Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Finding my Moj....

.... No, thats not a typo in the title. I'd say "finding my mojo", but I haven't quite got it all back. So Moj it is for now. The good news is I'm sure I left it in the Forest, and I've been spending plenty of time in there playing Hot/Cold searching for it. Warmer, warmer.... couple more rides and I should have it back. Just in time for XTERRA.

I've been having fun substituting Moto riding for proper training at least once a week. Great for the mind, and actually quite taxing in itself. The only concern is the increasing expenditure on moto magazines and accesories. Biggest excitement over the weekend was the arrival of my new Alpinestar Tech 7's. Beautiful.

Also have got a few runs, swims, and rides in. Decided I would commit to a few weeks training for XTERRA... followed by an extended break afterward. So after a bit of arm twisting from T-Rex and Nic, the chance to test things out on Saturday at the innaugural Tri-Offroad event couldn't be passed up.

It was a very cool concept, and great location. 1500m downriver swim, fun 33km of MTB, and a very twisty and undulating 10.5km trail run. Tough, demanding, yet spectacular and fun at the same time. Sadly the performance of my legs didn't quite do justice to the location, and I put in a solid if un-spectacular performance. Bringing it home in 2nd, a tad under 2min behind a dominant Scott Thorne.

Unfortunately terrible weather literally put a bit of a dampner on things. But a small, yet high quality field still fronted the starter. The swim was awesome though. I managed to fluke my way into some good lines around the islands, rocks, and currents of the Waikato. I could claim I did a good job of spotting lines... except my fogged up goggles saw me bumble my way down the river. Well under 15min for 1500m was a great feeling. If only XTERRA was downriver too...

The Bike and Run were both tough, demanding, and somewhat of an odd feeling for me. My legs felt tired and heavy. I felt I was dawdling at base speed. Yet apparently I was moving pretty well. Matching Scott on the MTB, and only losing 40 sec on the run. If it hadn't been for my terrible transitions it could have been a lot closer. So good signs for XTERRA in 10 days time. I'm sure I'll find that Mojo this weekend. Then I'll let it rest up on the couch all week.

Of course it could always be hiding at the MotoX track. Better put that on the agenda for tommorrow.

Monday, March 7, 2011

The end?

I was hoping to bring you all a bubbly and enthusiastic monday report on what a great race I had at Karapoti. Instead, Saturday was a real grovel for me.... and I am sitting here contemplating if the days signalled the end of my season (not career. So don't be too alarmed!)

They say a picture paints 1000 words, and to me this shot captured by the guys from Wheelworks does exactly that (and probably more). Not just as it shows me stumbling through the final river crossing, which in itself would be a great summary of my whole race. Rather, have a look at my eyes. They are the eyes of someone very tired, and very drained. Eyes that are focussed on the finish, just 100m ahead. Not because of the result it would bring. But as it signified that I could stop.

In what were atrocious conditions, I guess I rode ok. 7th place, and a low 2hr30 something. I am happy to acknowledge that that is a decent performance. But for the first time I can remember, halfway round, any fight had drained from my body/mind, and I just wanted to go home. In fact on Friday at registration, two great friends asked me how I was. And I was suprised to find myself blurt out "I'm tired. Really really tired." It wasn't sand bagging. In reflection it was probably the most heart felt thing I've said aloud in a long time.

That is no reflection on Karapoti. In fact it is probably only because it was Karapoti that I fronted and put in the best effort I could. The race is that special and means that much. With Nic's struggles in recent months, much of the fun had dissapeared from my recent competition. Doing it just for myself is not so motivating, or exciting. Ever since Tauranga Half Ironman I have been battling, and I think this weekend, at Karapoti, the gas tank ran dry. Not from the race itself. But from the months prior. In fact I think the warning light was already on as we hit the first climb, and I'd already switched to reserve well before I hit the staircase.

I don't know if its just 12mths, or whether its 10yrs of accumulated fatigue. All I know is that right this moment, I need a break. Ride my MX bike, play some golf, fall out of a kayak. Whatever. Just not training. As such I am non-commital about XTERRA NZ. I'd love to be there, but only if I am in the right shape to race to my potential. My wee break might only need to be 3 days. Or it may be 3 weeks, or 3 months. I don't know.

Huge congrats to all the boys in front of me at Karapoti. Anton for a magnificent win at just 16 years old! And of course Dirk, Stu, T-Rex, and Rich for great rides. And especially to Dave for a great 6th. Having previously coached Dave as a "keen as" average level "expert".... to see him at the level he has now reached, there was an odd satisfaction in watching him ride away from me up Dopers.

For now... enjoy whatever you are doing. I will, it'll just be a tad different to my normal routine.