This week has seen a bit of a drop in training. Picked up a head cold and so I am popping the vitamins and drinking lemon and honey like never before. It has affected my training this week - but I think it was needed - I did however manage a rather successful attempt at 4 hours on the indoor trainer on a particularly wet day on Saturday. Hooray for Netflix!

This slightly quieter week has actually come at a good time for me. I am being quite realistic about my goals at Hawaii. Sure I have times and positions in mind - but I am afraid I won't be divulging those to many people. I am not going for any kind of win or podium. I think they have already been allocated! I will however be smiling as much as I can. The fact I am actually going to be there in less than 3 weeks is still a bit crazy and surreal. I fully intend to make the most of my time out there and have as fun a trip as possible. Do all the stereotypical things, see all the touristy places and be that person running sub 6 minute miles up and down Ali'i drive on race week. 

I do seem to spend a portion of time writing about and telling people about the importance of a happy head come race day/week. I expect the race will get insanely hard as I am super competitive and this is where my happy head comes in. This week has been about creating that state in my mind before one last push before takeoff. Traditionally a tough week due for our family, I have spent time with people who are really important to me and balance me out and with a little help from one person in particular I got through a tough day on Thursday and I feel I am ready for what is around the corner thanks to her unwavering support. 

I am lucky to enjoy my job on a daily basis. I have people I coach around the world and I speak to them very regularly. They are my friends and yet I don't very often get to see them race. Normally I am seen on a Saturday or Sunday with the Ironmobile app fired up jumping around offing encouragement and advice from afar. People tend to look at me as if I have a strange condition! Well today I was fortunate enough to be able to offer support "live" to a few of these friends who I coach at the Weymouth Full and 70.3 Ironman. It was a great day and  loved being the other side of the fence, seeing random people smile when you offer a bit of encouragement by simply saying "Go on James you can do it". It is the most amazing thing to see. I know as an athlete working to your limit, when you have sticky fingers you just can unsticky, when you are sick of gels and you are sore in places you didn't know could be sore just how hard it is to muster up a smile and say thank you. But deep down I am smiling and giving everyone a high 5. Some people today had that thousand yard stare but I knew that every little cheer and every little encouraging comment helps. 

The 3 people I coach today all had different races at Weymouth.
  • One of them is a local hero who had a huge moment when he was one of the first into T2. I can only imagine how that felt to be charging like that at your home Ironman. He struggled through tough times and when it came down to it he dug in and finished with a pb on a tough course. 
  • Then there was a lady was starting her 3rd full Ironman of the year. Cramps and fatigue had hindered her previous attempts at getting back to the top of the podium (what is needed for her to get a Hawaii slot) and we came up with a plan and she executed it to the very letter. To see her charging to an age group win after a tough and busy year is amazing. 
  • And finally we had the debutante to long course triathlon. A lady who less than 3 years ago had never really ridden a road bike let alone done a triathlon today had an amazing race at the 70.3 distance. I am so glad I got to see her as she reached her goal. A lady who has such an brilliant mindset - honest, tough, happy and determined. 
I had other friends racing too. One of the stand out moments though was to see Kev James' face when he found out he had won his age group - it almost brought a tear to my eye. A true stalwart to our triathlon community it is great to see him get recognition for his hard work.

All in all a great day in Weymouth and time for me to crack on.