So 2012 has begun.
Somewhat coincidentally, as the new year began my injury trouble from 2011 was finally resolved. As you will know by now, a small knee niggle which began in July became a season-ending, surgery-requiring, major pain-in-the-ass injury and was only resolved towards the end of December. I am pleased to report that I am now training again properly and on the road to fitness. Unfortunately it didn’t quite resolve in time to blast back onto the racing scene at Ironman 70.3 South Africa. When the injury began the thought that it would keep me out of races in October seemed far-fetched – but as it turns out it is still keeping me from racing in January.
But enough about that and more about looking ahead to 2012. Everyone says that after a long injury athletes always come out stronger and fired up. I feel like that is already manifesting itself as I am loving training and motivated like I haven’t been before, which can only lead to better performance. Currently Jodie and I are training in Stellenbosch. I had only heard good things about the place for training, so when my parents (and whole family) ended up in the Western Cape, I thought I’d give it a try. It has not disappointed. I can honestly say it is one of the best places in the world that I have trained. …Just gotta convince the coach now so we can have camp here! Or win World Champs cos then I get to choose a camp location. Not sure which will be easier…
One of the concerns my injury has raised now is that, 5 months into the qualification year, I don’t have a single point. By this time last year I had won IM Florida, IM70.3 Austin and got 2nd at IM70.3 SA. I was in the top 10 on the points scale and qualification was all but assured. It is not like I can go and win an Ironman and punch my ticket. Last year Mary-Beth had to win 3 Ironmans in the last few months to get her slot (indicating a serious flaw in the system – I think the points system is good, but IM winners should still be automatic qualifiers – Kona is supposed to be a Champions race, isn’t it?). I don’t want to be in that position, so it is going to require some planning and careful race choices to get into Kona this year.
But going to Kona is the goal for 2012 so we’ll have to do what it takes and jump through WTC’s hoops to get there. After all, if the Mayans are right, this just might be my last chance!
And, as Johan Bruyneel said to Lance before he embarked on his epic 7-year winning streak, ’If we’re going to start (the Tour), we might as well win.’