As I write this. I find myself 11 days before my first major race objective of the year "Challenge Melbourne" and 25 days before what I consider to be my first Ironman "Port Macquarie Ironman".
Looking at my second year of Triathlon after such a long lay off I already have a different perspective to last year and quite frankly stunned in the change in me over the last 12 months.
This time last year I had only just started running again after a long period of injury. I was 4 weeks out from my first 1/2 Ironman ever and I still hadn't run longer than 8 km. Fast forward to this year and to date I have competed in two 70.3 "1/2" Ironmans a 36 km Trail marathon, a 25 KM Cross Country race, Gold Coast 1/2 Marathon and a swimmless Ironman in Bussleton in December. On top of that the amount of weekly running has steadily increased with consistent long runs and a full 12 months of swim training in my arms also.
In saying everything where I feel I have improved physically. I also feel that after the total emotional and physical meltdown that I went through during Bussleton last year. I feel that the biggest gain I have made is letting go of some of the pressure that I have put on myself to hit certain time goals and placings in races. Don't get me wrong I am still training to get better and perform at a higher level. But in the lead up to Bussleton last year a few times I felt myself almost going into a panic attack and actually lost the joy in the training.
This year however in the lead in to Melbourne and Port has been completely different. I can honestly say that I feel less pressure to hit time goals and less pressure to hit power goals in training but somehow the numbers this year are significantly better than the corresponding time in the lead up.
Will I hit the time goals I have set myself? I don't know! .
Will I try to achieve them with all my might? You bet I will!
Will I berate myself if I don't achieve them? I hope not!
Will I race to the best of my ability to showcase the hard training and commitment that I have made to this sport? Bet your life on it!
What are my goals for Melbourne 1/2 distance event? My overriding goals is to improve the execution of the race. If weather conditions are optimal. I would like to swim the 1.9 km in under 30 minutes, ride the 90 km ride under 2:30:00 and run the 21.1 km in under 2 hours. I would love to see under 5 hours total time on the day. But again as long as I feel I am making improvements I will consider the occasion a success.
What are my goals for Port Macquarie Ironman? For this I want to be a little more conservative than I am for the 1/2 distance. But I do have time goals that I have been training towards. The 3.8 km swim 1:00:00 - 1:05:00, The 180 km ride around the 5:15:00 mark and the 42.2 km run I am nervous of setting goals for this as I am still very raw with strength and endurance in the run field and quite frankly I was more than a little embarrassed from what I did at Bussleton. But I have set myself the goal of trying to go under 5 hours for the marathon. It isn't very impressive sounding. But a 5 hour run would be a 52 minute PB on what I did in Bussleton so If I ran that, it would be a massive improvement. Overall I would like to go under 11:30:00, but again overall I just hope to feel better during the race and execute my race plan better.
As an added bonus I get to race alongside the love of my life in Melbourne and then get to have her cheer me across the line 2 weeks later at Port. Many couples struggle when 1 of the couple is competitive endurance athlete. But I can honestly say that this shared experience has brought my wife and I closer together. I am still super proud of her and can't wait to travel to Hawaii in October to watch her compete in the Ironman world championships. The level of her professionalism in executing the programs that I write for her is testimony to the level that she races at and is a good lesson on how to manage time to work hard, train hard, eat healthy and still have time to walk our dogs and go out Fridays and Sundays for our Dinner and Breakfast Date days.
You say you haven't got time to train. Ask my wife to write out her weekly planner for you and show you how she gets things done. She is the epitome of a highly motivated goal driven person that sets a goal and then plans how to achieve it then follows through with what she says.
Overall I feel great right now. I am not saying the nerves won't kick in next week of the week leading in to Port. But I feel good now and trust that the training that I have done will get me across the line.
Less than 2 weeks and I can't wait. Bring it on.
Owner/ Head Coach Total Performance Centre.