Tuesday, 31 August 2010

ITU and Ironman

I think my lack in blogging can be attributed to the immensely hectic nature of the past few weeks, scrap that, past few months.

My definition of "being at home" is when you finally unpack. Not unpack your suitcase however, usually if I'm in once place for a week or so I'll empty my suitcase and get organsied, but unpack your toiletries bag. This is something I'll never unpack unless I am firmly "at home". A hotel, friends house, rental apartment, the toiletries bag stays either in the bathroom (packed) or in the bedroom I'm staying in.

So when I got home last night after yet another long day's worth of travel and could finally (for the first time since probably June 10th) unpack my toiletries bag it felt very symbolic. I am now home.

In case anyone is checking in for the first time I'll summarise the past few months quickly. May held the seasons first big races but at the same time my last month at university and the completion of my dissertation. June was full of racing with a great week down in London at the Windsor triathlon, back home for a few days before heading out to the alps (altitude training). 5 weeks in the alps including 3 races, Annecy International triathlon, Les Carroz bike race and the Thonon round of the French open water cup series. August has been the busiest of them all, my first win as a senior athlete at the Nokia Thames open water swim, racing in the biggest elite field ever at the London triathlon (with a total of 15,000 athletes and 55,000 spectators), flying out to Canada, moving into my new apt, 10 days in Whistler with the family, 3 days in Kelowna racing ITU, back to Vancouver for 1 day, 5 days at Ironman Canada as support and now finally back in Vancouver.

I'm tired just writing it down.

That said it's been the best summer of my life, hands down. When I started out with all this "elite" athlete junk I guess what I really wanted from it was some really good memories, so that one day I could sit back, beer in hand, and know I really gave it a good shot. I think this part is on its way to being completed already. Feels good.

Anyway the past few weeks...

2 weekends ago I was up in Kelowna racing the ITU Pan Am Cup race that I did last year. Long story short I called it a day early towards the end of the bike. Zero in the tank but started out with a cracking swim exiting with the lead pack + Mr Whitfield himself, was pleased with this but annoyed I couldn't get into the "race gear" I needed on the bike. Regardless however it was a great weekend with my family and at least they got to see me do some racing.

In reflection it looks as if I'm just a little tired out, I guess as can be expected. So an easy week followed. Last Wednesday I returned to Vancouver so I could then head up to Penticton for Ironman Canada the following day. For those who didn't see the post last year, click here to see my reflections on last years Ironman Canada...I had a good time!

It is an amazing event. I am 100% hooked on the atmosphere, spectacle and in general insanity of the race. If I said it once I said it one hundred times, I have almost endless respect for the guys who go out there and race Ironman. Not just the professionals but every single age grouper from the 9 hour finishers right down to the guy who ran across the line on Sunday night in 16 hours 59 minutes and 56 seconds (the cut off being 17 hours).

It is one of the few, if only, events in the world where the respect I hold for the elite athletes competing is JUST as much as the respect I hold for each and every amateur. They are all incredible. None more than my friend Nicole who raced in her first Ironman, killed it, 3.35 marathon at the end and won her age group...a Kona qualifier first time out, what a performance.

Equally impressive performances though from my other friends Cam Mackay and Rob Herron, awesome race too guys. Can't say it enough, you guys are beasts.

Happy to say I'll be on the start line in 2013.

Gotta give a shout out to the two Geoff's at the Bike Barn in Penticon though, thanks for keeping up with my blog and racing, you were both too generous with your compliments. Hopefully see you both soon,

Keep training, racing and exploring...its good for your health :)


1 comment:

Mr. Waterman said...

Mike, it was great to meet you man! keep blogging and keep kickin' ass! Take Care.