Monday, 4 July 2016

Taking the rough with the smooth...

Quiet contemplation, Thanks Marie

So at a time when I should have been another race report, I found myself once again cursing the gods of triathlon after a series of bike issues forced a withdrawl from Celtman 2016 after only 110km of the bike. The worst thing about it was the fact I knew there was nothing I could do about it, it was a dose of bad luck right when I did not need it. Maybe I have been lucky not to suffer such misfortune the last 2 years and it was just my turn but it did not make it any easier to accept.

The 110km went something like this- First cattle grid, lose gel bottle at high speed, same at second (I have tested this for 6 weeks on bumpy, rough, lake district roads with no issue, seems it did not like the XL Torridon cattle grids), Chain drops twice, hit pothole at about 60kmhr, front tire blow out (close one), second puncture after another 15min of riding then I hit a bump in the road and the bars dropped (second close one), this took a while to fix as the bolts were hard to access with a water bottle installed. This time I took the hint, it was not going to be my day and worse still I was lucky to be un hurt so far. I think you have to pick your battles and it was clear this one was a lost cause.

I wont lie, it took me 3 days to get over this. After so much hard work over the winter and knowing I had gotten into the best shape of my life it felt like now or never (I know that's not how it is now:)) and I guess after missing Slateman through illness I felt I deserved a good day. My brother had traveled from Bristol to support the bike leg with Jo and a good mate had driven from Ambleside to do the run with me. I felt bad to have dragged them all the way to Torridon for not even half a race.

I am a lucky guy though and have amazing family and friends, many of whom were in Torridon for Celtman and realized there own goals starting, finishing and some not but finding their limits. Although it took me 3 days to get over it the recovery started there.

Check out the picture above that Marie sent me. Its taken about 9pm the night before the race, a bit of quiet time down on the front at Shieldaig. I can sit here just looking out forever, its an awesome view and my point is the journey to the race brought that into my life. That moment I felt calm, happy and am privileged to visit these places doing what I love. I have many, many moments like these, all the time and am lucky enough to have photos and videos to remember them but they are not needed. My life has been enriched by these experiences/friends and continues to be along the way to each race or challenge. The race really is such a small part of why I do this. All the messages of support the last few weeks have been awesome, so thanks everyone for this.

So I quickly got back into training, spotted the local Winderemere Triathlon was taking place the following weekend, entered and won! The Olympic distance is not one I would usually count myself as a contender for but I have been working hard with Blair to change that. I dont like hearing myself giving excuses so try to do something about it ;). A surprisingly good swim for me, fastest bike split of the day (despite a dropped chain!) and a solid run givens me good confidence going into Oravaman in 2 weeks time. I know the competition level will be high but hopefully I will have a good day, if not I guess it will just be another awesome experience along the way! Its an amazing journey whatever,

Lucky guy for sure!!

Thanks again for everyone's support over the last few weeks, it means so much.

Moving forwards, always :) 

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