Friday, 14 May 2010
the club la santa lifestyle...
This time next week i'll be wearing a plastic competitors wrist band, handing over my transition bags and racking the Goblin (AKA the Mean Green Machine - naming bike seems to be a 'girl thing'; i thought it was just my daft sister, but I'm guilty too - and encouraged by female friends) on what is usually the busy beach -front road at Peurto del Carman. This time though, i'll be racking next to the likes of bella, tara norton, hilary biscay, cat morrison...to pick just a few of this year's impressive line up, and wearing a wrist band that distinguishes me as a professional athlete. Whilst hugely exciting to be finally here, about to measure myself against some real quality athletes, it's pretty daunting and I have to keep reminding myself that aside from the two -digit race number i'll be wearing it still just the same race for me. I've raced well here twice as an age grouper, placing top 10 overall each time, and know and enjoy ( most of) the course. I've put in plenty of decent training since my injury at the beginning of the year and my targets for this race are based on personal improvement rather than ranking. I've not raced for a long time, so have no real measure of where that training has got me, but this is where faith in myself, my coach and the process comes in. Even so it's hard not to get a bit freaked, here at Club la Santa where we now find ourselves bumping into famous pro triathletes at every turn...and of course they all look dead fit, tanned, purposeful and confident. I'm doing my best to give off the same vibe, dedicating plenty of time to the sun lounger and swiss ball - but it's kinda hard in the pool (pro ironman athlete soup) where there's nowhere to hide my inferior splashings around! But enough of that sort of thinking for now, Carritt.
It's been a great week here - good to be located at this side of the island this week so the hilly north portion of the island is more accessible, and it does not require such a lengthy ride to go and work out on the more challenging climbs (and descents) of the ironman route. i've been using the flat 2.8km loop of the lagoon for some good pace measured runs, as well as the groovy blue track. The gym is well equipped and i'm still using it 2-3times weekly, albeit with reduced load on each of my exercises. the pool is glorious on a sunny afternoon, though we have been in the habit of using it when it opens at first light when its less populated and we can be fairly sure of at least a lane between 2 of us, if not a lane each. of course the reason for the emptiness at this time is that is pretty cold, which i am sure makes the water slower! today with the wind up, my teeth were chattering after an hour and i quit my set. Observing the absence of the low body-fat star triathlete troop in the water this morning I cursed my poor planning, but reflected that this aside for the facilities here, its a great opportunity to watch and learn for me! With commitment and hard work anyone can get fit - the pros commit more, work harder, get fitter,of course - but what really sets the best above the good is the mental aspect, focus, belief, positivity and knowing when its better to wait for a bit of sunshine before committing to a long swim set rather than sticking rigidly to a plan.
Apart from Steven and Russ, who do most of their training in tandem with me joining them very occasionally but more often just for meals, i've had good company in a group from Thames Turbo's race team which included Jon from Powerbar and his wife, Aurelie a masseur (The TriTouch) who specializes in triathletes. I enjoyed a couple of pacey rides with the boys Jon, Nick and Tom - the latter pair are short course stars with a style of riding which i'd describe as hard on the flats and machocistic on hills! Oh I did enjoy the change after 2hrs though ;o). Through the week Aurelie has been a super star - i received very special treatment in the form of 4 massages through the week, interspersed between her dance, aerobics, pilates and jumping around classes, and feel great for it. I'm a little worried that now i'm addicted! As their first time on the island, they all really enjoyed it, and i am hoping to persuade them to join us again early next year on an EverydayTraining camp which is in the planning watch this space! (www.everydaytraining.org.uk)
I went and introduced myself to Isabella, the race organizer who is a lovely lady with a genuine and fun sense of humour. I appreciated her making time for a chat despite how busy she must be right now - the WTC rule changes and the additional entries that she's taking in teh pro field as a result of people missing IM SA because of the ash cloud. i also met Bob Foy - sports photographer and friend to the pros who choose this race, and we have arranged to do my first photo shoot on sunday. That's pretty exciting - who secretly does not dream of that?! Better clean my bike, and invest a bit more time on the sun deck and swiss ball !!
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