MC: Absolutely. The thing that’s a bit frustrating or annoying – you can be out, doing your 70.3’s, and you just constantly get people in your face asking, “How are you going to beat her? Did you hear how fast she went?” And you don’t want to come across as an…asshole…so you have to take it all in your stride.
PNF: That’s what I’m saying. So then you keep winning, and there comes the pressure. The expectation starts to come. And everybody’s going to say to you, “How are you going to beat her?” And at the end of the day, it’s not about beating her. It’s just about you. Having your day. Because if you have your day, there’s nothing you can do about anybody else. You just have to have your day.
So I want to ask you a little bit about coaching. I come from the era when there was no such thing as a coach. You just woke up in the morning and – pop! – sucked it out of your thumb. You asked everybody, “What are you doing? What are you doing?” OK, that sounds better; I’ll go with that person. And off we went. And so with your training, is everything, every day pretty well planned, or is there anything sort of free form or intuitive?
MC: There definitely is. I’ve been working with Siri for five years now. Early on, definitely everything was planned out. I’d do exactly as the program said. But now we’ve evolved into more of a partnership than a coach/athlete. She sets out the program and we’re in contact over the phone a few times a week. Within sessions, if I feel good, I’ll change the session. I’ll add extra efforts. Or if I feel just knackered then I’ll cut the session and recover. Then I’ll tell her and we’ll adjust accordingly. So while it is set out and for the most part I follow the plan, I definitely have flexibility.
PNF: You’re still doing what Mirinda needs to do and not what the program says?
MC: Yeah, absolutely.
PNF: That’s good. I love that.
MC: And we’re both trying to figure out how to make the next steps.
PNF: The reason I ask is that I used to train up here in Boulder when Siri was racing. She used to say, “Oh, I can’t believe you’re doing all that! You’re going to go ride your bike for five hours? That’s ridiculous!”
MC: Siri’s definitely come a long way. When I said I wanted to do ironman racing she did a lot of research and talked to a lot of people.
PNF: When did you decide that ironman was something you wanted to do? I really wanted to ask you that. You just sort of appeared, and I didn’t really have an inkling that you were an ironman athlete or had that mentality. It was a little bit like with Michellie, where it was this thing that was never going to happen.
MC: Pretty early on. My first race was back in 2000, and I got swept up into the ITU and the federations. For a number of years I was doing ITU and targeting toward the Olympics, but I was never a great swimmer. But early on it was evident that I could handle a lot more training. Touch wood, to this day I’ve never had an injury.