Last weekend Myself, Caroline, Aaron and Steve Bayliss all headed to Gerardmer in France for a half ironman. Gerardmer is known as one of the hardest half courses in the world with over 2000m of vertical climbing on the bike. All went to plan for me in the race and I ended up crossing the line in 2nd in front of some more established long course athletes
2nd in a half ironman is never usually anything I’d write home to mum about but I was actually really pleased with how I got the best possible result from the race with a less than ideal preparation. After Embrunman 3 weeks ago my achilles pulled up a bit sore, a similar niggle to what I had earlier on in the year before Busselton 70.3. The achilles problem flares up because of a weakness in my left leg as a result of knee surgery I had last October. It’s not really a major issue, all I have to do is alter my running style from running forefoot to heel striking and I just shuffle around on the grass and it’s all good.
So in the lead up to Busselton 70.3 I was throwing my hands in the air because I was injured again and was pretty down in the dumps. In the lead up to Gerardmer I accepted the issue and just did everything in my power to stay as fit as possible. During the swim in Busselton I just rolled my arms over and on the bike I cruised around in the front group. During the swim in Gerardmer I swam hard and came out of the water in a lead group with a good gap and on the bike I absolutely buried myself to establish a lead over the more fancied runners. On the run in Busselton I ran the first 10km on my heels to protect the achilles at which point I was only 20 seconds behind the leader so I thought this is too easy, changed back to my normal running style, ran straight up to the leader and then limped of the course after 13km because I’d flared up the achilles. On the run in Gerardmer I ran on my heels the whole way, even when the race was starting to get tight.
Two races, identical circumstances but after Busselton I was laying around in the hotel room saying woe is me and what have I done to deserve this. After Gerardmer I was pleased with the result, picked up a few grand and was looking forward to the next race.
I have to thank Brett for this shift in attitude. I think it’s because of his boxing background that he instils the philosophy of doing the best with what you’ve got in his athletes. In triathlon if things aren’t going well it’s pretty easy to just ease off, in boxing if things aren’t going well the bloke in the other corner can kill you if he wants so you just have to make the best of any situation.
All the best.