Monday, March 29, 2010

Learning through stupidity

The 2010 season kicked off with a bang two weeks ago in Seguin, TX which is about a hour drive south of Austin. I decided last minute to enter the duathlon thinking it would be a cherry pick race for me to see where my current condition was at. I registered and began to head over to rack my bike and then my heart sunk. Michael Lovato had decided to show up as well to test his fitness since ocean side 70.3 was looming three-four weeks down the road. So as I had my nerves in check I was actually getting excited about racing as it would be a great indicator of where I'm really at. Normally I can get Lovato in a swim, but bring in the bike and run and the story changes some.
We lined up at 0800 waiting for the gun. BANG! We are off and Lovato is off at a cracking pace. I hang out about 5 meters back until about 500m then I closed the gap just so mentally I'm close by starting the ride. Now, for me being the lesser known athlete, I don't owe Michael my nose in the wind so I stayed back the legal distance and let hime set the pace. Sometimes you have to play the tactical game and I did....I don't think he was very happy :) We jumped off he bike and set off for the final 5km run. I felt solid and was not going to make any stupid errors. I let Lovato dictate the pace for the first mile and then threw in a surge. The gap opened and I managed to hold it to the finish line.
VICTORY!!!! Form is good, didn't have to dig very deep. I'm a happy man.

Now fast forward three weeks.......

The 13th annual Lavaman triathlon was taking place on the Big Island of Hawaii. This is the race I grew up with while living in Hawaii from 2000-2004. I had won the the race two times and know the course like the back of my hand. Last year McCormack (Macca) won the race and he was returning again in 2010. I waned a shot at him. I wanted to be within 70 seconds of him at the finish.....

It all unraveled as soon as I touched down in Kona. I played Mr. Nice Guy and after every training season it would be off to the loading docks to pack up trucks, unpack trucks, pick up gear, drop off gear (my wife is assistant RD :) ). It changed everything up by adding new stimuli. While i was working, my competition was training the right way (swimming, biking, running) and resting the right way while I was working till bedtime.

I just got off the phone with my coach and received the talk that only motivates you more because you really begin to understand how dumb your actions really were. Bottom line is that if you compete as pro, act like one. It was my job to perform yesterday and I did everything possible to bugger it up in the days leading up to the race. I,myself, James Cotter screwed up my race and learned nothing at all from Lavaman. I'm not saying I would have won, I'm just saying my performance would have been MUCH better had I not been exhausted.

Congrats to Bree Wee, Macca, Timmy Marr, and Tyler Butterfield for a great race! And to my lovely wife and the head Race Director GERRY ROTT for another fantastic race.



BreeWee said...

Cotter you are so real......... I learn just as much from your struggles and frustrations as your good races. Its just the start of the year, its going to be good-GREAT in fact..... and Im sorry about your less-than-stellar swim,it was a dream come true to be anywhere near your feet.

Dr. TriRunner said...

Great job at the Du, and good lesson from Lavaman. Unfortunately, I can count more times than one when I've screwed myself over by not taking the taper, working nights leading up to a race, etc. We've all been there.

And luckily, we have almost a whole year of racing ahead!

Anonymous said...

You're still a champion Tiges!
Stay with it and never quit.

Matt said...

learning is learning no matter how we learn, eh ;)

Keep up the hard work!