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.



sifter said...

Brave words, Mark. Well done. And, mad props to you for your role in developing Dave. Have a good break man. See you in a bit no doubt.

Oli Brooke-White said...

Great stuff, even if it wasn't as great as you would have liked. I'm sure a break will do you good. All the best, Cabin.

SlackBoy said...

I reconmend a diet high in pies, beer and bacon and eggs. Only when you weigh as much as me, will we let you back onto old mans class.