9th to 19th March 2017 – Club La santa – Lanzarote
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So its now 2 weeks since Kona IM and just 3 days since returning home. It is true that the bigger and better the trip the harder it is to return back to normality. We did have a fantastic trip, actually I can honestly say it was the best trip we have ever had. So coming home has been hard and not made easier with the jet lag that just seems to leave you wiped out. I really do not know how people do this and then have to go to work the next day! I need to go to work but luckily its from home and I can do it when I am actually awake!
I am sure like me there are many people who have returned home to the cold, dark and slightly depressing weather and as is always the case after IM racing feeling no real motivation to do anything especially training. But now is the time to start to set your new goals for 2016, this will help you get some motivation back and then you need to plan how best to achieve these. For me I think a winter of Cycle cross maybe on the cards and then just looking forward to getting back out to Club la Santa in February for warm weather training. I am thinking that 2016 will see me racing lower key races, this will be partly as I do not see the need or the sense in spending so much money unless there is an ultimate goal at the end. For me this year was all about getting me and the family to Kona. But also I have come to realise that I can be just as satisfied doing a small race as I can a big race, for me my performance is not so much about were I finish but actually how I felt I performed. This year in my eyes I have not performed well and thats simply down to how I have felt when I have raced. I do know the reason for this (well I think I do) and am looking forward to making the necessary changes for next year – Motivation coming back!
I think 2016 will be more about the kids and Dorte’s racing which I am really looking forward too. I am also excited to see how many athletes I can again help achieve their goals in triathlon, how many can I help qualify for Kona 2016?
If anyone is looking for coaching support to achieve your goals please do email me. firstname.lastname@example.org
Or if you are looking for the perfect prep for your triathlon season maybe look at joining me and my crew at one of our training camps at Club La santa or here at our place in France. See like to training camps
6 am on our final day in Hawaii, looking out over the ocean and reflecting on what to say and were to start. Has this trip to Kona been what I had hoped for and worth the time, effort, sacrifice and money? Simple answer is yes. Actually it has surpassed “almost” everything I could have hoped or asked for.
For me this trip was never just about the race, it was about embracing the Kona experience and getting to share that with my family and friends. The experience and memories that I know we all take away from here will be with us for ever. So many people seem to do this sport at the expense of there friends and families and that really is there choice but it was great to hear both winners of the race in their speeches either talking about the importance of family or the importance of actually having a balance of life around the sport.
For me another amazing part of this race is that I get to catch up with so many old friends from the sport, people who I may have shared many hours of time with but not seen for years or people who I use to race and train against back in the day when I raced pro. There really are some amazing, inspirational people out there.
I guess the final thing that I need to mention is the race! My aim was to enjoy the day but it was tough and I guess I was kidding myself if I thought I could do this. But I did make sure to absorb the atmosphere, to see the people at the side of the road shouting my name and giving encouragement, the volunteers and kids at the aid stations who’s day was probably as tough as ours were simply awesome. I did hold my head high as I ran down the last 400m of Ali drive and I can still see the faces of the people at the side of the road, but most of all seen Dorte, Oliver and Oscar and knowing that no matter what they were proud of me.
My only slight disappointment is that I feel the conditions did get the better of me (I know this was true for many) as it was a super hot day and I just did not cope to well. So as I started the run I thought I was in for a 5 hr marathon as really just could not move! But as not finishing was never an option I just kept going and doing what I could to cool down. After 25km when things normally get the toughest as you enter the energy lab I actually started to feel better, the sky had clouded over and a wind seemed to cool me and I started to run past people. So I was ecstatic to get to the finish and hear I was 4th and on the podium.
We will leave hear today with heavy hearts but wonderful memories. There is also the unknown of what to do next! Kona takes a big chunk of your life and then once over leaves a void. For me I really want to keep helping others to achieve in this sport. I am incredibly proud that athletes I coach were here with me to race and incredibly proud of how they raced. I now look forward to helping other’s to achieve their dreams in the sport and for many that is to get to Hawaii. I also look forward to seeing my kids grow and develop hopefully in the sport of triathlon and just maybe one day I will be back to Kona to see them race!!
I have decided that I do have more things to write about so do plan to keep a weekly diary going.
As I sit here in my Condo looking out over the sea, the sun has just set but the waves are still crashing in and I am am scared and excited at the same time! But now it really is in the hand of the Gods and what will be will be. All I can do is make sure that I am prepared for the long day ahead. For me trying to stay cool (or not over heat ) and stay hydrated are so key. I need to do everything I can to make sure this happens. Avoiding disaster then I plan to enjoy the atmosphere of the biggest and best triathlon in the world, I will enjoy the last few hundred meters down Ali drive.
I will write one more post after the just to let you know how it went and hopefully share some of the emotions of the race.
But as I sign off now it just leaves me to thank the sponsors, friends and family that have made all this possible. Without your help this truly would not have been possible.
Before I came out to Kona this time I really thought that I would have so much spare time that I would be able to catch up with lots of things I need to do!! As it turns out all it has been so full on with just doing stuff that nothing has got done including my blog for the last 2 days.
This trip to Kona for me was always going to be about 3 things – The journey, the race and the experience.
The journey firstly qualifying and then just trying to get in my best shape possible so that I could have a good race. Whether I have managed this I am not really sure! I do feel in good shape and I do feel ready but i also feel that I have not really had any good races this year. It is also hard because I know that at 50 i really can not race as fast as I did when I was 25. Most athletes will come here aiming to race faster, I need to come here and just try to race to the best of my ability.
So for the Race I can honestly say that I have no goals in terms of time or position. But my goal is to race well and to hopefully to 100% of what I am capable off. When I tell people that I want to be able to remember and enjoy the last km of the run I really mean it, I want to see the people and saver the moment. I have never done this before and I feel I am unlikely to get another chance. But I also want to make my family proud.
For me the over all experience of Kona is the thing that counts most! No matter what happens in the race I will go away from here with positive memories. To share this trip with my family and friends was always the goal and it has been amazing, I feel the time we have spent together and the memories that we have will be with us for ever. To catch up with old friends has also been amazing, people I raced against, coached or just have not seen for years.
Morning swim with stop at the Blueseventy boat for a quick coffee
Oscar getting ready for the Ironkids 1 mile race – which he won
Beautiful morning that we set out to swim the IM course. The plan was to start together with Dorte, Oliver, Oscar and Mette but then at the 1km point only myself and Oliver would continue out to the 1.9km half way. When we got there there was no one else so it was very calm but then we were joined by a pod of about 50 dolphins that just seemed to want to be around us, some entertained us with there flips and spins and others just happy to swim within a meter of us. Its something very special and to share it with Oliver made it even more special but a little disappointed that oscar and Dorte were not there. Fingers crossed that we can be in the right place again and all of us can be there and we have a camera. We ended up been in the water for 1hr 45 – hopefully I will swim faster in the race !!
Latter in the day Dorte and the boys had beach and surfing time
Oscar waiting for a big wave
while I went back to the energy lab (as I love it in there so much) with Stu Andersen to run a few laps testing out out new kit.
What can I say except this is the nicest kit I have ever had. So massive thanks to Richard Melik at Team Freespeed for sorting it out and also a massive plug for the brand Cuore that made it.
Days are just going past to quickly now and it just seems I have not had time to think! or write a decent blog!! I will do better these next few days.
Great that the family arrived safely yesterday evening and we have had a day of just taking things easy. Easy swim 1st thing this morning in pretty choppy conditions, followed by the compulsory relaxed breakfast at Huggos on the rocks, then a bit of swimming with turtles and yes we saw our 1st Dolphins out in front of our new home for the next 10 days.
First day / first swim done
I just hope they have a better trip than me as I was stuck in LA customs for 2 hr meaning I missed my connection which meant I had to spend the night and then arrive via Honolulu the next day.
5 years ago they made the same trip – so they already know what they are heading too and so will be so excited to get here. I just can not wait to they arrive.This was them arriving 5 years ago – lets see how they look when they arrive tomorrow
Triathlon, especially Ironman and even more especially Hawaii is a funny thing as it takes over your life and often leaves little room for much else. Dedication, commitment, motivation, hard training, financial investment. All for what? Well for the pro athletes its to try to be the best of the best, to make big money, to reap the rewards of all the hard work to take the fame and the glory. But for age group athletes why?? there is no money and there is little fame or glory but it is a massive achievement, this is Hawaii Ironman the most iconic race in our sport, not everyone gets to compete so those that do should feel honoured and feel they have achieved something truly special. But ultimately the only ones that really care about how you do are your friends, family and yourself. So I feel incredibly lucky that the ones that care the most are here to share the experience with me. For so many triathlon seems to be at the expense of their family, I am fortunate that my family are not only supportive but actively involved as all compete themselves. I really hope in the coming years as I get slower I can keep helping my boys and wife get faster. To be honest in some things they can already kick my butt now, and I love it.
Watch out the Hobson are about to hit Kona
Things are hotting up.
Morning swim is starting to get busy now and still over a week to go. There is a definite buzz that is increasing in intensity. But there is also this underline fear that the race draws close and it is going to be tough, maybe the toughest, we are going to suffer? Are we physically and more importantly mentally ready, we don’t know but we hope that we are. Time will tell. One of the most feared element of the race is the drop into the Natural Energy Lap – this comes at about the 26km mark on the run and is normally hot hot hot – but once you come out its only about 10km home!! So i went running there today in the midday heat and made my peace with the Hawaii gods – now I am not afraid but actually looking forward to the Energy Lab. (well if I keep telling myself this I may be ok)
The remaining Team Freespeed members will arrive today so looking forward to catching up with them all. And then only 2 days to my family arrive which really for me is the number 1 reason I am doing this race! This may sound wrong but I will talk more about this tomorrow.