Monday, 9 June 2008


So, here we are... it's close to midnight on our final day in Canada and our North American adventure has more than lived up to it's promise. Last week's blog entry was written through bleary jet-lagged eyes... since then I've done nearly 60 miles of running in 20 hours of training and watched not only H but a load of great friends give it everything for Great Britain, and I'm yet again ready to crash in to bed at the end of an amazing week.

I've talked many times before about the positive effect achieved by surrounding yourself with amazing people who have the ability to inspire through their achievements and the last few days have demonstrated this to the extreme. Arriving on Thursday to a wet and windswept Vancouver, and finding ourselves in quite the opposite environment from our training paradise of Cordova Bay, confirmed we'd made the right decision to stay out of town for the first half of our trip. With racing getting under way on friday morning though it wasn't too long before I was surrounded by motivation! I've never known anyone able to push themselves as hard as our mate Daz and with GBR on his chest for the first time he didn't disappoint, crossing the line 9th in his age group (35-39 sprint distance) and emotional as ever. As H has already said, the water in Vancouver was a balmy 11.8 degrees and with air temps the lowest in June since records began I was kitted out in all the warm clothing I could find, all wrapped up in a water-proof jacket and hiding under a brolly... an for the first time ever I was really happy to be holding the coats ;) 

Arriving at the swim start for H's race on Saturday morning (6am) things didn't look too bad but by the time she hit the water the weather had taken a serious turn for the worse with good size waves rolling in and bitter winds chilling me to the bone (through my Himalayan levels of protective clothing). Twenty one minutes later and she was out of the water and flying round Stanley Park in nothing more than a thin lycra tri-suit and bike shoes designed for the scorching hot lava fields of Hawaii! The pictures really don't do the conditions justice, but the large number of runners who still had the bike helmets on due to their hands being rendered useless by the cold certainly did... and by the time H was on to the run the race organisers had taken the decision to cancel the swim section for all remaining races, which would then be run as 3k/40k/10k duathlons

I always have been and always will be extremely proud of H, just for being H... but travelling to another continent and cheering her round one of the toughest events I've seen (picture a swim, bike, run version of Tough Guy) whilst representing our country against top age-groupers from around the word really was something else. If I can get somewhere close to matching her levels of passion, determination and focus then four weeks from today my blog entry will be pretty special. 

Today then was a chance for both of us to kick back a little (I did a nice 22 mile run after yesterday's race) and watch the world's elite triathletes battle it out for the senior and under-23 world titles. Alistair was first up for GB in the men's under 23 event and having struggled to get his shoes on in T2 lost around 15 places and in the process had us worried for a bit... 2k into the run however and normal service was resumed with 'Yorkshire' yet again storming to gold. By this stage the GB age-group team was lining the course and cheered on by constant shouts of encouragement Helen Tucker won our second gold of the day taking victory in the senior women's race by just four seconds having broken clear on the bike and spending the entire run shoulder to shoulder with a girl from the states. With those two following on from Kirsty McWilliams' gold in the junior girls and Al's brother Johnathan taking bronze in the junior boys event the future of British Triathlon has never looked better :) 

What about me? This week has seen some serious training in all three disciplines and with an easy week before and after next weekend's UK half-ironman and then just two weeks to Frankfurt the hard work is basically done! Yesterday's 22 mile run was really comfortable and averaging just under 7:20 per mile my running feels just about where it needs to be with four weeks to go. With a weak swim at Wetherby two weeks ago I wanted to work on my open water technique during this trip and with nearly three hours total swimming in Elk Lake over the last seven days I've made some good progress... 1900 metres in Wimbleball next Sunday will provide some great, albeit last minute, feedback. As far as the bike goes, my legs have been tired and I've hardly set the world on fire recently but I've got too many good sessions in the bank to doubt my ability to break five hours for 112 mdot miles. Overall I feel very fatigued but very fit... a good place to be with 28 days in which to reduce my training load and hit the German start line in the shape of my life.

The title of this entry sums up 2008 for H and I and as one adventure comes to an end another starts.... by the time I post again I'll have flown back across the Atlantic, had a couple of days to catch up on work, clean the bike and stock up on kit, driven over 200 miles south to Exmoor and competed in perhaps the toughest 70.3 race there is, hopefully taking down a pro or two in the process. Hopefully I'll swim 30 minutes ride 2.55 and run 1.35 to get close to (or break) five hours for all three and set myself up for a 21 day taper to Ironman.

Today's photo? My one true inspiration ;)

Right, I really must get to bed...

See you in seven,


1 comment:

Khara Mills said...

Hey Tom
Well you've certainly put the work in over the last few months (and years) and it sounds like everything is coming together just at the right time for Germany, which is fantastic and all down to your complete dedication. Vancouver sounds like it's been an incredible trip/event for both of you, you must be so proud of your girl. Best of luck for the weekend in Exmoor, can't wait to hear the next chapter of this very long and amazing journey.
See you soon
Khara :-)