Jeremy Hopwood

Jeremy Hopwood

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Ironman Coeur D'Alene - Embracing the Moment

The last few days have been absolutely amazing. Firstly I must say i feel truly lucky to have so many friends who have sent notes of congratulations over the last few days and are truly humbled by the kind words.

One of my key things in my race plan for IM CDA was to have fun and I definitely achieved that and I think that was a key to having a good day. On of the great things about the day in the end was that it was not a perfect day and I raced on the conservative side. This is awesome that it gives me hope and motivation that I can go faster in Kona.

Pre Race

I headed down to Coeur D'Alene the week before with Rachel Kiers and had a fun drive down which set the tone for the week which was relaxed, fun but focused on the task at hand. Upon arriving at the beautiful home of Kevin and Vonnie who were magnificent hosts went for a run which was a little bit of a rude awakening to the summer that Vancouver has missed out on. Having said that considering a full day in the car and a hilly run felt good and ready for the week ahead.

The rest of the week was filled with executing race week work outs, driving and riding the key parts of the course and getting to meet some of the local triathlon community. Race week can be stressful but staying out of town with great people and fun attitude made a huge difference. The highlight of the week was potentially the trip to Spokane were we embraced the hoop-fest spirit on our run

As race day approached Les and Mike came into town as did Colin and Clint and we had a house full of 5 people about to toe the line come Race Day along with three very supportive spouses.

The Result

9:34:23 (PR by 56 minutes)
23/2263 Overall (Including Pro Field)
9th Age Group Athlete
5/216 M30-34

3.86km Swim 1:11:07
75/216 - M30-34
529/2263 Overall

This was not the swim that I had planned on or hoped for and was a little disappointing. Was a calm swim until the first turn then all hell broke loose with people struggling to sight and for some reason stopping dead. I have the ability to swim faster and motivation is high to get more work in and make this swim quicker. Kona is a non wetsuit swim but I will go faster and do what it takes to make that happen.

In the end though I felt like I did not burn too many matches in the swim and just pushed the 5 minutes I lost aside as I exited the water and focused on the long day ahead.

T1 - 3:08

Nothing special, wet suit strip took some time and was methodical but not quick in the tent. Got some calories down on the way to the bike as planned and was soon on my way on the bike course.

Bike 180km - 5:07:28
5/216 - M30-34
38/2263 Overall

I rode very conservatively and just kept on thinking "respect the run". Executed my nutrition well, spun the hills, rested were it made sense and kept well hydrated. Definitely played the bike safe and may have left some minutes to the bank but better to have done that than borrowed as the interest rates on that transaction tend to be severe come the run.

This was my longest ride of the year and 3 more months of training should allow me to push a little harder on the bike in the confidence that the run will still be there. In the end though are stoked with my ride as was patient and executed the plan well.

T2 - 47 Seconds
Well I somehow had the fastest T2 out of everyone. Was trying to keep it slow and controlled and did everything I needed to do but still flow through there and was out on the run course.

Run 42.2km - 3:11:54
4/216 - M30-34
15/2263 Overall

Hit the run course and felt good, tried to make sure I ran no faster than 7 minute miles out of T2 and hit a rhythm. Focused on getting the calories in at each station and running relaxed with good form. When running out on lakeside not seeing any Age Groupers coming back for a while let me know I was in the race. Think I was about 15th after 10km and was picking guys off one by one.

Aside from fighting of a potential cramp felt good and as entered lap two just focused on keeping the rhythm. Hit a dark place at about 28km but just kept working. The miles were counting down and with 8km to go was on the way home and started drinking the coke. Hitting town again was fantastic and after making one last pass with a mile to go turned onto Sherman for the run home.

The run was fantastic, had the guy I had passed about 20 seconds behind so had to keep working but having the main street to myself was unreal. Once I realised I had executed a good day was pumped. Coming down the chute I was looking for Leslie and saw her beyond the finish line and was stoked to see here there.

Then it was done - New PR, Spot to Kona without needing to go to roll down and a fantastic way to spend my 30th Birthday.

The Aftermath

One of the best things about the day is that not everything went right. This means two things;
  1. I troubleshooted and raced well which is key at this distance
  2. I can definitely go faster and strongly believe my best Ironman for 2010 is still in me
In 100 days I will be toeing the line at the big show in Kona and are looking forward to getting ready to go fast. I don't want to just attend the show, instead I want to lay it down there and race strong and put down a good result. This past Sunday i got to race vs just chase and come Kona I want to take that to the next level against a strong field.

Key Sponsors & Supporters


The photo below says it all. Aside from the fact you think I am crazy you are super supportive and was awesome to get to share the finish line experience with you - looks like at the next race we at least get to swim with turtles and dolphins. Last time we swam in the tropics you had to teach me how to survive so we could go snorkeling, hopefully are a little better in the water now!!!

Thanks to the whole crew @ Forerunners. Lucky to be associated with such a great group of people and look forward to being involved in the Summer/Fall Marathon clinic. I did my first ever interval workouts with forerunners and look forward to giving back 2 and a half years later.

Through forerunners are lucky to be associated with Newton. Wore the new model neutral trainers on the weekend and they felt awesome throughout the whole run. In the last 12 months I have put over 2300km of running in a except for track spikes for a couple of sessions this has all been in Newton shoes and my feet ad legs feel better than they have ever done.

Thanks for all the support. Having a bike that you know is in good condition is always a awesome feeling. I have basically grown into the sport of Triathlon with Speed Theory with their support and guidance. Was cool to get the photo of me finishing on the big screen at the store as well

Coach Clint

Thanks mate - followed the plan and executed on race day and had a good result. Huge thanks for Sara and yourself travelling down and supporting come race day. Think the pre race chat as simple as it was solidified the plan perfectly and prevented me form doing anything stupid especially on the bike.

Huge Thanks

In the past year I have trained around 750 hours averaging over 15h a week in 2010. This is not possible without the support and understanding of others. In no particular order here are a few people - sorry for those I missed and thanks for sharing the journey.

Family and Friends - Heck I even missed my own birthday party last year!!! Anyway thanks all.

To Mum and Dad thanks for all the support, still bounce my head when i run but will work on that. We were never a family flush with cash but you always allowed me to follow my sporting desires and that ethos is something that I have taken into life.

To my Vancouver non tri friends - next years sun run time is 45:28!!! Seriously thanks, had a awesome Olympics and will deifnetley be catching up over the summer. Thanks for all the text messages of support

Kevin and Vonnie - Thank you for opening up you house. Kevin awesome job on breaking 13 hours -awesome to see you achieve your goals
James, Laura, Olivia, Sophia, Barb, Al, Adrienne - Thanks for making the trip down to support. Was cool to see some familiar faces on the course.
Mike - Super Supporter, was awesome to see you at random spots on the course cheering on. Will make sure I repay the favor!!!
Rachel - Learned a heap about how to prep and execute from you and this is the stuff that done right day in day out makes a huge difference come race day
Clint and Colin - To have 5 people racing a IM in the one house could have been risky, but it was a super chilled and relaxed environment to be in pre race which was awesome
Jerry - Getting the opportunity to run with a sub 30 min 10km runner is awesome and your input and advice in terms of form and approach has been fantastic.
Training Buddies - From the last couple years have had the opportunity to meet with and train with a number of cool people. Whenever I am on the bike I just think to try and bike like a Kiwi (Tony and Paul) as not sure what it is in the pristine waters down there but you guys train hard!!!
Carla - Getting hit by a SUV 6 weeks out form your A race is not ideal but you are a legend and got me up and going very quickly. Add to that regular sessions and are learning a lot about how to maintain, strengthen and recover my body.
Coeur D'Alene - Lovely City and these races are never possible without the support of a city and the volunteers. Running down Sherman street with people lining the last 800m was an awesome feeling
Everyone - Have been truly overwhelmed in the past few days with messages of support pre race and congrats post race. This is so appreciated and I am truly humbled by the messages. Hope to do everyone proud in 100 Days time.

Next Up

This Picture Sums it Up

Les was able to to into the finish and present my medal and we were lucky enough to get this photo

Going to Kona - 9th Age Grouper, 5th M30-34, 21st Male and 23rd Overall including Pro's.

Will post more later but a huge thanks to everyone who was part of the journey.

Thanks for all the messages over the past few days as are truly thankful for each and everyone I have received.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Turning 30 - But First Priority Swim 3.8km, Ride 180km and Run 42.2km

Well, tomorrow I turn 30 but to be honest the amount of focus I have on that is pretty minimal.

In 12 hours I will be standing on the beach getting ready to embark on my Third Ironman and swimming 3.8km, riding 180km and running (Hopefully) a marathon. At the moment I am fittest and leanest I have been in my life and are ready to have a good day.

No matter what happens out there I have had a great time preparing for this race and know that I have done the right things and made the right decisions. Pretty much there are a few guarantees in the time I will spend out on the course tomorrow;
  • Will Have Fun
  • Will have some dark moments
  • Will wonder at some times why the heck I am doing this
Regardless of the result (Confident of laying down a good one - however this distance has so many variables) racing an Ironman is one of the most exciting days that you can experience and I am looking forward to executing the plan tomorrow and savoring the experience. Will learn about myself once again tomorrow and plan to have a heap of fun doing it.

That sits tomorrow - next time I post I will be 30 and most probably pretty sore and tired. Thanks to all who have sent messages of support and see you on the other side.

!!! Love this Sport !!!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Getting Ready

Quick update - nothing inspirational today. Have had a fun few days doing the last workouts and seeing part of the states have not been to before.

Just chillin at the moment at the house of the wonderful couple we are staying at in Coeur d'Alene. Not much to stress about as what has needed to be done has been done.

Have ridden good chunks of the course, swam in the lake and run and rode on the run course so are pretty orientated around the site. Was fun to get to see the town before race week really unfolded as I am sure tomorrow morning when we go swim it will be a little busier down at the lake.

Have also had the opportunity to meet a few of the local athletes on the night we arrived and at the lake each morning as well. A couple are hitting the distance for the first time so reminded them to do the one thing I always remind myself to do and that is have fun.

Looking forward to the day - it is my birthday after all. Had a fun run adventure running in Spokane today and getting into the hoopfest spirit (worlds largest 3 on 3 basketball tournament).

Not much else to add - will clean the bike tomorrow, set up race bags and all that fun stuff tomorrow. But for now it is time chill ahead of a good day on Sunday

Monday, June 14, 2010

Are Those Last Ten Minutes Worth It?

So, this is my third time around building for ironman and as I hit the last 10 minutes of my Run on Sunday I realised that too some degree these 10 minutes represent some of the most enjoyable time of the experience. These ten minutes represent the point were I tend to reflect on the journey thus far. This post focuses on what went through my head in those 10 minutes.

In addition to the details below I have had the opportunity to meet a huge number of great people many who have become good friends. So in addtion to all the successes of the journey below I have had a lot of fun doing it hanging out with fantastic people.

Those Ten Minutes

Since I made the decision to jump into the world triathlon 34 months ago in August 2007 there have been a lot of exciting things to happen. To give some prospective on the journey thus far here are some quick facts;

Learning to Swim – Ocotber 2007

33 months ago in October 2007 I could swim about 30 metres at a stretch and being in water that was more than 6 feet deep was not a comfortbale experience. For the next 4 months success was determined by being able to swim that little bit further each session. 25m became 50m which became 200m which became 1500m etc. The slow slow lane in public swims was my place of residence and when I graduated to the slow lane I saw this as a step. A lot of this took place at UBC pool where I often now have 4km plus swim sessions as the norm. So every time I get to jump in the water there it is a good queue to where I have come from.

First Triathlon – March 2008

My first tri was in March 2008 in the UBC Olympic – Lining up I figured that breaking 3h would define success. In the end I went 2:52:55 with the swim taking around 40 minutes (2:40 per 100m). This year as part of the build to Ironman Couer D Alene I went 2:07:47 with a swim of 26 minutes

Taking the plunge – IMC 2008

2008 the focus centered on Ironman Canada – growing up in OZ, kona got a lot of press especially when Greg Welch was racing. Having always just seemed better at endurance stuff the concept of doing Ironman seemed feasible and some times you just need to make the jump.
In August 2007 when I signed up asides from needing to learn how to swim (details, details) I had already rode 200km in a day (on a mountain bike) and done a 100km run/hike race in Australia so new that in isolation it was possible. So at that point the journey had begun

From zero effective base to IMC in 10 months was obviosually and accelerated plan and not one I would recommend, but I made sure I raced a lot that year completing 3 HIM’s before race day. With family in Penticton I spent a lot of time riding which got the engine built enough to go 11:27:44 on race day. In the end IMC 2008 was about completion but through the journey enjoyed the process and made the decision that would give it another go in 2009

2009 – Seeing what can be done

After an unstructured “off season” which stayed active but just maintained base decided to put a focus in 2009 on getting faster. To some degree I did not know what the outcome of this really was but had started to form some longer term goals at this point. I would say however that while 2008 was about exploring the sport, 2009 was about seeing what potential I had to improve.

I raced a lot in 2009 both running and tri and by year end had toed the start line a total of 18 times. Five times in Triathlon (4 Half Ironmans, 1 ironman), 1 Swim Race and 12 running races. I learn a lot every time I race and in a lot of regards 2009 was all about learning. Coming in to Ironman 2009 I knew what I needed to work on over the next two years and in some regards Ironman Canada validated my thought process coming in with a time of 10:26:07. 2009 was a fun race and a good journey but I left with a new focus on what I wanted to target and achieve goal wise.

The process for 2010 and beyond then started soon after Ironman Canada 2009. The last quarter of 2009 was strucutured triaing and my first time working formally with a coach. This part of the cycle was learning about how to adapt to this enviornment, learning to love the pool and getting the work in.

2010 – Clear Focus on the Process

I am a process guy. By that I mean that if you focus on achieving day in day out the big picture will happen if the process is correct. The process needs to evolve based on feedback in the form of outcomes however in the end day in day out I just want to focus on achieving each component of each workout as well as I can. If I do that and trust in the process I know I will find success

2010 Started in an airport on the way to Oz for a holiday to visit family and friends but also an opportunity for summer trianing. For these 5 weeks 100% of my sessions were solo and even with a fair chunk of travel consisitency was good. Raced Geelong 70.3 and although not my best day (4:38) for a race that I did not have much invested in was a good result and essentially a hard trianing day.

Afer a cough filled time back in Vancouver during the Winter Olympics I was able to regain some momentum starting in March. Trianing has been the main focus and form a consistency perspective has been the best aspect. Consistency has not been perfect but I would guess that have hit about 97% success rate in following the plan. Stuff has been rescheduled or modified slightly and some things to improve on form an approach perspective but overall have been happy in what I have done from this perspective.

Next Up – Ironman Coeur d’Alene

With PR’s at Comox half Maarathon (1:16:36), Vancouver Sun Run 10km (34:05), UBC Olympic (2:07:42) and Shawnigan Half Ironman (4:20:25) to some degree the first half of 2010 has already been a success. However the journey continues and the next step is Ironman Coeur d’ Alene.

All about those ten minutes

As I finished that last 10 minutes run on Sunday got to think about if I am ready for the third crack at the IM distance. The answer is I am ready, regardless of what happens come race day feel I am in the right place and the process has been a success. In those last 10 minutes got to reflect upon the journey above and this one has been the most enjoyable yet.

Having had that chance to refelct now is the time to reset and look forward to June 27th. The next 12 days is about getting mentally ready, setting/reaffirming goals and sharpening up physically for race day. That is what I need to do to achieve the best result possible and beyond that.

Looking forward race day and embracing whatever may be dealt up.