Monday, September 29, 2008

So I coached the Tyee session and it went just fine. There were some new faces for me and I was a new face for many of them. Working with that group is going to be a good thing.
This Friday I have something special lined up for them - a swim game idea I got from Norm Thibault. I'll let you all know how it goes.

So my news this week is I've decided to go to Kona again this year and take in the race.
I'll have a lot of friends there racing and the boys over at Lifesport, Paul Regensburg and Lance Watson, extended a generous offer of a nice room in a sweet pad right on the drive. I couldn't turn that down.
Another World Championship. It'll be good for me.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Once more to the brink

It's been a nice holiday but it's time to get back at 'er!

Tomorrow morning at 6:15 AM I will be on deck and there will be between 25 and 30 swimmers in the water expecting me to bring my A game.
I haven't been on deck, coached a track session or a trainer ride in more than 5 weeks.
I'm curious to see how it goes. There are few places in the world I'm as happy as I am on the pool's edge or beside a track.
I'm expecting good things.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Some days are better than others

These folks had a bad day.

Yeah, I know - it's been almost two months since I've written a word here.
I'd like to give you a long list of reasons why - insanely busy, training too hard - blah, blah, blah but the truth is I just haven't been up to it.
Writing is easy. Deciding what to write is hard.

Things have been a tad glum since May and bringing myself to this laptop to jot down a few thoughts has been something of a challenge, to say the least.
I wish I could say things have vastly improved. They haven't but I figure maybe if I try to get all the little things back on track then the big things will get on track.

Training isn't going at all. My Achilles has flared up on me and I'm unable to run. Traditionally I look forward to putting the bike in the shed and running but it looks like I'm going to have to winter up because this Achilles is not getting any better.

My athletes had a great summer and I took a lot of satisfaction from that.
Of course, Heather's win in CDA was a high point but Ironman Canada was also an incredible day for me as a coach.
I had three people racing, Juan Carlos Ramirez, Rachel Kiers, and Heather Wurtele. I also had a long list of friends racing - Trevor Wurtele, Dan Smith, Adrienne Stedford, Ian Dewar and John O'Shaughnessy amongst others.
The results are all available but a coach and friend couldn't have asked for more. The day was tough - really tough but my guys were tougher! I was so proud of all of them.
JC wasn't able to finish CDA and in IMC last year he'd had a very unsatisfying race. This kid was really something. He's got a new family, he works 40 hours a week and this last year he experienced the tragic loss of his mother. There were many weeks when I thought he'd crack but he didn't and in the end his 9:45 put a big smile on my face.
Rachel was having a hard time out there too. I could see by the look in her eye near the half way point of the run that she could feel it slipping away but up to then she'd been having a solid race and was still up there. I did my best to convince her she was having a great race. All she had to do was stay tough and she'd get to the finish line to see I was telling the truth. I don't know if she heard a word I was saying but she got to the finish line to find that she'd shaved more than 20 minutes off her last year's time and had finished 8th - IN THE MONEY!! Very satisfying. Rachel's a jewel. She's got more speed in her and we're going to find it this coming year!
And Heather - what can be said about Heather? She'd raced an IM and gone to the well 8 weeks earlier. Her recovery and training was on target but with IM you just never know.
I have to admit I was pretty surprised when the splits started coming in and Allison Fitch was pulling away from her on the bike. There's not many women in the world who can pull away from Heather on a bike. To my shame, I didn't know who this woman was.
I biked over to a internet cafe to see what I could learn. I was hoping to meet Heather on the run and tell her that Allison was a 4 hour marathon runner. But when I looked at her results I realized she was the real deal. I would never lie to Heather out there so all I could do was encourage her to stay strong. The winds were absolutely fierce and with Heather's height the disadvantage grows exponentially. I could see by the look on her face that she was red lining. She was running in 3rd. 1st place was realistically out of touch and at some point she would realize that 2nd wasn't going to happen either. Staying in that red zone for the bronze is a little more challenging than gold or silver but she stayed there. Another competitor had made the mistake of upsetting her out on the bike and she used that to fuel one hell of an effort out there.

So that was a good day - though there was some sadness because it signaled the final race that Heather and I will work together as coach/athlete. It's been two great years and I know she's got a lot more gains she can make. I'm looking forward to seeing her get stronger and more dominant in this sport.

It looks like my movie has been put on hold indefinitely. That, in and of itself is not such a blow. I was looking forward to directing a movie, for sure. I was looking forward to the financial rewards as well. What's really a piss off here is the number of sacrifices I made because of it. I put IMC on hold and turned down a job coaching a masters group in Victoria for the film and, of course, those turned out to be decisions I now regret.
And then there's Kona. It's now apparent I'm free to go now. I haven't booked a flight but I guess there's no reason not to.

Okay - there's a blog. Not a funny one. Not really much of anything, but it's a start.
I will endeavour to keep it going.