Monday, July 21, 2008
A week on from Ironman Austria I've had time to digest the race experience, think about my preparation and the event itself and reflect on the positives and negatives of my preparation and performance on the day.
I like to reflect and post analyse as it helps me quickly set my goals for the future. All my life I've set myself high targets and I've quickly learned that once they're achieved, I need to be moving on quickly to the next. The past is history.
Of course, along the way I allow myself fleeting moments of satisfaction. But without tough goals I'm like a ship without a rudder. It's just the way I am and I'm happy with it.
So what of the previous year. Well, positives first. Some that come to mind are:
- I've moved my training to a new level. I work more efficiently and train smart.
- I've involved my family in the triathlon process and they've enjoyed it.
- I'm stronger in all three disciplines.
- I've got a great base to move on to the next challenge.
- I've been relatively injury free since xmas, allowing me to train and perform to my potential.
- I've retained the ability to (just about) balance my training with work commitments and family life.
- I've developed the confidence to begin 'racing' rather than simply 'taking part' in triathlon events.
- I've developed a great new network of training partners through Team MK.
- Training can border on the obsessive and I'll need to be much more efficient with my time management in the coming year.
- There are times when training has come first. I'll need to learn to keep family first and training second - which comes back to time management, listed above.
- I don't feel I'm truly unlocking my full potential on the bike. I can go faster. I know that.
But really, I have to say - the positives this year far outweigh the negatives.
So what of future goals? Well, here's some to be going on with. In no particular order of priority.
1. To develop Alice's triathlon.
2. To compete in Ironman Germany 09 as my A Race and achive my time goals (see later).
3. To complete my latest movie script and set it forward towards production.
4. To continue to enjoy my work, life, and sport balance.
At present these are simply outline targets. Which is where you, blog friends, come in. I'm due to have an Ironman de-brief with Mark Kleanthous, my coach, today. As part of that session we'll be talking about goals for the coming year. I have some ideas in my head of my Ironman goals but I'd be interested to hear what you think I should be aiming for. Leave your thoughts on the blog... I'd be interested to know what things look like from the outside. But please, please, bear in mind that a one and a half hour PB improvement in an Ironman will never again be something I'll enjoy. There are goals and then there is dreaming !
I'm back in the swing of things at work, which is terrific. To come back from Ironman with an empty desk and quiet phones would have been soul destroying. So I'm delighted to be recording radio commercials this week as well as working on two TV commercials over the next month. A couple of other projects are bubbling under too, not to mention my movie script which has been on hold for a week due to Iron commitments.
The girls finish school on Wednesday. For Alice, and for us, it's the end of an era as our youngest daughter finishes at the village primary school. Edlesborough School has been wonderful for them both, allowing them to flourish and develop at the right pace whilst stimulating their intellect and providing them with not only an excellent academic base but, more importantly, a sound moral code and a sense of spiritual well being. Both have been fortunate enough to pass their eleven plus exams and, with Erin happily installed at Aylesbury High School for Girls, Alice will start at the Sir Henry Floyd Grammar School (also in Aylesbury) in September, offering a mixed sex environment and specialisms in the performing arts.
A busy summer awaits. I'm taking the girls camping in early August and then they're off to Florida with their cousins Kitty and Brogan for two weeks under the supervision of my parents. Fiona and I are taking the opportunity to have a week in New York to belatedly celebrate our 20th (count 'em) Wedding Anniversary. I have the National Triathlon Relay Championships on August 2nd and am competing at The Vitruvian Middle Distance (Half Ironman) triathlon on September 7th. In addition I'm thinking of tossing in a cheeky end of season marathon. So... combined with work commitments, a busy summer.
The film quote prior to Austria was too easy for you lot...
"I'm not mad, I'm proud of you. You took your first pinch like a man and you learn two great things in your life. Look at me, never rat on your friends and always keep your mouth shut. "
was spoken by JIMMY CONWAY (Robert de Niro) in GOODFELLAS...
Gabriel got it, so did my Ironman running twin Robert Quantrell (though he cheated by looking on line for it).
Here's this weeks...
"Let me tell you something my friend. Hope is a dangerous thing. Hope can drive a man insane."
Numerous pics this week. From the top. Me, looking sprightly on the marathon course! Some of the Team MK party with families at Hotel Worth. Alice with Ironkids medal and tattoo. The swim start. And finally, in the morning going by boat to the race. Left to right Helen, myself, Boothy (Team MK - 9 hours 32 mins!) and Paul going to his first Ironman.
Congratulations this week to Paul on becoming an Ironman, to Andy and Jo for signing up for Austria 2009 and to Gabriel who went sub 10 in Austria. Great effort, mate.
The last week has seen me gently jogging and doing a couple of lake swims to recover and get the blood flowing again. Now I'm rested, my bike is pieced back together after its transportation and I'm ready to go. And so, this week, I must return to training.
Why? Because, that's what I do. I train.
Have fun this week and feel free to contact me by commenting on the blog.