Tuesday, February 11, 2014

New Plymouth Half Ironman

I always love racing down in the Naki so it was great to be heading back down to attempt to defend my title from last year.  It’s a bit of a long haul drive from Kinloch but definitely worth the time!  The last few weeks have been going ok, I have been working on my speed a bit more so a lot more shorter faster sessions which is been great for my development and most importantly giving me extra time to spend with my family.  The weekend would be a good endurance session and hit out to keep the form rolling.

The swim went well, a little long but I wasn’t complaining coming out of the water with around a 2min 30 lead.   I wasn’t racing with a watch on the bike which has its benefits but I was wondering when the turnaround was going to finally arrive, and then I could only guess the time I had to second place….I had enough to be comfortable but it did look like the field was pushing hard so I tried not to button off at all.  As it was I had around the same lead as I started the ride and taking out the fastest bike split.

Onto the run the legs felt fresh and I was able to tick the k’s off comfortably and extend my lead, it was great to feel light on my feet and take the win again.

Recovery has been good and am back into the short hard stuff again which I am really enjoying.

Next up is an ITU race in Tasmania in 3 weeks, yep that’s a short drafting race!  I am really looking forward to the challenge.


Graham

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Auckland 70.3

The two weeks after Tauranga flew by which probably had a lot to do with having a new baby to look after! I knew my form was there and it was just going to be a case of carrying it through for two more weeks.  Things were going well I had been feeling pretty good after having a few fast sessions in.

The day started well, I was able to get to the front of the swim heading into the first turn but I sighted the wrong can, thinking that the turn was a further 100m ahead – bit of a novice whoops but I was swimming well and got back on course and up to 3rd place where I was happy to sit and conserve a bit heading on to the bike.

 
The bike started ok, I kept reminding myself there is plenty of time to find the legs.   I maintained position for a while but when the first lot of chasers came through I felt that I was working a lot harder to maintain the pace.  I stuck it out in the group for the 90km and I have learnt from years of racing that you can feel like crap on the bike then have an awesome run so that’s what I was visualising and hoping for!!!


The run the guys were flying!!   I tried not to get caught up in initial furious pace instead focused on getting my rhythm and hoped that I could pick things up as the run progressed.  Well I never really got going; I had to dig deep at times but did finish well for how things were going for me.


All in all a bit disappointed that I maybe did some things wrong in my lead up and generally just wasn’t firing on the day as this is an event that I would love to do really well in.  Still I was able to take some positives from the race, some days are great others not and with the level of competition increasing every year you can’t afford to be a few percent off your best or you get 10th

Am looking forward to getting stuck in to training again after taking a couple of day’s recovery.

Thanks for the continued support!

G



Tuesday, January 7, 2014

January – the Month for Babies and Racing

What a week, things were on track to have another cracker race at the 25th Port of Tauranga Half Ironman, training was good, tapering was better and I was looking forward to racing again.  My partner and I made our way to the Mount on Thursday to give me a couple of days to settle in before the big day.  We were expecting our first child on the 12th and from what we were told it was likely that she would more likely be overdue than early…we thought we were safe with me racing on the 4th and then gearing up for the change our life was about to take.  Well the big day had a different meaning with labour kicking off on Friday morning, so we were off to the Waikato hospital and at 5:55pm our little girl Pepper O’Grady was born.  It was the most amazing thing and I am a very proud dad.

The only thing is that I still had a race the next morning, I wanted to race but wasn’t going to head there if my family wasn’t up to me leaving for the day, but Tash had other thoughts about that and was adamant that I was going to get my butt on that start line no matter what!  Well I didn’t need an alarm to wake me up at three in the morning to drive back to the Mount; I only had a couple of hours sleep with not being able to take my eyes of this gorgeous little girl in our room.

It was a kind of surreal feeling being at the race, trying to focus on racing but then being so happy about being a dad and wanting to talk to everyone about it.  Well I made it into the water to warm up and was thinking the faster I go the faster I get home!

The swim didn’t start how I would have liked, I managed to get a small lead after the first 750m lap but I felt like I was swimming in sand with my eyes closed and the little gap I had stayed the same heading into transition.  It’s a long race I thought to myself and tried to get the legs going on the bike.  Well my body wasn’t having a bar of that and as the ride progressed I got slower and slower.  I still managed to come off the bike in 4th but miles out of contention for the win, I thought surely one out of the three disciplines would go ok but it seemed the events and emotions of the past 24hrs had finally taken its toll and just wiped me out, I decided it was going to have to be enough to just make it to the finish. 

The support in Tauranga was totally amazing, I have never experienced anything like it, so many people cheering me on, calling out go daddy, well done and that gave me such a lift that I was determined to get to the finish and then home to my new family.

So things are settling down now, I am feeling back to my normal self, I have smoked a couple of sessions the last couple of days and things are back on track.  The family is doing great and I am over the moon.


Thanks to everyone for your support over the weekend, it means a lot to me!  Next up will be Auckland 70.3 where I hope to have a race I am capable of.

Graham