Login


Archive for August, 2010

Embrunman

Monday, August 23rd, 2010

Well… I finally put together a solid swim, bike, and run over the Iron Distance.  But still I am honestly not happy with my 7th place finish at Embrunman as I do believe I left several minutes on the course.  However, up until this point I have either cracked on the bike or run and have been unable to put them together on the same day for 9 + hours so I am pleased that I was able to hold my place off the bike and still finish in the money.

Pre-Dawn Swim Start

Coming into this race my goal was to finish top 8 and while being interviewed by the race M.C. the morning of he asked me if I was afraid of the Embrun course and what my goal for the day would be, I quickly responded, “No of course I am not afraid of this course and my goal is to finish top 8”  Well the gentleman quickly shot back with, but Scott this is your debut Embrunman do you really think you can finish top 8, in which I responded, “Yes I understand that but I just finished very well at Alpe d’ Huez and have been training all summer in the mountains in Switzerland with my teammates so I feel very prepared!”  He then added, And yes going to Alpe is the best way to prepare for this race but this is Embrunman and the course is much tougher than Alpe d’ Huez. I finished off with, “Well I guess I will find out!!”  And for the record….he was right Embrun is much tougher than Alpe but I can hold my head high placing in arguably the toughest race in the world.

After a coming out of the water a bit better than I had at Alpe I was very happy to be on my bike to really enjoy my last ride in the Alps for the year.  What I wasn’t prepared for was the 7k climb we faced immediately out of transition.  Even though it was tough starting like that I was pleased we were headed up because it was pretty cold and the sun was not really out.

I had no idea what position I was in but was pleased to see Xavier Diepart as he finished 7th in Ironman France back in June so I was hoping we could ride together for much of the day.  Unfortunately for Xavier he did not have a great day as I pulled away from him after the first descent.

It was good to see Brett and Fiona as we headed out towards the Col d’ Izard where Brett told me to concentrate as I was in 22nd position and had to start picking people off.  I don’t really recall any point in the day other than the first 15k of the run where I felt like I was going comfortably.  The bike got tougher and tougher as each 10km sign passed.  I knew I was going pretty well when I caught sight of Brandon and Stephen about ¾ of the way up the Izard.  Brandon and I reached the top together where we were met some pretty cold temperatures and fresh snow on the top of the mountain. I was kicking myself for not putting gloves into my special needs bag as my hands were frozen by the time we reached the valley.  I knew that from that point on I was going to suffer and boy was I right.  It never stopped, all the way into the transition I was on my limit as we were greeted with climb after climb.  I held it together for most of the way until we got back to town and had to do the final 4km.   I am not sure how much time I gave up but I was barely moving up in that village and am pretty sure I lost several minutes on the guys in front of me.  The demons really started to come out at this point as I was pretty desperate for coke and just kept trying to remind myself that nothing could hurt as bad as some of the training sessions I have done over the past few months.

Le Col de I’zoard

Onto the run my legs came alive immediately and I was starting to think I might run myself into the top 5.  Because I had yet to put together a solid marathon off a 180km bike my plan was to go conservative for the first half and then try and really hammer the 2nd half .  Well at about 10kms Doc pops out of the bushes and is screaming at me that there were 6 guys in front of me and 5 of them were running like donkeys so if I would stop being Mr. Conservative I might have a shot at picking a few off.  I put my head down and picked up the pace.  At25kms I ran by Matty and he informed me that I was gaining on Stephen and was just 30 seconds down.

Just after passing Matty things started to get really tough as I became quite nauseous.  Passing Doc once again around 30kms he told me it was now or never but there wasn’t much I could do.  I was still moving forward and gaining on Stephen but at the out and back section he got glimpse of me and took off, forcing me to go into survival mode.  I suppose if I had of known the gap behind me I might have taken a risk at tried to go with him but realizing that I was about to finance the next few months with 7th place I kept the effort steady crossed the finish line satisfied with my best effort to date.

This was for sure a tough day but I really loved every minute of it and cannot wait to come back next year hopefully a bit stronger on the swim and bike so that I can get on the podium.  Big congrats to T-Mac for getting the win, to James for his second place finish, and to Stephen, Bella, and Brandon for having very solid days just 2 weeks after Ironman UK.  Also, congrats to Matty for his 8th place in the short course race.  Thanks for the support out there Matty and to Brett and Fiona for traveling to see us race!!   We got the best coach in the world with the most supportive wife in the world!!

It’s been a great summer with more progress made as I get closer and closer to summiting the mountain I have been climbing for 18 months now.  Its back to America now where James and I will continue training side by side for the next few months as we prepare for the Rev 3 and Ironman Florida.

Special congratulations to my mate Andy and his new bride Naomi who got married this past weekend in Horsham, England.  It was an honor to be in your wedding party and I must admit I had more fun at your wedding than any other wedding before!! I must be recovered from Embrunman as my legs felt great on the dance floor!

Look out Jersey Batman and Robin are coming to town, with Cat Woman  or is it Wonder Woman? in tow as well…

2010 Alpe d’ Huez Triathlon

Monday, August 2nd, 2010

After my disappointment of Ironman France Doc suggested I enter Ironman UK but I came here this summer with a plan to work the bike and with that plan I really felt like I needed to do the trip to Alpe d’ Huez and then Embruman 2 weeks after that.  So 1 week ago we headed off for our little own  Team TBB Tour de France, I will save that story for another blog where I will write about why I love France so much!

So after 2 days of riding through the Alps we pulled in, rested a day and Wednesday morning feeling refreshed we dove into Lake Verney at 9:30 a.m. yes that’s right 9:30 a.m. part of why I love this race so much is for its late morning start as I hate 6-7 a.m. starts…

This race is one of the nicest races I have done, it’s a real beast of course and in my opinion a must do for all avid triathletes.  After a chilly swim in the lake the bike course takes you up and over the Col du Grand Serre, the Col d’ Ornon, and then up the final climb of the day, the famed Alpe d’ Huez.

Last year I finished 9th and was really hoping for a top 5 this year.  Unfortunately my day did not start out as I was  hoping.  I made the catastrophic mistake of lining up too far to the right of the field to avoid the fighting that goes on during the first 500m but once out I never merged into the pack and swam 3/4 of the swim  by myself.  Big, big mistake this was and I am quite embarrassed that as much time I spend in the pool that I finished 7 mins behind the leader.

So once out of the water and seeing who I was with in transition I was fuming and decided I was  going to give it to myself for the next 4 hours to try and make up the ground I had just given away.   After a few kms up the first climb I saw Doc and Declan (Tamsin’s Boyfriend), on the side of the rode.  I shouted to them that I was a complete, bleep, bleep, and just had the worst possible swim.  Doc yelled back to shut up and forget about it as I was wasting too much energy thinking about the swim.  So I put my head down and carried on riding on my limit for the rest of the climb.  I’m pretty sure it was at the base of the second climb when Doc and Declan came driving by again with Declan in the passengers seat he was shouting some positive words to me, he later told me that Doc instructed him to tell me that I was finally riding like a man but he didn’t know how I would take that….Are you kidding me… I have been waiting 18 months for Doc to say that to me!!!

After 3 hours of riding I had finally reached the bottom of the Alpe, I was unsure of my position as I was riding myself the entire day slowly moving up the field.  After a brief wrong turn I quickly made a U-turn,  made the final turn, grabbed a coke, and headed up.  In my head I thought about the 25 trips I have made up our hill in Leysin in the past 2 months and tried to visualize doing the same up the Huez.  James and I had challenged each other as to who would have the fastest time up the Alpe so I was feeling good and wanted to push it a bit.  We are still waiting on that result…

During the race you don’t really appreciate just how steep those first few switch backs are but the next day as we started on our trip back to Leysin I was sure to go slowly so I could  take those turns in and really appreciate just how steep the pitches are!!!  I took each turn 1 by 1 and remembered from last year that you could recover a bit half way up.  With about 3 switch backs remaining I heard someone yelling from above, I looked up and it was Doc.  Coming around the  corner he was there shouting that I was in 7th position and if I had a good run I might be able to crack the top 5.  I informed him that he must make room for me in the Sutton home because I will be spending the Christmas season in Leysin working on my swim…

The last few kms on the bike really started to hurt but I was pleased to hear that I had moved up the field quite nicely.

Into T2  I quickly put on my shoes and started chasing.  Matty was right outside the transition and told me there were 2 guys in front me that I could catch.  By the end of the first loop I had caught them and set my sights on getting on the podium.  By the end of the 3rd lap I caught the 3rd place guy and for a few brief minutes I started to think about my swim, If I hadn’t of F-ed my swim I might have had a shot at 2nd, I thought.  But at this point I really just wanted to enjoy the last lap as I was confident I had secured my very first place on the podium…

Coming through the finishing shoot I was very happy to see James as he and I have been training together for the past year and half and for him to get his first win and me my first podium on the same day was great!  Big thanks to Matty and Dave who were all over the run course supporting us!!

Its been 18 months since I first met Brett Sutton when he told me that it would take 18 months to make me a real athlete…The jury might still be out on that as I am still starting my races like a donkey but the bike is much improved and as a result I am starting to run again.  However there is still much, much more work to be done before I reach the top of the mountain.  I took another step last week by gaining my first podium but I will not stop there as there is lots more fight in this dog!!!

All in all the whole trip was a great success and I really look forward to next year’s trip! Congrats again to James for his first International win and to all the chicks; Jodie, Beck, Lisbeth, Tamsin, and Emma on their great races.   Big thank you  to Cyrlle Neveu for taking such good care  of all week long!!!  And special thanks to Stefan from Magic  Sportfood http://www.magic-sportfood.de/ for taking care of my nutritional needs on race day!!!

SD

Sponsors and Supporters:

The Bike Boutique, Cervelo, 3T, Avia, Token, Louis Garneau, Nuun, Blueseventy, Personal Best Nutrition, 63North, The Sandyhookers Triathlon Club, The Doctors at Advanced Orthopedic and Sports Medicine Institute, The JT Foundation for Autism Awareness