After the final race of the triathlon season on Sunday it is easy to focus on the negatives of the day. I wasn’t very happy with the race, and I just felt that I had nothing to give, and it wasn’t exactly a reflection of where I have been this season. However that race was one of many this season, and I don’t want a sole race to define my post season recovery and goals going forward. Although nobody may read this blog, my mum is heavy on the theory of mindfulness. With that in mind I decided to sit back, reflect and digest what happened this season.
I’m a competitive person, there is no denying that. Personal traits include being highly motivated, determined and resilient. However that is not why I do triathlon. Honestly. Triathlon is my passion, it’s my lifestyle, it’s my stress reliever. It brings ups and downs, but it has brought me so much more. It’s brought lifelong friends and a lifelong determination to be fit, and healthy and well. I wouldn’t be doing it still after 10 years if I didn’t love it. Although below I will list my “achievement’s” this season (and yes add modest and shy to the above personal traits so I find this uncomfortable at times) what is really important – is that I tried. I tried really really hard.
A few friends posted a recent blog article by another cyclist recently and it resonated. I don’t do this sport for the sole reason to be the best or be on the podium (don’t get me wrong those are extremely nice outcomes) but I do this sport because I love it, I love seeing progress, I love getting fitter and faster, and in order to do that I work at it. I work really really hard.
So in order to take a step back I’ve listed my results below:
Yarrawonga triathlon (1500m lake swim, 38.8km ride, 10km run)
5th 25-29 AG – 02:28: 20
Not a bad opener. I had a nightmare with my wetsuit zip opening 1/3rd of the way in. But I didn’t give up.
Noosa triathlon (1500m ocean swim, 40km ride, 10km run)
13th 25-29AG – 02:32:38
I was scared of the sharks. The heat was unbearable for this English rose. But I worked my butt off, in arguably the biggest triathlon in the World. Cannot complain!
Gatorade series R1 (500m ocean swim, 20km ride, 5km run)
4th 25-29 AG – 1:10:00
I improved by over 5minutes from the prior year. I was sniffing distance from the podium. Enough said.
Dune2Dune triathlon – Cape Paterson (400m swim, 20km ride, 3.6km run)
1st overall – 1:00:26
I won! I was the first female overall! This has NEVER happened before. Winning a race overall. I had the fastest female bike of the day. This isn’t unusual. I had the second fastest female run of the day (by 5 seconds). This is unusual. Let’s just say the champagne was flowing that evening! (Alright….sparkling wine)
Gatorade series R2 (600m ocean swim, 27km bike, 5km run)
3rd 25-29 AG – 1:21:38
This race bites deep. I got third. Unfortunately ‘first’ on the date cheated so I didn’t get my podium moment as it came up as 4th. My parents were over from the UK. I was gutted. Reflecting…I wanted a Gatorade medal this year… I did it in race 3. And I did it by sprinting to the finish line. Not bad kiddo. Oh and did I mention my mum also got 3rd….
Gatorade series R3 (750m ocean swim, 20km bike, 5km run) – National Champs
8th 25-29 AG – 1:14:15
I debated back and forth doing this. I had horrendous preparation with the weeks leading up and my head was not in the right mind space. Looking back, I got through it and it did me a world of good. 8th in the whole of Australia – I should be seriously happy with that. What’s more, I overcame the mental battle.
Gatorade series R4 (800m ocean swim, 26km bike, 8km run)
3rd 25-29 AG – 1:40:18
You know what – I put my heart and soul into that race and left every last bit of me out on the course. It resulted in a podium. Cue me grinning for days.
Gatorade series R5 (1500m ocean swim, 40km ride, 10km run)
Like I said…I wasn’t happy. I don’t particularly want to reflect any more on this race…I was 10min off my PB. Trying to find the positives…I had the fastest bike in my AG for the day.
Overall that’s two podiums in Gatorade races, one overall win in a triathlon and a resultant 2nd in the overall Gatorade series.
So like I said. Not a bad season, which I need to remember, and I think this photo sums it up.
I am fortunate. I have a set of coaches in Tri Alliance who personally truly believed in me, and wanted me to achieve my goals, almost more than I did. They invested time in me. They motivated me. They gave me a hug when there were tears. They gave me a kick up the backside when I was feeling lazy. They encouraged me when I was tired. I went on two great training camps beforehand (although I may never forgive Ollie for dragging me round Inverloch in the dark, heavy rain and gale force winds) which helped me focus and have fun. I have to thank Ollie, Scott, Hilario, Dan and Greg with putting up with me.
I have an amazing set of friends from the triathlon community in Melbourne and work colleagues who I get to call friends, who 100% put up with me and support me. They see the good, the bad and the ugly Kat. They know who they are and I thank-you.
I moved to this country to try and seek back some of the balance in my life which was missing in London. Have I achieved that? Maybe from the outside, 5am alarms and running around from work to training and back again may not look like that. From the inside. Most definitely. I get to do the sport I love. I may have periods in work which may mean I don’t get to sessions or am just exhausted so can’t face it. But that frankly is life. I’m not a pro athlete, and I don’t pretend to be. This is my hobby, I’m a passionate age grouper, and I love it.
I will continue to try and swim like a mermaid, cycle until I beat all the boys, and run (in the words of Hilario) beautifully. I will continue to try really really hard.