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Thursday, 12 June 2014

Been a while

Well been a while since i have done a blog and with new challenges on the horizon no time like the present to get back into the groove. Last few months has been recovery from Melbourne Ironman in march my 2nd Ironman done and dusted. This year event went great with the swim being able to complete the full distance so now questions is a shortened swim count as a full ironman erased.Finished in 11.15 so still loads of work to be done but for the amount of work i put in i was happy with my result.
Like all athletes the training takes plenty of time and commitment just to get through the day so you need the support of family and training partners for all the days you are totally stuffed after yet another hard session and thinking of backing up again the next day. My wife is my number 1 supporter so to see her at the finish chute each time is my number goal for the day.

Training partners are vital and so are coaches and you cant go past the www.teamtricoaching.com crew not only great people its a family enviroment that breeds success and head coach Xavier Coppock lead the way with 8.42 on race day. This team has no no less than 7 athletes going to the big dance KONA in 2014.

Next event for me is one with some sunshine so www.challenge-family.com/challenge-gold-goast it is. Drove over the bike leg recently while i was up on the Goldy will be a very tough race.


Friday, 8 November 2013

Berri town

With first race of the season less than 24 hours away no time like now to update my Blog. I am in South Aus to compete in the Australian long course champs in Barmera  AKA Murray Man. Lengthy drive some 7 hours on the road yesterday so was little flat when i climbed out of bed this morning.

Course recon was done firstly in the car driving over the bike course late yesterday afternoon and wind was up as a cool change was coming through. and the lake looked more like a beach with waves rolling in. Headed out on the course this morning on the bike and will be a tough day out tomorrow if wind continues. Lake Bonney looked a picture this morning and will jump in for a splash after check in completed later this afternoon. As all days before race day no time sight seeing feet up and rest up with what should be a good tough hit out tomorrow. The course is a 2 lap swim a 4 lap bike and also a 4 lap run course so plenty loops to be done.
Barmera is a buzz with all the athletes and  pasta feast tonight in Berri where we are staying  all the locals bit unsure of all the lycra wearing people taking over there little bit of paradise. Great place to hold a race good injection into the local economy with some 500 athletes and support staff in town so i am sure they wont complain to much. As i sat in the main street this morning having a brew you knew you were in the country when the radio is playing in the main street through the loud speakers.

Looking forward to tomorrow first race so will be rusty but stage 1 as we head towards Melbourne Ironman in March 2014.

You can follow the race on http://www.racetecresults.com/results.aspx?CId=16428&RId=16


Thursday, 3 October 2013

New Season ahead

With Daylight savings about to kick in for Victoria this weekend only means one thing, Tri season is well and truly underway and plenty of races on the horizon.  Since my last blog prior to Cairns Ironman i failed to start Cairns due to illness which pretty much wiped me out for 8 weeks. Has been a long road back trying to get any sort of fitness.
 A new season means a season of new goals to achieve and some news races to attack. Melbourne Ironman will be the major focus again for 2013-14 but will be doing few different lead up races this coming season. More news on the each race as they roll around. First race for the season will be the Australian long course champs in SA www.murrayman.com.au on November 10. Will be first time at this race but gets plenty of praise as a good event so looking forward to racing somewhere new . Will be updating more regularly once more information is available.

Great to finally see the sun for a change.


Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Almost that time again

Well Cairns Ironman only a 10 days away thought be the right time write another blog. Backing up from Melbourne in march was always going to be an issue of weather I had a say in what I could do based on my body bouncing back. The week after Melbourne I was on cloud 9 great buzz still in town every body talking bout the Ironman, then came week 2,3,4 then was realisation time I have to do this again in 6 weeks time.

Maintaining motivation has been the strongest hurdle due to work commitments and the disappearing sunlight these last few weeks. The training group also has dwindled down with only a few doing cairns. I have spent bit more time in the pool in recent weeks and having some 1 on 1 coaching sessions with Xavier squeezing in good sessions up and down the black line. With the outdoor swim sets switched to the indoor pool at highpoint I have been getting up to 4km sets each Monday night. We have spent more time on drills since switching to the pool which has seen my 100m splits drop from 1.45 on a 2.30 cycle to down last week completing the 100m splits in 130-1.35 on a 2.15 cycle. Other than feeling rather ark ward during the drills sets it has helped my swim stroke no end. Getting in 3 good sessions per week have been able to get between 8-10 km a week in the water.

So in the time between races I have squeezed in a couple local club cycling races which was nice change from doing long rides on the TT bike prior to Melbourne and get out and get amongst the lads and racing in a bunch. I knew I was due for a long TT day so I braved the cold and headed for a 5 hour solo mission . 2 hours into the ride and I was still thawing out headed for the nearest coffee stop. Was in Lara just out of Geelong so headed to www.rodsbakery.com.au/ do yourself a favour good coffee even better food, fuelled up and headed towards the Brisbane ranges. Legs came good after a another hour and before I knew it 3 hours down. Did few Ironman race efforts and felt comfortable so signs were positive. Sometimes you know you just need a long solo mission to get the train back on track. 5 hours I was home and pleasing part was the TT bike didn't prove uncomfortable since I barely had been on it Melbourne.

Running has been steady still getting 30 plus km avg per week  couple bigger weeks here and there. I have had few minor knee  problems since Melbourne but nothing to totally stop and impact.

No other news will keep you posted on the race end of next week but no goal in mind at Cairns other than get through another day out. Looking forward to mid winter break in Cairns also which will be nice and have my Dad up there watching for the first time which will be the my driving force behind my day out. Another story for another day but will be glad to have him there.

Will update before race day once I arrive in sunny and I mean sunny Cairns.

Cheers Damo

Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Ironman Melbourne

It was time and race week was upon us very quickly from what seemed so far away to being only matter of days away till race start.The build up all week was mixed with excitement and anticipation and doubt . Has the volume been enough, have i done the work come race week its all  about rest and enjoy the moment.
Check in opened Thursday at the official  race head quarters in St Kilda and the process . With some 2000 starters for Sundays race was good to get in early to beat the rush . Check  in complete the countdown was on till Sunday.
Friday was last chance to get in a swim at the pool to keep the arms rolling over as they say to keep the feel of the water headed down to Msac with Clayton Stairmand and Daniel Hopper . Many of the Ironman athletes in town were also there fine tuning there preparations. Swim done and dusted was home to check and triple check that i had everything packed correctly into the transition bags prior to heading down to Mornington for the last couple night beforehand. Car loaded up me and the Darl headed down the coast.
Woke up Saturday morning and could here the wind howling in of the bay at Mornington thought to myself this could make the race very interesting Sunday. Headed out for a roll Saturday morning to check all was in good working order before bike check in later in the afternoon. Race wheels checked all ready to go .

Check in can be a stressful time especially when you have to load all your race equipment into two transition bags making sure that you have not forgot anything. Check in ran smoothly and bags were racked and easy to pick out come race day . There was plenty of hype around as the swim conditions were pretty ordinary and talk of the changes to the course floating around. Suited up and went for a final swim in the ocean to test out the conditions and considering the swell that we have been in on our Monday night swim sessions at times it didn't seem to bad other than a bit cool. Left the transition area and headed for the accommodation as it was now less than 24 hours till race time.


Race morning meant early rise 5 am straight into the kitchen to prepare some breakfast . Race morning breakfast was standard cyclist breaky pasta with olive oil and small bit of cheese for some flavour. Car was loaded up and headed down to transition the nerves were starting to kick in as the realisation of what was about to begin. My bike was racked next row over from the pro men and women racks so great to be able to see them go about there work in the same area. News came over the speaker that race start had been delayed and the swim was now cut back to 1 lap due to the conditions (BINGO) as my swim isn't at the top end of the ladder. Headphones on try relax as much as possible and not get to hyped up . Finally got into the wetsuit and said my goodbyes to my wife and headed down towards the race start area. Just as i walked down realised i left my timing chip in my bag went back to find Emma and no luck so found some of the support crew who had a phone was able to get hold of Em and got my chip and headed for the water.
Race time was less than 10 minutes away the pro men were off  so not long now 2000 age groupers and some nice rough conditions was going to be crazy.The hooter went off we are underway biggest challenge in my sporting life was started . The first couple hundred meters were not able to swim at all was just a mass of people pushing there way through.
You can see on this video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=onUDyjYHzyg 
 As we headed out to the first turning can the swell was a fair size plenty of people were having fun and made the swim go bit faster as you basically forgot about the distance . On the way back in lost sight of the buoys so lost my direction at times. I could see people running along the beach so let the current take me to the beach the quickest way as was hard slog against the current and the swell. Exited the water and headed into transition grabbed my bag and found free spot in transition tent  to get sorted ready for the bike.

Rolled out onto the bike leg and straight into strong head crosswind  and we had this all the way until we got to the first turnaround. After 30 km i felt my front tyre getting soft so quickly got off and fixed the puncture with my pit stop and got going again and it seemed all ok lost a few minutes but was back rolling along. Caught a glimpse of the pro men heading back towards T2 for the first lap and they were motoring along the Eastlink freeway.Got to turnaround 45 km done then we had tail crosswind all the way back towards end of Lap 1. Great atmosphere as you came into Frankston at the turnaround massive crowd. The wind was playing havoc out on the 2 Nd lap it had turned into a westerly and some killer crosswinds. Half way along the 45km section a got another puncture on the front so the pit stop had worked  but must have been worse than first thought so ripped tyre off and put on the spare tubular i had on board. Pumped up and away we go again. By this time all i could do was just push on to the final turnaround . Coming down through the tunnel at 70 plus km/hr with your front tyre not glued on was something i had not planned on.Got threw safely and headed for Frankston. With 20 km to go i hit a rock as i had my head down and bang front tyre again. I thought what the hell is going on here today. At that stage i thought my race was over sitting on a guardrail on the east link freeway , not what i had pictured for my days ending. Race official came past and said they would get service to me as quick as possible. The moto arrived with no wheel so handed my front wheel over and he said they would be back. I had already been sitting there for some time so what a few more minutes. Moto was back gave me a wheel and i could continue to finish this thing off. Was hard on the head when you see all these people riding pass that you passed earlier in the day. But i was lucky enough to get a wheel and continue to finish this race.Finally back into T2 now to turn the body into a marathon runner .

T2 went smoothly shoes on fuel belt loaded and away i headed out onto the run. No matter what distance in triathlon you do the change from bike to run is a weird feeling legs are ticking over but they are still unsure what the hell is going on. Got into good rhythm early so just tried to keep that and keep up the hydration . The first 16 - 18 km along the Napean Highway was like the road that never ended but km were ticking over. My first goal in the run was to get  to the special needs bag aid station at half way as i knew the back end of the run was going to be where the race started. Reloaded with nutrition at the special needs station and headed towards the back end of the race. The race route along the coast was great and just made the km tick by until you had take a sharp right hand turn up the hill. This was very painful and i cramped at the top and sent me into panic mode thinking i don't want to be cramping 15 km from the finish. From that point i made sure that i was taking on as much hydration and fuel as i could. I hit black rock where a good mate was with his family (Dave , Katherine and Sophie Tozer) was great to see a familiar faces and high 5s all round. After many a lap up and down beach road on the bike i knew not long to go know. The stretch between 25km - 33km mark i was struggling a bit but kept pushing on as we had always been told even if you jog along its always going to be quicker than walking . The final few aid stations were pumping ,music going so was great feeling that the journey was nearing the end. As i hit the 36km mark i could  hear some one say my name  from behind and it was Clayton AKA Chirpy my training partner in crime these last few months. We shared few battle stories for the next few minutes until he was running away so i said will see you at the finish as i was just ticking along at my pace. Hit the 40km mark and remembering the race from last year the crowd was awesome and as we come round the corner a huge crowd present and the support was awesome i was minutes away from completing the day. Some 5 hours ago i was stranded on the eastlink freeway thinking my day was over. Turned off the beach front towards the finish chute and could see that  finish line. As i ran up the last 200 m found my wife who has been supporting me everyday for the last 8 months during this journey gave her a high 5 and crossed the finish line in 11.07.51. Fair day out !!!!!.

The feeling you get when you run up that finish area and Mike Rielly the legendary commentator calling your name is something else. Added bonus getting presented your finishers medal by the current Hawaiian Ironman champ Pete Jacobs capped off a great day out.

This has been a absolute great journey to complete a life long goal. Yeah the swim was not the full distance but as Mike Rielly said at the presentation night if any one says your not an Ironman tell them to give me a call.

Big thanks
Training crew Xavier (coach) Ben Robbo, Jason Dwyer, Tom Lazuras, Steve Backhouse, Jerome  Peyton,Daniel Hopper, Kane Roach , Clayton Stairmand,Adam McCarthy. and anyone else along the journey.

Andrew Christie Johnson & Steve Price Owners Directors Huon Genesys pro cycling team for the bike equipment.

Toby Glennon   Sportsmyo  Keeping my body working

But most of all big thanks to my darling wife who has had to put up with early mornings , long training days and basically everything else that is involved to get to this day.

Cheers Damo


Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Geelong Half Ironman

Well after months of training and planning race weekend  had finally arrived and few nerves were starting to sink in about the challenge ahead on race day. With training straight through the event with next to no taper the ultimate question for all athletes is, How will my body go and the extra pressure of being first time over the distance there is always the element of doubt. Within the training group at www.triathlonandmultisportcoaching.com.au plenty of my training partners had completed several half and full ironman events in previous years so that help reassure that the training we had all been completing in the previous months was enough money in the bank for pay day.

Saturday check in day  the crew got together for ride out over the bike course so we were all familiar with the transition and start of the bike leg as rather technical early on with a lot of twist and turns to get out onto the open roads.This was also good chance to get familiar with the 12m drafting rule required during the bike leg. I knew the roads as previously lived in Geelong and had trained several times over the race course so no real surprises for me mainly looking for potholes and sections of the course that were better to ride than others. On return from ride we headed down to the expo area on Geelong waterfront precinct to collect race bag goodies and get most important item the race number.
Next step was to go rack the bikes after placing all the required race numbers to bikes and race wheels checked over as bikes to be racked overnight . Once the transition was opened it was seagulls scrabbling for a fresh hot chip (chaos) as everyone wanted to have the same rack and with a first in best dressed approach the real estate was prime property. 1600 people into 1 rack usually would not fit but you will be surprised how some people try and cut in on your property. Bikes racked plenty of space for shoes / towel/ fuel belt etc was ready to roll for race start in less than 24 hours time.

Sunday Race day was upon us and with a 7 am start was early rise as decided to stay at home the night before with only a 30 min drive  down to Geelong so 4.30 wake up breakfast and hit the road for 5.15 to be in Geelong for the opening of transition at 5.45am. With race start at 7 i was hoping to have my race down by half 12  so a race time of 5.30 as a predicted race time. Few things to be done first up  pump tyres set up shoes in the area set aside from yesterday only to turn up and some tool  has jammed his bike in the middle so next to no room for anything. Triathletes they are a different breed and now i am one of them (well part time anyway for next couple months). Tyres all done equipment layed out nutrition loaded up on the bike ready to roll. Transition is chaos as everyone half asleep still people every where so time to get out of there. The standard 1km line up for the toilets isn't the best feeling luckily enough i missed the Que and was suited up ready to pull on the wetsuit and put the toes in the water . Headed over to swim start area to give myself plenty of time to warm up as i was first wave off the start line after the pro men and women.

Race is underway and head out into the water  to start the swim. In recent weeks i have had some shoulder issues and have struggled in the water more than normal so was not enjoying the early stages of the swim. Stayed with my age group heading out to the first swim cans then i hit a wall with my arms/ shoulders really struggled to get any rotation and my swim stroke was less than ordinary. With faster age groups coming through from the back was good chance to find some feet and sit on best i could for as long as i could and at stages this was not possible. As we headed for home was great to see land and the finish area was looking forward to ending the swim . One thing we have been training a lot on is time in transition areas use the dry land to make up time so this was firm in my mind as if i could pick up 30 secs here would be a bonus after a garbage swim. Dry land you bloody beauty wetsuit 3/4 down so limited the time to take off when at my bike. Ran through transition hard and got to my bike to find my coach going through the motions of heading out on the bike so good to see familiar face early on. Transition 1 went fairly well no issues and headed out on the bike. The bike exit was jammed packed so just had to wait in turn to get through . Jumped on at the mounting area and we are away, with early technical section through the Geelong gardens was important to get away to good clean start. As we headed out there was massive packs of cyclists on the narrows roads was almost  impossible to avoid but keeping in mind the drafting rules the last thing i wanted to do is spend 4 mins in the penalty box so i hung back and kept my distance . The bike leg was  pretty quick early on so controlled myself as time trialing isn't my strongest discipline . The first lap went really quick and my hydration was going well as the bike is good time to take on food and fluids to prepare for later in the day. The wind was starting to spring up towards the back end of the bike leg so was time to conserve the energy for the run in the back half so i could get off and get into my rhythm. As i rolled into transition took quick look at my Garmin to see 2.27 so was happy with the time as i had not pushed the bike full gas to have some run legs left. Another smooth transition was needed onto the run . Bike racked helmet off grab the fuel belt and away we go 21.1 km left to travel. Once out onto the run course was great to see all the training group at different stages during the bike but that was at quicker pace. First few km in the run was strange feeling as legs were working just didn't feel like it few looks at the watch to ensure i was not over racing (not much chance of that) The run was a 2 loop course threw the gardens at eastern beach and i had plenty of people flying past early on but i stuck to my race plan and continued at my own pace that i knew i could be comfortable at. Lap 1 was down and my hydration plan wearing my fuel belt paid off as i didn't have to rely on stopping at aid stations and was comfortable using the same products as i had throughout the training sessions previous. This was  a good learning for the upcoming Ironman Melbourne. Passed through the transition area and headed for the last few km of the run to finish off my first half ironman. All was going well until we hit the 20km marker when we had to run up a steep walking path felt like i was running on the spot. This was a talking point from all people racing on the day(how steep was that hill) hit the 1km to go sign and good mate Dom Toole from back home in Rocky passed me so that gave me some extra energy to try stick with him in the last km of the race. Come down the finish shoot to see 5.02 something on the clock and i knew that my age group had started 3 mins behind the pros as i crossed the finish line i seen a high 5.03 so was just over the 5 hour mark. Official race time of 5.00.26 so missed the 5 hour mark by 26 sec and as most athletes do they start to think what could have i done to get that 26 sec back.

I had gone just under 30 mins better than first expected  so more than happy to have firstly complete my first half and know that the training i have been doing will definitely help me achieve my goal on March 24 of completing an Ironman.

As i type this its less that 28 days to go so in the final phase of training and looking forward to the Melbourne Ironman.

Big thanks to Xavier Coppock who has coached me through the whole process one more stage to go .

Cheers Damo

Tuesday, 5 February 2013

First Half Ironman Ready to Roll

With Melbourne only some 7 weeks away the time is fast approaching to take on one of life's ultimate challenges to complete an ironman  distance triathlon. To undertake this event planning and training a like needs to be well thought out combined with lead up races to prepare. With Geelong half ironman on the calendar some 7 weeks out from Melbourne is an ideal lead up event.

Geelong Urban Long Course will be my first journey over this distance 1.9 km swim / 90 km bike / 21.1 km run will let me know where i am at with my prep for Melbourne Ironman. With the training group i have been putting in some solid training to ensure the distance and time frame will be well and truly covered on race day. In recent weeks we have spent many hours in the hills out Kinglake area and pounding the pavement with some good 2 hour plus runs to get good quality miles in the legs for race day.

My objective is to complete the race on Sunday and getting through in good shape as a learning lesson for what is to come in 6 weeks time. I am lucky enough to be off in the first swim wave as are all the 35 - 39 Males so this will hope fully help me in the swim with the faster groups swimming past to get onto some feet to help pull through the swim leg. The bike course is little technical early as we head out of transition and out of the eastern gardens but once we exit the gardens its nice wide open roads and with the wind looking ok at this stage should make for a solid bike leg. The  run is all based around the eastern gardens precinct and finishing along Geelongs waterfront area so very picturesque area to take the mind off the pain. All going well should be great day out and take another large step to completing my first Ironman event in march.

Good luck to all the TMC crew who we have been training with over these last few months race day is here.

Cheers Damo