Saturday, 29 May 2010

Do as I say not as I do

"You once told me to always finish even if it meant crawling across the finish line" is what I was told on facebook this morning.

Very true, I did say that. However last weekend I did not crawl across the finish line. Instead I was slumped in a heap 2km into the run course.

Last weekend was case in point of "having a bad day". I felt good and rested however once the gun went it became increasingly apparent that there was no gas in the tank. It was Scotland's first ITU Cup race ever and luckily for the organizers got the sun they were all praying for, all 27 degrees of it. That seems to have been the root of the problem, mainly the rapid temperature increase from 10 degrees earlier last week to 27 by Saturday. A long drive down the night before also didn't help too much, but in the end of the day I should have taken care of myself better.

The swim was awesome/brutal. I've never been punched so many times in my life, but for a true "fish" like myself it was great fun, bashing around for 1500m is definitely more interesting than a solo break away and the boys in the water were flying. I was pushing near enough full out and wasn't getting any room off the front, but was happy to stick in with the lead group despite the fighting.

The second I got out at the end of the swim however it was pretty clear that something was not quite right. Simply a case of no energy and not managing to recover over the 40km. A couple other guys were suffering and I felt bad seeing Andy Russell of Canada drop back with me, he'd flown out to race and was suffering in the heat (I think, not spoken to him since) like me. Anyway, onwards and upwards. Oh I made it to the end of the bike without getting lapped out! and ran as far as I could before stomach cramps set in. Dehydration at its finest.

So where to go from there. I guess I was disappointed for about 20 minutes but as if by magic the second I got some water in me and a pat on the back from coach I was straight into "lets get training" mode. After a steady 4 days and a great stay on the Queen's Balmoral estate with my best bud Pete I am back to business with training getting ready for the Windsor triathlon in 2 weekends time.

Coach Blair is putting together a plan to get me resharpened up for that race and I kicked it off today with a tough brick set out at the Knockburn Loch training centre.

Final ever University commitment this weekend meaning by Thursday I'll be finished with school...forever. What a thought.

Onwards and Upwards.

Wednesday, 19 May 2010

Tinley Talks

If you are ever short for inspiration, no one is better to look to than 2 time Hawaii Ironman champ and general legend Scott Tinley.

He has a way with words;

"...He'd known it all along of course. It was a brilliant tactic from a man who has trouble walking to the end of the block. And he knew that I knew that I knew it but couldn't quite remember it. Because when talking about anything from the moment of conception to the end of earthly life, the heart - from all points of science, study and approach to knowledge - is a central point of departure, regardless of which direction you're headed. And no less can be said about its role in endurance sports.

If our heart is broken from a failed relationship, we can still run miles and miles in an effort to heal it. If it's soaring from some grand victory, we can still feel it break when others who live inside our own cannot share that glee. If we wear it on our sleeve, we must be ready to take what others can sling at us. And if we keep it too closely guarded, we rarely reach the peaks and valleys of human emotion.

The four chambers of the heart drive the fluid that delivers the goods to the muscles that make us go. Blood moves as a clock to the points of the bodily compass. Kids understand this. Adults suffer the consequences of forgetting it. The heart can gush with pleasure if all systems move in synch or stop us cold in our tracks if dammed by the particulars of age and treason of poor choice.

The heart can be observed, dissected, broken, repaired and replaced. We rely on it like a good neighbour, realizing that even if it's always there doing what it's supposed to do, we still need to pay attention to it.

To succeed in endurance sports and in life, all you need is a big heart, but that has nothing to do with size"

Wednesday, 12 May 2010


I am sitting here at my kitchen table, post run, post haircut and post morning dog walk with a big fat Nutella sandwich in front of me. However as I was informed by a loyal reader that I had not posted since Sunday (which is only 3 days ago!), I will postpone Nutella time for 10 minutes.

In some way as we seem to very slowly creep towards summer, racing and graduation I feel different. There is a huge sense of freedom on the horizon for sure, this will be my first EVER summer where there is nothing waiting for me at the end, no school, no definite plan as to where I am going to be or what I am going to be doing. I will be training, that is a constant, but where and with whom is a different matter.

As my degree gets wrapped up and I start to pack my bags for 6 months of racing I'm just going to take things as they arrive, race by race and location by location. So many of my friends are nearing this stage as well and we are probably the first generation (that of iPhones and the 24 hour news reel) that will realistically be able to travel, live and work wherever we decide.

I could go on about training and my upcoming races but its been such a long winter and my races are approaching pretty quickly so I'll leave that out today. All thats left to do now is show up and go fast, simple eh?

In short I guess the more time I spend thinking about what I really want to do the more time I spend thinking about what other people want. I hope as I get further into the summer, start enjoying my races and travelling I'll figure it all out. But then again if I don't, I guess it's not the end of the world, who says you need to know exactly whats going on anyway?

I'm off to have my Nutella sandwich :)


Sunday, 9 May 2010

Final pre season race-done.

All done, winter is over and the pre season warm ups concluded just a few hours ago.

Turriff sprint triathlon, 50miles north of Aberdeen, is a tough little race, was one of my first ever races 3 years ago and this year was my 3rd attempt at winning, two 2nd places in 07/08.

Scott Neyedli, a fellow Aberdonian and a great help to my training when he is in town as well as a wise and established Ironman Champ, was racing and he gave me the idea to come up and race with him (for the second weekend in a row). Lewis Murchie a young up and comer as well as some other local "Elite" age groupers were on the start list.

760m swim, 21km hilly bike and a 5km out and back run, all fun and games eh.

Was my last prep race before things kick off on the 23rd and wanted to put in a good effort to see how my legs are. Swim was cracking, 8.25 in a tightly packed lane (including Neyedli wearing his illegal swimskin! ha), 150m run to T1 down some steps, 18 second T1 :), out onto the bike - first 9km are seriously lumpy and the wind was in my face, Scott caught me with 5km to go on the bike, into T2 about 30 seconds apart. 5km run, out and back, straight onto a nice 400m hill which stole my energy a bit. Built into it though and by the turnaround I was about 45 seconds back from Scott. Second half I actually felt good, for once, and picked it up considerably, reeling Scotty back in a we bit to finished 36 seconds back.

My time, 1.02.26
Scott, 1.01.50

Two fastest race times ever, woo.

Back at home now, watching the Giro D'Italia, Formula 1 is recorded and will watch it later. Super hungry but not too tired which is good, legs feel not too bad at all.

Back to business eh.


Saturday, 8 May 2010

Almost time...

This season seems to have been approaching for a long time. There will be lots of traveling + racing to contend with so the plans have been in place for a while. Doing my final prep race tomorrow up north in Turriff, a hilly sprint course, which will hopefully sharpen me up a little further before the 23rd.

Once everything kicks off it will be 4 races in 6 weekends between May 23rd and June 27th so in no time at all it will be all go.

Not much left to do now but race, tomorrow will hopefully give me some good feedback as to the kind of shape I'm in, I'll keep everyone updated :)


Sunday, 2 May 2010


Just back through the door after the 54km TT I was doing this morning. Was meant to be down in England doing the British Uni championships but that didn't work out so instead I headed up to Braemar for a 54km time trial.

It was part of the Deeside Adventure Race, which people can do as individuals, teams or a mixture of the two. I was only doing the first part but my friend Scott Neyedli (Ironman Champ) was doing the whole thing, 54km TT, 12.1mile run, 25km TT. Crazy eh?

Anyway we headed up early this morning and 45mins into the car ride and it had already started snowing. By the time we reached Braemar the temp was sitting at -3 and it pretty much snowed on and off in flurries until we left. It wasn't too bad though, definitely seen worse.

Everyone fired off at 30 second intervals, I was off 2nd last and was put 3minutes behind the 3rd last guy. Scott was 3 minutes behind me as well. Mainly so we didn't catch everyone up too soon! It seemed to work for the first 5 miles, as we all encountered snow generally neutralizing the pace for a while but once I got into the swing of things I started to feel really good. Managed to keep it in a pretty big gear all of the way and, every time I checked at least, was well above 40km/h.

Pretty sure I caught everyone in front of me bar 1 and successfully held off Scott attacking from behind to post a 1hour 19minute 54km, average speed of 41.4km/h. Felt strong and my HR never went above 174, so all good.

Just finished up my post race refuel/ice bath session. Pretty much can't walk so Brian my physio will have his work cut out tomorrow!