Tuesday, 8 September 2009

Vancouver Triathlon - 3rd overall


whoo, after a killer 53! weeks of training, I can now close the book on the 2008/2009 season. I could go on for hours about what it's taken to get through this year but really it comes down to a kick ass coach and consistency. Thanks coach...and thanks consistency.

The race yesterday was great fun, the Vancouver event is awesome with a huge number of guys showing up and giving it a go. Stanely park where it is hosted is a terrific location, fully closed roads and a great run course through the park with the crowd managing to get VERY close which is cool, gives you some extra motivation dodging the occasional obsessed triathlon fan ...maybe more like angry dog walker but we can all dream :)

My new friend Andrew Russell showed up, he raced with me at ITU a few weeks back here in BC and really all I remember of him from that race is seeing his butt in front of me during the swim and being lapped by him on the run...he is quick. So off we went into the water. I was quickly aware that at the 250m mark I had a buddy on my heels, not touching my feet which was nice but a few seconds back.

It was a two lap swim so I thought I'd put on the pressure a bit more during the second lap, for sure it was faster but the fish behind me managed to keep my toes. Oh well I thought, who knows who it could be. Off I run into transition in first place (the crowd on the beach was intense and thanks for all the cheers, it's pretty cool swimming into the beach and all you can see is a couple of hundred people). Out of my wetsuit, helmet on, ignore the cheers of my friends (its very easy to get distracted!) and out onto the bike. Ah I thought, that's why he kept up with me. The second I run past the number 2 swimmer I see the name on his trisuit "RUSSELL"...that makes sense.

Off we go onto the bike course, 4 laps with a good hill on each lap. Raining by this point so I knew the descent would be interesting. Andy caught me by 5km and took a lead heading up the hill, I was going to be taking the first hill easy, the second time around a bit harder...building up to a max effort on the last lap. So I let him cycle away.

He built his lead to around 45 seconds by lap 3 but then I held it at that as I started to hammer it on the last lap.

Still in second place I got ready for T2, the crowds were awesome coming off of the bike...and I did notice a certain Speed Theory crew basically in the road cheering me off the bike (thanks for coming). Into the Newtons and out onto the run course.

Half of UBC had come down to watch which was awesome as it makes a big difference once you're out onto the run.

For the first time ever I actually didn't feel too bad, my legs were in good shape and I was moving along quite nicely, this all changed at the 7km mark however when I actually started to move along quite quickly! An alien feeling for me as I'm sure you all know but I made the most of it, pushing the pace and (though now in 3rd place) making sure I didn't get pushed any further down the positions (prize money was only for top 3). It was a great feeling for the first time ever being able to finish strong over the last half of the run.

It's been a long hard season but I've had a great time with some really encouraging results. My run has been slow but I kept hearing the same things,

"Don't worry Mike the run will come with time"

which was fine, I didn't mind that, I knew it would come. I have too much work to do on that portion that hasn't even started yet so I knew we would make progress. That said, you like to see little improvements every day, no matter how small. New York was one of them, I broke the 40 minute mark, not fast, but not walking either. Yesterday was the biggest jump by far, a 37.

For me that made my season and now I can head into the WINTER with a smile on my face...

...and a pretty big smile at that.


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