Friday, 4 March 2011

Rhythm and Flow

For me the highlight of last nights pasta party and race briefing was the local Maori Kapa Haka group - this year they had time for a decent performance and the group leader finished with a blessing for all athletes.  As well as wishing that our paths were as smooth as greenstone (love that) he also hoped that we would find our own rhythm and flow to take us through our journey.

For me these two words have a lot of harmony with the on-going advice from Dave Parry and the mental preparation I try to adopt coming into an Ironman.  Don’t fight it, find your own race, accept there will be some suffering, but that it will be temporary.  

As much as I would love to be blasé about the event, unfortunately it’s not in my nature and I find the week prior takes a great deal of emotional energy.   As with my last 2 or 3 Ironman races I have done what I can to simplify life leading to the race day and prepare as much in advance so I’m not wasting anxious energy this week.  After a busy few days I was able to get out of work on Tuesday night and we got up to Taupo in good time Wednesday lunchtime.  Mel and I have rented a house from some friends about 3miles south of town, its quiet and away from the Ironman circus.  

Apart from requisite registration and briefing, etc. and a quick emergency tubular purchase (after all the rear wheel drama last week my front popped on Weds) we’ve been holed up out of town. 
I rode the bike into town earlier today to drop it off and it feels incredible.  The new 1080, two new tyres, new bar tape and a service at Capital (thanks Paul, Mike and the team) and she feels better than new.  I don’t think I’ve been this comfortable on my race bike before, it’ll be another story after 5hrs aero tomorrow, but having confidence in the bike is half of the battle.

The forecast for tomorrow isn’t ideal.  Looks like northerlies and heavy rain.  That should mean a flat swim, a tailwind back to town each of the two laps of the bike and a headwind back to town each of the two laps on the run.   Apart from the heightened chance of a flat in the rain it makes little difference, it’s always (very) windy in Wellington so I’m used to a bit of wind and as a Pom I must be happier in the rain than most of these fair weather antipodeans!!

As always I received some sage advice from Mr Parry this morning; play the long game, remember the race doesn’t start until 10miles in the marathon and that then it’s going to hurt.  Unlike last year, I’m going in with suitable respect for the distance and I’m prepared to suffer to realise my goal.  I must remember to separate the emotional response from my physical condition and not fight the pain as it’ll be over shortly (the quicker I go the sooner it will be over!).

All to do now is try to get some rest and get out there. I can’t wait.

Mel is going to try and get some tweets onto the feed (on the right) and as always you can track on the athlete tracker at (I’m number 406).  Thank you all for your support over the last few months (years) and the messages this week.  I’ll update as soon as I can with results…


Nicola Nation said...

Legend - well done Laurence!! Looks like you had a blinder out there. Congrats

Sandra said...

You know your workmates are in awe of you Laurence! Good job. Now put your feet up and have a cup of tea.