Jeremy Hopwood

Jeremy Hopwood

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.

1 comment:

  1. great post! i love those last ten minutes. i don't think about my tri journey as a whole, but i think a lot about the run i'm finishing. specifically, i think about the first ten minutes. i'm such a non-runner, those first ten minutes are pure hell. every step i'm struggling not to stop. but once those ten minutes are up, it's actually rather enjoyable. so in the final stretch of a run, i think how great that i overcame the first "i can't do this" - and now, i'm finishing :)