Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Cozumel 70.3

Hola readers! Race report from Cozumel is as follows! This time of year in Boulder can be pretty tricky. People are dropping like flies from flus and colds. I have been fortunate to avoid this and continue training well for a while with my buddy Leon Griffin, smashing out some awesome swim sets with Ironman legend Dave Scott and riding the long time running 'Bus stop' rides with the cyclists. Boulder really is amazing, and I love it. Coming into race week I found it difficult to relax. My nerves were creating a lot of negativity, and I could still see other athletes training hard, twice as much as I was doing. I remembered Craig 'Crowie" Alexander saying to me once before St.Croix 70.3 a few years back when we had a conversation about tapering - "Mate, in hot humid races like this, the freshest man on the start line wins". Good advice as always, so I kept reminding myself of what he said, relax and feel confident in resting. The travel to Cozumel was long and tiring. Friday consisted of driving to Denver, flying to Cancun, getting a bus to the ferry, then a ferry to Cozumel, and lastly a taxi to the hotel. Hence it took me 11hours door to door. I wasn't gonna let this effect me though. I remained calm and collected (sort of) with some really annoying people that obviously didn't get the memo that I was traveling that day (bastards). I forgot how humid Mexico was. I went for a 15 min run on Sat morning and just about sweated out every last drop of hydration I had in my system. I knew then that I would need at least a full bottle of water on the bike as well as carbs/calories. Whilst dropping my bike off to transition I noticed all the names I would be competing with on their bike stands. Very tough field which included names such as Bocherer, Michael Lovato, Luke McKenzie, Paul Ambrose, Leon Griffin, Fontana, Callum Milward, Brandon Marsh and a few more top athletes. I knew with a field as strong as this one that you could go from 3rd to 10th if you make just one small mistake. So I went straight back to bed to relax some more...and Skype the misses. Sunday morning arrived. I was nervous. But I was ready to challenge myself. We got the bus to race start. The atmosphere was great. I ran along to the pontoon area, jumped in the water for a warm up. It was beautiful. Fish swimming everywhere, that also might be due to the fact that I threw up in the water during my warm up. I'm not sure why, but the same thing happened in Wisconsin Rev3. Although I was actually sick as a dog before the race in Wisconsin, but still managed to pump it out and get a 4th place finish. This race I was healthy and ready to rock. Anyway with the last minute clear out which fed the fish break fast we all lined up to start. The gun went and off we sprinted off into the current. I felt great in the water. I have been swimming 5-6 times a week, two of those are coached by Dave Scott - VO2 max sessions and threshold sets. He's a great coach and I've never felt better in the water than I have this year. I was cruising along aerobically in the front of the first pack. We turned the buoy which can be rough, but I'm swimming so well I stayed far right out of the way of any trouble and hammered back towards the swim exit. I jumped out the water with the leaders in about 4th place, perfect. I was super fast in transition 1 and scooted out of there in 2nd place. I knew I had to hammer the first part of the bike as the slightly slower swimmers but tough cyclist/runners would be hoping to get in at the back of the pack. My running is not quite at the level I need it to be at the moment to feel confident in taking on any fast runners so I had to increase any lead I had over them.
Paul Ambrose came storming up alongside me with Bocherer, Luke McKenzie, Fontana and Brandon Marsh. There were about another 4 guys with us too. Awesome pack. I couldn't see Lovato, Griffin or Millward with us, but I knew they would be desperate to catch and join in the fun. The pace was insane, very fast. All of a sudden we hit the long cross/head wind along the coast. Geez it was tough. This was where Bocherer and Ambrose made their move. They hammered along and drove open a decent gap ahead of Brandon. I was behind Brandon so I took the reigns and decided to pass him and try my best to close the 80meter gap. To no avail, they were flying through the head wind and I was tiring fast with the extra effort. I realized then we had lost them for good. Luke McKenzie came hurtling by soon after. He was riding strong and managed to leave us behind as he cruised on up to the lead...impressive! Our recently adjusted pack consisted of myself, Brandon Marsh, Fontana and a couple of others. I knew that Griffin and the other guys behind would be throwing down the gauntlet to catch us so Brandon and I drilled the bike as hard as we could to maintain or increase any lead we had. I powered through aid stations just to save those vital seconds. I left everything out there on the bike. I absolutely pushed myself to the rivet. It worked. At the turn around I saw the chasers were about 3-4 minutes down from us...yes! I had a nice blanket of time for the run. I had been run training with Leon Griffin this summer. I know how fast he's faster than me, so this lead was imperative if I was to hold onto a top 5 finish. I entered transition and headed out onto the run with Fontana and Brandon. Fontana is a great runner, I knew he would be consistent in his pace. I tried to match him, and in doing so I was relieved to see that I had managed to drop Brandon who out ran me in wisconsin and also the other 2-3 athletes that held on to our pace on the bike. I was excited to be in 5th but had to remain relaxed. The heat was intense and the humidity was insane. Anything can happen in these conditions. Fortunately I had been sitting in the steam room everyday for weeks prior to this race in the hope that this would enable me to cope better with the heat/humidity. It may have worked. I was consistent with my pace and I felt great despite leaving everything but my manhood out there on the bike course. One lap down, still going well, but I could see Lovato and Callum pushing the run to catch me. Lovato even shouted some encouragement to me as we crossed paths in opposite directions - "Come on Hadley, its time to start running!" I thought, damn right it is...he was flying like a bloody horse. I could see Luke McKenzie about a minute up the road. I hammered the last part of the run to try my all to catch turns out that I don't think I was actually going any quicker, it just felt a lot more painful...shit!
The last 1km came into view...I was to achieve a 5th place finish in one of the toughest fields I have raced in this year. I came down the finish chute like I'd won the Olympics grinning from ear to ear. 5th was a great result.From 2nd to 8th place the times were very close. Like I said, 1 small mistake could have changed the results dramatically. I was very happy. Great swim, good bike, and I topped it off with a solid run. Money in the bank and some good points towards the 70.3 World Champs next year. Next race is the F1 sprint series in California. It looks crazy fast, and super exciting...sometimes I really love this sport...but only when I do well. Thanks for reading! Hadmeister

Saturday, September 15, 2012

From where I left off

Hello readers! Welcome back to HadmeisterGeneral. I thought I would write a new blog as my cool new website is now online! A lot has happened since my last post in 2011. I won't go into details but a quick over view is probably needed. So here is where I left off from 2011. My last race in 2011 was Cancun 70.3. My girlfriend Kris came to see me race this time. I swam well in the front pack and cycled strong also whilst trying to make a few break away attempts with fellow triathlete buddy Tim Reed. I moved to the front of the lead pack with 5km to go. It was then that I hit a rogue piece of concrete in the road which was camouflaged by poor road conditions. My arms jumped off the tri bars and my chest took their place. The front wheel wobbled, hit a log in the rough grassland to the side of the road - I flew off into the trees somersaulting as I went through the air at 45kph! I stood up put my cycling shoe back on, fixed my chain, briefly checked myself and the bike for breaks...and jumped back on. I couldn't breathe well at all and my femur (leg) was agony. I was determined to finish so I could at least get a pay check. After a long agonizing 13 miles I finished the race in 7th. Pay check, but I had to endure a few days of pain bed ridden in Mexico. I had torn ligaments in my back and a hematoma on my femur. So that was the end of race season. Beginning of the sleepless uncomfortable nights and a return to work...snow removal and gutter cleaning paid the bills for the next few months. After Christmas in UK with my family I returned to Boulder to start training. An extra 15lbs accompanied me again after the time off I had to recover and work. I raced a few times early season, grabbed a 3rd place in Kansas 5150, a 7th place at New Orleans 5150 and a 4th place at Rev3 Wisconsin.
Training has been great throughout the summer of 2012. My buddy Leon Griffin returned to Boulder after 2 years away! We've been hammering through some great sessions. I consistantly train with a handful of athletes here in Boulder that help keep an awesome, lighthearted positive attitude during the tough training days. Athletes such as Leon Griffin, Drew Scott (yes...son of legendary Dave Scott), Tom O'Donnell and even Craig Alexander sometimes. The training here is second to none...I love it! Seven days a week there's organized cycling rides, running groups and great swim sessions at FlatIrons Athletic club. Next race for me is Cozumel 70.3 this weekend (23rd Sep). A week later I'm excited to announce my first F1 race in San Diego that my friend Lars Finanger has been organizing. Awesome event! On the 14th Oct I'll be racing the Rev3 Anderson, then the Rev3 Florida on the 28th! Four races to go to close off 2012. Exciting times! So, whilst missing a huge amount of interesting stories that I'm sure you'd very much want to read, you're pretty much up date with the main gist of things. Oh I forgot to mention that I also brought a dog for my girlfriends birthday. She's a blue Heeler, just like the dog in the hit TV show 'Wilfred'. She loves me a lot, so I decided to keep her and not send her packing back to the Humane Society lol.
I'll be updating this much more from now on, so please keep checking in! Adios Amigos! Hadmeister General