Professional Ironman Triathlete

Monday, 23 June 2008

Ironman Coeur d'Alene

What a great event. Early start, very leisurely swim (the downside to the pro start being 35mins earlier than the mass start is the lack of feet to choose from) - I chose badly andafter the first loop, there was no group in sight ahead to bridge up to, so I just sat in and took it real easy. The bike is beautiful, and fairly challenging - its undulating through the middle section of each of the two loops and there was a headwind on the flat return which slowed it down a bit too. The Trek got tested in earnest today and it passed with flying colours. What a sweet ride! Given there were a few teething problems - I'd only managed to ride it for about 4 hours since I arrived on friday with the race set up, so there's still some tinkering to do, and i managed to knock the front derailleur on mounting so I had a grizzly sound coming out of it in the big ring for the whole 180km. Oops.

And despite nearly talking myself into the run leg yesterday (and putting shoes in T2 bag and some gels etc, 'just in case'...) I managed to control myself and only ran the first 2 miles just to cool the legs down after the ride, and get the benefits from doing the race sim. Very proud of myself for showing such self-discipline! There was a BIG part of me that wanted to carry on, but that would have defeated the point and probably ruined me! Thought I rode OK given lack of race prep and no taper (though given some time off to let the bruising go down after monday's clash with the bus/road... does that count as taper?), so thumbs up for the nice intensity training ride today. Power meter (powertap) also makes for interesting viewing - having never trained with power before, I was very interested to see the live feedback. Not looked at the detail yet, but the average was 2 watts off what I'd figured I rode at (or what I 'targeted' for the ride as normal effort). Think the variability around this might be horrendous though! Something to work on at least.

Great to meet Blake, Gabriela and Emily - and Tristan in person from Team Timex. Blake (Becker) came 10th pro, Gabriela 6th woman pro, and Emily wa 7th I think in her age group. Good day! Headed back to the finish area in a little while to watch the finishers up to Midnight... amazing stuff. Saw Mark P and Albert briefly too - they are both ANIMALS! :)

Tuesday, 17 June 2008

Exciting riding on Park Lane

An eventful few weeks... apologies for radio silence. Still 'easing' back into training, being careful not to overdo anything, but generally seem to be coping fine. Running still seriously capped, and orthotics on their way, and there's even a (more dedicated) core programme and a splash of aquajogging going on, so hopefully I will remain injury free from now on! So why am I not at the pool at this time in the morning? Mainly as there's a rather large chunck of my right palm missing, and quite a lot of skin from my right knee, hip and elbow now being used as new road surface on Park Lane after being wiped out by a The Big Bus Company last night. Ouch. Right hip has swollen up nicely. But I got away lightly - could have been MUCH worse - nothing broken :) Bike a bit messed up and will have to see how the swelling goes for training etc this week.

Swimming's got a bit of a lift in terms of technique - started twice monthly sessions at the endless pool with Swim for tri. Noticed the difference already - turned my Tooting 5km swim from a wallow into something resembling swimming again. My stroke seems to deteriorate quite quicly without fairly regualr attention - and video analysis and one-on-one seems to be doing the trick right now. Hoping that with some work and more coaching, I might be able to make some real gains on the swim.

But off to Idaho this week for IMCdA. Rather unfortunate timing for the race for me all in all; we'll see what the weekend brings. Agreed with Steve that this one is NOT for racing! If hip allows, I'm just just going to try to train through and fingers crossed do the swim and bike (there's NO WAY I want to just watch it - that would drive me insane!) - I really want to try out the new orange Trek TTX in race conditions too. Trip should be fun even if I'm not racing as I'll get to meet a few of my team mates from Timex - will be good to put names to faces, having missed the team camp back in the Spring.

And I've managed to omit the fact that I've been running some Timex ironman clinics at Pure Sports Med (with the support of PSM and Serpentine) - the last one of which is tonight - 6:30, Threadneedle St, Bank. Let me know if you want to come along. Ironically this one is on injury prevention for ironman athletes - you'll be glad to hear that I am not giving the talk!!! Three specialists from PSM are presenting and it should be really interesting. I'll certainly be taking notes!