What if I will never be as good as Chris McCormack? I am so happy that he got up and won, and showed us how good he is, beyond any doubt, an absolute legend in one of the most competitive races ever. But he rode so strong and ran bloody fast too. Will I ever be able to ride that well? I don’t think so. But I will try. I have many years left to try. I did think Chris was getting older, and maybe a bit slower, but I also told people and maybe even told Chris, that if he is there out of the swim the race is his to control and win. Which is why I love that he smashed younger guys. I have always said he knows what he needs to do to get ready, more than anyone else I know. He doesn’t ever seem under pressure to fit in his training. That I love.
What if I am only ever in Craig Alexanders’ category? The “best” runner,but maybe not as strong as other champions on the bike. What? Of course if I could EVER be as good as Craig it would be a dream come true. But maybe I could become a dual world champ if, now that I have found it, I can keep my run for every race and bring it out on call. That would be awesome. Maybe I’ll try and do that for the next 12months and see what happens. I really have improved my run, and I really want to keep it that way. I want to stay a runner, and be able to run like a runner, forever.
I feel like I have got a promotion at work (not that I know what that feels like), but suddenly I see my potential, and my ability is being appreciated (by myself), and if I work hard, focus on the big picture, there is no reason why this next 12months won’t be at another level compared to where I used to compete, and how I prepared and executed my potential. I guess now that I have seen my potential in the run in Hawaii, even though I thought I had the ability to run that well, it isn’t until now that I have seen it actually been achieved that I truly believe I can physically do it.
Now that I have touched the edge of the Hawaii marathon record, as happened with “the 4 minute mile”, I know it is achievable and I can attack it. But I don’t just mean that race, I mean every other race I have in my future. At least I hope this is how I can carry on.
At Challenge Roth this year, Chrissie Wellington looked like a runner. She was skinny, ripped, and just by looking at her you could tell the dedication she had to getting herself in the best possible shape she could. And this motivated me. It was definitely a light bulb moment where I went from wanting to be a better runner, to coming home, and thinking about what I needed to do to get there. The result was adding 30-40km per week of recovery running (as well as the longest consistent uninterrupted training period ever with a better weekly routine), and I got there flying. And ran 2:41:05. It was sad to hear Chrissie was too sick to compete on race day, but I know she took a slight interest in knowing she helped me achieve what I did, even without actually doing anything other than being herself.
I trained all year at home in Sydney, Australia. No one else does, and likely they don’t because they couldn’t. But I love it. It was cold, wet, dark and miserable for months, seemingly endless as I trained for Roth, Philippines 70.3, and Hawaii. I arrived in Philippines Ironman 70.3 just 3 days before the race, coming from horrible cold weather in Sydney, and I ran away with the win comfortably in apparently very hot conditions. My ability, I’d always strongly suspected, is that when I’m fit, the hot humid conditions don’t bother me. I arrived in Hawaii just 8 days before the race. I’d had 2 hot days of training in Sydney (hot enough to run with my shirt off, or get a sweat going). I train best at home, where I live with my fiancé Jaimie, where I am happy. I also just like being at home, having my things, living a normal life with loved ones and friends, and having the best routine for me. I enjoy cooking at home, and am a little particular about what I eat.
I am very particular about my run sessions and am happy doing the majority of them on my own. I don’t mind riding on my own, but was lucky I had a couple of good friends who could do a different day on the bike with me most weeks. I swim with at the pool at the same time as Jaim or my mates, but usually in different lanes. I don’t go to squads, I swim hard when I feel good, and easy when I don’t. I have some favourite sessions for when I feel good in the water.
Up to here, the above, I wrote on the plane, un edited ramblings, so don’t take it too seriously. Below is still written very quickly and roughly, but more recently.
The day after I got home from Hawaii I flew up to Cairns for the launch of Challenge Cairns. This is a brand new triathlon from the Challenge family who have been running the triathlon in Roth, the biggest and best European triathlon, the home of world records, and it’s history includes the legends of our sport. Together with USM events who have been organising Australias biggest and best triathlon – Noosa – they are going to put on a show not to be missed. I will elaborate further as to the impact of this event for age groupers (amazing course, atmosphere, and value) and professionals alike (100,000 euro prizemoney). It will be a huge event, and one I will be giving everything to win.
Jaimie and I just moved house. But not far. Just a few km’s, so my rides and runs will only be slightly different. Some will be longer, some shorter. But since Kona, the weeks holiday after the race was great, but busy, and I got sick after the big night out and have been feeling tight in the chest since, up until a day ago, and now I just feel tired from moving, late nights, shopping for furniture, celebrating, and organising wedding things in our spare time. We are both racing up at Noosa in a few days and neither of us feel great, but it will be an awesome time and I look forward to seeing the event for the first time! Come and say hi, I’d be happy to pass on any tips I can.
All the best