9 September 2010

2010 A Year In Review

Tough Days.
Without a doubt this past season has seen its challenges. Half way through the season I had a conversation with a good friend. He asked me how my season had been going. Not wanting to bring him down with a depressing story of disappointments I opted to say, “It has been, ‘Character Building.’” This was fallowed by laughter because he, an athlete himself, knew exactly what I meant. He followed up the laughter with, “That’s why I like you Andrew, you always see the positive side of a situation.” And so, I would say the rest of the season can be summed up as “Character Building.” The season did have its moments. I did put a race or two together but with sickness, mishaps and a concussion, I never did get a full training block in. I raced with the fitness I had but it was not enough. Here it is in short.
Oregon Running Project
Off to a strong start, fall training began with a fantastic training camp in Portland, Oregon. Kyle, Lauren, Simon and I. Packed up and drove down for a 10 day training camp with the Oregon Running Project. The names that populate this team were amazing and the stats that go with them. The facilities were amazing and we learnt a lot from world-renowned coach Alberto Salazar.

“A man's errors 

are his portals of discovery.” 

James Joyce

Austin and I
Early January I had an awesome opportunity to join Simon along with Sven Tuft and Peter Reid who were putting on a camp for a number of athletes. Set up in the Fairmont Maui, we swam past the breakers every day at the break of dawn and we rode along some of the most beautiful roads you could imagine being motor paced by Sven. After this camp Simon and I packed up and moved to the other side of the island for the National Team training camp over the next 3 weeks. However within the first week I picked up a cold which put me out of commission for what ended up to be the next 6 weeks.

Yes I had my setbacks throughout the racing season from a cuboid foot injury to a concussion mid-season in a bike accident. The sum of my incidences made for a challenging season and never really being able to reach the right fitness to perform properly and at the level I am capable of. 

"We can be negative and cynical or 
we can be charged and hot wired
 to find a way through it, 
over it, 
around it, 
under it."
 - Dr. Laura Schlessinger

Never Give Up.
A year in review is useless unless I take the positives out of the season and it did have its moments. My main accomplishment this year is that I never did give up. When the going got tough, when I was pretty well down and out, I never settled, I set new goals minute by minute in order to get to the finish line in the least amount of time. Another thing this year is I took risks. Knowing that I was not at the fitness I should be, I had to take tactical risks on the bike or out of the water. The most exciting would be the break I had with Jonathon Brownlee and Daniel Unger at the Sprint World Championships in Lausanne Switzerland. At this time, the kind of athlete I am can be described by the Kitzb├╝hel ITU World Championship winner Stuart Hayes, “Either I get away and it works or I end up near last place because I gave everything I had trying to get away. That’s the way I like to race.” Throughout the year I feel the best put together race would be San Francisco. With the little fitness I had, I did manage to put together a respectable performance.

I was given such an awesome opportunity to race in Europe in some of the most amazing races the circuit has to offer. It was such a great experience to spend 3 weeks with a select few Developmental athletes. Upon arrival home, I had the choice to continue on to PATCO in Mexico mid October or bring the 2010 season to a conclusion. I found nothing more motivating then starting the 2011 season as soon as possible. This, I believe is in the best interest for the future. 

“Courage doesn't always roar. 

Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying,

 'I will try again tomorrow.'”

 - Mary Anne Radmacher

This year has left a mark on me. My disappointment is great and it has sparked something inside. Before I let my emotions loose on this page, I would just like to say, I know I will have my ups and downs in the future but I hope and intend to never have such a sub par season again. Intention is a powerful thing and it begins with the first step I take out the door. Graduating from the U23 circuit, I am a senior open triathlete now; time to act like one. Thanks for reading and keep coming back to see how I intend to do this.
Hope all is well with you and yours,
Ciao for now,
Andrew McCartney

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; because there is not effort without error and shortcomings; but who does actually strive to do the deed; who knows the great enthusiasm, the great devotion, who spends himself in a worthy cause, who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement and who at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly. So that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.” 

Theodore Roosevelt


Ben M said...

Did you really just quote Dr. Laura?! Ha, please never again.

I enjoy reading the blog and good luck in 2011.

Gregwh said...

Awesome post and inspiring quotes... I can certainly relate. a rockin'year when you think about it. One of those athletes on Maui!

Andrew McCartney said...

Thanks Greg! Had a lot of fun in Maui. Good memories for sure.

Ha ha, Ben I promise I will keep my Dr. Laura quotes to a minimum. Ha ha.

Ciao for now,

Facundo said...

Hey Andrew,

I truly understand your feelings and frustrations as my year has been very similar to yours. Never a good training block in, plagued with injuries, ups and downs (lots of downs, actually too many...) I also wanted to race in Pto Vallarta in October but before the end of the week I will decide if I should pull the plug or not.

Lets hope 2011 goes smoother for all of us =)



Anonymous said...

Thank you for such a inspirational post, i'm already in a very similar situation than you are, just that not in sport, but in life...

"...time to act like one." Thanks for remember this to me.

All the best for 2011 :)

Anonymous said...

Awesome post! Count me in for Character Building Season!


Great review of your year. Love your blog. Always some very deep and interesting stuff going on.

Best wishes for '11.