Motivation needed? Not now


November 4th, 2009 by



Last week when I had a wander around Lance’s bike shop here in Austin, Mellow Johnny’s, I took the below picture of this even more famous picture. I have it framed on my wall at home in fact. I see it every morning when I wake up for swimming. – Sometimes it doesn’t work I am afraid!! However …. now it’s less than 10 days till the showdown in Clearwater. The World Champs no less. There is no need for a glance at Lance (see what I did there?!) climbing a French Col to get me out the door I can tell you 🙂

Training since the Longhorn 70.3 here in Austin has been bang on. I was due to leave here for St Pete on Friday of last week in fact, but I quickly realised that staying here in Texas was going to be a much better training base for my pre Clearwater needs. The big tick in the box was the chance to train with Ritchie Cunningham and his training buddy Pat Evoe.  I knew Ritchie lived here in Austin now, having moved down to the warmer climes from Boston during the summer, but you never know whether folk are keen to welcome a newbie into the fold. Plus I didn’t want to get in the way of what is clearly a good routine (he won in easy-street fashion last w/e) at this late stage before the biggest race on our calendar.

It’s been a blast so far. – Austin is (much like much of urban America i guess) fairly spread out … and this is what I still struggle to get my head around when in the US. Nothing is generally that close and travel time can seem like a drag. But, I know we are just spoilt at home in Stirling, and hey, its not 25C with the clearest blue sky imaginable EVER in  November in ‘The Shire’ ! So i’m sucking the travel up. – Especially with the loan of Ritchies’ funy little (but pretty powerful i might add) scooter. – More on that tomorrow I think.

Ritchie is not only preparing for Clearwater, and defending his podium spot from last year, but he has bitten off an even bigger bite in the shape of Ironman Arizona the week later. Or 8 days later as Ritchie keeps reminding me! Rather him than me is all I’ll say. The upshot of that scenario is that he is in wicked shape and totally motivated to get great training sessions in each of these last few crucial days, plus Pat is gearing up for the new Ironman event in Cozumel, Mexico a week later. – Between the two of them it is ON in training! (Especially on the bike … I now realise I don’t ride hard enough when I train!) Many might subscribe to the train of thought that “if it’s not in the bag by now it never will” … but I don’t agree … I am coming good day by day by hanging onto their coat tails and it’s a great feeling to still have next week to freshen up and get over the last bit of travel into Florida.

I’ve learned a lot from being here these past 2 weeks, and I am sure I will come back to train again. The whole place is so friendly and triathlon orientated. I have also been utterly lucky (yet again) in having found such an incredible homestay family to stay with and that has made everything that bit easier to handle in the new environment. – Thanks Terra and Zane. (and the cats. and the dog).

The view at the pool after my swim this avo …. its a 33yd pool – this is a new distance for me!

and a slightly wonky view of ‘downtown’ on my ride home from the pool. (I didn’t take this on the scooter I promise!)