Monday, November 16, 2009
I believe now I head to the Waikato Sports awards.
Anyway, the run/walk is amazing. it is fairly flat for 33 odd km before a beast of a climb up the Pinekeri bluffs which takes about an hour before a steep drop down to Onepoto. This tramp/run is a must do and I'm surprised at how many people have no idea where it is! With its well groomed tracks, swing bridges, steep ascents and decents, impressive hutts, and unbelievable views it is something to add to the 'bucket list'
Saturday, October 17, 2009
Thursday, May 21, 2009
I had been struggling in the lead up to XTERRA with some fatigue and a lack of training time. After doing Goldrush and the AY UP 24hour mtb race I was feeling pretty flat so I had an easy week and tried to race hard at the Highlander but it wasn't to be. I struggled with a sore back and had to walk for a while, that was a low point for me this year. Still I stayed positive and tried to complete all the sessions Gordon had given me, staying as fresh as I could for the race. I was doing some reps up at the track - 6*1km at around 3.30min/km. These were REALLY hard which I knew was not a good sign as before Ironman I was chopping out 8 of them without too much trouble. In the pool I was slower too. He had me doing 10*100 at 1.30 on 1.40 (10 sec rest) which I found tough, where before Ironman I was doing 30 of them. I was also trying some faster stuff at 1.20/100m on 2.30 but I just couldn't swim that fast. Luckily I had only the mtb work to do so it was hard to tell where I was at, which was probably a good thing. I know my power would have been down so it was good not to have that to remind me how tired I was.
Still come race day I was confident that the nerves and my Ironman base would pay off, which it did, although I really struggled with the pace of the race. Halfway through the swim I knew things were going well when I found myself with Tim, Richard, Scott and some age groupers. A 14.22 swim saw me 2mins faster than last year, which was great, so I was happy to be steady on the bike and not blow. It was tough early as about 6-7 guys went past me on the climb up to Billy T but I hung tough and stayed positive. Near the top I was able to give it everything and hall some in and by the bottom they were all behind me. It just goes to show you have to stick to your plan and not let others effect your mental state. I could have easily gone with them and blown, but I resisted - I think I'm learning this game. I kept pushing the bike from there, picking people up regularly and building momentum which build my confidence. Half way through the bike I was 5mins down on the leaders. Coming into transition this had pushed out to 8mins but I was happy with another PB by 5mins. Out onto the run and I started to fade, things were catching up with me, but I just dug deep and pushed through the pain trying not to puke.
In the end I ran the same time as last year, which was fine given the other 2 were faster. I finished 7th and more importantly for me 8 minutes faster than last year. I hope to come back next year much fresher and with some more speed under my belt, hopefully another 8minutes quicker which would almost give me the win.
So now to the C2C in 2010... I'll be putting the feet up for a few weeks first I think.
Here is a quote from Gordon Walker about my 'top 5' C2C aspirations and also a great summary of what I feel I achieved at XTERRA this year.
"Top 5 can be quite a vague goal"...Anyone can show up on the day.
"Better to focus on improving personal standards and bests and then see what happens."
Friday, March 13, 2009
As athletes and humans I think we become so future orientated it clouds our sight and we forget to 'live in the now'. We are constantly looking for that pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, that illusive breakthough victory, that sub 5 hour Taupo, that sub 3hour karapoti, or that C2C top 10, but really these are such external motivators that are really just there to fuel our ego. I'm not saying these goals aren't great, and worth persuing, but I think we can become so serious about them it almost takes over our lives and it doesn't need to be that way. I think this drives alot of our pre race nerves, the constant need to prove to not only ourselves but to others what we can do. It also instills a state of fear in the athlete, a fear of failure, especially when there are friends, family and sponsors to keep happy.
Gurney describes this as 'happily ever-after' concept. He describes the age old childhood story of The Three Billy-Goats Gruff. " you know, the one where the three goats longingly eyed the lush green grass over the bridge. Thwarting the goats' plans to get to those greener pastures was the big, bad troll, who lurked menacingly under the bridge. One day a grass shortage crisis forced the three goats to hatch a plan whereby they tempted the hungry troll with a bigger and bigger meal of sweet, tender goat until he was faced with the oldest and biggest goat, who in the ensuing fight bunted the big bad troll off the bridge." "The three billy goats lived happily ever after in contented plentitude." I think alot of us think this way, that ultimate result, that win, will change the way we are, but it won't. This 'mindset' is very dangerous, and ultimately leads to dissapointment.
Now, I'm no expert on how to deal with this but I do have some ideas, which I will dive into in future posts. I think it's important to recognise it first and then put together a thought process to make a change.
A few people said to me "why have you entered Pro (for Ironman)" and " but you could win your age group" but I am glad I entered pro and gave it my best shot. I think we have to put ourselves in a position to challenge the best there is, with no real accolades, and focus on putting in a great performance rather than a result. For me it is all about the process and striving for improvement, whether that be first or last place, it really doesn't matter. So in some ways i'm not like Gurney, but I think I have become too future orientated, looking for that next event to fuel my fire. I think 'getting back on the hoarse' and enjoying my training again is the key.
At the end of the day you have to find what motivates you, but I think the majority of it needs to come internally, free of ego. So if it's having fun, meeting cool people, seeing some great countryside, pushing out of your comfort zone, and achieving the best you can be then get out there and get amongst it. And if it's not...