Returning to Forster seemed a little crazy only a month after Hawaii IM, especially as life’s been busy catching up on all the things I’d put off in the lead up to Kona and my partner going away for 5 weeks, however its a place and race I felt really needed to be addressed more from a mental than physical aspect. Last year I finished the race but was very scared as my back, which had stopped me in Hawaii 2013 again played up, but this time refused to stop and battled through and finished.
I had a great day improving by about 30mins on last year but more importantly enjoying every moment ( well almost every:-). I had a great swim and feel stronger, happier and more comfortable on the bike as each race goes by. It was a tough, honest bike course that rewarded the stronger athletes as the roads were very course/slow and it got pretty windy, with a smaller field there weren’t many places to hide which made great racing. The run hurt lots more than it should have and was a big reminder that Kona was only 4weeks ago and I really haven’t been smart enough with recovery. I came close to sneaking a win but at the end of the day had to settle for second in my age group (11th overall). Off the bike my quads were feeling tight, ankles felt tight and the energy levels were down. A big goal over the last few months has been to develop patience and control on the bike so my initial thoughts running out of transition were to be patient but unfortunately the legs just never came good. Often thoughts of easing off or cruising to the finish creeped in but they were countered by the image in my mind of messages from loved ones wishing me luck and even more so by the thought of endless sacrifices my family make without hesitation to help me get to the start line of each race. I’m really happy with the race and satisfied that I gave everything and full credit to my competitors who were just better on the day!
Thanks to all those who sent messages yesterday very grateful for the support and kind words. The biggest improvement was mental, both preparation before the race but also during it. Developing self-awareness and mindfulness, has enabled me to identify physical tension, acknowledge it, then let go and realise just how resultant the human body can be. Over the next few weeks I’m looking forward to recharging the body with lots of yoga, walking and just being active outdoors. Using the time to mentally reflect on the past season, continually look to develop as a person and an athlete by addressing some questions like why am I doing this? What motivates me to compete, not just train but stand on the start line and push my body so hard it hurts? Once these can be answered it gives much clearer reason to strive for self improvement.