IRONMAN 70.3 St Croix
Hawaiian homestays, gazelike run splits and 8th in the world, a whirl wind 3 weeks
Definately on a welcoming note, my approach is one of difference fueled by real fire to prove bigger and better things to myself and get inside the still illusive top ten in the WCS.
Daniel and Nadine put Laura and I up for the first week also, an awesome couple keen to help us out with transport and let us burrow their car for race week, awesome people with such a sweet dog Ophelia the amazing retriever to make us feel at home race week.
A bit of a switch in distance to a half ironman this time round, but such is the beauty of being seperate and solo to the national system, I am free to race when and where I want.
This race is really being done to prepare me for the monster of Kitzbuhels mountain later this season in the ITU WCS anyway, so is still relative to ITU in my eyes.
Feeling good then onto Europe, love the tropics:)
Onward and upward to the Northern Hemisphere
So another flight, another airport, but always exciting as before if not a little more than the passed knowing and seeing my results go above and beyond previous seasons performances in the off/pre season time of racing in NZ and greater Australia.
Sitting in Los Angeles airport waiting for my last on route 40min flight to San diego, my home for the next ten days.
Now is a good time to reflect, force you to think of deeper conviction and meaning to tripping all round the world and questioning your motives to pursue and grow in another ITU, elite triathlon season of racing.
Mooloolaba in March was a great kick off mentally and physically to international racing, a few minor hiccups and bad decisions made to break away on the bike at slightly the wrong time led to a strong run, but slow start, my edge was taken away slightly and even though I kicked home hard from 5-10k mark in the run, it was far too late to make podium, finishing sixth.
Mooloolaba had always been a big bone of contention for me though to break into a single digit result, for the last six years, with an 11th, 16th, and 18th finish in previous seasons.
I have tried and tried again there for the last seven seasons, the swim is a hard, the bike is challenging going over Alexandria headlands eight times both sides and the run is hot a similar but shortened format of the bike.
So to get that result out of the way knowing I can top ten comfortably there now coming home in sixth place and finishing within 30secs of race winner Javier Gomez was an awesome confidence boost to what dreams may come in 2013.
I carried Mooloolabas momentum through the next three weeks training in Wollongong, NSW, until AKL World Champs series, training smart and honestly under the watchful eye of head NSWIS coach Jamie Turner.
Jamie’s kids have a strong work ethic, cut no corners in training and are monitored in a smart yet not intrusive way by the coach.
I learnt a lot from Jamie and his junior pros, daily being impressed by the approach of his athlete’s attitude and determination to better themselves in daily training work.
I rolled onto AKL with a good solid amount of speed work in the legs, undoubtedly a little over trained but knowing I was in form to have a solid race, knowing intense speed work training takes time to settle in a body and come to the forefront in an athlete’s performance.
The race went really strong, I lacked top end speed but made up with it in strength endurance, listening to the body and using my strengths.
I ran in a negative split fashion off the very hilly, aggressive and tough bike course AKL had to offer.
The difference from my 1st k off the bike 3.06 was a mere two seconds in 3.08. So although I am strong the goal leading into the next few ITU races, San Diego and Madrid is to seek and work on my first two k off the bike, which I am currently losing over 30 seconds to the race leaders, only to have to aim to claw it all back at the end.
You really can’t afford gaps at any part of the run at this level of racing though, seeing two guys finish on the podium running under 30min 10k pace in Auckland only highlighted the point of developing more ready to go speed off the bike and then working into a more even pace run.
People, mostly close friends and family always ask me why I share my secrets, my planning and ideas in my blogs.
The main answer is that it’s one thing to have the knowledge to know how to change and better yourself, but it’s a completely different scenario executing that knowledge daily, making it grow and being accountable for that progress.
I feel from the last few months I am definitely on track and keen to see a lot more single digit results this season and make it happen, also known as executing that knowledge.
Godspeed me to great heights and thanks to all for well wishes abroad, making cupcake feel at home in New Zealand the past six months we have grown together and may the fruits begin to fall off the tree I have grown so well in the NZ off season.