RSS Feed (xml)

Powered By

Skin Design:
Free Blogger Skins

Powered by Blogger

“Somewhere behind the competitor you’ve become, the practices, the people who pushed you, the races you have competed in, the long time dedication, and the friendships you have made along the way, there’s a little boy who fell in love with the race; do it for him….”

Monday, July 7, 2008

The Best Thing About Being a Coach

Lake Stevens was, once again, an awesome trip! Thanks to the sponsors for making it all possible - go Rome or go home I always say!

I was really looking for that race that says "I'm back baby!". I'd have to say that in days before it seemed that we would get just that. However, as I somewhat suspected weeks ago, this process will be a slow, step by step one. We swam on Thursday and I felt super smooth and just AWESOME in the water. I'd have to say that even after a lot of laying around and doing nothing my legs felt pretty darn great during our tune up run , swim and bike. It was exciting to be getting all that rest and starting to feel like myself again. Kate provided a nice diversion of attention with her flat tire (of which we had no spare and had to send the Sherpas to Seattle to fix) and after the pro meeting I suddenly felt very relaxed. However, I did not have a restful sleep and for the record did not sleep well in naps, or at nights this entire trip. The debate is still out as to have going in and out of the tent is affecting recovery, sleep and performance.

Race day was upon us and it certainly was exciting. The pro wave was a NON-WETSUIT swim which I have realized can often affect the entire race for me. It just seems that not only are the swim times slower but the kicking and effort involved seem to leave me a bit more fatigued for the rest of the day. The swim went OK but I feel out of the main pack near the end and decided that taking it a bit ez could help the remainder of the day. WRONG! The beginning of the bike felt like someone injected large amounts of lead into my leg veins. I spent most of the time trying to figure out why I wasn't catching anyone. The nice thing was that for 1 miles no one caught me either. There was some serious contemplation of dropping out but then BAM! Danny boy caught me, gave me a word of encouragement and all of a sudden the legs began to come around. Misery loves company I guess. We battled together through an extremely difficult bike course with another pro (#8). The 10 meter rule was a bit strange as we've been racing at 7 meters so much that I think all of us were overly cautious about getting too close. It worked out fine and did help to have other guys around. We ended up passing a couple more pros en route to a slow but somewhat OK bike leg. Coming out of transition I once again struggled but Day caught up to me again and we began a nice long run together. At first we were in good spirits and clipping along at 6:15 to 6:30 pace. At the first turn around ( about 5 miles in) we could see the final money spot held by Australian Brian Rhodes and it even looked as if we would catch him. We put in another good few miles and then the wheels slowly began to come off. We began the game of waiting for each other as each one struggled. By the last out and back we realized things weren't going to come to fruition and we began to slow. We finished somewhat respectably but still questioning why we thought we needed to turn pro and how much fun we USED to have doing this as amateurs. It is crazy how as amateurs our finishes would have looked pretty darn good but as pros it looked quite the opposite.

BUT...... as a coach the day isn't over then!! The Kate Monster was out on the run course TEARING IT UP! Running herself into her 2nd qualification for Worlds in Clearwater with a monster 1/2 marathon PR and a course PR (on a much tougher bike this year) by nearly 17 minutes!! She saved the day for the entire team! It was great to be able to see her get that spot and watch the sense of relief and joy in her eyes. It spins the trip in a whole different direction and makes everything seem like a huge success. Being a coach is great. There are always plenty of chances to have success outside of yourself. We all celebrated the afternoon away. It was a wonderful trip with great friends. I missed my family dearly but a big thanks to Sherpa Bob, Craig and Kate for making me feel the warmth of a family.

Onto the next race this Saturday at Timberman!!