Thursday, July 5, 2007

Taking Some Downtime in the USA

Well Quelle Challenge Roth is over for another year and I am finally back in the USA taking some downtime. I had a great time this year in Germany. I was very much excited about the event and despite being a little apprehensive about the change in my training program for the race, it ended up going very well.

I wanted to really have a solid crack at the World Record and was quietly confident that I could get it if the day went well and conditions were great. My training up to the event was flawless and my focus on speed and staying fresh so as not to hamper any of my Hawaii preparation left me in good spirits and mentally and physically very fresh.

The races in the lead up to Roth were perfect and I knew I was running and riding very well. My swim had been exceptional and deep down inside I really thought it would be possible to break the world record.

To go sub 8 you have to have a great day. To go sub 7:55 you have to have an exceptional day. I woke up race morning and felt great and my race went really well. Thomas Hellriegal was really strong for the first half of the race and kept the pace very solid through the hills and along the country field roads on the bike section. I was really strong for the rest of the race and in the 2nd 90km of the bike I really put the hammer down and only Thomas could follow which was great. I rode with a 55cm Chainring this year and the new Specialized bike was a rocket. I just kept looking for more gears and felt really strong all through the hills and along the flat sections late in the bike. I think this is where the damage was done and how the time was so fast. The last 40km of the bike was lightning fast. I dont think I have ever riden a bike as hard as I did for the last 40km of this bike course. We managed to break the field and I was really happy with my 4:16 bike split. Thomas actually told me after the race that he believed this was the best he has ever ridden a bike and despite the fact that he had ridden a 4:14:47 in 1997 when the world record was set, today’s ride was much harder as the wind was very strong on the 2nd lap of the bike. I must admit I got off the bike and my legs were a little weary. I really wanted to push the bike hard, as being in Germany they are so into hard biking and I really wanted to make a point to show that if I wanted to I can ride a bike as good if not better than anyone racing today on the Ironman circuit. It was as much for my own satisfaction as it was to send a message to a few people. I think the ride in Roth was great for me and I got off the bike very happy with my efforts and more so very happy with what Thomas had said about how tough the bike was and how fast we were riding.

On the run I knew I just had to get my rhythm and the record was a possibility. I had to run a 2:42 marathon which I know I can do. I have run a 2:40 marathon off the bike so I just believed it was possible. With about 4 miles to go I really started struggling and I knew the record would be missed. I was happy to walk the last 500 meters and enjoy the moment, and to cross the line with the 3rd fastest time of all time was great. I was very happy with my days efforts and very happy with where I am in my season so far. I have had a great season up to this point and am really focusing now on Hawaii success.

My family arrived in USA on July 2nd and we have been relaxing in San Diego. I am heading up to Santa Barbara to have a look around on July 6 before taking my entire family to Disneyland for three days. On Wednesday night, July 11 we have the ESPY’s Sports award on in Los Angeles which will be a great night. I am really looking forward to going this year. It is the ESPN sports awards night and is a great Red Carpet affair and all the worlds’ big sports stars go. It is a great chance to meet some of your sporting idols and I really enjoy the night. This year my wife and I are both going so we have organized a babysitter for our children and will enjoy the evening. We fly out to Boulder for the summer on the next day so training begins after this.

So that’s about all that has happened since Roth. I am doing nothing at all. I watched the Frankfurt Ironman and it was great to see Timo Bracht do so well. He is a solid athlete and I guy I have raced numerous times in Roth. He is a real talent and to see him step up from last years 2nd place was awesome. I would really like to see him do well in Hawaii as he is a lovely guy with great family values. He has a young family and to juggle racing and family is tough and I respect that a lot. Hawaii is just around the corner and soon all this will be forgotten and it will be Kona time. I am really excited about this years event. I am just eager to get back into training and begin the preparation for the race. The altitude training is just awesome and carrying that into Kona is something I am really interested in seeing. I look forward to it.

Anyway I better end it there. My youngest daughter Sienna has just woken up and I have to go and grab her..
Safe training everyone,

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