This year saw me not take the win for the first time in a long time- am I upset about it? Absolutely not.
I’ll turn up to race regardless of my fitness/injury woes no matter what condition I’m in because, at the end of the day, I love racing and if you’re only going to do it when you’re fully fit because, say, you’re scared of losing, then you’re in the wrong sport. You’ll be fitter and wiser after every race you do no matter the result and you learn more suffering on than you do by checking your ‘numbers are good’ out on a training spin or run session.
I’ve been quiet enough this year on racing escapades, both at home and abroad, purely because I’m trying to learn more about myself and my racing this year, while also focusing on the long term plan mapped out by my coach Stephen Delaney. I should mention he has been a rock this year and while it took some time to adapt to his coaching style having come from a background of VOLUME is more, I think we have begun to understand one another more as each race has progressed and hopefully he has had some insight into what drives me as an athlete and individual. I also now have complete trust in him and his training methods and we both share a common goal.
I have been very fortunate this year to have had starts in all French Div 1 Grand Prix races and I’ve been at all the national championship races. I’ve been healthy and I’ve had a phenomenal time. I’m not happy with a lot of my races but what athlete ever is? Things changed dramatically for me this year in that I have had to learn to be patient and to prioritise my future career meaning short term the things I love suffer, but long term gains will justify everything- i.e. guaranteed employment🙂
The super series at home is taking shape and I cycled in a good pack for the first time yesterday at Clogherhead. I won’t lie I didn’t want to see Heather Foley in the pack but it was humorous to see that ALL of us just sat there. No one would go and I had to restrain myself from attempting something stupid like trying to break (always learning). The run didn’t go my way yesterday and hasn’t this year for a lot of races which is new for me because I know I always feel pretty fresh getting out on to the run. I know the answer as to why but it’s a funny experience not being able to execute things like you usually do.
- I rocked up to Duathlon champs in Mondello unprepared and minus any race gear or lift home. Podiumed.
- Rocked up to Kilkee totally underprepared and unfit deciding on race morning to do it- podiumed. The winner was lucky I had such a poor race and I was embarrassed to look at my past winning times (to think I could swim/cycle so poorly)
- Rocked up to Aquathon champs again pretty awful timing but got my exam results the night before so the result was merely a bonus.
- Rocked up to Lanesboro in June, this time with some consistent training under the watchful eye of Mr. Delaney and did quite well. Not the perfect race but I executed the things I aimed to. Run still meh.
- Rocked up to Dublin City Triathlon for round 5 of the Super series and knew everything was against me but again I managed to pull something out of the bag. I should have been able to close on the run and any other day I’d be very happy seeing the gap was 40s starting out- knowing I have a solid fast run to close no matter who it is.
- A change of scenery brought me to the European Relay Champs in Banyoles with my club Limerick Tri. I missed Quiberon French GP to race this (I couldn’t take time off to go race in France so I was lucky to have this race to take my mind off that). The relay format is unbelievably exciting and this race reminded me of everything I love abut triathlon- fast, furious and exciting! Tokyo 2020 would be the perfect debut for this event!
- Yesterday then I rocked up to Clogherhead after receiving an email to say I was entered (sound for that Rachel) and had one of the most enjoyable races of the year. Not the result I wanted, but, all things considered, not awful (although I wouldn’t be happy with anything but a win when fit!)
Renault Ireland and Planet X bikes have been phenomenal in supporting me throughout my race season once again. I have the best of both 2 wheeled and four wheeled transport and it makes a huge difference to both my medical study and training days. I’m exceptionally lucky and grateful to be in such a positon and I hope to continue to do them proud in the coming years. I’ve one race left in Nice, France on October 2nd and then I’m putting the head down for a few months. I’ll be back to terrorise the race courses for the 2017 season both home and abroad with time to train consistently. It’s an exciting thought (and one I thoroughly look forward to get in motion as I look to progress on the international stage) but until such a time, I’ll just continue how I always do- loving life and triathlon🙂