My last race of the year was in Penrith, NSW, another new race on the ironman calendar. The race was won by Anja Beranek followed closely by Gina Crawford and Lisa Marangon. I was a DNF.
Run for it!!!
Despite swimming with the leaders and staying in contact with Gina and Lisa, I came off the bike and could not run. Two days after flying I knew I had caught another flu and by race day I couldn’t keep my stomach in check. I had no power and I could not run. Regardless, I kept running for awhile because I find it very difficult to pull the plug if I am in contention for a much-needed paycheck. I think at one point I was walking and asked the girls how deep the money in the race went because I was a bit delirious and couldn’t remember. This is the less glamorous reality of racing – we eat what we kill. However, I was running slower than 6:00/km due to frequent stops to run off course and there was no way I could finish so I wisely just stepped off the course. It was not what I was hoping to do at my last race of the season and although I am a bit frustrated with my immune system, what can you do. It was time for a break.
2014 was a great year. I went back to self-coaching in May of this year as I am at the stage in my career that I know what works for me. That doesn’t mean I don’t have a solid group of people to run things by and rely on to find the right path. But by June I was back on track with winning form. 3rd place and fastest bike split at Honu 70.3 in Hawaii followed by a wire to wire win and fastest bike split at Boise 70.3. Then I won the 5150 in Saskatoon and XTERRA Canada. A 4th in a stacked field at Vineman 70.3 preceded another wire to wire win at IM 70.3 Lake Stevens. A crash a week out of World Champs led to a disappointing result there but then I went back to work to race XTERRA Worlds in Hawaii and a month in Australia. I earned another wire to wire win at IM 70.3 Ballarat and 8th in Hawaii.
Someone in the media mentioned that my Ironman results are much better than my XTERRA results this year and that makes me laugh. Of course they are! I don’t focus on mountain biking anymore and really haven’t properly for a few years now. However, 8th place at XTERRA Worlds is actually quite good for an Ironman athlete. XTERRA courses are not technical so the skills and speed for this sport are much more reflective of an ITU athlete’s preparation than an Ironman athlete. I am happy that I did well with my limited preparation and now I want to continue to focus on my Ironman stuff.
I have so much love to my homestay in Melbourne Lucy and Jared. They were so much fun to hang around with and I can’t thank them enough. I miss my Melbourne family already.
I also had an incredible amount of support from Shimano Australia and Trek Bicycle Australia. Between the help from Cyclescape in Ballarat and the loaner bike from Cycles Galleria organized and facilitated by Shimano – I felt like I was right at home. Add to that the loaner wheels and trainer from Cycleops/Powertap Australia (Monza Imports) and I had everything I needed. I love you guys, thank you!
Matt at the Trek store Cyclescape in Ballarat
The crew from Cycles Galleria: Jimmy, Mark, Phil and Rich from Shimano Australia.
Thanks to Tammy from Ironman Asia Pacific for help with the logistics and planning! I really hope to be back and maybe much sooner than next fall.
And finally a thank you to Kelly Guest for being a super training partner and sounding board for my past six weeks of training. I am generally a self-coached athlete but I have been finding I need someone to work things out with. He has been a valuable friend and helped coach me with some really great advice.
So the goal now is to rest/recover/rejuventate/remotivate. I don’t know that this Australia trip went as planned, given I spent about two full weeks of it sick if you count the first 10 days and the last five days. But if someone said to you, “You are going to fly to Australia and things are not going to go as planned at all but you will win a race.” Of course you would be stoked to go. So I am super pumped.
Now I am on Oahu. I am spending a “girl week” with one of my favorite people who I am importing to crush this race this weekend. Then I guess the plan is to try to figure out how to race full Ironman. It is time because it is now or never. All I know is I will race Ironman exactly how I race every other race.. all in or down in flames. Cheers to being all in with whatever you dream up!
Thanks to my sponsors this year, I can’t do it without you! Thanks to Trek, Bontrager, Shimano, Powerbar, Rudy Project North America, Powertap, Champion System, Blueseventy, Synergy Wellness, Asics, Frontrunners Westshore, Cobb Saddles, and USANA.