So I have been absolutely useless in the blogging department in the past weeks, and therefore have much catching up to do. The reasons for not blogging are pretty simple – contrary to popular sayings, no news is not good news. Not that there is any bad news, just that races have got gone particularly well and so a lack of enthusiasm for sharing the experiences prevailed. But now I’ll briefly take you through the past few weeks…
After winning a major event like Roth I was on a serious emotional high – I had been injured for the better part of a year and had come back with a dream race. Not sure what could have been better. But with the emotional high came something of a physical low. A sub-8 Iron-distance race takes a lot out of you and I struggled to get back into a training rhythm. I was fit, but didn’t have months of training in me to give me that depth of strength to bounce back. But we did our best and I felt pretty good going into Spain…
ITU LD World Champs
Jodie and I had planned to go to ITU Long Distance World Champs for a while and on the back of Roth I was feeling pretty confident. I needed to get a Visa for the UK so had sent my passport off to the visa office… and it simply failed to return. So 24hrs before we were supposed to fly to Spain, we had to change plans: rent a car and drive. You cannot fly into Spain without a passport, but there are no border checks if you drive. Go figure. So we made the 11hr drive through France and it was actually pretty painless and fun. Vitoria-Gastez was a cool town, with lots of picturesque scenes everywhere you look. Unfortunately the scenery was all I took from that race.
I swam into a tangle of sea-weed (lake weed?) in the first 100m and lost the pack, which over the next 3900m translated into about a 3min deficit. The lead Spanish guys were in no mood to hang around so that was pretty much my race. I went really hard – too hard to maintain for 120km; it was make it up to them, or die trying. …I did the latter. On the run I had nothing left and after 2 laps I pulled the plug. Jodie hung on for Bronze in the ladies race to keep the ball rolling on her return to form, so the trip was not a complete loss.
We headed back to Leysin, and then off to London (my Visa had arrived with plenty of time to spare – I picked it up on the way to the airport!) to see Jodie’s parents and some of the Olympic spectacle. I had never been to the UK so it was good to finally see the place. We kept the training up while there, despite the rain, although swimming was an issue – the UK has pools everywhere, but most of the time they are given over to ‘tea-bags’ who float up and down – it is obviously more important to keep the 60-80yr-olds fit than it is to get the 6-18yr-olds off the couch and doing laps in the pool. Obviously.
We did have tickets for the Women’s triathlon. They turned out to be the best seats in the house and we had a perfect view of Nicola’s perfect race. Well, Doc has since said it was anything but perfect, but hey, when you leave with a Gold medal you can’t do much better! It was great to be there and share her once-in-a-lifetime experience. I didn’t actually see Nicola until 2 days later and then it was for only 3mins as she rushed from interview to interview to Federer’s Gold-medal match – lifestyles of the rich and famous, huh?
We also had tickets for one evening at the athletics. It was good to experience the stadium and the Olympic park, although the tickets were costly and the evening we got was not so special – rain and a dodgy winner in the 1500m ending the evening with a bit of a ‘hmmmm’. We also spent some time at the Oakley Safehouse, which was a great hangout to put the feet up in the madness of it all, with a steady stream of medallists coming in and out.
Jodie headed off to Wiesbaden for 70.3 after London and I headed to Leysin to get back into some solid training. It was good to put some solid training weeks together and I could feel my bounce and fitness returning. I still love Leysin for training and now after my 4th summer there it feels like home away from home. Having hit some good numbers in training and feeling confident and strong I headed to Gerardmer Triathlon in France. It was my last weekend in Europe (visa expired) and I was looking forward to ending the summer on a high. Unfortunately the European weather gods had decided summer had already ended, so race day dawned rainy and about 5C. The boss’s orders were pretty clear – don’t be a hero on the bike, no sense risking the rest of the season on treacherous roads for one race. Given that I was so cold I couldn’t get going uphill and my serious caution downhill, I was way down by mid-way through the bike (about 22nd I think). It warmed up a bit, as did I, on the final lap of the bike and I got moving on the run to get myself up to 5th by the finish line. Not what I was hoping for, but all things considered… I didn’t crash. End of story.
Jodie and I then headed off to the desert outside Las Vegas for 70.3 World Champs. It was both of our first time there, but I wasn’t racing – I was just the support staff for Jodie. WTC have yet again worked there magic as only they can and managed to put on a World Champs with almost no spectator access to the course, in a venue totally unconducive to World Championship performances with regular conditions in the 40C’s. Don’t get me wrong, the course is at least fair, unlike Clearwater ever was, and the winners were certainly deserving of their titles. But with a bike course almost completely closed to spectators (in a national park) and apparently poor coverage online (I couldn’t tell, but at the finish line we knew nothing), they are not doing much for the growth of our fine sport. I may do a real blog about this soon…
Jodie had a good swim and most of her ride was good, but the heat and dehydration caught up with her and she faded on the run. She left there less than happy, but motivated and still building her world-beating fitness day by day.
So now we find ourselves on the tropical Mexican island of Cozumel. We are racing the 70.3 this weekend here on the island and it promises to be hot and humid. But 30C, even with 80% humidity, is more bearable than 40C and we are both looking forward to the race. With good points and prize money it promises to be tough competition too, so all in all a day to look forward to.
Looking back on the last 9 weeks things have actually been pretty good. Living the life, with all the ups and downs that come along with it, and sharing it all with Jodie. Good times. So blog on Cozumel coming soon, with some pics and stories, and hopefully a good race report too…