Since my last entry I have had a pretty amazing week. I was completely blown away to discover post race that I had managed to win the 30-34 age group last week at the Laguna Phuket Triathlon. I thought I was chasing a group of guys all day but it turned out they were in the 35-39 age group (they must take good care of themselves). The race itself was as epic as I remember it being. The bike course was almost an exact opposite (with some slight modifications) which gave it some nice variety. If you read last week, I talked about how easy I found the hills when I rode them last week. I certainly did not find them very easy on race day. But I was delighted to run quite well off the bike. In fact, my swim and run splits were much faster than my 2015 time and while the bike course was shorter and different, my average speed was over 3km/h faster than last year. All real positives for me. To top the race off with another age group win was fantastic. I really wanted to make a podium again this year in a triathlon and have come frustratingly close at several races ( I think I have come 4th 3 times). So it really was a great start to my time here in Thailand.
So this weekend I am tackling the new Thailand 70.3. The race is completely different to the old Challenge Phuket. The only similarity is that athletes need to dismount their bikes and run over a pedestrian bridge. It really isn't that big a deal as all athletes need to do it, but some of the comments on line have been quite funny. so what am I expecting tomorrow? I hate to give the 'stereotypical' answer but I really don't know. My swim has really been all over the place. I feel like I am biking very strong at the moment and have adapted to the heat very well which should make my run much better than previous years. I will break character a bit and put something out there. I want to make the podium tomorrow. I really do not care if it is 1, 2 or 3 but to get up there in the age group would be really rewarding. Will I be crushed if I don't? Absolutely not. I am always so grateful just to be able to do the things I can now do, especially in a location as beautiful as Phuket. It is funny but I have had a few people ask me the same question this week about my weight loss. People ask me what was the moment that I decided to make a change. The truth is completely un-sexy. I didn't. I wasn't struck by lightning and suddenly determined to make sweeping changes to my life. It just sort of happened. So that is one of the reasons why I am able to race happy, even when things don't go the way I want them to.
I am super curious to see what sort of performance I am able to deliver tomorrow. I will be giving it everything I have as I always do. I know there are a number of very strong athletes here racing in my age group. One of the guys I am really excited to share the course with tomorrow is a Dutch guy called Kelvin. Kelvin, with his wife, Marloes, are travelling the word for 12 months and training and racing. Apart from being two of the nicest people I have met in a long time, I love that they are grabbing life by the horns and having a go. They are writing about their trip on their site projectsixsix.com (some dutch - crazy bloody language and some english.) Anyway, Kelvin is a very similar level to me and is chasing a slot to the 2017 70.3 World Championships. I know how exciting that can be and am excited to see how he goes tomorrow. It would be fantastic to share the podium with him. But back to me (this is all about me anyway), I have tried to carry some form from my last few weeks but I really feel like this race has so many unknown elements. The first part of the bike is quite tricky and the pedestrian bridge will also impact speeds. I am just going to focus on my own race and as my coach told me before Sunny Coast, not let my ego get the better of me. I know by now I am able to run quite well off the bike in the heat. But in order to do that I cannot be sucked into the trap of over-biking. So that is what I am planning to do. I will be watching my power numbers tomorrow and will make sure I ride to the conditions. I think that if I race smart I do have the potential to drop a decent time. This is 70.3 racing though and anything can happen. I think it is going to be a race which will need a decent race report so I promise to put one together next week.
I also wanted to give an update on how I used the meditation last week before the race. I managed to fit in a decent 30 minutes of meditation Saturday evening last week and had a good nights sleep. I also managed to spend most of the bus trip to the race calming my mind and I absolutely felt better for it. I will be following the same protocol today and tomorrow and hopefully I have the same success.
So whatever happens tomorrow I know the race is going to be as tough as always. It is actually going to be my 19th 70.3. Even writing that I am a little shocked. So that's all there really is left to do. Go out tomorrow, follow my race plan and make sure I enjoy the experience.
Have a good weekend, track me (number 179) tomorrow and remember to TRI!