Bala Standard Distance Triathlon.
I picked this race, because I was lacking imagination, and wanted to do a last race to keep me training through the summer. I thought I might qualify for the European Championships but realised that I wouldn’t be able to go even if I did qualify.
If you follow my blog you will know that I was not focussed on the race in hand, and did my best to distract myself from it by going on a baking and photographing spree! Packing was haphazard, and when we arrived I realised that I had forgotten an arm warmer. We were camping with the kids in the rain, which was not really conducive to pre race preparation! The boys were also very tired, as it was their first week back at school, and I was feeling a bit guilty for dragging them to another wet and windy lake, with no entertainment!
The Swim Garmin data here (37th in gender)
The swim was in waves, which meant that all the women went off together. This was great, as there was no thrashing about, and I had a good position on the inside, nearest the buoys. I went off at a good pace, and the water was pretty calm, then suddenly I hit a couple of small waves and swallowed half of Bala lake, which meant I went into… breaststroke.. I can’t breathe.. panic mode…my timing chip is falling off…I saw a kayak quite close, so swam over and tried to get my timing chip back on, knowing that this was self sabotage and that I was not going to meet my goal swim time! After I got my breath back I swam back in where I proceeded to overtake a lot of swimmers, and managed to get a draught back.
When I came into transition, I arrived back at the same time as a woman that I had set up with, who was next to me, they announced our names and swim times, 31.03, and I had wanted to do under 29 mins, I even chatted to the woman next to me before setting off onto the bike feeling pretty dissapointed .
The Bike Garmin data here (15th in gender)
I now had issues with my Garmin (not the first time!) I pressed lap and it stayed on swim, and kept pressing lap until I realised that I had absentmindedly reset the thing, before the race so that it went out of multi-sport mode. I had to faff about for a bit to get it on to bike, then about 15 mins later realised that I had not pressed start. Not the best beginning to this leg. I passed lots of people but was feeling pretty demoralised, it was wet, I was cold, and what was the point. I think I had almost decided by 10km that I wasn’t going to finish. On the way back I could see people on the run leg, and was trying to imagine myself running, but just felt like crying when I thought about it, so decided it wasn’t worth it! I just wanted to be back with my boys in the warm and dry. I expected to see them when I came in off the bike, but they were eating the largest sausage sandwiches in the world, in a cafe. I called them and we spent the afternoon in Bala pool, then went to Llangollen and had some food at The Corn Mill.
Full results here
How I feel now..
I realised why I DNF and have learnt lessons from that. I will be taking it easy for a bit, and waiting until I’m ready to get back into my training again. Have got some great races lined up for next year, and will definitely be picking races that inspire me!
I found some good nuggets of info online. My favourite is a comment from Salty running, as follows;
Congrats on reaching a milestone in the life if every runner who races! A DNF! I strongly believe every competitive (remember my definition of competitive) runner needs three acronyms before they are legit: DNF, DNS, DFL, as long as you don’t make a habit if ant if them! The DNF shows you took a risk and set an incredible goal. It’s ok to fall short and you can take pride in having the guts to go for it. The DNS is a reminder that you always have to be adaptable and fosters gratitude toward racing opportunities. If we’re healthy and able to start every race we plan on, it’s easy to take racing for granted. DFL, stands for dead friggin last. Ok, no one likes the pity clap, but you don’t get better/stronger/ tougher by staying in your comfort zone. You get better by putting yourself out there and taking chances. So, Coriander, wear your DNF badge with pride, for you had the courage to attack a goal that many would never consider. And once your it band heals, you’ll be ready for the next challenge!