2016 is almost over but it feels like it has been 2 years of drama, changes, and new experiences rolled into one. Reading my last blog post which was several months ago, it is crazy to think that my horrible bike crash was actually this year as life has taken different directions since then. I am so grateful to not have lasting injuries from this crash, just some small scars that fade day by day.
After pouring all my energy into recovering from my foot injury and bike crash to get back to the start line for New Plymouth WC and the Gold Coast WTS, I came to a bit of a roadblock. Post Gold Coast I knew I didn't have the performance I needed to be in contention for Rio. With being out of racing action I knew I wouldn't have enough points to get on the start line for Yokohoma, the final Olympic selection race. The time came to decide on my next move and during a heart to heart with my coach and my parents, and many tears shed I decided I wanted to a break from full time triathlon. In admitting this it also brought a sense of relief. The last few years and especially the previous four months had started to bring more lows than highs. For the last four years I hadn't questioned WHY, or my motivation to get out of bed at 6am to swim 5km, or get up at 6am on Sunday while everyone else is sleeping in to bike 100km. A lot of people would say to me oh your living the dream! It didn't feel like a dream when you were walking around in a moon boot or had stitches in your face! Overall I was mentally and physically exhausted and not enjoying something which had brought me so pleasure and enjoyment in the past. It was time for a new focus and a break from triathlon.
I started work soon after and enjoyed the new focus, being in a routine and a positive work environment as part of a team, interacting with a wide range of personalities. Out of work I was only exercising for fun; no training peaks, no planned training just slowly building my running up post injury, fun swims in the ocean, social rides, and improving my skills on my new mountain bike! I enjoyed more social time, trips away, friends weddings I could attend, sleep ins on Sundays. To some I was probably exercising a lot but for me it was 50% less than what I had been doing. By the end of July after three months of enjoying the new balance in my life I was in a good place. I still wasn't chopping at the bit to be competitive or need to race but I felt I had more motivation and had come to a few realisations. With disappointments, injuries, pressure of full time triathlon I was looking too much at results and not the journey I was on. The WHY of doing triathlon of what gets me to spend hours training was ultimately because I loved it, it challenged me both mentally, physically, the like minded people I meet and to inspire others.
|8th Mixed Team at Rembau|
|Post race with winner Meredith Kessler|
What I learnt from this type of racing is that it is not over until it is over! In ITU athletes races can be decided from a slow T1 or bad swim, however in 70,3 there is a lot more time to make up places, and nutrition, pacing play a bigger role. I look forward to experiencing more of this distance in the future as it has refreshed my mind to focus on further challenging my WHY. I am excited to see how far I can challenge myself with distance, how I can improve, and to enjoy racing events I haven't been able to do. Also to show others even if you have been knocked down several times you can keep trying or try something different. Next up I am racing the POT Half, an event I've wanted to do for several years after being part of a team for the last 5 years. After this I don't have any set triathlon races, I have some different races planned but I'm excited to see what 2017 will bring and for fresh challenges! Hope everyone else has a great end to 2016 and are set to aim for new challenges and goals in 2017!!!