Everyone has races they’d rather forget, for me my year started out with two of them. First up was Ironman 70.3 South Africa. Often in my race calendar, South Africa is an odd one as it’s so early in the season but I often use it as a trip to get out of the endless dark nights and dreary UK days while also visiting my second family in South Africa.
Job done….Sun was seen, family was visited, but on my favourite long run of all time (Along the Hermanus cliff path, over the mountain looking back over the lagoon, through Russell Hamilton vineyard. Amazing!) I had a falling out with a small stone in my path, took an almighty tumble, face planted and finished with a nice purple ankle the size of an elephants foot. Deciding to race was probably not my wisest decision.
Second on my list was Ironman 70.3 France. A beautiful race and one I thought I would try and defend my title on. After three attempted flights and some endless French strikes, I eventually found myself in Barcelona! I made it to Aix en Provence and had an average race, but not one I’m particularly proud of. After two attempts at good races, before which I felt fit and ready to smash it in both I was a bit disheartened. Having just told the big bosses at The Good Whey Co. that I was packing it all in and wanted to see how good I could get at triathlon with a tad more time I felt like a bit of a numpty. Perhaps I should have stuck to the day job.
Everyone has rough patches, but deal with those patches very differently. It’s most probably how people deal with those setbacks that predict whether they will see the smooth patch at the other end. For me I decided to ignore the poor performances and focus on the good bits, I had more time to train (I was now officially a part timer!) and I could do something about it, I was swimming and running faster than I’ve ever been…. My list grew and grew.
A couple of months later I’ve found my smooth patch - a 2nd place at Luxembourg 70.3 and a win at 70.3 Norway. Finishing within 1 minute 30 seconds of Lisa Hutthaler in Luxembourg is a smaller margin than I had expected and winning by almost 10 minutes in Norway is something I would never have predicted. Confidence high and after qualifying for the 70.3 World Championships I’m looking for my next smooth run.