Yes ladies and gentlemen it is that time again where I spill some verbal diarrhoea onto paper in an attempt to paint a picture of some highs and lows of being a professional triathlete. And maybe make you giggle.
Since the Motu Challenge my training program has been based on not a lot of rest resulting in mental and physical breakdown and a daily nana nap. Although my deliriousness and utter confusion entertained my host family it was good to come out the other side albeit without my dignity. Here we go...
Last year on the Gold Coast, it was a warm 28 degrees and I was heading off for a swim in the ocean with my training mates. My only form of transport was my bicycle. A thin bead of sweat had formed across my recently shaved and beautifully tanned legs. I pulled up to an intersections red light naturally tensing my gastroc as I placed the ground next to me. Cheerful banter and light wolf whistling could be heard coming from the tradies small truck behind me. I turned around hoping to catch a glimpse of this stunner that had all these boys worked up. It went silent. They were red faced. And I was slightly puzzled. Moments passed and the lights changed green. They pulled up next to me, “Sorry bro we thought you were a chick and were admiring your legs”, one said leaning out the window before driving off into the distance.
When you’re a fragile soul on the brink of self destruction from a strenuous workload, such as myself you tend to take any compliment when they are thrown your way. Although this next one doesn’t quite come close to some of my best it was greeted with arms wide open. Those who know Stephen Sheldrake (my coach) know he is a bit of a tough love sort of a character and a weapon on the bike. So for me to ride him into the ground, quote “you were riding a lot stronger than me last night”, means I must have been in good shape leading into my first triathlon of the season.
Race day. After setting up in transition with what felt like the majority of the North Island, I lubed up with baby oil and slid into my wetsuit before heading out to the start line. (Baby oil to make it easier for my suit to come off but also its makes you glisten in the sun which is awesome). The start was like fighting my way to the front of the line after spotting which hotel One Direction checked into, I was drowning, ducking over and under people. I made it into the main front pack and settled into a rhythm. We exited 45 seconds down on the lead two as we started the bike. Dad always said I had lucky legs, lucky they didn’t snap off and go up my a*se. This was one of those days I wish they had. Although I had not done a lot of TT practise I was still very disappointed with my effort. The run couldn’t come soon enough and I got straight into my rhythm. After catching 3rd place, with 1st and 2nd out of reach, I could now enjoy the scenery around the back side of the mountain. There are a lot of positives and negatives I can take from the race but overall I was pleased with how I performed early in the season. 3rd overall in the Sovereign Tri Series Tinman.
Behind the scenes there is a huge amount going on that doesn’t often get the recognition it deserves. For this past 6 months it has been the Hoskin family. Coming in as the runt of the litter from a family of predominately boys, I instantly took charge as the Alpha male being the biggest and “overweight” one of my new family dominated by females. As I moved in my plan was simple, in the honeymoon phase of my stay I would do all I could to impress (lawns, dishes, clean etc) then as I settled in and got comfortable I could lower my standards to minimal pushing the boundaries of getting in trouble. Nutrition was a big part of my new regime with the Hoskin family, all being elite athletes, and I was soon starved of all sugar, carbohydrates and towards the end of the week food in general. On a regular basis I would find myself binge eating out of my closet stashing wrappers anywhere I could. Also I had to refine my pallet to occasional red wine to be consumed to signal me as an adult as my maturity levels would often be found on the floor fitting in with the mischief daughters. I was constantly on the lookout for approval with the reward of star plate being undermined each time I asked to eat from it. In the closing days I also found out that I had been on the receiving end of a 4 month long running joke that I had be smirking at but not really understanding. All jokes aside they have been a tremendous asset to have been brought aboard and words couldn’t describe my gratefulness and what they mean to me now.
My new kit is now out and about showing off those who support me which again I would like to thank. Without them I could not follow my dreams in the sport I love. Check out the photos in my gallery.
This concludes my third blog I hope you enjoyed the read.
Stay tuned until next time..... Kieran McHoskin out.