Tremendous Two Weeks Part 1
Two weeks i was sitting on the sofa here in Andorra with a very very tired body. I was in the middle off an intense training block that had been kicked off three weeks before with the Venice Ironman as i begun the crucial block of racing and training ahead of Kona. I'd planned to take a couple of days easy leading into Challenge Roth followed by a recovery week before also taking on more Germans in Ironman Frankfurt. As i sat on the sofa on this Thursday evening i was so fatigued i told Fallon I didn't think I could handle another week of the training I'd been putting my body through, I was really close to cracking. In my deranged mind i suggested it might be better to bring the double header program forward a week and take my two days easy now ahead off Ironman Nice and then enjoy a restful week to freshen up for Challenge Roth. I conveyed my suggested scheduling change to my coach Tim who thought it was a marvellous idea as I'd be able to do a few days "easy" riding with a few of the guys on my way to Germany. They where all up at Isola 2000 just outside of Nice putting the finishing touches on the Tour de France preparations which was conveniently on the way. With that the plan was set, i headed to bed for a good night sleep, had a 6hr drive to Nice ahead of me on Friday morning.
Fallon and i have this whole going to races thing pretty dialed as a result of doing so many of them! This has its perks as it didn't take long to load the car including the dog and head off to Nice. I really enjoy driving around Europe. Coming from Australia you spend so much time sitting in germ infested airports and on planes that's it's actually extremely soothing to be in your own space. We've spent a bucket load of time in nice aswell so once we arrived it didn't take s long to settle into our usual apartment we rent and i still had a full day to rest up my second attempt at the Nice IM. Another reason i think something was bugging me about not racing Nice was the fact I'd DNF'd there last year and i had this urge to put that experience behind me. I knew until i at the very least completed the race It would keep eating at me. I really hate failing, its something that really annoys me!!
Considering my lead into the race my objectives where rather modest. The plan was to have a great swim, a conservative bike, and a good consistent run. In other word the only thing i wanted to put serious effort into was the swim, the rest was just an all inclusive training day. The race as you'd probably expect went completely against my plans as is almost always the case. I had my equal worst ever swim alongside my kona performance last year. It was a non wetsuit so i waved a nice big flag to my rivals to let them know i still cant swim without additional flotation! Because i was in a race and now miles behind i had to change plans and give everything i had on the bike to at least feel apart off the race, it was a race after all. The problem i faced here however was that my legs where tired as hell, i was certainly regretting the 8hrs I'd spent riding from Barcelona to Andorra on the previous Tuesday! Anyways i was here now and in the race and on the bike so i decided to empty the tank on the bike and just aim for a good consistent plod on the bike.
I knew the nice Bike course like the back off my hand. I ridden it a truck load of times which was a blessing in disguise as when you feel terrible there is nothing worse than having no idea what's ahead of you terrain wise. Fortunately i only had to deal with feeling terribly tired. I put my head down and pedalled as hard as i could and by the 90km mark I'd erased the 5+ Minute gap, yeah like i said it was a very bad swim! As i came up on the front group led by the legendary Freddy Van Lierde i thought I'd just join them for a bit and enjoy there company. Then in the same breathe i decided bugger that, I'm committed now and I'm going to try and go past them like they are standing still, see if i can put myself in a position to win the race. Crazy how your objectives can change over the course of 8hrs and this i assure you wasn't the last time i adjusted my goals! By the time i reached transition i had a 6 minute lead thanks to my knowledge of the final technical 60km of the bike course, i was just where i love being, in an empty transition and had an empty run course waiting for me.
The moment i hit the run course i had my next reality check, i was super tired after all. You can hide on a bike when it's carrying you fat backside around for you but when you have to stand on your own two feet reality really sets in! It was in that first 100m that I decided yet, just getting to the finish would be a great achievement today as i was absolutely stuffed! Sure enough Freddy blasted past me inside the first 15km and local hero Antony Costes did the same at around the 25km mark. By the 32km mark my leisurely plod had rocketed me in a rearward direction back to 4th when another Frenchmen Romain Guillaume sensed a prized spot on his national races podium was up for grabs. To be honest i was content with this. I felt that for a training day 4th wasn't so bad and I certainly would've taken if offered to me before the start, i figured i just enjoy this last 10km and save the legs as much as possible for Roth in 7 days time.
As I approached the final turnaround with around 7km to go, Freddy coming in the opposite direction said "pick it up cam they are slowing down ahead of you"!! You've got to be kidding me was my first thought and fantastic i can run slower aswell was my second. Then i remembered Fallon told me before the race she felt it was flowers day and t get flowers i know that is reserved for the top 3. I saw Romain at the turn around as he doubled back past me and Freddy was right he looked a hell of a lot worse than i did. So with 5km to i kicked it up a few gears and dropped from 4:40km/pace to 4:00 pace and within a couple of km's i was beside Romain again. I quickly checked with him regarding his kona points situation as if coming 3rd or 4th was the difference between him qualifying and not qualifying then i sure as hell wasn't going to steal that from him. I learnt the previous year just how stressful that whole thing can be and was happy to help a fellow competitor reach the big dance if need be. He told me 4th was fine so i said fantastic, Fallon wants some flowers and ill see you at the finish and that was that. I ended up rolling down the Ironman red carpet in 3rd, the final spot on the podium and yes i got Fallon her flowers. Was just a fantastic way to spend a Sunday.
P.s. no mention of data, power, splits, heart rate ect, its all on my Strava, Cameron Wurf if you'd like to follow me.
Sent from my iPad