A Whole lotta’ racin’ goin’ on!!May 30th, 2012 | Posted by in Uncategorized
Wow, I guess it has been a
For those that don’t know me, they may be surprised to know that I actually do have a competitive side, a little monster deep down inside that really does want to “crush the competition”…. For those that already know me, they are surely laughing at that notion, as I am what in simple terms is called a WHINER! …
Let me explain..
On the surface (generally surrounding the lead up to races) I tend to jabber on about all the things that are going wrong or could go wrong, whine whine whine… I know I am doing it and I am desperately trying to stop doing it, however I have come to realize it is my protection mechanism for any potential failures.
Don’t get me wrong, I really DO want to be there, and I DO want to race. In fact i think the more important the race, the more i whine (ask Syd). I think it is merely my fears and doubts coming to the surface. I show up to every race prepared, eager to test myself and improve upon previous performances; however the little voice inside of me sometimes is not sending positive messages and it manifests itself into whining.
I am eternally optomistic when it comes to others and their potential to have a stellar race, however I am definatley at times pesimistic when it comes to myself. Funny thing is, as soon as the gun goes off…the little competitive monster comes out and I am off on a mission. It is a weird mindset that surrounds my racing experiences but is one that has beedn around for 14 years of racing for me.
I am a competitor and I am driven to showcase the hard work that i’ve put into the preparation for the event; I just need to continually work on conquering my somewhat negative self talk just prior to the start of the raace.
As I preach to everyone..”Just go out and give it your best shot, believe in your training and believe in yourself”….”no matter what happens it is just a race and it does not define your life”… I truly believe every word of that and truly believe in myself, however even experienced athletes need to occasionally remind themselves that it is just a race…go out and do your best. Don’t stress the what if’s, be confident and when the gun goes off, let that little competitive monster take hold until you cross the finish line, win or lose. Then, tuck that little monsteer away and get one with life. Triathlon is a great sport, I just need to stop wasting my time on worrying so much about the “what if’s”, as I could miss the wonderful twists and turns the “what if’s” provide to my overall experience from this sport.
That being said, I wanted to update you on the beginning of the tri season and a few other things going on.
Syd and I decided that this year, Big Al would get a makeover and we would focus on the sprint distance tri’s in order to help place ourselves favourably within the Triathlon Canada Paratriathlon rankings. To do this we contacted the TriCan Paratri program head and their coach and asked what steps we needed to take in order to ensure we were on their radar leading up to 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio.
First stop was ITU San Diego sprint race on May 12th. Heading into this we really wanted to focus on putting together a solid race that would show TriCan that even though Syd and I are Ironman athletes, we are capable of racing hard at the sprint distance.
San Diego was a fun race with a 750m swim in a lagoon (although it was weedy and a bit murky), a 26km bike on rough roads with the most epic climb we’ve ever done on that tandem, and a 5k-ish run along the beach.
Swim–We were in the first wave and knew we needed to go out hard right from the gun. I swam following Syd and the tether line and simply put my head down hammered w/ all i had. I felt like i was redlining the whole way, and it paid off! I set a new PB of 10:59 which could have been quicker if not for the dolphin diving required at the end.
Bike–Off onto the bike, we felt good and were moving along nicely until the most epic climb we’ve done on the tandem…4km of climbing with an average of 11% grade, in cycling terms that means OUCH!! About half way up, we were out of gears and I was worried, it was a super tough slog. After what seemed like forever, we crested the top and not a moment too soon, as my calf muscle had proceeded to ball up into a knot (and later found out Syd had same issue)…. Flying down the decent was awesome, i just tuck in, hold on, get as aero as i can and try to move with the bike. With some nice hard cornering we snaked our way through the course and were on the homestretch when BOOOOOM!, a massive bump in the road swallowed the back tire and made a god awful noise..I thought for sure the wheel had disintigrated. I instantly heard a loud piece of debris skidding across the road–Syd’s Speedfil A2 bottle what launched out and is now somebodies very expensive souvenier. Thanks to the awesome folks at Speedfil, we already have the replacement. The wheel survived and bike held up and we proceeded back into T2.
Run–The ride was not one that took everything out of us, although we were gased, as you are still going flat out. Hitting the run course, my eyes were not adjusting very well and I was feeling a bit dizzy/unbalanced…this makes guiding for Syd tough, until i get my bearings. I almost bit it as i stepped off the road into a sand dune, but caught myself and kept chuggin. The 5k course ended up being a bit long, but is was nice and flat and if there were no crowds would have been very fast. Getting us both through the crowded route is a tricky task for Syd but he managed handily. He even had the energy to catch me (literally) as i took a turn too wide adn stepped on a pylon—I was totally gone, but he one-arm strong armed the tether and totally held me up from a face plant….it was impressive!!
The race all and all was solid but fairly uneventful… We crossed in 58th spot out of 587 people, 3rd PC athlete and a great sesson opener.
Most of all I think we showed TriCan that we were very capable of putting together a respectable Sprint time despite the fact we had Ironman slowtwitch legs on us.
While we continue to train in prep for Edmonton in early July which is our National Championships, I had the opportunity to race the Ottawa 10k with some friends and 18 other VI athletes. I also met a new guide John Kopf who guided safely and swiftly through the course in 42;04, only :45 off my PB.
The cool thing about this race last Saturday was that it contained 10,748 runners!! By far the biggest event i’ve been part of. John and I started about 100m back from the start line and thus avoided a majority of the crowd. The run along the canal in Ottawa was quite nice on a late spring evening…the crowds eased at about 3km and we found open road. I wanted to hold around 4:05 ish pace as long as I could but due to some stomach issues and a medocre training regiment on the run of late, we were only able to average a 4:13. However, I still felt strong and pushed hard right until the line. It felt good to run flat out and push 100% all the way to the tape.
I managed to finish 203 of 10748 people, 2nd VI athlete, top 5% of all male runners and gain some solid KM’s of hard running.
Tomorrow I will be heading off with Dan to race in the TINMAN TRIATHLON at the Wallaceburg high school. This 400yd/16k/3km tri is held annually for the past 18 years and allows elementary and high school students from the area to get out and enjoy a wonderful grassroots triathlon race. i am looking forward to it and the opportunity to showcase Paratriathlon—showing the kids that despite your challenges, you just need to assess the situation, adapt the best you can and move forward!!
I’ll try to post some pics of the bike, and any other race related photos soon.
Tomorrows mission is to silence that outer WHINER and let the little competitive monster have his fun:)