645 Jason Metters, AUS
Position in AG 40-44: 1 // Finish Time: 1:02:35
Swim: 0:11:23 // Bike: 0:32:42 // Run: 0:18:29
Coach’s remarks: A few have asked me for a race report, namely Janey, Marshall and Stuey ( right beside me actually ) as the standouts there amongst others. I will just email here and scribble down a few thoughts on my first race back in 9 years. So disregard my grammar etc etc.
Ok, I would say this is about my 5th comeback since I retired 9 years ago. Roy would be the one who has heard it the most from you guys and it would last a few months and I would loose steam etc. This one started from watching Crowie and Macca over the past 2 years get faster and faster. On top of that, watching the Team progress and accomplish some amazing results through 2011 made me think, why don’t I get out there and start training again. It’s a component that I really noticed I lacked in my life around family, study and training the Team and Royals.
To me, NOTHING beats the pressure and competitiveness of racing! I went into yesterdays race as though it was 15 years ago and put as much pressure as I possibly could on myself to get that spark back and see if I really want to be back racing for a Title. There was only one position I was going to be content with yesterday and that was a win and a win by a margin. Off on a tangent here however, Stuey came along after the race and had a coffee with Macca and I at our local bakery hang and Chris was talking about how he battles to lift these days for an event. Even though yesterday was a fraction of the races he has to do, I made sure I was not in that frame of mind and went in totally motivated and eager to be there.
It was brilliant catching up with old old racing friends who have been in triathlon for as long as I have if not longer ( 25 years now for me and still love the sport ). I introduced the enjoyment element of it all mixed with the old agression I was known for and it seemed to work. Here I am warmed up and very fired up walking up and down the 40-44 age groupers on the beach ready to really belt that swim and 3 minutes before the gun, Tyler man ( my 5 year old son ) walks into the swim start and gave me a hug and kiss as he said ” make sure you win a medal for me Daddy and can we get a milkshake after your swim “.
Amazing how I would turn off in the old days however, was totally relaxed and at ease with that moment with my kid and all of this was a few minutes before the start!! That’s the enjoyment part I was talking about and of course, he scurries off and I am back to being super agressive on the line. That was the best mix I have ever had leading into a race and the reason I am back is to experience the enjoyment of the sport and race as best as I can whilst enjoying every element of the event and what it takes to get there.
Swim- Ok, what stood out the most for me was thinking it was 9 years ago and looking over at fellow Pro mates all fresh faced and pumped. Instead, I looked over and saw what appeared to be older looking men all around me and my initial thought was there got no chance!! It was at that moment, I realised that I am one of these older looking men and this is who you are now mate, your not a Pro and your not young anymore. At that time, the gun went and I am off exactly like we do after a warm up when I have you belting the boats for an all out effort. My race plan was to swim-bike-run at 95% and not look back. I basically did that and only looked once at the first swim bouy to see where I was. I had a big lead and just kept going obviously however, was totally aware that they will work together on the bike and try and mow me down.
Where this is totally all new to me is all the wave starts. As I was the last wave, they seed the field all over the place to even the event out and make it fair for each age group as it was the State Titles and selection for the Worlds etc, I was now behind the 35 and under females, meaning that I will now be swimming and biking in horrible wet, windy, dangerous conditions through the 100 odd girls. This was so hard as you really do lose critical moments on the bike around wet corners etc. At this stage 5km into the bike, I knew I had to drop my ego and forget about the other age group cats with old mates and young mates in them and race purely against the 40-44 males. It was such a shock to the system racing again on that bike, I rode as hard as I could and concentrated on not crashing and finding the pace. It’s a hard opening 5km this race on dead roads, hills, wet and windy so I just wanted to hit the flats and see what this Zipp Disc wheel has. Well, to be honest, I now realised that its not 9 years ago and I cant find the pedal, I was joking with Crowie after the race because for about 3mins on that bike course, I felt like a Pro again, the other 27 mins I had my butt dragging and legs full of lactic acid….thats not meant to be happening as in the old days, I felt no pain. On this bike course, its all I felt!! I do believe part of that 3 mins of feeling like a Pro was only because Stuey and I crossed paths as he was heading back home in Team colours. Stueys wave was 18 mins in front of mine so we had a nice smirk on the bike!!
Some of you remember my calf issues at Crowies camp and as Craig pointed out to Marshall that week that he remembers my calf going here and there years back so backed me and said I was not hot dogging. Anyway, last week I did some heavy training and after a 10 * 3 min Threshold hometrainer set, I could feel it tighten up. I knew it was coming on after that and as I warmed up at the swim start, I was feeling the twinge. As I got off the bike, I knew I had a decent lead and my mission was run hard of course. As I jumped off the bike entering T2 though, I knew it was gone and I had some to be careful on this run.
The run course is 3 loops of a wet soggy cross country running with a small patch of pathway so I knew my calf would have trouble. Well trouble it had and after 1km, my calf was totally gone which I have now found out has a 3cm tear. So, having a decent lead, I now knew I just had to finish the 4km left and get the points for selection. I was gone and was hobbling on that run however, still on 3.40’s mins somehow. I even stopped and had an old 50-54 female mate of mine pass me on the run. It was such an experience as I have never pulled a calf in training or a race like that and you simply cant run basically. Anyway, I got through the course and it was humbling getting passed by Bernadette in front of many old racing mates including Crowie witnessing it. All you want to do is grab a microphone and say ” hey, I have a calf issue, this is not me “.
I managed to hold off the guys for the win however, was gutted with the run as out of the 3 sports, the run was where I was really pumped up to do well. Anyway, thats racing, I got the points, had a great support with Queen, Mareesa and Tyler man who sat out there in pelting rain for my entire 62mins out there and more importantly, Tyler came up with me and got his medal that he wanted! Stuey had a great race leading up to Challenge NZ ( I am sure he is doing a report ) and rounded out his day with a coffee with the 2007-10 Ironman World Champion, followed by pizza and beer with the 2008-09-11 World Ironman champion. The highlight though would of been our old mate MG working on my calf on my dining table and Stuey has proof there :).
I am still pissed at that run time though as I know I was in sub 17 shape but there is the ego again, remember coach, your enjoying it all :). As for this morning, I can barely walk and wont be running for at least a month outside my final selection race where I intend on swimming and biking and shuffling on the run for these bloody points!!!
Thanks Team for your inspiration that you give me and I cant wait for the Epic Hafeet bonding camp Feb 10th/11th.