70.3 Busselton. my life, concussion, Off-road racing all quick enough to read without getting half way through and wishing you hadn’t started…..
The beginning of my year has been different to every other year!! Usually I’m all about the high octane activities and training. Go to max and get fast!! This year under the guidance of Jeff Shilt has been all about building a base and doing some big weeks… What I though would be easy WAS NOT, I’ve never trained Volume. Well I thought I had, but really I hadn’t!!! Without going into detail I was drowned in fatigue in the early part of the year which made me think I was going crap!!
My first outing of the year was in March at a Rapid Accent event called X Adventure Dunsborough.(Swim/Run/Mountain Bike) I was 2nd out the water close behind Ben Allen (3rd Xterra Worlds Champs) the run includes a lot of rock hopping, and as it turns out I look like a Tyrannosaurus Rex trying to do Monkey bars when I rock hop… Or perhaps a Grasshopper having a seizure?. Anyway My first race of the season didn’t go as I had hoped and I didn’t get to test my fitness properly! I finished and didn't break any bones!!
Onto Karri Valley Triathlon: I lead from the water, but felt terrible. On the bike my legs decided they would go on vacation to Bali. Lucky for me I managed to settle in before Courtney Ogden and Matty White caught me. We finished the bike together and had the most epic run battle I can remember with a 3 way sprint finish starting 1000m out… "It hurt really bad"… But it was the first time I’ve ever outrun these two blokes….. The clouds parted and the sun shined down on me…. YAY.. 2nd place overall behind a flying Matty Burton!!
Then it was off to Xterra Rotorua with my new found confidence. I was the man again.
I was 3rd out of the water but only 1 sec off the lead. “perfect” Onto the bike I caught my shoe and it torn off and landed on the road. “bugger” I stopped ran back and picked it up… Missing the lead two guys!!!!… I still thought I could have a great ride I sat in 3rd for a while and was eventually passed by 4 or so guys whiling riding 57% above my skill level on a muddy descent. I lost my balance and instead of using my brakes to stop I used my head and in the process knocked myself out… I came to almost immediately and had enough sense to know what had happened… I ask myself a few questions and figured the only thingI shouldn’t do is hit my head again…. Knowing that I am a cross between Chuck Norris and a ninja I decided to continue…. But I crept through the next half of the bike with countless people passing me…. (I was a little anxious) … I started running and as the run progressed I felt better and better and started running really well by the end.. I was stoked to finish but text time I’d rather not land on my head!!! So I probably have a few things to work on.
One week later and I was back in Western Australia for the Geraldton Endure Olympic distance. I had headaches all week long (from the concussion the week earlier) and was getting pretty bumped out by them. But the day before the race I woke up feeling great. no headache a fair amount of energy and thought “maybe I won’t come 316th tomorrow”
Race Day: the swim was great I went to the front and stayed there, my arms felt pretty good, not great, but way better than the last two races. Through T1 I went like a scorched cat and managed to get about 5sec gap on the young guys. I went as hard as I could on the bike for the first 5K and managed to get out to about a 30-40sec gap!!! I was happy with the way my legs responded. I settled into a very uncomfortable pace and came into T2 with a little over a minute lead on Jonney Sammut and Courtney Ogden with the stud ITU runners a few minutes behind them. Once again the scorched Cat came out on the run. But I found the manageable pace and at the end of the day I came away with a win over some very talented short and long course guys. PUMPED!!!
Busselton 70.3 soon rolled around and I was super excited to see where I was at. It was a stella field with some of the best in the business on the start line. The start of the swim was FAST but I was able to handle the pace changes relatively well. I choose my own line and found myself at the front of the swim and again lead the swim out. (Big thanks to Paul Newsome for Sorting my swim out) I was VERY happy with that swim. I felt great, nothing hurt and I was able to change pace when needed. If only every swim felt that good!!!! As soon as I stood up I was a cannon ball…. A cannon ball that produced lactic acid enough for 12 people and as Sam, Terenzo and Brad rode past me in the early stages of the bike I felt like asking them if they could soft peddle for 2min while my body processed the HUGE amounts of lactic acid I had unleashed upon it. Needles to say I lost them and was left in no-mans land. The first lap was misery, but the second lap my watts starting lifting and my legs came to the party…. I was thinking what if I rode like this at the beginning… “would I have had the legs to ride with Sam and Terenzo?” I guess we’ll have to wait until the next race to find that out….I came into T2 Just ahead of Brad in 3rd place. I ran the first lap at a pace that would have probably dropped Haile Gebrselassie then the last 7 K I was DEEP in then hurt locker running as fast as I could to hold off a fast flying Alex… He caught be with 1K to go and I finished in 7th place…
Some real positives to take from the race. I believe I am better at swimmer, biking and running than I was a year ago.
Now I am sitting In Idaho typing this after a mega long trip to get here and this week we are off to IM Lanzarote!! I feel fit and ready to rumble.
It’s an Ironman and an incredibly hard one at that!! Athlete tracker will let you know how I progress through the race, hopefully I can stay at the pointy end for the duration !!!
Thanks for the support. We have the BEST team behind us.