By Peter Holmes on 21/09/09 at 4:47 pm
I went into this race with high expectations and optimism that I could salvage a good season through this race, as it had been a very rocky year with highs and lows; however, it just wasnâ€™t meant to be.
Going into the race, I was 11th in the series. Even after all my set backs, there was a very slim chance that I could break into the top three with a win in the final, as the race was double points. Although, my main goal was just to finish the series off on a high. The course was the standard race lumped together â€ flat and fast, which makes for fast times, but not very testing or stimulating. The only great part was the stunning setting on the beach at Southport on the Gold Coast. I had been paying special attention to my swimming. Determined to get it up to par, it paid off in the previous race where I exited third, and I was keen to back that up again with another solid swim. Unfortunately, I drew a starting spot next to the fast swimming Russians, which resulted in me getting shut out straight away, and in â€œfight modeâ€. Fortunately, I was strong and fit enough to battle my way though and put myself in a comfortable position towards the front.
Onto the bike and within a kilometre I wasnâ€™t jamming at the front. It soon became very obvious that no one was going to get away, and that it would be one large group, so I settled back into the pack. There were a few attacks throughout the 40km eight lap bike, but they were only limited to non-runners and they were only allowed so much of a break. Finally onto the run, and thatâ€™s where most of the action happened, my race started to turn sourâ€¦ The pace was taken out hard and fast, and immediately the top three positions were decided with that blistering pace. For me, it was that frustrating feeling of my legs just not wanting to work properly. This is the sort of feeling every triathlete has nightmares over. You know you are capable of running that pace, but for various reasons, itâ€™s just not going to happen todayâ€¦ I did my best to run with the chase pack for 5km, but even that was not comfortable for me and eventually faded through the field to ultimately finish in 29th.
So there we have it, a very disappointing finish to a series, which started off so well. Sport is filled with highs and lows, the highs make it so rewarding and the lows are hard times that make me more determined to succeed. I have always tried to extract the positive out of any race, whether good or bad. In fact, you almost learn more when things go wrong, rather than when they go right. Going into this year, my coach and I decided to mix things up and try a different approach to the program. We decided to focus more on my running and cut back on the biking in hopes of gaining speed. However, even subtle changes in a program can have a ripple effect down the line. Even though I was running faster, the strength I had lost on the bike was affecting my bike/run performance in races. Itâ€™s a hard lesson learned, but being a non-Olympic year, we thought it to be the opportune time.
Another thing that we have been playing with that I have been uneasy about was altitude. Itâ€™s certainly does have its place and I have gain some great results from it, however with the way the sport of ITU racing is going with the speed and intensity, I have been struggling. Also with the Championship being an eight race series, dealing with the altitude has been tricky. So I have decided to relocate my American base to Santa Cruz, CA. This place is amazing, beautiful redwood forests, great riding and located just one hour south of San Fran International, its the making for a great base. It is still three years until the next Olympics and plenty of time to find the right formula to get back onto the podium. Iâ€™m sure that there will still be many disappointing times like this between now and then, but at the same time, there will be plenty of proud moments to make all this hard work all worthwhile.
As always, thank you for all your support.