Off Season Report: 2013 nearly over
This post was originally published by Triathlete Europe. You can find it HERE.
Following Kona we had a few relaxing days in Oahu. It was a great way to get away from the world of sport and to celebrate my birthday with my lovely wife. We had some friends with us and also met a few more at the surf spot on the North Shore. It’s unbelievable how amazing this place is.
We returned to Florida and moved into our new house. We have been living in the guesthouse until the renovation of our 1899 house was finally completed. What a house it is now. This was a real birthday present. It feels like I have more than just a simple US base now. As with all houses there is an endless amount of work that has to be done, even once you move in. Alicia calls it fun stuff but for me it’s hard work.
Somehow I always seem to fall into an empty hole after Kona. It always takes so much out of me every year with the physical and mental preparation. It’s the peak race of the season and it was made harder because I didn’t have a good race this year. It really is the blues. There’s an added pressure on pro athletes too because we have to bring home the bacon. It’s not just a good result and money for me, but I need to represent all my sponsors as best I can. I also need to do this in light of potential new sponsors too, and all of this adds to the stress.
I love the stress and the pressure that the race in Hawaii brings and really hoped for a good show. It was too bad my stomach turned bad after I had some funny tasting drinks out there on the course. However much I go over it there’s nothing I can do now. While there are plenty of rumours going around regarding drinks, the bottom line is we don‘t know what it was, and I DNF’d in Kona. Bummer.
The off-season means not only reflection and evaluation on the past season, but also looking forward and planning ahead for next year. We usually wait a few days to get Hawaii out of our systems before we start planning. This year it was different because I was planning to validate in Florida just three weeks later. There was no need to validate because I didn’t finish the race in Kona and will need to earn lots of points to qualify again. Plus my hip took a beating in Hawaii because I was compensating for my previous knee injury. The day after Kona I couldn’t walk. It turned out to be a serious strain of the gluteus medius. I can train again now but everything is low key as I move towards my winter base training.
Planning next season has been a difficult one because I have to decide on what my goal will be for the upcoming years. Kona is interesting and a big goal, but economically a nightmare for a professional athlete. This is because too many races have to be completed in order to gain enough points to qualify just to get to the start. This often means that once you’ve raced enough to get the qualification points you’re pretty much over-raced and tired by the time Kona comes around. Plus the earnings for Ironman events are lower than many other races. I could just race big money races and skip Kona completely. The Challenge series and other good paying independent races, such as the Abu Dhabi International Triathlon and MetaMan Bintan, offer an alternative.
This isn’t a quick or easy decision, and I am far from making any announcements at this point. No matter what I decide to do, nothing will change for me in terms of my initial build up, so I have plenty of time to decide.
With a little more free time I am enjoying doing other projects. Right now, my fingers hurt from typing and my head feels like I have a constant hangover because I’m working on my new book. We’re hoping to have this ready to launch in early 2014. I am pretty excited about this. I’m sure you’re going to enjoy the book and I will feed you some teasers soon. Enjoy some down time but remember to keep things ticking over.