Monday, 14 July 2014

Fight or Flight

So its been a while since I blogged, mainly because things have gone a bit pear shaped since yokohama WTS and all I have wanted to do is this;
So where to start?
Well my goal for the last 18months had been to make the commonwelath games and I have been named as a reserve for the England team. It was always a tough ask when up against two former Olympians; Vicky Holland and Lucy hall, and world number 2 from 2013 Jodie Stimpson, I wish each every success, well deserved as I know how hard they all work and are all great girls who I hope steal the show in Glasgow!

So what happened to me?
Im healthy, Im injury free, I have been training great..., I had a 13th in Cape town, however my swim wasn't good enough in the last two selection races for a number of reasons.
I basically freaked out at Yokohama ad London. I know that Im not a lead out swimmer, but Id also never been last out of the water and over 2minutes behind.
On the plus side I didn't have any women attacking me around the buoys, but instead had the canoe for company! Sadly, disappointingly and frustratingly that was game over for me as you cant claw yourself back into the race from that postion at this level,
I went into both these races with far too much pressure on myself to perform, I focussed on the outcome goal and not my process which in the world of coaching and sports pshyc is a big no no and that has been the hardest part to put in perspective as I basically underperformed!

So what next?
Well this is sport. Sport can be cruel, and part of being an athlete is being able to deal with the downs it can bring. I honestly didn't deal very well with it for a good 4 weeks, I had no motivation to go training and spent far too long feeling sorry for myself and feeling like a failure which nobody really prepares you for.
Realising this was getting me nowhere at all, it was time to give myself a shake and get a grip! Its not the end of the world, its only triathlon.
I realised that Im not ready to pack up my bags, even though this is probably the craziest rollercoaster I have been on I want to experience some more of the ups and I know there is more in me that I havent been able to show.

So how do I start enjoying triathlon again?
I decided to do some lower key races, no pressure on myself and just give myself a chance to be competitive again.
This involved a French Grand prix race for my French team in Valence, which was brilliant to help Team Issy claim an overall lead in the grand prix!

Next up was a solid swim block with my new swim coach, followed by two more back to back races this weekend.
First up was the Jenson Button triathlon, so much fun, amzing atmosphere, lots of money raised for a great cause in Cancer research, a different heats and finals format and even a kiss from Jenson button ;)

My swim was pleasing, Ok so I didnt lead out the swim, but neither did I expect to but I was able to limit the damage a bit better on the swim leaders of young gun Sophie Coldwell and Natalie Milne. A none draft bike which I really enjoyed and was able to take the fastest bike split, finising in 2nd place on the run behind speedy Emma Pallant.
As I was in the area I thought why not race again?
So the next day I raced at Eton Dorney in the women's only shock absorber triathlon. It was brilliant to see so many first timers taking part in triathlon this weekend and it really reminded me why I do this sport. It teaches you how to set challenging goals, how to push yourself, to compete with like minded people and to be part of a great community that really does encourage health, fun and competition at all levels of ability. I want to say a massive thankyou to the organisers, and competitors and especially everyone who took part at these races this weekend, you helped to inspire me and encourage me to get back on the horse again!

Back to the race. I went through some good race processes and xited the swim much calmer and in control. There were several girls contributing to the pace on the bike but I had to play a bit of tactics myself which was strange for me as Im used to having to smash the bike playing catch up. After a pedestrian paced cycle I was pleased to see that my run is progressing well again and was happy enough to round off a weekend of seconds to Emma, who has done a brilliant job at transitioning to triathlon and is showing amazing form.
So overall, faith is not lost, onto the next one..

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