18 September 2009

A Year in Review

Here I sit, legs up, one week into my off season. This is the time of the year for reflection. Over the span of this year I went from running no more than 5 minutes to running a 10km personal best of 32.15 off the bike. It has been quite a journey. Here is my Summary.

In October I had my IT band released. As soon as the swelling went down I was in the pool slowly increasing the range of motion. New years eve I ran through the streets of my neighborhood at midnight. The first run out on the road in more than a year. It felt symbolic.

I followed this up with two fantastic Training camps. Mid January a small group of us set up camp in Maui. The island was amazing, the company was top notch, and the training was exactly what I needed to give me a jump start to the season. Second Camp was in Tucson Arizona. Although I had a slow start to the camp I kept the pressure on, overcame the lows and I believe I became stronger because of this.

My first Triathlon in 2 years would be the Sooke Spring Sprint triathlon. This was a fun tune up for the Pan-American Championships around the corner.

At the PATCO Oklahoma ITU, I had some difficulty with cramping but it was a good start to the season. In a strong field I lead the swim and mixed it in a breakaway of about 6 athletes. I would pay for this in the run mixed in with some nutritional issues. I finished up 3rd in U23 Pan American champs and 12th overall.

From Oklahoma I flew directly to Austin, Texas. I did a lot right in Austin with a lot of good decisions both before and during the event. Mediocre swim, disappointing ride and a redeeming run. Running a 32.50 off the bike to finish off 9th overall.

Montreal’s Couteau du lac ITU Pan American Cup sure was an adventure, to say the least. Although we were not totally tapered nor was I feeling 100%, it was more the dynamics of the race and a number of uncontrollable circumstances that gave me this sub par result. From there a small group of us flew to Des Moines, Iowa for both the Hy-Vee World Cup and the Team Triathlon World Championships. Saturday was the World Cup. I felt so honored to be a part of such a prestigious race. I had little expectations leading up to the event until it was announced that there would be a swim prime of $5000. I looked back to see others giving me the thumbs up. I had an opportunity. Come race day I had convinced myself to go for it. I lead from the start and exited first claiming the swim prime. However out on the course the coaches saw my struggle and pulled me off the course in order to focus on the Team Triathlon World Championships.
I was the Anchor for the Canada B team including Paula Findlay, Kyle Jones and Marianne Hogan in the Team World Triathlon championshps. By the time I was tagged off we were in 5th place with Matt Read (USA “A”) right in front of me and Bevan Docherty (New Zealand “A”) right behind me. I managed to hold even with Matt and hold off the hard charging Docherty. What a fantastic experience.

Early July I was off to San Francisco for a Continental Cup. It was fantastic traveling and learning from Simon. After a strong swim I was joined by Whitfield and 2 others as we created a strong lead. In a moment of weakness I found myself off the back of the break and would ride the remainder two laps solo. 3rd off the bike I managed to find my legs early in the run and I ended up finishing 2nd making it my first podium in an ITU.

After a strong training block including a climb up Hurricane Ridge and many strong track sessions it was off to Kelowna’s Lake Okanogan for the Senior and U23 National Championships. With a strong swim and a breakaway of 6 athletes we worked well together to create a minute and twenty second lead over the chase. Off the bike I posted my personal best 10km of 32.15 to capture the U23 National Title and 5th place overall.

Still fresh in my mind is the U23 World Triathlon Championship in Australia. With the Previous results from Kelowna I stepped onto the start line with high hopes. After a rather stressful morning I had a solid swim putting me in good position. Once on the bike my legs became flat. I struggled through the ride and a couple of kms into the run. Only then did I find my legs and began fighting back. I would end up in 15th place. Certainly not the result I was hoping for but the best that I could do on the day.

So there you have it. However, those are the results, the facts and the finished by-products. The season was much more than that. It was full of experiences, lessons and the people you meet and get to know, in which I have had many. I have been given so many fantastic opportunities like travelling to and racing in Australia for the first time. Given the chance to represent Canada in Both the U23 World Championships and the Team Triathlon World Championships which I have Triathlon Canada to thank. I also owe a big thanks to Michelle and Michael Garel (my Home stays in Austin, Tx.) and Congratulate them on their new Baby Girl, Leah. So happy for you two! A big thank you to Fort St. Cycle for your huge support. Thanks for now 5 years of support from Mizuno. Very much appreciated. Thanks to my team mates who have put up with me and my odd ways and thanks to Patrick Kelly for his guidance this year and of course my parents for being there for my highs and lows.

It has been an arduous battle back to get to this point and they say through great disappointments come great things. I have had some great disappointments and these great things have yet to come to fruition, but I am getting closer. I believe they will. You know whats fantastic? I finished my final race of the year and discussions began regarding what to work on for next season right away. I LOVE IT! Its like Sam Mussabini telling Harold Abrahams, “Mr. Abrahams, I can find you another two yards” from Chariots of Fire. I am so incredibly excited about the work that is ahead of me, it hurts. The sooner I start the healthier.

Thanks for reading,
Ciao for now,
Andrew McCartney

1 comment:

Vincent said...

congrats on the awesome season! Quite the steps

Enjoy your offseason