many facets of life and something that I am going to follow. The other is the below. It is so so true, just another motto I am going to follow. What is the worst that could happen?? The answer is no, you don't get what you want, and you stay in the same place. But if you don't try, you just never know.
So with that in mind and the guidance of Andrew, I am just playing things by war, trying to add some cramming in with my training without going overboard. Trying to get the run legs back without destroying my feet. Just trying to find that balance! Going close to the edge to get the most out of the time remaining without taking one step too many.
I have nothing to really lose at this point, but so much to gain. And it is the gains that I am seeking. Over the last few months, there have been different strategies that we have applied and they have not worked, so by mutual decision and fantastic guidance, I am confident that things are heading in the right direction fast.
We are learning about what my body is coping with and what it isn't. The goal is to try and get 100k's of running in the legs for the next 2 weeks, kinda make or break. I know cramming isn't the best method, however at this late stage and with such an interrupted build up, there is no other option. I am never one to go in half cooked and if things don't go to plan, I cannot say that I didn't try.
By doing this method, the running frequency is mixing really well with speed work and endurance. The combination of treadmill running and running outdoors is giving me a good mix of get some really good speed in the legs and also easier runs in the fresh air. I am finding that I have no where near as much speed in the legs as what I did in my Kona build however, I also know that my base is still there. When trying to run at that intensity, I am often out of my comfort zone. I LOVE THIS!!
As we enter the last few weeks, the emotions for me are growing in the absence of my mum. Someone who used to take me to my sports when I was younger, support me through every sport that I tried, who flew to Cairns to watch my first 1/2 Ironman amongst so many other things. Dad and I are like 2 peas in a pod, both love our cycling, compete against each other...still, although Fos is trying hard but not quite at the same level at what he was. (Keep trying it might come back!!) hehehehe
Mum, although was a sportsperson in her own right, it wasn't really the sports I played, so to have that support when I was younger is invaluable now. I just know that come March 25th 2012 (5 years to the day after your passing) you will be watching down on me giving me all the support like you used to.
Although the sport is addictive and consumes a whole lot of my life in both as an athlete and a coach, there are times where I just like to let my hair down. This is what makes the sport more enjoyable for me, the ability of switching it off and going back to being a 33y.o who loves to party and getting amongst it. I have already organised a few Lionel nights after IM and am looking forward to that as much as I am securing another Kona Spot.
With this in mind, the next picture does contain an offensive word, however sometimes it is just the best way to think.
Tomorrow is back in the pool and if the feet are up to it, another run in the evening. I am really looking forward to the weekend and seeing how the boys go in New Zealand. I am also hoping that the weather is nasty just to get out amongst it is going to be GOLD!