2011 started with the arrival of my first child – Maxmilian is his name and he is a beautiful baby boy. He was born in mid April, and that is not really the start of the first part of the year leading up to that point is all water under the bridge compared to the day he entered the world. So 2011 for me will always just be the year my first child was born.
Of course I had been training as usual up to that point at so I had built a solid base. And when my first race of the season – the Shawnigan Lake 1/2 Iron rolled around in late May I was more or less ready to race. Then a month later I raced the New Balance Victoria 1/2 Iron and was certainly coming into my fitness at that point. I won both those races and that made me happy. But I was eager to test my fitness against an international field. I went down to Portland to race the Rev3 1/2 Iron. That was a great race that saw me come up 1 second short of the top ten and a pay check. I race fairly well that day and capped the race off with a solid run.
I then had a bit of a mid season break and start to gear up for Ironman Canada. The decision to race IMC was a bit last minute but I couldn’t resist the opportunity to head into the Okanagan and tackle that race for the 4th time. I had a poor performance that day by not being prepared for the heat (I have written posts on that race a few months ago). This race left me discouraged and down but more than anything it made me mad – mad that I had not prepared properly for it and therefore wasted a lot of peoples time by not performing well.
Upon returning home after that race I finished moving us into our new place (with the help of Andrew Russell, thanks again Andrew). Having spent a good chunk of money on this race I got back to working my “day jobs”. After about a week and half of recovery Coach Noa and I started building the training volume up again (I didn’t require too much recovery since I wasn’t able to push too hard at IMC).
The training went really well over the next 2 months. Then a few weeks out from Ironman Arizona I found out that I had missed the cut off date to register for that race. Long story short, it was my fault I missed the cut off date and was now left with only one option – race Ironman Cozumel 1 week later than IMAZ.
I did my best to prepare for the climate I would face in Mexico. Coach Noa and I modified the taper as best we could.
I went down and race Ironman Cozumel as best as I could given the less than ideal preparation. I finished in 9:20:26. A far way off of my Ironman PR. But at the finish line I was all smiles – I knew I had given my best effort on the day and I just didn’t have the snap I needed to post a PR.
My recovery has been slow from this race. My body took a beating out that on that Cozumel race course.
5 races in a season is not a lot of a professional triathlete, and I hope I can race a bit more in 2012 so that I can gain the vital experience necessary to being competing at the next level. I did gain many things from the races I did do this year though. Here are some of the things I learned, in point form:
1) Only go to races you can properly prepare for, and this includes terrain and climate.
2) When in a race situation and your heart tells you to “go”, then you better harden up and get your ass in 6th gear (don’t listen to your legs or your brains logical thinking).
3) Focus on your weaknesses and you will see a difference in your racing, even if it doesn’t always show up in training.
4) To be a professional triathlete you have to approach every angle of your career in a highly professional manner.
5) Always remember that all your supporters are half of the reason you are where you are.
6) Nothing in life compares to the joy you feel when your little child gives you a big smile – a smile that represents pure and genuine happiness.
I have said to a few people that ending a season on an “OK” note might be harder than ending it on a big high or big low. I feel this way because I was really hoping that I would nail the Ironman distance this year at one of my races. I didn’t do that so I am already hungry to start the prep for next season and my next attempt at completing an Iron Distance race to my maximum capability at this point in my career.
But I am going to enjoy these 2 weeks I am taking completely off of training (ok you might see me in the pool once or twice at the tail end of these 2 weeks since I am still trying to rid my body completely of the swelling I experienced post IM Cozumel – my body was retaining an extra 23lbs by 72hours post race).
I do look forward to my first swim, first bike, and first run workouts though. You know you truly love something when you miss it so much after going without it for a period of time.