Sunday, August 1, 2010

As the NZ tri-season looms closer I’m pleased to announce that finally I have got to the bottom of my knee injury sustained in December whilst preparing for the Mt Half. Following an appointment with the living legend Dr Matt Brick, I had an MRI scan to establish what exactly was happening in the knee. It turns out I have ripped a chunk of bone away from the Patella. Totally different than first thought and if I want to run again will require surgery to repair it. I am booked in to have this procedure done with Matt on the 31st August in Auckland . It will force me to have 2 weeks away from any Swimming or Cycling, the running a little more difficult to predict, anywhere from 3 weeks to 12. This does not bode to well for the running races I had planned to do between now and the summer but I will still be able to complete most of the cycling events I wanted to do. All going to plan I will be ready for the Taupo Half IM and the Mt and then onto Ironman. I will take my time with the ramp up following the surgery with IMNZ as the main focus.

It is great to have finally found the real issue, a little disappointing that all the work I had done to fix other diagnosis was a waste of my time. I had worked really hard to correct Patella Femoral Syndrome, not wonder there was no improvement! No matter, time to look forward and get excited about the summer.

I have been training well in the pool and on the bike over the last month. A PB 1km TT in the pool and some time in a Flume (see pics) were the swimming highlights.
On the bike I raced the Craters Classic MTB race (40km 95% single track) that was my first real MTB race. Good fun and I surprised myself over a very technical course being closer to (and also beating some) talented riders. My 29 inch clunker was not the ideal “steed” for the course but great for strength work. I ended up 9th overall and 6th in the Open Men’s Division.
I have also done 3 of the local Tuesday night races. We are lucky enough to use the Taupo Motor Sport Track with A-Grade doing 7 laps (approx 20km all up), and B-grade 6. This is in the dark so good lights essential! The 2nd and 3rd races were very solid for me being the fasted on track with week 2 the best soloing 4 laps to catch the B-Grade with a lap to spare. Good fun and excellent top-end training. I’m planning to do the Waka-Roc 3 race series....
...this month and finishing it off with the King of the Crank, a 40km Road, 20km MTB double...
This should be a really fun event, there’s only one tactic for me and that’s to go from the gun to get as much time in as possible over the MTB-ers before we hit the single track. This race is two days before my surgery so I will be suitably toasted and ready for a good rest.

Tune in next month for an update on my surgery:)


Monday, June 28, 2010

Step one, enter IMNZ

Big news this month with Saucony and Smith's Sport Shoes; both confirmed new shoe and apparel sponsors. Very exciting, especially after just receiving a new box of kit to head out the door in! A big thanks to Chris and Mike for all their help and belief. I am really looking forward to working with both teams going forward:)

IMNZ 2011, it's on, I'm committing and am pretty excited about getting back on the start line in March. IMNZ 2010 was the first one I have missed since 2003, during the race I wasn't at all upset about not racing and really enjoyed being out there cheering on all the people I knew that were racing. It was great to see the other side of the day, damn exhausting and full credit to those who help out and support the race every year. I was blown away by the crowd at the start. It was massive, I had no idea it was 3 deep all the way down to the "hole in one" pontoon.
When I woke up Sunday morning I was gutted, more like jealous of all those who completed it the day before. A totally different emotion than expected and I knew then I had unfinished business.

Since then I have been working hard on my swimming technique and riding 5-6 times per week. I have been having some reoccurring issues with my knee that I injured pre Mt Half so am seeing Dr. Matt Brick early next week to try to get to the bottom of the problem. The running I had been doing felt great but I could feel the injury creeping in, so have only been doing light running. It will be great to see a specialist and develop a new plan forward with it.

I lined up in the Tour of Taranaki, a 5 stage cycle race held in rural Taranaki. I raced B-Grade as I hadn't been in a cycle race since K2 2008, lining up in A-Grade would have been a mistake as B-Grade was hard enough! Totally different to what I'm used to with the massive swings in power output and tactical riding. I became stronger as the Tour went, only losing time on the leaders in Stage 3. Stage 5 was my best, breaking away several times to try to get away and make up the time lost earlier on the leaders. It wasn't to be, but a fantastic experience and great training to improve my power and strength for this summer's Tri-Season. I was really happy with how my titanium Litespeed handled and performed. With race wheels on there cannot be many lighter bikes out there, a great bike to ride so a big thanks to David and the team at Bike Fixation for the continuing support. I'm hoping to return next year, this time lining up in A-Grade. The pics below are of me at the prologue start, I fared well in this, even whilst riding my Road Bike with no aero-bars. I will definitely take the TT bike next year to mix it with the A-Grade guys better.

Below is a list of what I plan to do through the winter and then into the Tri-season. No overseas races this year, I want to keep it local and get my health and fitness up to its peak. The main goals are to defend my Taupo Half IM title, regain my NZ Champ status at the Mt Half in January, then be a contender at IMNZ in March. A course PB is my minimum expectation, this would have placed me 5th this year, although I long for a podium finish.

June, Tour of Taranaki June 6th-8th
July, Okororire Fun Ride, Craters Classic MTB race
August, Mizuno 1/2 Marathon, N-Duro 50km MTB race
September, Taupo-Napier Cycle Classic, Onehuga 1/2 Marathon
October, Motu 160 MTB/Road challenge, K2 Cycle Challenge
November, Round the Lake Cycle Classic, Karapiro 1/2 IM or, Rotorua National Series Tri
December, Taupo 1/2 IM, Surfbreaker Sprint Tri
January, Mt Half IM
February, Kinloch Tri
March, NZIM, Auckland 1/2IM

A busy schedule! Most of these races are in fact training sessions, there are really 3 key races as mentioned above.

That's all for now, tune in again soon for race reports and updates each month.