2008, March - The Long Way Around & Down

That’s Natalie below a sky instructor at 15,000 feet. She had to take oxygen in the plane on her way up for the last 5,000 feet. The skies over Queenstown (New Zealand) were like that for our entire time there – blue, warm and beautiful. Nats wanted to do something symbolic before our return to South Africa. She thought jumping out of a plane, attached to a stranger she had just met, would do the trick.


I took one month off following Ironman Western Australia doing little to no exercise. My body needed the healing. And I got to spend quality time with the family. However, the bug is always there. What do I need to do, to make sure I can come back strong next season? I had plenty of time to speak to my fellow Ironfolk out there for their thoughts on how I could plaster the flaws in my training. And I had plenty of time to read books and learn about what others have done to get to the top.

My suggestions for your triathlon libraries:

Peter Snell: From Olympian To Scientist
The Arthur Lydiard-trained Snell surprised the world by winning the 800 metres at the Rome Olympics in 1960, followed by the gold at the 1964 Olympics in Tokyo in the 800 and 1500 metres. The small town Kiwi explains how he went from being an elite athlete to a scientist.

Hamish Carter Get Carter
This is the tale of another Kiwi Olympian. Hamish Carter explains how he won the Olympic Gold at Athens in 2004. Inspiring stuff.

From Lance to Landis - Inside the American Doping Controversy at the Tour de France
I’ll let you guys decide on this one. It’s a must read if you ever enjoyed Rough Ride or Breaking the Chain. I’ve never been able to wear my yellow wrist bracelet since.

Aside from filling up my mind with stories of what it takes to be the best, I started running again on New Year’s day with my good friend, Brett, starting a series of great runs in various parts of the world.

My most memorable runs were:
- Running with Brett in Frenchs Forest, Sydney
- Going up Mount Wellington in Auckland, New Zealand
- Beach running in north Auckland and saying hi to Jo Lawn and Cameron Brown (!!), 45 days before they both retained their Ironman New Zealand titles
- Running in a pair of shorts in minus 10 degrees centigrade in Carthage, Missouri
- Winter running over the Brooklyn Bridge to the Empire State Building
- Spewing on a wine farm run in Stellenbosch after having over-imbibed at a luncheon
- Plodding up Ou Kaapse Weg, Cape Town:- the mountain path of the Argos Bike race.

My aims for the year were to settle down in Johannesburg before getting stuck into any new athletic endeavours. I’m still pondering on whether to do the Comrades Marathon (90km ultra marathon) or a winter of cycling. I’m torn between doing what I think I need to do to take my triathlon to the next level, and being social.

At the moment, I’m gathering data on what is required to train in this beautiful city. To avoid the sun and aggressive traffic, cycling and running is done in the early morning or on the turbo trainer. There are countless options for swimming, however few training teams. I’ll have to see what I can do about that.

Plato summed it up best: For a man to conquer himself is the first and noblest of all victories.

Train safe,

No comments:

Post a Comment